“Do I need travel insurance for an Ireland vacation?”
It's a question I receive often, and one that doesn't have the same answer for everyone as it has to do with risk, as well as figuring out the coverage you may already have.
Since the question is on the table, lets delve into it piece by piece.
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Why You Might Need Travel Insurance for an Ireland Vacation
It's helpful to begin by simply pointing out the purpose of insurance, which is to provide you with a form of protection against a possible risk.
How Much Risk Are You Willing to Take?
This varies from person to person, family to family. What is your threshold? Some people may say $1000, while others say $5000.
Another way to think of it is, “If my family couldn't go on our vacation, how would it affect us financially to lose the money we spent?”
That last question puts a bit different spin on it, yes? Would you want to reschedule the trip? Or replace it with something else? If so, purchasing travel insurance would be a good idea.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Packaged policies will cost from 4-8% of your trip cost and often include coverage for trip cancellation and delay, interruption (in case you have to return home suddenly), medical costs, and lost or delayed baggage.
Additional options include Coronavirus pandemic coverage, medical coverage, medical evacuation coverage, and ‘cancel for any reason'. Adding these options will raise the cost of your travel insurance.
It's important to remember that not all policies are created equal, so thoroughly read the policy details and compare before purchasing travel insurance for an Ireland vacation.
But first… Figure Out the Coverage You Already Have!
You may have quite a bit of travel insurance that you aren't aware of! Do you use a credit card for travel? Have homeowners or renters insurance? You likely have a bit of coverage already.
For example, World Mastercard offers lost or delayed baggage coverage, trip cancellation or curtailment coverage, trip delay and missed connection coverage, accident, medical, hospital, and emergency evacuation coverage when the trip is paid for using this credit card. Travel Assist services are also offered (but are not insurance).
Check your personal insurance coverage for theft and losses away from home. Talk to your insurance agent before leaving home if you travel with expensive electronic equipment. An inexpensive rider on your policy could cover those items for theft during travel.
What Else Do You Need?
If I am planning a trip far in advance, or if things are uncertain, I will book “cancel for any reason” coverage.
With the pandemic firmly in mind and the recent history of border closures, travel warnings, and quarantine restrictions, ‘cancel for any reason' coverage, as well as policies that specifically cover COVID-19 make even more sense.
While this type of coverage reimburses only 75% of your trip costs, it helped us save our trip a few years ago when a planned 5 week journey fell apart and became a 10 day jaunt.
Note: Cancel for Any Reason coverage is a time-sensitive coverage. In most cases it needs to be purchased 7-21 days after the first vacation payment has been made (time limits vary based on insurance company).
I Recommend Purchasing Travel Insurance for an Ireland Vacation Package
Any time you purchase a vacation package or work with a tour operator you should strongly consider purchasing travel insurance. As we have seen in the past, unexpected closure of any travel company leaves many travelers without any support system.
Many times these travelers arrive at their destination unaware of any issues- until they attempt to pick up a rental car, board a train, or check in to their first accommodation.
A good travel insurance policy will not only provide the support necessary to continue the vacation, but will soften the financial blow of the additional costs for transportation, accommodation, and other loses.
But… you may not want to purchase the coverage offered by the tour operator, airline, or cruise company.
Where Should I Buy Travel Insurance?
Trip operators, airlines, cruise companies, even travel agents, offer travel insurance plans. Often these policies have a price mark-up, or the coverage isn't as good as a third-party insurer. Some may only offer vouchers for future travel as opposed to cash. Be sure to do your homework, read all terms & conditions, and compare policies before purchasing any travel insurance.
Tour operators also don't offer ‘cancel for any reason‘ coverage, which is what I look for and recommend. So, for that, I turn to Squaremouth, an easy-to-use comparison site that allows you to search for policies by terms and price. Their site is so easy to use and begins with very simple questions to help narrow down your selections. With over 100 policies available and 54,000 reviews you can be assured of finding the right policy for your trip. Coronavirus Pandemic coverage is also available.
Compare Travel Insurance at Squaremouth
Family Travel Insurance
If you are searching for family travel insurance another company to check out is Travelex. Not only does this company offer ‘cancel for any reason' policies as well as very clear COVID-19 coverage, Travelex also includes coverage for children under 17 when traveling with an adult at not additional cost. (Be sure to read all terms and conditions.)
Learn more about Travelex Family Travel insurance
When Should I Buy Ireland Travel Insurance?
You can buy a general travel insurance policy any time before you depart on your trip. “Cancel for any reason' coverage, which I recommend, is time sensitive and must be purchased soon after you travel booking. (Limits vary based on company but can be less than 7 days.)
Personally, I buy my insurance just after I securing my bookings.
Because you never know what will happen. Maybe the travel company, rental company, or airline files for bankruptcy and closes its doors. Your money- and possibly your trip- are gone.
Also, most travel insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions that are under control if you buy the policy soon after making that trip payment. Up to 20% of travel insurance claims can be traced to pre-existing conditions, so this may be an important consideration for you. (Be sure to read your policies carefully and look for the coverage you know you need!)
Should You Buy Travel Insurance for Your Ireland Vacation?
Only you can answer that question. What is your threshold for risk?
Do I buy it? Not all the time. Am I thankful when I do buy it and end up needing it? Always.
For more information on travel insurance, visit the US Travel Insurance Association.
In most cases, yes. Basic CDW may be included, but you will need to purchase CDW Excess or have a large hold put on your credit card in case of damage.