Fionnuala Jones offers her insight into why you should opt for travel insurance and how much you should be paying...
Growing up involves embarking on new adventures and experiencing new things. More often than not, many of these adventures will take place in far-flung destinations. But what happens when the trip of a lifetime turns into a living nightmare?
 
Cancelled flights, lost luggage or an impromptu trip to the hospital can mean you end up losing out on serious money while travelling. In most cases, travel insurance can cover all of these instances.
 
Even if you consider yourself to be the healthiest, luckiest person on the planet, it’s better to be safe than sorry. With so many companies offering travel insurance, it’s important to shop around to get the most for your money. 
 
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, make sure to read the terms and conditions very carefully. Some insurers require you to obtain a note from your GP to confirm that you’re fit to travel while others require you to call a health screening number in order to cover that specific condition.
 
Firstly, you need to decide what type of travel insurance you need to buy. If you want to be insured for one trip, a single trip policy will do just that. If you plan on travelling a lot in particular year, a multi-trip policy is the way to go. 
 
Some providers now offer cover for cruises, in the event that you don’t arrive on time at the port. Similarly, different policies are offered for backpacking trips and for winter trips involving sports like skiing and snowboarding. It’s also important to note that your destination will impact on your quote, and vary with insurer. 
 
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, read all terms and conditions very carefully. Some insurers require a note from your GP to confirm that you’re fit to travel, while others may need you to call a health screening number in order to cover your specific condition.
 
If you’re not feeling up to the task of trawling sites yourself, comparetravelinsuranceireland.com will do it all for you. The site compares several of the country’s insurance providers’ offers, and also has a lengthy list of tips on how to get the most for your money.
 
All of the following quotes were sourced online. If you book travel insurance over the phone, be aware that you often end up paying additional charges.
 
123.ie - For a single trip, covering a weekend in January, the company offers three rates. The Single Trip Gold costs €12.24 and covers almost everything, including medical expenses, travel delay, legal expenses, and an abandoned trip. The Single Trip Silver costs €10.71 and the Single Trip Bronze costs €7.65 with both offering more limited cover.
 
An annual multi-trip quote for the start of May starts at €44 for limited cover, going up to €70.71 for the full whack.
 
Chill Insurance - Chill.ie only offers policies for single trips, multi-trips and extended stays, with additional cover such as golf cover, wedding insurance, and natural catastrophe cover coming as additional add-ons. The same single trip in January starts at €6.76 for limited cover, and €8.95 for full cover. 
 
Their multi-trip cover options start at €46.66 for a trip of 31 days, €64.51 for 45 days, and €76.99 for a worldwide trip in May.
 
Blue Insurance - Limited cover with Blue Insurance for a single European trip in January starts at €19, while the premier cover costs €30. Multi-trip cover worldwide could only booked up as far as February, so if you’re USA-bound this summer, you’ll have to buy later. 
 
Multi-trip.com - A popular choice for many, Multi-Trip offers several different cover options for single trips. Ranging from €6.99 to €15.99 for more extensive cover, each package also carries a handling fee of €3.95.
 
Like Blue Insurance, Multi-Trip also doesn’t allow annual multi-trip bookings any further in advance than February.
 
getcover.ie - Like several of the other providers listed, Get Cover provide three different types of cover for single trips to Europe. The budget package, priced at €8.10, covers cancellation, medical expenses and lost luggage. 
 
Standard cover, at €9.90, further covers connecting flights, and the premium policy covers camping and sports equipment, as well as optional volcanic ash cover.