One-third of Irish travellers uninsured

An Irish holidaymaker - but does he have insurance?
Travel insurance

According to new research released by Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), a frankly mind-boggling one-third of Irish consumers have never purchased travel insurance for a trip.

The spread of ages is notable, with the research suggesting that those aged 18-44 were least likely to purchase travel insurance – 43 per cent of consumers in this age range said that they had never bought it. Seventy-nine per cent of those aged 45, meanwhile, said that they had bought travel insurance at least once.

Women were found to be more likely to get coverage, with 71 per cent of female respondents saying that they had purchased a policy in the past and only 59 per cent of men saying the same.

Around one-quarter of consumers said that when they did buy travel insurance, price was their main focus, while one-fifth said that policy excess was a key deciding factor. Around one in 10 respondents, meanwhile, said that they felt that they had a legitimate claim to make, but did not make it because they thought it would be too much hassle; ironically enough, 89 per cent of those who had made a claim said they were happy with the result.

“Our research shows that although the majority of people have had a positive experience with taking out, and sometimes claiming on travel insurance, one-third of consumers reported that they have never actually taken out a policy,” said CCPC Director of Communications Áine Carroll. “Travel insurance can give some protections if something goes wrong and can save [consumers] a lot of money in the long run.”

This research offers yet more evidence that the travelling public is worryingly underinformed when it comes to travel insurance. We at ITIJ certainly find it wearying to be constantly reporting on some survey or another pointing out such misconceptions, and we can only imagine how our readers must feel – unfortunately, it is simply more evidence that awareness efforts are insufficient. And while the blame cannot be placed solely at the industry’s feet, the burden to improve things will continue to fall there.