esure offers advice to football fans planning to travel to South Africa for the World Cup

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With thousands of footballing fans planning to travel to South Africa this month 1 to see England in a desperate attempt to end their 44-year wait for glory, esure travel insurance is advising footballing fans to plan ahead to make sure they get to see the games and not have the whistle blown at them and shown a red card back home.

Research by esure, indicates that thousands of tourists may forget to make vital pre-holiday checks with 15 per cent revealing that they never check whether their passport is valid for travel and over a quarter (26 per cent) do not even research whether or not they need a visa or specific documentation to enter their travel destination2.

In the excitement, it is likely that thousands of fans will be so tied up in making final arrangements and booking their flights and accommodation, that they could fail to check that their passport has a validity for no less than 30 days after the end of their intended visit3 and that they have at least two blank pages on their passport upon arrival. Furthermore, one in five polled (20 per cent) will not take out any travel insurance cover for their trip4.

Nikki Sellers, Head of Travel Insurance at esure, said: "Footballing fans may be so caught up in the excitement of the World Cup that, in the sudden rush to book their flights and accommodation, they are overlooking the basics - such as booking travel insurance and checking the validity of their passports.

Not only could fans be caught out by flying to South Africa without a valid passport to allow them entry into the country but with so many people travelling and with the volcanic ash, delays are highly likely. It's vital to plan ahead and read the travel insurance documents thoroughly to make sure you’re covered should anything unfortunate, such as a flight cancellation or baggage loss, occurs."

esure has compiled some specific ‘insurance-related’ tips for football fans looking to travel to the World Cup:

  1. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance: make sure you take cover to protect you and your family should the unexpected happen. Essentially cover will be provided for you if you become ill or getting injured whilst on your footballing holiday, are delayed at the airport, or end up losing your luggage. Also, make sure you take your insurance documents with you as having telephone numbers and policy particulars at hand is crucial.
  2. Check what’s covered: if you're booking your flights and have already got annual travel insurance cover, check your insurance to make sure that attending any sporting activity isn’t excluded.
  3. Cancellation: when you book your flights, make sure you take your travel insurance cover out at the same time to ensure you are covered in case you suddenly fall ill or are not fit to travel and have to cancel at the last minute.
  4. Plan ahead before you travel: Make sure you check the British foreign and commonwealth office (www.fco.gov.uk) for any warnings about travelling to South Africa. Make sure that all your vaccinations are up to date and find out about any other suggested medical advice by visiting your health-care provider. Follow this advice and be aware of possible health risks during your trip. Websites such as www.dh.gov.uk/travellers are also a useful source of information.
  5. Be careful how much you drink during the celebrations: Don't turn up to the football stadium inebriated - security will be tight and you may be refused entry.
  6. Moving around in South Africa:
    • Carry your passport at all times as you may be stopped by the police and be asked to produce ID - a photocopy is not sufficient.
    • If you are driving between the different footballing venues then carry your driving licence with you all the time - including photo card and counterpart.
    • Keep a separate copy of your passport and other documents in case you lose the originals.
    • Be aware of pick pockets.
    • Leave your valuables at your hotel for safe keeping.

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esure's press contacts:

Asia Yasir, Public Relations Officer: 01737 641305
Adrian Webb, Head of Corporate Communications: 01737 641000
Email: pr@esure.com 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The World Cup 2010 kicks off on Friday 11th June.
  2. ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1015 adults aged 18 + by telephone between 7th - 9th December 2007. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk
  3. FCO Travel and Living abroad: South Africa
  4. ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1006 adults aged 18 + by telephone between 24th - 26th August 2007. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk