Connect with us


Consumer Corner: Why travel insurance is important — and what to check for before flying



Consumer Corner: Why travel insurance is important — and what to check for before flying

Nobody wants anything bad to happen when they go on holiday, but things don’t always go to plan and that’s why holiday insurance is something people consider.

This summer there is the threat of strikes by pilots and thus cancelled flights. Also an issue is extreme weather and that is something people will have to factor in more and more as they travel.

Paul Walsh, of Peopl Insurance, says that anyone travelling overseas this summer should check the conditions and limitations of their travel-insurance policies around industrial action, civil unrest, and extreme weather.

“If a strike hits while you’re on holiday, you could be delayed catching a flight or ferry home and even miss your flight or sailing,” Mr Walsh says. “If a strike arises before you head off on vacation, it could scupper your entire holiday. Some travel-insurance policies will cover you if you have to abandon your holiday, if you miss your flight, or if your holiday is delayed as a result of an unexpected work stoppage or strike at an airport or ferry port. But other travel insurers don’t cover strikes and, with some policies, the cover is more restricted than others. So, it is very important to check the small print of a travel-insurance policy before you buy.”


Holidaymakers should be aware that there may be exclusions in their policy, so they may not be covered for certain loss or damage on foot of civil protests.

“Holidaymakers should also be mindful of the increased frequency of extreme weather events and the chances that such weather could play havoc with their holiday,”Mr Walsh says. “Losses arising directly or indirectly from adverse weather conditions, such as wildfires, may or may not be covered by your travel insurance. It’s very important, therefore, that you check your travel-insurance policy to find out if you will be covered if your holiday is disrupted by wildfires or, indeed, any other extreme weather events, such as, for example, if you have to be evacuated or have to change plans or are even injured. You may, for example, be covered for delays, missed departure, or holiday abandonment, if wildfires are the cause.”

Julie Frazer, of Aviva Insurance Ireland, says that going overseas for the sun and a change of scenery is an important part of the summer season in Ireland.

“If you are planning on travelling in Europe and considering taking your car with you, the EU First Directive on motor insurance states that every insurance policy issued in the EU must offer the minimum insurance cover required by law in any other EU country,” Ms Frazer says.

“Most insurers allow full policy cover for a defined period in the EU. However, the rules can vary from insurer to insurer. It is important to engage with your insurance provider to discuss the details of your trip. They will provide you with expert advice, as well as access to a variety of insurance products from different insurance companies.”


Good medical cover is also important.

Geraldine Kelly, of Gallagher, says that your travel insurance should include comprehensive medical cover, especially in countries with high medical costs. You must declare any pre-existing medical conditions to avoid claim rejections.

Mr Walsh says that anyone embarking on a long-haul trip should be sure that their insurance covers any medical expenses if they become sick or injured abroad.

“If travelling ‘off the beaten track’, be sure to check if there are any geographic limits on the policy you are intending to buy. Only buy travel insurance that covers the destinations you are travelling to,” Mr Walsh says.

“Sometimes, this won’t be possible, as there are a small number of countries which travel insurers won’t cover travel to. Note, too, that most travel insurers won’t cover you if the government has advised against travel to a particular area.”

“The bill for medical expenses in some international countries could run into the tens of thousands, so strong cover is a must.

“The European Health Insurance Card, which allows you to get public healthcare for free or at a reduced cost, isn’t valid outside the EU or EEA.”

Ms Kelly says to check your policy for cover limits on lost or stolen items and consider additional coverage for high-value belongings. It’s a good idea too to take photos of your items. 

She says: “Use hotel safes and avoid displaying valuables publicly. Never leave valuables in a rented car; it’s not worth the risk. Tucking items under the seat can have the intended consequence of attracting unwanted attention. Try to park in well-populated areas with high visibility or CCTV cover.”

Continue Reading