Almost 30pc of travel insurance claims made before holiday has even begun
Almost a third of travel insurance claims made by Irish customers are lodged before the holiday has even begun, according to AA Ireland.
In an analysis of its own claims data since 2012, AA Travel Insurance found that on average, 30pc of claims made each year are lodged as a result of the holidaymaker needing to cancel or curtail their trip before departure.
"It's very easy to fall into the trap of assuming you only need travel insurance while you're actually abroad and leaving it until the very last minute before your departure to purchase cover," said AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan.
"Unfortunately, taking that approach can prove exceptionally risky as you could be left with a significant hole in your wallet if you're forced to cancel your holiday at short notice ... if for example, an illness were to leave you unable to travel and you've avoided taking out travel insurance you could find yourself still having to pay considerable amounts."
The company's analysis found one in five claims made by Irish holiday-goers related to unexpected medical expenses incurred while abroad. More than one in seven claims lodged in 2017 were for lost baggage.
AA Ireland chief executive Brendan Nevin believes Brexit is likely to cause less competition in the Irish insurance market.
"Heretofore you would frequently find UK insurers entering the Irish market on a periodic basis," he told the Sunday Independent.
"I am guessing that will become more difficult because what they may well find is that while they are happy to deal with insurance intermediaries in Ireland, whether they are willing to set up a fully loaded subsidiary in Ireland might be another matter."