Trip cancellation and illness top reasons for Irish travel insurance claims

Trip cancellation is the number one reason for Irish travel insurance claims, an analysis of data has revealed.

And medical reimbursement is the second most common reason for travel claims, reflecting the importance of having adequate insurance cover if you are taking a trip abroad, according to leading Irish travel insurer Allianz Global Assistance Ireland.

The data comes as new figures show a record number of Irish people took trips abroad in 2016. According to the Central Statistics Office, more than 6.8 million Irish residents travelled overseas between January and November 2016, compared to 6.5 million who travelled abroad in the same period in 2015, and 6.1 million in 2014.

With consumers focused on booking their dream holiday now that Christmas is over, they should not take short cuts and travel without cover as it could cost heavily in the long term, warns Allianz Global Assistance Ireland, which provides travel insurance services to some of the world’s most recognised travel brands and airlines.

The analysis of Allianz Global Assistance Ireland travel insurance claims in 2016 reveals that more than half, 51 per cent, were for trip cancellation. Fourteen per cent of claims were for medical reimbursement, 11 per cent for loss of personal possessions, seven per cent for travel delays, and five per cent for trip interruption.

According to Roland Hesse, managing director of Allianz Global Assistance Ireland, people should be sure they have adequate insurance cover, whether travelling on a holiday, weekend break, or business trip.

“The recent CSO figures show that more and more Irish people than ever are travelling abroad," he said. "You may feel travel insurance is an unnecessary extra cost, but if you are investing hard earned money on a holiday and you go without travel cover your dream trip could turn into a nightmare. There are so many things that can affect your trip — an unexpected medical emergency, a transport delay, lost or stolen luggage, and more. Insurance will give you peace of mind and prepare you for the unexpected.”

Mr Hesse sounded a special warning to those travelling to the USA and Canada where medical costs are amongst the most expensive in the world.

He says while an existing domestic health insurance plan may cover certain risks abroad, it might not extend to doctor or A&E visits, prescriptions, or emergency evacuations — costs which can run into thousands of euro and leave people significantly out of pocket.

Travellers are advised to check out all policies in great detail, to read the small print, and to get the right insurance policy to suit them.

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