TRAVEL INSURANCE: shop around, and do research first

11 November 2019
By Mary Bermingham

Cheaper isn’t always what you want when going abroad

Recent photo of Billy Kelleher, MEP

Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher has warned Irish travel makers to be careful about who they take out their travel insurance as they may not be getting what they think they are paying for..
Picture: David Keane.

Kelleher was commenting after the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) issued a warning concerning the very high levels of commissions being paid for travel insurance products.

“EIOPA has identified products where 94% of the premium cost is being paid as commission to an intermediary to secure the sale of an insurance product.

“Put simply, €94 of a €100 premium is being used to incentivise the sale of products. The trouble with this is clear to me – where is the money needed to actually fund the payment of compensation?

“They also identified products where just 1% of the premium is being used to pay out on claims.

“These two ratios mean that many holidays who think they are taking out quite comprehensive travel insurance will end up getting very little if, heaven forbid, they run into trouble while abroad. It’s just not a sustainable way of providing insurance.

“My advice is to shop around. Don’t automatically go with the cheapest product you can find online. Check the fine print – see how much you will actually be covered for.

“If travelling in the European Union, make sure you have for European Health Insurance Card which ensures Irish citizens can get access to health care, at a reduced cost or free, in any of the existing 27 other member states.

“Sometimes paying an additional €10 could mean the difference of having an excess of €100 or €1000. There is nothing worse than a medical emergency while on holidays but having comprehensive insurance cover can at least take some of the stress away from the situation,” concluded Kelleher.

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