How to Avoid the Common Pitfalls When Purchasing Travel Insurance

Ciara Kennedy – MKIG

It’s that time of year again. We’re all trying to grasp a bit of sunshine and thoughts of holidays abroad fill our minds. Questions like cityscape or relaxing beach? Which bikini/mankini to pack? How many weeks left to lose that ‘holiday weight’ that just won’t shift. But as we’re frantically searching for the best deal a lot of us tend to forget the most important task of all, booking your Travel insurance.

Yes, yes we know it’s not the most glamorous of tasks but consider the consequences of not purchasing. If you are anything like me Travel Insurance is just as important as those flip flops and sun hat. I haven’t exactly had the best experience when it comes to travelling. Whether it’s an airline “misplacing” my baggage, sometimes temporary and other times permanently! Or a cantankerous volcano erupting, forcing me to extend my holiday in Australia for a further 2 weeks (not a bad complaint really).

You might think that my ‘love’ of Travel Insurance comes from having an Insurance Broker as a Father, but if the above situations taught me anything, it was this:


Fail to Prepare. Prepare to Fail.


Needless to say, nowadays, I would not rest easy without my trusty Travel insurance policy.

From my own experience, attempting to sift through the different policies can be a nightmare and definitely not something most people look forward to. I have heard too many stories of clients purchasing travel insurance online and ticking “yes” to the terms/conditions assumptions, only to find out at claims stage they weren’t compliant at the purchase stage. I’ve compiled a list of some of the main issues that customers find a little confusing when purchasing Travel Insurance to help ease the process.


Are you resident in Ireland?

This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people try to buy Travel Insurance in Ireland who do not live in Ireland! You can’t! You can only buy here if you live here. This even extends to Irish citizens living abroad.


Trips that have already begun.

If you’ve left the country too bad! If you’re in the airport at the boarding gate we can still cover you! We’re pretty awesome like that.


Trips not starting and ending in Ireland.

Believe it or not most policies will only cover holidays which start and end with you leaving/returning to your home address.


Holidays within Ireland

Some policies cover holidays within Ireland but generally will define a holiday as “2 or more consecutive nights”. You would need to check the policy wording to see if Ireland is covered.


Do you have Private Medical Insurance?

It might cover travel and you might also be eligible for a discount from your Travel Insurer! If you don’t make sure to tell the insurer. The last thing you need is, at claim stage for them to tell you they won’t pay out unless you’ve PMI (Private Medical Insurance).


Do you or your travel companion suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions?

If you do TELL THEM! There is an onus on you to disclose any condition to your insurer. This includes inception AND renewal dates.


Will you travel more than twice during the year?

Normally I would recommend an annual policy to a client who will travel on 2 or more holidays per year. Otherwise, purchase the single trip policy. It can work out more economical as, depending on the insurer they will let you upgrade your policy to an annual policy if the single trip policy hasn’t started.


Travelling to countries where vaccinations are required.

Be smart. Get those vaccinations! Otherwise your cover could be invalid.


Failure to contact the insurance company in time.

This is a tricky one. If something happens to you on holiday then you must contact your insurer. Most insurers have an English Speaking 24 hour helpline that clients can call.


Failure to keep receipts/make a report with relevant authorities.

In order to process a claim, the insurance company will need at minimum a paper trail so keep all those receipts.


Engaging in activities abroad.

Planning on jumping out of a plane or swimming with sharks? I think your insurer would like to know that! Make sure your policy covers these extra activities. Also if you plan on working abroad make sure to tell your insurer.


Travelling for longer than 30 days in one trip.

Find out how your insurer defines a single trip. If needed you can extend a single trip policy. Most insurers would be flexible to comply with the request to ensure the client is covered until their return (within reason!)


Cover for a family member or friend to travel home with you.

Did you know that most policies would cover the expense of flying a family member/friend out to a client who is sick or injured to have them travel home together?

Similarly, if the client is too ill or requires constant medical care, insurers may provide the cost to have a nurse travel with the client until they arrive in Ireland.


Discounts for removing “extras”.

Some insurers give a discount for removing certain policy benefits, eg. baggage or money. This may suit some clients where they are travelling with minimal luggage and are happy to pay for any incidents which may arise out of their own pocket.


To surmise MKIG can do all the leg work for you! We take the hassle out of finding you the perfect policy so you can focus on getting that perfect tan.


If you’d like any more information you can contact our Travel Insurance team directly on (01) 890 22 77 or see our website or social media pages.