One thing people often neglect to buy when travelling abroad is Travel Insurance. Or – they just buy it as part of the booking process and usually end up overpaying for it . Travel insurance covers things such as medical expenses, cancellations, baggage loss etc.
We did a quick travel insurance comparison from a few insurers and brokers in Ireland , looking at prices and the level of cover provided.
We found it is well worth shopping around to save money and to make sure you get adequate coverage. We found that you could get travel cover of equivalent or better coverage for almost half the price.
Tip 1: Buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday – that way you are covered straight away if you have to cancel the trip because of illness etc.
We obtained some online quotes for a single trip worldwide travel insurance for a family group of 4 (2 adults under 60 and 2 children under 17) for a two week trip to the USA in November 2019 . The family did not have private health insurance.
The insurance quotes all included cover for cancellation, missed departure, baggage loss, personal belongings as well as medical cover. The differences in price were substantial. You also need to consider things such as why would you need cancellation cover of up to €7000 if a holiday has only cost you €4000 ?
Also – check that you are covered for supplier insolvency. We found that the two most expensive insurance policies in our small survey did not provide cover for this.
In our short survey – the best deal, in our opinion, was to be found on Ucompare. For €59.93 it provided the most medical cover (€20 Million) , €5000 cancellation cover and €1000 cover for supplier insolvency which two insurers didn’t provide at all.
Insurer/Provider Price Medical
Excess Supplier Insolvency
Tips on Finding the Best Travel Insurance Policy Ucompare €53.93 €10 Million €1200 €1200 €150 €500
Chill €55.64 €2 Million €1000 €1000 €150 €1000
Ucompare €59.93 €20 Million €5000 €2000 €75 €1000
Chill €63.32 €5 Millon €4000 €2000 €95 €2000
Axa €81.37 €5 Million €7000 €3000 €75 None
Aviva €105.54 €5 Million €3000 €1500 €90 None
All prices were quoted online by the provider’s websites on October 23rd 2019
Alternative Travel Insurance : Bank of Ireland give pretty good free worldwide multi-trip travel insurance with their Platinum Credit Card You just need to pay for at least 50% of the trip with the BOI card to be eligible. It includes cover of :
- €2500 for cancellation or curtailment
- €2500 for lost baggage and passport
- €6.4 million Medical expenses.
- Standard excess of €75 .
- Max trip duration 90 days
It covers the Cardholder, their spouse or partner and all children aged under 23. You need to pay for at least 50% of the trip with the BOI credit card to be eligible.
In our opinion – this provides adequate insurance cover for most people – unless you are booking some luxury trip costing more than €3000. It provides better coverage than some of the other providers in certain areas – for example, the personal accident cover is much higher than the others.
BOI also provide a free basic travel insurance policy with their Student Credit Card. It still covers up to €1 million in medical expenses and €1000 for cancellation. It is valid for trips of up to 120 days – which is prety good for students on a long trip during the summer holiday
Important Tip – Don’t forget to declare any existing medical conditions when buying travel insurance. The insurance company won’t payout if you make a claim because of a condition you already had before you bought travel insurance.
N26 – the new online bank – also have free travel insurance included with their N26 You Mastercard . Insurance is provided by Allianz and includes up to €150,000 medical cover and free medical return flights plus €7500 cancellation cover and more.The card has a €9.90 per month fee (€118.80 a year) – but it also comes with “fee-free” ATM withdrawals of foreign currency and also no fees on non-Euro card purchases. (The trip must be paid for in full with the N26 Black Mastercard in order to be covered by the insurance.)
Some free medical cover within Europe will be provided by having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – but this on its own will not cover all medical costs in all situations. Travel insurance typically covers at least €3 million of medical costs. More about the EHIC here
If you are planning on buying US Dollars before you travel – have a look at our page on the best place to buy US Dollars in Ireland
Also – check out our information on fees when spending on cards when abroad.