What is travel insurance?
It’s an insurance policy that can protect you financially if something goes wrong on your trip abroad.
This could include paying for medical care if you have an accident or are unwell, or being compensated for personal belongings that are lost or stolen.
Types of travel insurance
It’s important to get the right type of travel insurance for your circumstances. Here’s how to work out what policy you need.
1. How many trips are you taking?
Decide how often you’ll be travelling and whether to get a policy each time you travel, or one that covers you for the year.
Our guide: Should you get single trip or annual travel insurance? compares the two types of policy.
2. What will you be doing?
Consider the type of trip, how long you’ll be away and what activities you’ll be doing.
3. Who is the cover for?
You can get a policy that covers an individual, a couple, a family or a group.
If you’re going away with your partner and children, family travel insurance could work out cheaper, and if you’re over 70, our guide: How to get travel insurance as you get older is well worth a read.
What does travel insurance cover?
What’s covered as standard can vary depending on the insurance provider, but most policies cover:
- Cancellation or curtailment: This gets you the cost of unused travel or accommodation back if you need to cancel your trip or go home early due to an unforeseen event, for example, a family member dying.
- Emergency medical costs: If you fall ill or have an accident while you’re away, you can get the treatment and care you need.
- Baggage and personal belongings: If your property is accidentally lost, damaged or stolen, you’ll get expenses to buy replacement items.
- Personal liability: If you accidentally injure someone or damage their property, the legal expenses you’re liable for will be covered.
- Delayed departure: If you’re delayed going to your destination or returning home for more than 12 hours, you’ll be compensated.
Find out more about what you can get cover for in our guide: Do you need travel insurance?
Who offers travel insurance in Ireland?
The following insurers and brokers offer travel insurance:
How to compare travel insurance
With so many insurers to choose from, picking the right policy can be tricky. Here are some pointers to help you compare cover:
- Check what the policy covers as standard and make sure this matches your needs.
- Compare the cost of add ons if you need them and factor them into the total cost.
- Check how much cover is included for each benefit. This will vary depending on whether the policy is basic or premium, most insurers offer three tiers of cover.
- Compare the cost of a single trip policy against annual cover. Work out which is cheaper based on how many trips you’ll have in a year.
- Check the exclusions in the policy wording document. Every policy will have some, but make sure there aren’t any unexpected ones.
Should you get cheap travel insurance?
Although it’s tempting to pick the cheapest policy, it’s not a good idea with travel insurance.
The cheapest policies will offer less cover and have more exclusions.
Don’t scrimp on cover for medical expenses and personal liability as this could cost you dearly without adequate insurance.
You should also pick a policy that covers the cost of your holiday in case you have to cancel, and your belongings in case they go missing or are stolen.
Here’s how to find the best travel insurance for your trip.
Travel insurance FAQs
How much is travel insurance?
Single trip insurance could cost as little as €6 but it’s unlikely to provide the cover you need.
You’ll need to work out what you need cover for, and find a policy that includes enough financial protection for you and your holiday.
Don’t opt for the cheapest policy you can find, or you may end up paying for it later if you have to claim.
What is the maximum length trip I can get cover for?
It depends on the insurer. Most insurance providers cover trips lasting up to 30 days, but you could find cover up to 60 days if you shop around.
If you buy an annual travel insurance policy, you’re covered for multiple trips but only up to the maximum duration per trip, and total duration for the year.
If you need continuous cover for longer, backpacker insurance usually lasts up to a year, but can last up to two years.
When should I buy travel insurance?
You should get travel insurance as soon as you book your trip.
This will cover you if something happens before your trip starts that means you have to cancel your holiday e.g. you or a relative becomes seriously ill.