Travel Insurance for Ireland

It's a long, long way to Tipperary. Make sure you have the right travel insurance for Ireland.

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Travel insurance rules continue to change as a result of the pandemic. Some information may not be accurate at this time. It’s even more important to double-check all details that matter to you before taking out cover. Please note:
    • Some policies may not be available through Finder at this time
    • It’s unlikely that your policy will cover expenses from border closures
    In 2011 Ireland it took home “favourite holiday destination in the world” as voted by readers of Frommer’s travel guides, won the “world’s friendliest country” award by Lonely Planet, and in 2014, Ireland actually received more tourists than there are people living in the country.

    The Emerald Isle is a relatively safe place compared to others, but travel insurance is highly recommended for all travellers no matter the destination. Finding a policy that suits you means you’re protected against a range of common travel risks, and can enjoy more convenience and peace of mind on your vacation, as well as being protected in the unlikely event of a medical emergency.

    Compare travel insurance for your trip to Ireland

    warning Finally, some good news! Domestic travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again 🦘
    Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance.
    International travel insurance is limited and sometimes unavailable at this point.

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    Worried about COVID-19?

    You're not the only one. Travel insurance companies are now offering some cover for coronavirus. So you can travel with more peace of mind.

    Get travel insurance for COVID-19

    Do I need travel insurance in Ireland?

    Ireland is not considered an especially dangerous country, and the Australian government only advises travellers to take usual common-sense precautions, including picking out a suitable travel insurance policy before leaving.

    A comprehensive policy provides protection against both the specific risks of travelling in Ireland and common travel concerns including:

    • Emergency medical expenses to cover medical treatments, hospital costs and medical repatriation which can add up to thousands of dollars that you would need to pay upfront.
    • Cancellations and lost deposits for when you need to cancel non-refundable accommodation or flights due to circumstances out of your control
    • Theft and stolen items cover for your personal belongings including expensive items, your passport and cash

    Continue reading this guide for further information around finding travel insurance for Ireland and if you'd like to compare travel insurance quotes.

    Reciprocal Health Care Agreement

    Ireland is a particularly good destination for Australians thanks to the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA), which means that as long as you’re eligible for Medicare in Australia, you can also enjoy a certain extent of low-cost cover in Ireland.

    • When am I covered? Travellers are covered for medically necessary care that occurs within 12 months after you arrive that can't wait until you get home.
    • What does the RHCA cover? It offers you care as a public patient in a public hospital, maternity care and some of the cost of prescription medicines.
    • Do I still need travel insurance? If you experience a medical emergency in Ireland then you will still most likely require a travel insurance policy to cover certain costs, or risk being left with potentially extreme out of pocket expenses.

    The following is not covered under the RHCA:

    • Care and accommodation as a private patient in a public or private hospital
    • Visits to a GP
    • Prescription medicines below a set amount in one month
    • Anything that was pre-arranged before you got to Ireland

    What should I look for in a travel insurance policy?

    Compare policies by benefit offers and cost, and pick out the types of protection you want on your trip. Options include:

    • Overseas medical expenses. The cover offered by the RHCA is limited, and travel insurance can offer a considerably more effective level of protection, including medical repatriation and private hospital treatments. In the words of the Australian government, "Reciprocal Health Care Agreements aren't designed to replace private travel insurance."
    • Luggage and personal effects. This key benefit provides financial protection when your luggage and personal belongings are stolen, lost or damaged. You'll be covered either for their repair or their replacement.
    • Luggage delay. When an airline or transport provider misplaces your luggage, you'll be granted an allowance to buy emergency toiletries and clothes.
    • Cancellation fees and lost deposits. If circumstances beyond your control force you to cancel your trip, such as the illness of a family member, you'll be covered for the cost of any cancellation fees you incur and non-refundable pre-paid deposits.
    • Travel delay. When your prepaid transport is delayed for more than a minimum period of time, your travel insurance policy will reimburse you for the cost of meals, transfers and accommodation that results.
    • Theft of cash. When thieves steal cash from your person, the amount of money stolen (up to a certain limit) will be reimbursed.
    • Travel documents. The cost of replacing lost or stolen travel documents is included in your policy.
    • Personal liability. When you face personal liability claims for causing injury or property damage to a third party, your policy can provide cover of up to $1 million or more.
    • Rental vehicle insurance excess. The expensive rental vehicle excess charged in the event of a rental car crash, or even just a small scratch, is a nightmare for many travellers. Travel insurance can cover this cost.
    • Other benefits. Many policies will also provide an Accidental Death and Total and Permanent Disability Benefit for injuries suffered during your journey.

    When will travel insurance not pay out?

    Even the most expensive and comprehensive travel insurance policy will come with exclusions, which are conditions where the policy will not pay out.

    Your Irish travel insurance policy will typically not cover your claim for:

    • Unattended belongings. You need to take reasonable care to prevent or reduce any loss you may suffer, including keeping an eye on your belongings at all times.
    • Inebriation. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is usually not covered, except for those prescribed by your medical practitioner.
    • Risky pastimes. Standard policies will typically not pay out for injuries or loss resulting from your involvement in an adventure activity like bungee jumping or parasailing, or even everyday sports like rugby. Sports travel insurance policies can help with the more common pastimes, while thrill-seekers might want to look for adventure travel insurance.
    • Failure to obey local laws. You are required to comply with all local laws for the duration of your stay.
    • Pre-existing conditions. You should inform your insurer of pre-existing conditions where applicable, because you are generally not covered otherwise.

    What activities should you consider including in your travel insurance policy as extras?

    Not all policies are created equal and depending on what you plan to do in Bolivia, you may need to consider paying an extra premium to fully cover your trip.

    • Scuba diving and freediving in Ireland are thrilling activities to include in your itinerary but you'll want to make sure your insurance will cover you for it and be clear on the conditions you may not be covered for under a standard policy.
    • Mountain climbing opportunities are abundant here but those who are more advanced may want to look at cover for rock climbing and travel insurance for trekking.
    • Expensive items such as cameras, laptops and smartphones have now become the norm in any traveller's backpack. Consider travel insurance to protect your high-value items as these can be hot items for thieves in tourist areas.
    • Adventure sports from sailing to cycling and abseiling to sea kayaking, are all on offer in Ireland, but make sure you know if your travel insurance policy covers them.
    • Cruises starting from Ireland can be a convenient way to see the region in all its splendour but some insurers require you to take out separate cruise cover to insure for things like missed cruise departures and cancelled pre-paid shore excursions.

    What are some travel risks specific to Ireland?

    • Theft. Petty theft, including pickpocketing and break-ins occur in Ireland. Rental cars in particular may be targeted, especially in Dublin and tourist areas.
    • Fraud. Credit card fraud, ATM scams and skimming are becoming more common in Ireland. Avoid ATMs with suspicious items stuck to them, or if they otherwise look unusual
    • Civil unrest. Protests and demonstrations may turn violent, particularly those associated with Northern Ireland. Monitor local media, follow the instructions of local authorities and try to steer clear of civil unrest.
    • Road travel. The narrow and winding roads in rural areas may pose a risk for inexperienced drivers, particularly at night, or where farm animals or machinery are involved. The conditions in urban areas are generally adequate, but local drivers may not always follow regulations.
    • Weather events. Inclement weather can accentuate the risks of poorly maintained roads, and while the Republic of Ireland is not particularly at risk of specific natural hazards, the weather may change quickly and you should ensure you have packed appropriately for your destination.

    Ireland entry requirements

    Australian residents do not require a visa to enter Ireland for visits of less than 90 days.. You will, however, need a passport valid for at least 6 months after your planned return date and if you plan on working in Ireland you’ll also need a valid work permit.

    Who do I contact in an emergency?

    If you find yourself in an emergency in Ireland, some helpful contacts include:

    • Emergency services. For police, ambulance, fire and rescue and any other emergencies, call 112.
    • Your travel insurer. Your insurance provider will have a 24/7 helpline for claims and medical emergencies.
    • Australian Embassies and Consulates. You can find the contact details of Australian Embassies and Consulates in Ireland below.

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