Holidaymakers have been warned that the travel insurance they take out may not offer all that they expect.
The policies are full of exclusions and get-out clauses, but travel insurance is a necessity for those going abroad, an expert said.
A review of the travel policies by insurance expert Dermot Goode of TotalHealthCover.ie found that some cover hospital admissions only, and will not refund the cost of using an accident and emergency facility.
"Travel insurance policies offer good overall cover, but the devil is in the detail," he warned.
He said that many people assume they have comprehensive cover for something going wrong by spending just €50 on a policy.
Mr Goode advised people to check before taking out the policy if they will be excluded from treatment for a pre-existing condition.
"If you don't have health insurance in place, many travel policies will exclude any conditions that have been treated in the past 18 to 24 months," he said.
It is worth being aware of how high the excess is - the is the amount you have to pay yourself when you make a claim. The insurance expert said it was cheaper to take out travel cover if you already have a health insurance policy.
Most health insurance polices include between €55,000 and €100,000 worth of emergency cover while abroad.
But he warned that some health policies do not cover people for travel abroad.
It may be the case that your travel policy does not cover every country. Some policies are only for European countries.
Sports regarded as hazardous, such as bungee jumping, may be excluded from the cover on the travel policy.
Dental cover is often limited on travel insurance policies, Mr Goode's review uncovered.
Even with a European Health Insurance Card, which entitles EU members to treatment within the public system of another EU country, you may be put on a waiting list, he said.
He recommended the Premier Plus from Multitrip.com at a cost of €78.99 for two adults and two children, and the Premium Plan from Getcover.ie at a cost of €65.95 for a family.
Also recommended was the AA Annual Extra family policy at a cost of €80.79, and the VHI's MultiTrip policy which costs €100 for a family.
Meanwhile, holidaymakers have been advised to ensure they have a European Health Insurance Card well in advance of their trip.
The EU Publication Office has launched information on the card. It can be downloaded at EC.europe.media.com.