In case you were wondering, the Titanic was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland – most of the war scenes in the famous 1995 movie, Braveheart, were filmed in Ireland – and there is a street named Muckanaghederdauhaulia – try saying that perfectly the first time round. ¹
Ireland – also known as the Emerald Isle, is one of the safest places to travel to – but like any travel destination, it is still advisable to take out travel insurance.
1. How will travel insurance benefit you in Ireland?
Medical expenses and emergency evacuation: The Republic of Ireland is part of the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia – which means that part, if not all, of your medical expenses could be covered in Ireland – if they fit within the RHCA benefits. Read more about the RHCA, and what is covered for Ireland. You will need to have a valid Australian passport, together with a current Medicare card – to prove you’re eligible for this cover. Any medical expenses you incur that are over and above the RHCA benefits, will need to either be covered by you – or your travel insurance. You can speak to your insurer about what cover is necessary for Ireland.
Theft or loss of luggage: Luggage can go missing or be stolen at any time when travelling – if this happen to you, your travel insurance will pick up the costs of replacing your luggage, or at least covering the costs of a few emergency items if your luggage is simply delayed.
Theft or loss of valuables and travel docs: Should any of your valuables, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, or jewellery be stolen on your trip to Ireland – you will be covered for the replacement of these items. This applies to travel documents also.
Trip cancellation: In the event of you needing to cut your trip short – or cancel it altogether before leaving Australia – due to an emergency – your travel insurance will cover the costs of any cancellation fees or pre-paid deposits.
Flight delays or cancellations: Should your airline delay your flight for a significant period, or cancel it – you will be covered for any costs involved in providing for the delay or cancellation.
Theft of cash: A lot of travellers will travel with large sums of cash on them for their trip – should you be robbed of this cash – where negligent behaviour is not involved – you will be reimbursed for this cash – up to a certain limit.
Rental vehicle excess: You may wish to rent a car for long journeys into the Irish countryside – if you are involved in an accident in this rental car – your insurance will cover the excess incurred. When it comes to motorbike hire in Ireland – check with your insurer if you are covered for this – you might need to add this as an extra to your cover should you choose to go this route.
Death or disability cover: Chat to your insurer about what you or your family are covered for in the event of your death while overseas – or should you become disabled in an accident.
2. What can I expect not to be covered by travel insurance?
Negligence: Leaving your personal belongings unattended for an extended period of time – including leaving them in an unlocked vehicle or hotel room – will result in you not being covered by your insurer for these items.
Substance abuse: If you become sick or are in an accident due to alcohol or drug abuse – you will not be covered.
High-risk activities: Certain high-risk adventure sports and activities are not always included in your travel insurance policy – you may need to add these as an extra cost – ask your insurer about what you are covered for.
Law enforcement: You are subject to the local laws and penalties in Ireland, and will be prosecuted – should you not obey them. Your travel insurance will not cover any costs involved in your prosecution.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Most insurers will not automatically cover you for some pre-existing medical conditions while travelling. You should inform your insurer about any pre-existing conditions, and find out if you can be covered for these – at an additional cost.
3. How to save on travel insurance costs for Ireland
Medical only insurance: Ireland is relatively safe, with the Smartraveller website giving it a “Exercise normal safety precautions” rating. This means, if all else goes to plan – you could get away with travel insurance that simply covers medical expenses or emergencies that fall outside of the RHCA benefits that Ireland offers to eligible Australians.
Travel light: You could forego insurance for any valuables – such as expensive mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and jewellery – by leaving these items at home. Of course, this is not always an option – but you can talk to your insurer about how you can save in this area.
Group insurance: Travel insurance generally becomes cheaper for more than one person – if you are travelling with a partner, or in a group – find out about taking travel insurance collectively. You could also save on travel insurance for a group of 10 or more people – ask your insurer about this option.
Keep the adventure activities to a minimum: Not all holiday activities are covered by travel insurance – particularly ones that are seen as high risk – such as skiing, hiking, or bungee jumping. Find out if this is included as standard cover by your insurer – if not, maybe reconsider these activities as an option – if you would like to trim your travel insurance costs.
4. Travel safety tips for Ireland
While Ireland is rated as the number 10 safest country in the world, according to Business Insider ² – there is still risk involved when touring a foreign country – you should always remain vigilant – follow these tips for staying safe.
Petty crimes: Petty crimes such as bag snatching, pickpocketing, and car break-ins are quite common in Ireland – particularly in the city centres and around tourist attractions. Keep your belongings closely held to your body – watch people around you, and don’t trust anyone.
Credit card theft and scams: There is an increase in credit card scams and theft in Ireland – especially at ATMs. Try to use an ATM in a well-lit, controlled environment – such as a shopping mall or bank. Don’t continue using an ATM that looks suspicious.
Protests and demonstrations: There is always a chance of political protests or demonstrations occurring in a country – make sure you avoid areas where these take place – monitor the news for any updates. You can also sign up for alerts and updates for Ireland through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Road travel: The roads in Ireland are generally good, except for country roads – which can be narrow, windy and muddy – especially after bad weather conditions. These roads are often hindered by animals, vehicles, and machinery – making them congested and dangerous for inexperienced foreign drivers. Take care when travelling along these roads – particularly at night.
Weather changes: Natural disasters are not always a risk for Ireland – however, weather can change drastically in a short space of time – be prepared for all weather conditions – and drive carefully should you be exposed to dangerous weather.
5. Travel tips to make your Irish holiday more enjoyable
Friendly banter: The Irish love to talk and engage in friendly banter on the streets. If you want to fit in and get along with the locals – start talking. This could include anything from the weather conditions, to world politics – they are generally well-informed about what is happening in the world, and could even teach you a thing or two.
Give a wave: When travelling on narrow country roads, it is polite to greet any oncoming cars with a wave of the hand as acknowledgement.
How to order: When visiting a pub in Ireland, you are expected to order your drinks or food from the bar, pay immediately, and then take them back to a table – or drink at the bar if you prefer.
Tipping: You are generally expected to tip service staff between 10 – 15% of your bill depending on where you are. This includes taxi drivers, hairdressers, hotel staff, tour guides, or restaurant staff.
Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in any enclosed areas – such as pubs, restaurants, shops, public bathrooms, or any other indoor area. You will receive a fine for breaking this law.
|24-hour Australian Consular Emergency Helpline
1300 555 135
+61 2 6261 3305
+61 421 269 080
|Australian Embassy, Dublin
47-49 St Stephen’s Green
Phone: +353 1 664 5300
Fax: +353 1 678 5185
|Emergency phone numbers
Fire: Dial 112
Medical emergencies: Dial 112
Criminal issues, contact police: Dial 112
|Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS)
Phone: 1890 365 700
¹ “10 Interesting and Fun Facts About Ireland”, Leger Holidays.Blog, accessed on 31 August, 2018. http://www.leger.co.uk/blog/2013/02/06/10-facts-about-ireland/
² “The 31 Safest Countries in the World”, Business Insider, accessed on 31 August, 2018. https://www.businessinsider.com/safest-countries-in-the-world-2018-6?IR=T#11-slovenia-1396-21
We also offer insurance for other destinations such as Asia