Travel Insurance in Nigeria: An Essential Guide

by Counseal Team

Updated March 4, 2024

An image depicting travelling or a vacation

Imagine this: 

You’re set for that well-deserved holiday. Your bags are packed, your itinerary is planned down to the last detail, and you’re ready to explore new horizons. But what if an unexpected event derails your plans? This is where travel insurance steps in.

Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers the costs and losses associated with travelling. It can be applied internationally or within one’s own country. It usually covers trip cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies and other unforeseen circumstances while travelling.

 

It’s Not Just About the Money

Contrary to popular belief, travel insurance isn’t just about getting your money back when things go wrong. It’s also about peace of mind. When you’re in a foreign country, far away from familiar comforts, having a safety net can make your trip a lot less stressful. It’s not just about covering losses, it’s about ensuring that you can enjoy your journey without worrying about what might go wrong.

The Unpredictability of Travel

Travel is unpredictable. Flights can be delayed, bags can get lost, and accidents can happen. In 2019, for instance, the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database reported that travel insurance claims rose by a whopping 15.3%. This shows that more and more Nigerians are experiencing unforeseen issues while travelling.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the right travel insurance can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right information and some careful research, you can find a policy that suits your needs perfectly. Consider factors like the cost, the coverage, and the company’s reputation before making a decision. Let’s look at some examples.

Examples

Let’s look at two examples. Mr. Adebayo, a Nigerian business executive, had to cancel a business trip to South Africa at the last minute because of a family emergency. Fortunately, his travel insurance policy covered the cancellation fees, saving him a significant amount of money.

Mrs. Okonkwo, a frequent traveller, fell ill while vacationing in the UK. Thanks to her comprehensive travel insurance policy, her hospital expenses were taken care of, and she could focus on her recovery without worrying about the cost.

These examples highlight the importance of having travel insurance. It’s not a luxury, but an essential part of any travel plan. What are the benefits, you ask? Let’s explore them.

Table of Contents


The Undeniable Perks of Travel Insurance

An image illustrating benefit of travel insurance

Imagine you’ve planned the perfect vacation. Tickets booked, hotel reservations made, itinerary set. But then, life happens — a medical emergency, a cancelled flight, or lost luggage. This is where travel insurance comes into play.

The Lifesaver: Medical Coverage

One of the top benefits of travel insurance is the medical coverage. You see, when you’re exploring the world, the last thing you want is to end up in a foreign hospital without a safety net. Did you know that medical costs abroad can be 2-3 times more expensive than in Nigeria? With travel insurance, you’re covered for emergencies, accidents, or illnesses. It’s like having a health guardian angel who’s got your back, anywhere, anytime.

The Safety Net: Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage

Ever had to cancel a trip due to unforeseen circumstances? It’s disappointing, not to mention the financial loss. Here’s where travel insurance shines again. If you have to cancel your trip due to valid reasons, like a sudden illness or a family emergency, you can recover your prepaid costs. This coverage can also kick in if your trip is interrupted midway. It’s the insurance industry’s way of saying, “Hey, life happens. We’ve got you covered.”

The Protector: Baggage Loss or Delay Coverage

We’ve all been there. Standing at the baggage carousel, watching bags go by, and ours is nowhere in sight. It’s frustrating, right? But with travel insurance, you have a plan B. If your baggage is lost or delayed, you’re covered for the replacement of essentials. So even if you land in Paris without your luggage, you won’t be caught without a fresh set of clothes or your toothbrush.

The Helper: Travel Assistance and Support Services

In a foreign land, confusion can be your biggest enemy. Navigating through a medical emergency, lost passport, or legal issue can be daunting. But guess what? Your travel insurance has a solution for that too. Most plans offer round-the-clock assistance services to help you navigate through such issues. It’s like having a personal assistant on speed dial, ready to help when you need it.

Real-life Cases: The Proof in the Pudding

Still unsure about the benefits of travel insurance? Let’s look at some examples. Take Mr. Ade for instance. He was on a trip to the USA when he had a sudden heart attack. His medical bills amounted to over N10 million. But thanks to his travel insurance, he didn’t have to worry about the cost.

Then there’s Miss Fatima. She had planned a trip to London but had to cancel due to a family emergency. She was able to recover most of her non-refundable costs because she had wisely invested in travel insurance.

The Verdict: Peace of Mind

In the end, what travel insurance offers is priceless — peace of mind. It lets you enjoy your trip, knowing you’re protected against life’s unpredictabilities. It’s like a reliable friend who’s always there, ready to help when you need it.

So, next time you’re planning a trip, remember to pack your travel insurance. It’s not just a document; it’s your safety net in a foreign land.

What are the Types of Travel Insurance in Nigeria

Single Trip or Annual Multi-Trip Insurance: What’s Your Travel Frequency?

So, you’re planning a trip. Maybe it’s your first one of the year or perhaps you’re a frequent flyer with the airline staff already knowing your name. Either way, travel insurance is a must. But should you go for a single trip or an annual multi-trip plan?

Your choice depends on how often you travel. If you’re someone who travels once or twice a year, the single trip insurance plan is your best bet. Why pay for a whole year when you’re only going to need it for a couple of weeks, right?

On the flip side, if you’re jet-setting around the globe more than three times a year, you might want to consider an annual multi-trip plan. It covers you for all your trips within a year, and surprisingly, it can be more cost-effective than buying multiple single-trip plans.

Schengen or Worldwide Plans: Where are You Travelling To?

Next up, let’s talk about destinations. If you’re travelling to any of the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, you’ll need a Schengen travel insurance. It’s not just an option, it’s a visa requirement. However, if your travel plans take you beyond Europe, you’ll need a worldwide travel insurance plan.

Individual or Family Plans: Who’s Travelling with You?

Travelling alone or with family? There’s a plan for that. Individual plans are great if you’re the lone ranger type. But if you’re bringing along your spouse, kids, or even extended family, a family plan might be more economical. 

It covers everyone under one policy, and can often be cheaper than buying individual policies for each family member.

Standard or Premium Plans: What’s your Risk Appetite?

Last but not least, let’s discuss coverage. Depending on your risk appetite, you can opt for a standard plan, which covers the basics, or a premium plan, which offers extensive coverage including things like trip cancellation, loss of personal belongings, and even emergency medical evacuation. 

Yes, it’s a bit more expensive, but for complete peace of mind, it’s worth it.

Choosing the Right Travel Insurance

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the different types of travel insurance, let’s talk about choosing the right one for you. 

Start by assessing your needs and budget. How often do you travel? Where are you travelling to? Are you travelling alone or with family? What is your risk appetite? Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options.

Finally, remember to read the fine print. Understand what is covered and what is not. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification from the insurance provider. After all, it’s your hard-earned money and you deserve to know where it’s going.

What are the Best Travel Insurance Companies in Nigeria

An image of the logos of insurance companies

Travel insurance is all about giving you peace of mind when you’re exploring the world. It’s about knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re covered. So before you pack your bags, and set off on your next adventure, you should take the time to choose the right insurance company for you. 

Let’s check out a few of the companies.

Leadway Assurance

First up, we have Leadway Assurance, a titan in the Nigerian insurance industry. With over four decades of service under its belt, Leadway Assurance is no stranger to providing Nigerians with top-notch insurance services.

Pros

  1. Reputation: Leadway Assurance is a household name in Nigeria. They’ve built a solid reputation for their reliable and comprehensive insurance services.
  2. Customer Service: Known for its excellent customer service, Leadway Assurance ensures a smooth ride for its customers from policy purchase to claim settlement.
  3. Policy Options: Whether you’re a frequent traveller or an occasional adventurer, Leadway Assurance has a wide array of policy options tailored to meet your needs.

Cons

  1. Claims Process: While Leadway Assurance generally has a smooth claims process, some customers have reported delays in claim settlements.

AIICO Insurance

Next up, we have AIICO Insurance. Established in 1963, AIICO has grown to become one of Nigeria’s leading insurance companies.

Pros

  1. Reputation: AIICO Insurance has a long-standing reputation for delivering reliable insurance services to Nigerians.
  2. Claims Process: AIICO Insurance stands out for its efficient claims process. They have an online system that makes it easy to file and track claims.

Cons

  1. Customer Service: Some customers have reported less-than-stellar experiences with AIICO’s customer service.

AXA Mansard Insurance

Onto AXA Mansard Insurance, a member of the AXA Group – a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management.

Pros

  1. International Reputation: Being part of the global AXA Group, AXA Mansard Insurance comes with an international reputation for excellence.
  2. Policy Options: If you’re looking for variety, AXA Mansard Insurance has got you covered with a wide range of travel insurance policies.

Cons

  1. Price: AXA Mansard’s travel insurance policies tend to be more expensive compared to other Nigerian insurance companies.

Zenith Insurance

Zenith Insurance is a subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading commercial banks.

Pros

  1. Reputation: Backed by the Zenith Bank brand, Zenith Insurance has a strong reputation in the Nigerian insurance market.
  2. Claims Process: Zenith Insurance offers a seamless claims process, ensuring prompt claims settlement.

Cons

  1. Limited Policy Options: Zenith Insurance offers fewer travel insurance policy options compared to other insurance companies on this list.

Cornerstone Insurance

Another industry leader, Cornerstone Insurance, has been providing Nigerians with innovative insurance products since 1992.

Pros

  1. Innovative Services: Cornerstone Insurance is known for its innovative approach to insurance, offering unique travel insurance packages.
  2. Customer Service: Customers often commend Cornerstone Insurance for its excellent customer service.

Cons

  1. Claims Process: Some customers have reported experiencing delays in claim settlements with Cornerstone Insurance.

IGI Nigeria

Last but not least, we have IGI Nigeria, one of the largest insurance companies in Nigeria and West Africa.

Pros

  1. Wide Coverage: IGI Nigeria offers extensive coverage in its travel insurance policies.
  2. Reputation: With over 25 years in the business, IGI Nigeria has built a strong reputation in the Nigerian insurance industry.

Cons

  1. Customer Service: Some customers have reported issues with IGI Nigeria’s customer service.

In conclusion, selecting the best travel insurance for you ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether it’s excellent customer service, a smooth claims process, or wide coverage you’re after, these top Nigerian travel insurance companies have got you covered.

How to Buy Travel Insurance in Nigeria

Whether you’re planning a trip to the sandy beaches of Seychelles or a business meeting in New York, one thing is certain – you need travel insurance. But how do you navigate the murky waters of buying travel insurance in Nigeria? Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Research and Compare Different Travel Insurance Plans

Much like buying a car or selecting a mobile phone package, purchasing travel insurance is all about research, research, and more research. There are numerous insurance providers in Nigeria, each with their unique offerings.

So, how do you sift through the noise and find the right plan for you? Online comparison sites are a good place to start. They provide a snapshot of what different insurers offer, including coverage limits, exclusions, and cost.

Don’t be persuaded by price alone. Look out for the balance between cost and coverage. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best!

Step 2: Fill Out an Application Form

Once you’ve found a plan that suits your needs, it’s time to fill out an application form. This can often be done online, or you could visit a branch office if you prefer the human touch.

The application form will require you to provide personal details (such as your name, contact information, and date of birth) as well as your travel details (destination, duration, purpose of travel). Be sure to provide accurate information to avoid any complications later.

Step 3: Provide Necessary Documents

Next, you’ll need to provide necessary documents. This may include a copy of your passport, visa (if applicable), and flight details. Some insurers may also require a medical certificate, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.

Always check with your insurer to know what documents are needed. And remember, honesty is the best policy – don’t withhold any relevant information.

Step 4: Pay the Premium

Once your application is approved, you’ll be required to pay the insurance premium. This can usually be done via bank transfer, credit/debit card, or even mobile money. Once payment is confirmed, you’re one step closer to being insured for your trip!

Step 5: Get Your Policy Confirmation and Certificate

After payment, the insurer will send you a policy confirmation and certificate. This document is proof of your insurance coverage and will be required when making a claim.

Keep it safe, and consider having a digital copy accessible from your phone or email – just in case.

FAQs about Buying Travel Insurance in Nigeria

Now that we’ve covered the process of buying travel insurance in Nigeria, let’s dispel some common misconceptions and answer frequently asked questions:

1. Is travel insurance mandatory for all trips?

No, but it’s highly recommended. Whether it’s an unexpected medical emergency or lost luggage, travel insurance provides a safety net.

2. Can I buy travel insurance after my trip has started?

Most insurers require you to buy travel insurance before you start your trip. However, some insurers may allow you to purchase while on the trip. Always check with your insurer.

3. What does travel insurance typically cover?

While coverage varies by insurer and plan, most travel insurance policies cover medical emergencies, trip cancellation or interruption, lost or stolen luggage, and personal liability.

Buying travel insurance in Nigeria might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Do your research, understand what you’re buying, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being prepared. Safe travels!

Why You Absolutely Need Travel Insurance in Nigeria

So, you’re planning your next big adventure, and Nigeria is your destination of choice. Fantastic! But before you start packing your bags, let’s talk about something crucial – travel insurance.

In conclusion, don’t overlook the importance of travel insurance. It’s not just about protecting your wallet; it’s about ensuring your safety and peace of mind while you explore the world.

Ready to get your travel insurance? Feel free to contact us at Counseal, for more advice.With over 6 years of experience in growing start-ups in Nigeria, we’ll be more than happy to guide you through the process.

Thank you for reading, and here’s to your safe and enjoyable travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between travel insurance and travel health insurance?

Travel insurance is a broad term that covers various types of risks and losses associated with travelling, such as trip cancellation, baggage loss, travel assistance, and legal expenses. Travel health insurance is a specific type of travel insurance that  covers medical  expenses and emergencies that may occur during your trip, such as accidents, illnesses, or repatriation.

Do I need travel insurance to visit Nigeria?

Travel insurance is not mandatory to visit Nigeria, but it is highly recommended for your safety and peace of mind. Nigeria is a diverse and vibrant country, but it also has some challenges and risks, such as political instability, crime, terrorism, and health issues . Travel insurance can protect you from  unexpected events and costs that may arise during your trip, such as medical emergencies, flight delays, lost luggage, or legal problems.

How much does travel insurance cost in Nigeria?

The cost of travel insurance in Nigeria depends on several factors, such as the type of plan, the duration and frequency of your trip, the destination and visa requirements, the number and age of travellers, and the level and limit of coverage. Generally, travel insurance plans  in Nigeria range from N5,000 to N50,000 per person per trip . You can compare and choose the best plan for your needs and budget using online platforms.

What are the best travel insurance companies in Nigeria?

There are many travel insurance companies in Nigeria that offer different plans and options for travellers. Some of the best and most reputable ones are:

  • Leadway Assurance: A leading insurance company in Nigeria that offers comprehensive and affordable travel insurance plans for individuals and groups, including Schengen, worldwide, and Hajj & Umrah plans.
  • AIICO Insurance: A prominent insurance company in Nigeria that offers flexible and customised travel insurance plans for different destinations and purposes, including Schengen, worldwide, and pilgrimage plans.
  • AXA Mansard Insurance: A global insurance company that offers reliable and competitive travel insurance plans for Nigerians, including Schengen, worldwide, and family plans .
  • Zenith Insurance: A reputable insurance company in Nigeria that offers standard and premium travel insurance plans for Nigerians, including Schengen, worldwide, and annual multi-trip plans.
  • Cornerstone Insurance: A trusted insurance company in Nigeria that offers simple and affordable travel insurance plans for Nigerians, including Schengen, worldwide, and individual plans.
  • IGI Nigeria: A leading insurance company in Nigeria that offers comprehensive and innovative travel health insurance plans for Nigerians, including Schengen, worldwide, and travel health plus plans.

How can I buy travel insurance in Nigeria?

You can buy  travel insurance in Nigeria online or offline, depending on your preference and convenience. 

Online, you can use platforms to research, compare, and buy travel insurance from hundreds of different companies in one click. 

Offline, you can visit the branch offices of the travel insurance companies or contact their agents or brokers to get a quote and buy a policy. 

In both cases, you will need to provide some personal and travel details and documents, such as your name, age, passport number, destination, duration, and purpose of your trip. You will also need to pay the premium and receive the policy confirmation and certificate.

What should I do if I need to make a claim on my travel insurance policy?

If you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy, you should follow these steps:

  • Contact your travel insurance company or their 24/7 travel assistance service as soon as possible and inform them of your situation and claim.
  • Provide them with the necessary information and documents to support your claim, such as your policy number, proof of identity, medical reports, receipts, invoices, police reports, etc.
  • Follow their instructions and cooperate with their representatives to process your claim.
  • Wait for their decision and payment of your claim.

What are some common exclusions and limitations of travel insurance policies?

Travel insurance policies usually have some exclusions and limitations that you should be aware of before buying a policy. Some of the common ones are:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: Travel insurance policies typically do not cover any medical expenses or emergencies related to a condition that you already had or knew about before your trip.
  • Pregnancy: Travel insurance policies usually do not cover any medical expenses or complications related to pregnancy, childbirth, or abortion, unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Routine checks and treatments: Travel insurance policies generally do not cover any medical expenses or services that are not related to an emergency, such as routine check-ups, vaccinations, cosmetic surgery, dental care, etc.
  • Extreme sports and activities: Travel insurance policies usually do not cover any injuries or accidents that result from participating in high-risk or adventurous sports and activities, such as skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, etc., unless you have a specific cover for them.
  • Illegal or irresponsible behaviour: Travel insurance policies typically do not cover any losses or damages that result from your illegal or irresponsible behaviour, such as breaking the law, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in fraud or deception.

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