Consumers warn not to do without travel insurance when traveling abroad

Leisure travelers have been warned against exposing themselves to big costs by skimping on the travel insurance they buy.

People Insurance experts said that by trying to save €10 or €20 on travel insurance, some consumers are buying coverage below the baseline level needed for the policy to be useful in the event of a claim.

People Insurance, which operates through credit unions, said many people are opting for “cheap” multi-trip insurance, costing just €25, to cover their trips abroad.

But such policies are unlikely to cover a holidaymaker for the most basic of claims, People chief executive Paul Walsh said.

For just €15 more, travelers can get a policy that gives them much more comprehensive protection.

He said: “You absolutely can’t blame people for trying to save money wherever they can.

“But if that cost reduction makes a policy practically useless, or below what you need in the event of a claim, that means the consumer has not only wasted the €25 they paid for the policy, it could also be very costly should it have been before happen during the trip or abroad.”

The insurer said a key feature of a good policy is cancellation protection.

Mr Walsh said: “This does not necessarily mean you are covered for all events which could result in your trip being cancelled. It is therefore important to assess what exactly this means in your policy.”

He said a cheap policy might not cover delayed and missed departures – which is a fundamental feature of standard policies.

He advised consumers to pay attention to the deductible in the policy.

This is the amount that will be deducted from each claim before a claim is paid.

The excess for lost luggage and the amount paid by the insurer can be very close on many policies, resulting in people getting very little back in the event of a claim.

Mr Walsh said it’s important to make sure you can afford the deductible you’ve set yourself, as you’ll need to cover that in the event of a claim.

He recommended that policyholders find out to what extent medical and hospital costs are covered.

Honesty is paramount when it comes to disclosing pre-existing medical conditions to the insurer, he said.

Otherwise, the policyholder runs the risk that the policy will become ineffective in the event of a claim.

And travelers have been told to check that all items they will be carrying are covered, particularly if they are bringing expensive items such as jewellery, laptops and smartphones.

Mr Walsh said policyholder age often influences buyer behavior.

“We find that the older the policyholder, the more likely they are to have comprehensive insurance coverage.

“Perhaps they learned from experience that it pays to buy once and then buy well.”

Mr Walsh said people should spend an extra €10-20 to ensure they have the right level of coverage they need. Consumers warn not to do without travel insurance when traveling abroad

Fry Electronics Team

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