Travel Insurance Ireland
How to find the right cover ahead of your trip.
Are you planning a family holiday, solo travel or a trip for work? Whatever the reason, travel insurance can bring peace of mind against the unexpected when you’re away. It offer cover for a range of eventualities, such as losing your possessions, your flights and accommodation being cancelled, or if you become ill or injured while you’re abroad.
When should I get travel insurance?
Travel insurance acts as a safety net. It protects you from a range of travel risks that can happen both at home and abroad. Buy your policy as soon as you’ve booked any part of your trip. By doing so, you’ll be able to take advantage of cancellation cover in the policy should anything go wrong.
What are the different types of cover?
Travel insurance policies vary a lot, but broadly speaking there are two main types of cover: single trip and annual (often called multi trip) insurance.
- Single trip insurance. This policy type covers you for one continuous journey only, but it can include multiple destinations. Coverage ends once you return home.
- Multi trip insurance. Annual policies provide you with protection for multiple trips throughout a 12-month period.
Most multi trip and single policies cover you for a period between 90 and 180 days. So, check the details if you’re planning a longer break away. If you’re going away for longer than this, or are visiting multiple countries, you may need a long-stay policy such as backpacker insurance.
What you’re doing also affects the level of cover that you need. If you’re going for work purposes, then you’ll need a business travel policy. If you’re taking part in any high-risk activity, like sky diving or rock climbing, then you’ll probably need to seek out additional cover.
What’s generally covered?
The following list shows cover types that are typically offered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy. When comparing policies it’s really important that you are aware of exactly what a policy will cover you for, and what it won’t.
- Cancellation. If you’re forced to cancel your trip, trip cancellation reimburses your lost, prepaid, non-refundable expenses. Most insurers have a list of approved reasons for cancellations.
- Trip interruption. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to cut your trip short and return home, if your reason is covered by your insurance you’ll be reimbursed for the unused, non-refundable part of your trip and the additional or increased transportation expenses.
- Theft of belongings. It’s a good idea to check your single item limit on your policy – this is the most you can claim for any one of your possessions if it’s stolen.
- Travel delays. This provides reimbursement for additional accommodation and travel expenses because of a delay of six hours or more.
- Missed connections. If you miss a scheduled cruise or flight, missed connection coverage reimburses any resulting expenses.
- Baggage. Provides a benefit for lost, damaged or or stolen luggage and other personal effects.
- Baggage delay. Coverage reimburses when you buy essential items if your luggage is delayed for 24 hours or more.
- Medical assistance. Cover for necessary emergency medical expenses if you fall ill or have an accident during your trip.
- Dental. Depending on your policy, this will cover emergency dental work.
- Pre-existing conditions. Some insurers will offer medical coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, as long as you haven’t shown symptoms.
- Evacuation. If you’re in need of emergency medical transportation due to an illness or injury, you’re covered for transportation to the nearest hospital or appropriate facility.
- Accidental Death. Accidental death coverage provides a benefit for your named beneficiary if you suffer an injury or accidental death during a trip.
- 24 hour assistance. Make sure your policy offers 24 hour worldwide assistance. This way, no matter what the situation there’ll always be someone there to lend a helping hand.
If you’re looking for cover that isn’t included in a policy, you can ask a provider if they’ll offer it as an add-on. If they won’t, you’ll need to shop around for specialist policy to get the cover you need.
How much does travel insurance cost?
There are several factors that affect the cost of your travel insurance, including:
- The level of cover. This is a major factor in the cost of your policy. For example, if you’re traveling light, opt for a policy with a lower luggage limit, or if you’re older and have health issues, you may need a policy with higher medical benefits.
- Your age. Age is the other major factor when it comes to the cost of travel insurance. The older you are, the more risk you pose to an insurer, which could mean you face a higher premium.
- Where you’re going. Your destination will impact the cost of your cover depending on its perceived risk to the insurer.
- The length of travel. The longer you’re away, the more risk you pose to an insurer.
- Number of travellers. The number of travellers increases the cost of your premium. Some insurers offer discounts for insuring multiple travellers on one policy. Always check with your insurer before buying a policy.
Even the most expensive and comprehensive travel insurance policy will come with exclusions, which are conditions where the policy will not pay out.
Your travel insurance policy will typically not cover your claim in the event of:
- Unattended belongings: You need to take reasonable care to prevent or reduce any loss you may suffer, including keeping an eye on your belongings at all times.
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, except those prescribed by your medical practitioner.
- Risky pursuits: Standard policies will typically not pay out for injuries or loss resulting from your involvement in an adventure activity like bungee jumping or parasailing, or even more regular sports like rugby.
- Failure to obey local laws: You are required to comply with all local laws for the duration of your stay.
- Undeclared pre-existing conditions: You should inform your insurer of pre-existing conditions where applicable, because that’s how you get them covered. You are generally not covered for pre-existing conditions otherwise.
Make sure you read and understand the total list of exclusions that an insurer has before signing up for a policy with them.
Tips when buying travel insurance
- Get your coverage early. Take out coverage as soon as you’ve paid for any part of your trip. Certain coverage require that you’ve held the policy for a minimum amount of time, generally between seven to 14 days. This affects coverages such as CFAR and financial default.
- Don’t skimp on overseas medical cover. Many countries across the world have very expensive private healthcare costs. So, make sure your policy offers a high level of medical coverage.
- Get coverage for your pre-existing conditions. If you have a pre-existing condition, check with your insurer about getting a waiver.
- Get cover for only what you need. If you’re backpacking, choose a policy with minimum coverage for luggage. Don’t over-insure your trip.
- Check cruise coverage. While cruise coverage can be expensive, it’s worth it. Evacuation at sea can be eye-wateringly expensive.
- Read your policy documents. Every policy is different. Even if you’ve bought travel insurance before, chances are there will be slight variations in coverage. Again, it’s worth taking the time to make sure you read through the policy document in full.