With medical costs rising it can be quiet expensive to suffer an injury abroad as a result holiday cover has never been more important. Any accident or illness while overseas can leave you with a serious financial burden unless you go prepared. That’s why we have drawn up a FAQ guide on the most important issues relating to travel insurance. Read on to ensure you have all the information which will help you make up your mind before you hit the sea, sand or the slopes!

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

A pre-existing medical condition is any personal illness, disease or injury that was known and existed prior to the purchase of the travel insurance policy. This includes any condition for which you are awaiting tests, investigation or surgery. It also includes any condition that you are or were taking prescribed medication for in the last two years. This may also extend to non travelling family members. Please note, not all insurers will provide cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Some may require you to get a health declaration completed by your GP while others may ask you to call a medical screening support phone number in order to assess your condition. Criteria may vary depending on the insurer, please review the policy terms and conditions carefully.

Why is holiday insurance important?

Did you know that suffering a hip fracture in the USA could cost you €25,000? While you may consider yourself to be in good health there are always unexpected accidents waiting to happen. It’s much better to be safe than sorry. However, it’s not just about medical expenses and cancelled flights. Holiday insurance can also cover loss of luggage or other personal belongings such as passports and money. It will also cover accidental injury to another person or damage that you may cause to third party property. With all these potential expenses, it’s easy to see why a comprehensive travel insurance policy is highly recommended.

Buy travel insurance over the telephone or book online?

If you prefer to speak to someone about your holiday cover you can book over the telephone. Although purchasing holiday insurance through a call centre or over the phone may incur additional charges. If you do have any queries give the insurance company a quick call, once you have all your questions answered you can then proceed to book online.

Comparing travel insurance policies

Save money by comparing different types of holiday cover. Before you buy travel insurance, do a little bit of research so that you know what’s available. It is important to choose the right policy for you, your partner and your family. This will depend on the type of trip and duration. I have outlined the most popular types of travel policies below:

  • Single trip travel insurance
    Single trip travel insurance covers you for a once off trip whether it’s a romantic weekend away, city break or a family holiday to Spain. This policy will cover you for cancellation, medical expenses, lost luggage and much much more!
  • Annual multi trip travel insurance
    If you’re planning on taking a few trips this year, annual travel insurance should work out more competitively priced than buying a few single trip policies. Annual travel cover will allow you to take multiple trips. You can also decide to add optional covers depending on the insurer’s criteria such as cover for volcanic ash, strike, golf, wedding, business, cruise and flight disruption.
  • Winter sports, snowboarding & ski travel insurance
    When travelling on a ski, snowboarding or winter sports holiday it is essential to ensure that you are fully covered whilst on the slopes. Whether you’re a seasoned skier, a novice or simply enjoying the scenery it’s recommended to have sufficient winter sports cover in place before hitting the snow.
  • Backpacker travel insurance
    Planning on going backpacking across the globe, working abroad or taking a long stay holiday? Be safe with a backpacker travel insurance policy. Most backpacker policies will cover you for light manual work while abroad but it is always recommended to check with the insurer’s policy wording. Additional activities can also be included such as bungee jumping, camel or elephant riding, scuba diving, climbing kilmanjaro or trekking. A full list should be available from the insurer upon request.
  • Family travel insurance
    When travelling abroad with your Family you can purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that can be tailored to meet your circumstances. Most insurer’s will offer a special rate for family travel insurance whether it be a single trip or a yearly travel insurance policy. You can also select worldwide or European travel insurance depending on the location of your trip. Compare cheap travel insurance quotes today to see how much you can save.

Pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy

A pre-existing medical condition usually means any medical condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended or received. It is always a good idea to speak to the insurer you are thinking of using to check whether they will include your condition as standard on the policy. If the company deems the pre-existing medical condition to be a risk you may have to contact a medical screening support line to disclose your condition or medication. This criteria will vary from company to company. Some insurers, may require you to ask your GP for a letter to confirm that you are fit to travel.

If you’re pregnant, certain exclusions may apply if you travel after a certain point during the period of your pregnancy. We would advise you to read the Key Facts of your policy summary, and the policy wording thoroughly, prior to purchasing the product to see at what point exclusions and conditions may be in place. If in doubt and for complete peace of mind, give the provider a quick call to clarify.

What is medical screening?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you may be asked to call a medical screening support line. When you phone, the agent will ask you a number of questions to assess the severity of your condition. You may have to pay an additional fee to insure that specific illness depending on how serious your condition is.

Day trips, excursions and holidays with multiple destinations

Many insurance policies will cover excursions, e.g. travelling to another country for a day or two as part of your holiday. However, check with the insurer as there may be duration and territory restrictions. If you wish to purchase a single trip policy for multiple destinations we suggest you select the furthest away geographical destination and then check with the insurer to see if they will cover the other destinations and also the duration spent in each country. The other option would be to consider purchasing a worldwide annual multi trip policy which will ensure that you are covered at all times and in all destinations, subject to the policy terms and conditions and territory limits.

What is volcanic ash, strike and airline insolvency insurance?

Some policies will now cover strike and third party supplier insolvency as standard up to certain cover limits. Volcanic ash or travel disruption cover is usually offered as an optional extra which can be added to your policy. Always read the policy wording carefully, if in doubt give the insurance company a quick call before booking online.

What is cruise Insurance?

If you’re planning on taking a cruise this year and are concerned about the high costs involved. Some insures now offer cruise insurance as an add on, criteria will vary from insurer to insurer. This will generally cover you if you are unable to arrive on time at the port due to an insured reason. This optional cover should be highlighted on the insurance companies website, you will have to select the option and add it to your standard travel policy. We would suggest you read your policy documentation prior to travel. Review cruise insurance policies today for peace of mind.

Travel insurance benefits

Details of what you are covered for can be found in your policy wording and schedule. Levels of medical expenses, personal liability, missed departure, cancellation, lost or damaged baggage, strike and any other types of cover will be noted within your documents and validation certificate. Cover for cruises, winter sports, golf, wedding, volcanic ash and hazardous activities (if available) will vary from provider to provider. We would suggest you read your policy documentation or check with your provider prior to travel.

How do I cancel my policy?

Most travel insurance providers will offer a 14 day cooling off period. This criteria will vary depending on the insurer. Always read the terms and conditions noted in the travel policy booklet.

Change or amend my travel insurance policy?

If you wish you make changes or amendments to your policy you will need to contact the travel insurance provider directly. If you wish to upgrade your geographical location or add additional levels of cover or individuals to your policy you will be charged an additional fee.

Renewing a travel insurance policy

Your cover will end on the date that you return back to Ireland for a single trip policy. This date will be on your validation certificate. For an annual multi trip insurance policy your cover will expire a full year later. For instance, if you purchase on the 2nd of June 2020, your policy will expire at midnight on the 1st of June 2021, by which time you must be in Ireland. Before renewing always compare prices. You may be pleasantly surprised on how much you can save.

Couple and family travel insurance and travelling independently

Most insurer’s will cover you to travel independently on a couple or family travel insurance policy, always check the terms and conditions. It is always best to contact your insurance provider to clarify this sort of information prior to traveling.

Natural disasters and terrorism

Details of cover can be found in your policy documentation regarding natural disasters and terrorism. There may be exclusions within your policy so it’s important that you check this if you’re concerned. Important, insurers will not provide cover if you’re traveling to a country where the Department of Foreign Affairs or the World Health Organisation have advised against travel.

Travel insurance for individuals over 65 and 75 years old

Most travel insurance companies will cover up to the age of 65 as standard. If you wish to take out cover and you are over 65 years old, the risk level on the policy will increase therefor the premium will increase. Both age and duration limits will apply. Criteria will vary depending on the provider, If in doubt give the insurer a quick call to clarify.

Travel insurance FAQs are provided for informational purposes only. We don’t guarantee the accuracy of this guide, as criteria may change from time to time when insurance companies amend their policy wording or terms and conditions.