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Finance - Money Matters - Stay safe with travel insurance

Your questions answered by Ivan Ahern

Summer is the peak season for travelling abroad and there are many considerations when booking a summer holiday – flights and accommodation must be organised; you may need foreign currency; and booking annual leave with your employer are just a few of these considerations. Travel insurance can easily be overlooked. This could be a costly mistake!

You should bear in my that if you or a member of your family is taken ill before you travel, your flights may be nonrefundable and your hotel may require advance notice of cancellation. If you haven’t purchased travel insurance you may be liable for these costs.

What are your options?
For most forms of travel insurance that are available, the most popular place to purchase cover is online. The travel insurance marketplace is very competitive and there are many different providers. When you come to purchase travel insurance you will typically be offered either a single trip or annual multi-trip policy.

Single trip policies are suitable for oneoff trips or short breaks, while annual multi-trip policies are suitable if you plan to take more than one trip in a 12-month period. Insurers may impose a limit on the number of trips you can take in a year and a maximum duration limit for any single trip. These limitations may vary depending on the insurer, so it is always best to check at the time of purchase.

Other factors that determine the price for travel insurance include your age, whether you require cover for a spouse and dependent children, the country you are travelling to and certain activities (such as golf and skiing), which can make your quotation more expensive.

Cancellation cover
Cancellation cover provides cover for your flights and accommodation in the event that you are unable to travel for certain insured reasons. One such reason could be ‘unforeseen emergencies’ such as illness, injury or death to you, your travelling companion or a relative.

Common misconceptions are that travel insurance provides cover if you cancel your holiday due to business obligations, deciding not to travel or if your airline goes out of business.

Emergency medical expenses cover
This is one of the most important covers to consider when buying travel insurance. If you become ill or if you are involved in an accident abroad, costs can rapidly begin to build up. Ambulance costs, hospital treatment and the expense of returning home if medically necessary, are just some of the benefits of having emergency medical expenses cover in place.

Your travel insurance provider will supply you with contact details for their medical emergency assistance service at the time of purchase. They will also request that you contact this service as soon as possible so that they can liaise with your hospital or assist with organising repatriation to Ireland if necessary.

Many of us have private health insurance or avail of the European health insurance card (EHIC), which provides some emergency medical expenses while abroad. However, ambulance costs and medical repatriation may not be covered by your private health insurance plan or the EHIC.

Personal effects and baggage cover
Another important consideration when travelling abroad is your baggage. Insurers provide cover for the loss, damage and theft of your baggage and personal effects. When making a claim for the theft or loss of your baggage or personal effects abroad, you must report this to the police in that country and produce a police report to your insurer on your return.

At the moment, Cornmarket is offering *10% off travel insurance for any new policy purchased before June 30, 2013. To avail of this discount, visit www.cornmarket.ie and enter the promotion code FGH73IJK

. We have also put together a number of useful sites that may come in handy for you while you’re abroad. Visit cornmarket.ie/useful_travel_links.htm to access these. Cornmarket cannot be held responsible for information provided on external websites.

Ivan Ahern is director of Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd

*Insurance/offer subject to underwriting criteria, terms and conditions. 10% discount is only available online at www.cornmarket.ie off the current AIG Europe Ltd travel insurance premium available through Cornmarket. Offer is only available to new customers taking out a new travel insurance policy through Cornmarket & underwritten by AIG Europe Ltd. Discount must be requested at quotation stage by entering promotion code FGH73IJK and cannot be issued retrospectively. Only one promotion code can be used with each eligible proposal. Cornmarket Travel Insurance is underwritten by AIG Europe Limited. AIG Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom, and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Finance - Money Matters - Stay safe with travel insurance
June 2013 Vol 21(5)
June 2013 Vol 21(5)
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