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Travel insurance for voluntary work

Scotland
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Travel insurance for voluntary work

We are hoping to go to Namibia next year for two weeks to do voluntary work at PAWS which is next to Africat. We will be working in the morning clearing old farmland etc. and out on safari in the afternoon and hopefully seeing some of the work Africat does.

We have been on safari several times but wondered whether we would need more comprehensive travel insurance for this type of holiday. My husband has been doing some research on the internet and noticed that some companies who offer insurance for gap year type holidays have an upper age limit of 45 and I am 48.

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Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Hi,

But you are only going for 2 weeks, not a year, so most travel insurance should be adequate, unless it precludes any voluntary work.

It's not as if you are doing anything risky like skydiving or white water rafting.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

It would be worth checking but I travel and volunteer with Earthwatch Regularly and have Earthwatch check the cover for you.

As Peter says you are simply going for a short time. It is in effect a working holiday for which you are not getting paid.

New Zealand
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3. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Be specific with your travel insurer that you will be 'working' even if voluntaring, as last year when arranging ours for volunteerwork, some would not cover it,some would but cost more, and 1 would cover it at no cost.

And they worked out cheaper and are a company I have dealt with before so are reliable.And incidentally, paid out on a blown tyre on a rental in Namibia, no questions asked.

Be sure you shop around.

Scotland
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4. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Thanks for all the replies.

We will definitely look in to it further as it does look like our normal safari insurance will not be sufficient.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

We would all like to see you back here reporting on your experiences Poppyr.

Volunteering on some of these wildlife projects can be a completely different experience in another country.And give a unique perspective on customs and culture.And a real close up contact with wildlife and you learn so much.It's a real shame there is so much conflict between wildlife and farming.But many of these conservation projects are leading the way in developing new strategies for co-existance or in educating farmers in adopting new ways of living with wild cats.

Enjoy every minute of your time.

Scotland
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6. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Thanks Jimshu. I really loved reading your posts about the volunteering work you have done.

I must admit I am a bit apprehensive about it as I have never done anything like this before and just hope I can cope with the physical work as no doubt everyone there will be so much younger than me.

We have been doing some more research but still haven't found a suitable company. Some of them mention not covering you if you are using machinery and from what I can see on the PAWS website they do have some machines used for cutting back bushes and shrubs. The best one we found was World Nomad but they mentioned not covering you if you were working with big cats.

I think we will get in touch with PAWS and see if they can give us any guidance on the matter. We also thought of speaking to one of our local insurance brokers about it as want to make sure that we are adequately covered.

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Lets look at this is sections Poppyr. You are not going for a period of 30 days so all the Gap Year and Snowbird clauses will not apply.

Your normal Travel Insurance covers, Cancellation, Missed connections, Luggage etc., etc., Your trip does not negate these.

It also covers Health and Medical attention and this is the bit that is worrying you. Most normal policies provide cover for Sporting and recreational activities and what you are doing is recreational. However this activity must not be the 'sole purpose' of your trip. i.e. you are not flying out solely to enter the world hang gliding championship or similar. You are going on holiday, part of which you will be volunteering for a charitable cause.

You should be covered for 'manual work' which IS covered when undertaken solely in a voluntary capacity for a charity where there is no financial gain. There will be no cover for use of heavy electrical, mechanical or hydraulic plant or working more than 3 metres above the ground.

I do not think you will be undertaking such tasks at PAWS and in the unlikely event you are they will be insured.

What I should do is ring CityBond Suretravel 0845 618 0345 and ask them if what you are going to do would be covered by their policy. I find them very helpful and totally reliable. They are part of "Europ Assistance" and used to queries of this nature.

New Zealand
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8. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Hi Poppyr,

If you are apprehensive about the manual labour, then perhaps switch your time across to Naan Kuse.

You'll be with a spreead of age groups, although most volunteers are the young set, but there is a good % of oldies.

Plus the work is rotated so you may be on manual labour, banmging in a few extra pegs around the fence line, or on trek, counting wild animal spoor, or taking the baqboons for a walk, or feeding the big cats.

In assessing wildlife sanctuaries, it is important to look at whether they are taking in animals and putting them in cages/enclosures and then setting up a zoo type environment, for tourists to come and view.

Or are they actively pursuing rehabilitation and release.

And Naan Kuse release every animal they feel can survive wild , and are not habituated to humans and so present a danger.

In the short time they have been operating, 2003, 18 big cats have been released.

New Zealand
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9. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

oooooh where's that edit button????

Scotland
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148 posts
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10. Re: Travel insurance for voluntary work

Hi Jimshu

I have looked at Naankuse and thought it looked fantastic. Unfortunately what put me off us off were the sleeping arrangements as I will be travelling with my husband. We don't mind sharing toilet and washing facilities but I am afraid we would not be comfortable sharing same sex sleeping accommodation with strangers. It's a shame because it looks wonderful especially sleeping with the baby baboons you would become so attached to them.

We have looked at Africat and they do try to release as many animals back in to the wild as possible. They have rescued more than 850 cheetahs and leopards and over 85% have been released back in to the wild.

Mfuwe thanks for the info about insurance companies. We have used Europ Assistance in the past so will give them a call.