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Travel insurance for Ireland
Compare the best travel insurance for Ireland in 2021.
The Emerald Isle is a vacation hotspot, with more tourists than locals dotting the landscape. While Ireland is a safe country, accidents can happen anywhere. So it’s a good idea to pick up a comprehensive travel insurance to protect you — and your bank account — from any bad luck on your trip.
*Be aware that most travel insurance policies don’t offer COVID-19 coverage. To find one that does, have a look at travel insurance policies that cover the coronavirus.*
How to compare travel insurance for Ireland
Consider your itinerary and your plans while you’re abroad. Coverage varies from policy to policy, but common things to get insured for include:
- Overseas medical expenses. If you get sick or injured overseas, medical bills can quickly become unmanageable without adequate medical care. The most important area of coverage, it’s one to thoroughly research to ensure your policy will cover you for any accident or illness with an deductible you can afford.
- Luggage and personal effects. Get financial protection if your luggage and personal belongings are stolen, lost or damaged. Your insurer can reimburse you either for their repair or their replacement.
- Luggage delay. When an airline misplaces your luggage, your insurer can reimburse you for any emergency toiletries and clothes.
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits. If circumstances beyond your control force you to cancel your trip, such as the illness of a family member, your insurer can reimburse you for any cancellation fees or nonrefundable prepaid deposits.
- Travel delay. If your flight is delayed, your travel insurance policy can reimburse you for the cost of meals, transfers and accommodation that results.
- Theft of cash. If your wallet is stolen, your insurer can reimburse you for any cash you were carrying up to the limit stated on your policy.
- Travel documents. If you lose your passport, your insurer can reimburse you for the cost of a new one.
- Personal liability. If you face personal liability claims for causing injury or property damage to a third party, your policy can provide coverage of up to $1 million or more.
- Rental vehicle insurance deductible. If your rental car is damaged, your insurer can help cover the cost of the deductible. Keep in mind that this does not replace car insurance offered by the rental company.
- Other benefits. Some comprehensive policies will also include coverage for if an illness or injury sustained during your trip causes a permanent disability.
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What doesn’t travel insurance cover?
You travel insurance usually won’t cover your claim if:
- You leave your belongings unattended. If you leave your luggage unattended in a public place, your insurer can refuse to cover them if they’re stolen.
- You’re under the influence. If you consume an excessive amount of alcohol or take drugs not prescribed by a doctor, your insurer can deny any claims for incidents that occurred while you were under the influence.
- You participate in risky activities. Standard policies will typically not pay out for injuries resulting from your involvement in an adventure activity like bungee jumping or parasailing. If you plan to get your adrenaline pumping, let your insurer know ahead of time and get a policy that will cover you.
- You break local laws. You are required to comply with all local laws for the duration of your stay.
- You have a pre-existing condition. If you get sick due to a pre-existing condition you didn’t disclose to your insurer (and get coverage for) before purchasing your policy, it won’t be covered.
How to stay safe in Ireland
While Ireland is a safe destination, there are some issues you should watch out for while visiting. Caution is always your best first line of defence, but when that doesn’t work, travel insurance can help protect you from financial damage due to:
- Theft. Petty theft, including pickpocketing and break-ins, occur in Ireland. Rental cars in particular may be targeted, especially in Dublin and tourist areas.
- Fraud. Credit card fraud, ATM scams and skimming are becoming more common in Ireland. Avoid unusual-looking ATMs or machines with suspicious items stuck to them.
- Civil unrest. Ireland is a fairly stable country, but protests do occur. If there’s a protest going on while you’re visiting, avoid getting involved and plan your travel accordingly — protests and demonstrations can block roads, causing traffic delays and potential missed flights or trains.
- Dangerous roads. The narrow and winding roads in rural areas may pose a risk for inexperienced drivers, particularly at night or where farm animals or machinery are involved. You’ll also need to drive on the left side of the road.
Who do I contact in an emergency?
If you find yourself in an emergency in Ireland, some of helpful contacts include:
- Your travel insurer. Your insurance provider will have an 24/7 helpline for claims and medical emergencies.
- National emergency hotline. You can reach emergency services in Ireland by dialing 112.
- US embassy or consulate. If you lose your passport, get into legal trouble or if there’s a countrywide emergency, contact the nearest US embassy or consulate.
From kissing the Blarney Stone for a lifetime of linguistic excellence to tasting and touring at the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Ireland is full of history and beauty. Whether you’re stopping by for a weekend on your way home from mainland Europe or taking a couple of months to explore as much of the island as possible, pick up a travel insurance policy to keep you safe from any mishaps on your Irish adventure.
Frequently asked questions
What are the visa requirements to visit Ireland?
US citizens can visit the Republic of Ireland for up to 90 days without a visa. You can also visit Northern Ireland without a visa for up to six months.
What’s the difference between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland?
While on the same island, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are technically two different countries. The Republic of Ireland is an independent country, while Northern Ireland is part of the UK.
When is the best time to buy travel insurance?
Buy your policy when you buy your plane ticket so that your insurer can reimburse you for the cost of your flight if you have to cancel your trip.
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