Categories
Holidays

Top 7 Romantic Getaways in Europe For Valentine’s Day

The month of love is upon us and there are only a few days to go until we celebrate the wonders of Valentine’s Day with that special someone closest to our heart.

For the month that’s in it, there’s no better time to have a look at some potential romantic getaways in Europe for you and your partner.

Many of us struggle to decide what to buy our other half as a gift.

A night or weekend trip away always goes down a treat.

Also, you can save more on your travel insurance by comparing travel insurance online with Ucompare.

With that in mind, we have composed a list of the top 7 most romantic getaways in Europe to celebrate in style and romance this Valentine’s Day!

1. Venice, Italy

The Floating City offers incredible magic that makes Venice one of the best destinations in the world for romantic getaways for couples.

A gondola ride is one of the most romantic experiences, allowing you to enjoy your European city break on the water.

romantic getaways europe

You can opt for shared or private gondolas, and can also arrange to have dinner by candlelight on the gondola.

Check out Tête-à-tête in Venice for an unforgettable evening with your special someone.

For an extra special evening, dine at the Galleon which offers spectacular views. For the night that’s in it, there will be a special menu created just for Valentine’s Day celebrations for only €100 per person.

The Sunset Tour Boat offers a unique evening allowing you to soak in the natural beauty of Venice.

It is also possible to book a private boat to view the sunset for an intimate evening with your partner.

A truly unique experience would be a private lesson in Venetian rowing combined with a wine and food tasting.

This day out allows you to work on your rowing skills while floating around the Cannaregio district and then enjoy wine and traditional foods afterwards.

2. Paris, France

Paris, the City of Light, is without a doubt the most clichéd destination for Valentine’s Day trip away.

However, we think it certainly lives up to expectations. There are some truly magical moments to be had with your loved one in the capital of France.

romantic valentine's day getaways

It is best to book ahead for your trip to Paris as it is such a popular destination for couples in February.

For a lavish meal with the best view of Paris, celebrate Valentine’s Day at the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant with prices from €150.

For a romantic meal with a background of live jazz music, check out Café Louise at Saint Germain des Prés in the heart of Paris. From €65 each, this is a traditional Parisian night not to be missed.

If you have never been to the Moulin Rouge, there is no better time to visit than February 14th.

An evening of surprises and high-class entertainment awaits you from €220 per person.

3. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges is a fantastic destination for couples who love to eat delicious Belgian chocolate and stroll along the magical canals.

bruges europe

Although smaller than the capital, Brussels, Bruges is often more popular amongst tourists as it offers such an intimate and unique setting for your Valentine’s Day.

Pop into the Bruges chocolate museum for only €7 per person, or take a horse carriage tour for a 30-minute visit from Market Square through the city for €36 per carriage.

For an extra romantic spot, try the Lake of Love and Lovers’ Bridge.

4. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is renowned for its music, art, coffee and sachertorte, a luxurious chocolate cake. It is also known as a magical destination for lovers in February.

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride along the cobblestones while surrounded by majestic buildings.

best weekend getaways europe

Then, take a visit to the breath-taking Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens. Tickets can be purchased from as little as €3.80, with options to visit just the gardens or both the palace and gardens.

For a more active activity, hit the ice rink at Vienna City Hall, Rathaus, which is transformed each Winter into an ice-skating rink and an outdoor market.

Open until 10pm daily, this is a romantic destination not to be missed.

5. Rome, Italy

Apart from the divine food and wine on hand, Rome offers something incredible for all the senses.

It is one of the most culturally rich destinations to visit in the world.

what are top romentic gataways in europe

Make an eternal love wish at the Trevi Fountain or at the Ponte Milvio bridge. Ponte Milvio is where you can lock a padlock of your love to one of the lampposts on the bridge and then throw the key into the Tiber river below.

For a starry Valentine’s Day celebration, try the Astronomic Observatory of Rome which hosts an evening of entertainment for couples and exploration through the constellations.

On a side note for any singles: February 15th is the celebration of San Faustino, the patron of singles in Italy when the parties are not to be missed.

6. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is certain to offer spectacular views, incredible sunsets and a breath-taking landscape, providing a fairy-tale backdrop for your Valentine’s Day.

Renowned for its beautiful architecture and hilly narrow streets, Santorini is one of the most romantic and unique destinations in Europe.

top 10 romantic destinations in europe

While in Summer Santorini can be jam-packed with tourists, February offers a much calmer experience and a feeling of privacy and intimacy to make your Valentine’s even more special.

While unfortunately, February cannot offer the heat of a Summer trip to Santorini, average temperatures fall around 14-16°C which can be a nice setting to escape the harsh Winter weather in Ireland.

If you are not too familiar with Santorini, check out these incredible photographs of this stunning location.

7. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in the world for a romantic getaway.

With miles and miles of canals, lit-up bridges and swans everywhere to be seen, it offers a special intimate atmosphere and a perfect setting for your Valentine’s Day.

best romantic getaways europe

With lots of attractions to see and activities do all within walking distance of each other, it offers the perfect opportunity to stroll romantically for days upon end.

Amsterdam offers a huge selection of famous museums, such as that of Van Gogh, which is a lovely way to spend a February afternoon with your other half.

For something extra special, enjoy cheap cruises around the canals. Lovers Canal Cruises offers a selection of options for couples to enjoy this February.

Feeling the love yet?

Hopefully, you are now feeling inspired about what gift to get your better half this Valentine’s Day.

Weekend getaways and romantic breaks in Europe are both special and affordable.

With so many top-quality romantic getaways above, there is something for all tastes.

If you need any more help organising your European city break, have a read of our website to see how having travel insurance can improve your enjoyment of your travels.

Not only can it save you money, but it gives you peace of mind knowing that you are covered wherever you are in Europe.

Categories
Travel Insurance

How To Choose the Best Travel Insurance for your Ski Holidays

If you are jetting off on a ski trip this Winter, then this one’s for you: How can we be sure to select the best ski insurance when preparing for our Winter holiday?

It can definitely be quite overwhelming when you discover how many options for finding the best ski insurance are available, including both cost and cover.

The important thing is to evaluate your specific needs, rather than what might appear to initially be the best “deal”.

If you end up opting for ski insurance that does not cover a particular incident such as theft of skiing equipment or mountain rescue, you will not find your cover very helpful should such incidents occur to you when travelling.

How To Choose the Best Ski Insurance

Here are some key tips to help you choose the best travel insurance for your ski holidays:

Step 1: Choose the right location

Although you may need to get this part right before you start booking anything, it is a crucial step that cannot be overlooked.

Just because a particular ski resort is offering very cheap ski trip plans does not mean that you are guaranteed good skiing conditions or even safe conditions.

Best travel insurance for ski holidays

For example, a ski resort may be offering excellent deals as they are struggling with a lack of snow this season, or avalanches may be foreseen which could cause slope closures and serious accidents.

Remember the old saying: if something seems too good to be true, it often is.

So do your research in advance and ensure that your chosen ski destination is expecting good and safe skiing conditions this Winter and, most importantly, that safety is taken seriously in the region.

Step 2: Multi-trip or single-trip travel insurance?

This is an important step as considering your future needs in advance could save you money in the long run.

If you foresee yourself only travelling abroad once this year for your ski vacation, then a single-trip travel policy with a Winter sports add-on will be the cheapest option.

This will cover you only for the one holiday, but means you don’t need to pay for anything else beyond this trip.

With this type of policy, the premium will be determined by your age, the length of your stay and the total trip costs.

If you usually go on a sun holiday or other trips throughout the year, however, it would be better in the long-run to choose multi-trip travel policy with a Winter sports add-on as this could save you money.

If you are a regular traveller, it is definitely a must.

Remember: you must opt for a Winter sports add-on to your basic policy, whether you opt for single or multi-trip, as sports like skiing and snowboarding come with unique risks that must be accounted for separately in the eyes of insurers.

As these sports and the conditions, we do them in can be quite treacherous, it is essential to be sufficiently covered against the possible risks.

Unfortunately, accidents are common on the slopes. So choosing to go for this add-on is of crucial importance when taking out an insurance policy for your ski trip.

If you already have taken out a multi-trip policy, it is not too late to opt for a Winter sports add-on, which can usually be added at a later stage after you signed up for the insurance policy.

Step 3: Examine policies thoroughly before making a decision

 As Winter sports can be so varied, it is crucial that you carefully examine insurance policies to see exactly what you would be covered for.

If you plan to do a range of other activities such as off-piste skiing or snow sledging, make sure the policies you are looking at would cover such activities.

best ski holiday insurance

Be careful as the definition of what “Winter sports” consists of can vary between different insurance providers.

Here are some other key features to look for in your ski insurance policy:

  • Does this policy cover theft or damage of rented equipment?
  • Are there any age restrictions on the policy? (Many policies will exclude those aged 65+)
  • Does this policy cover me in the event of an accident on the slopes, including air transportation if required?
  • Will the policy cover costs involved if there is no snow at my ski resort and I must move to higher slopes?
  • If you are travelling with children, will the family ski insurance cover any accidents they might have if they are skiing without you while partaking in a lesson?

Compare the best winter sports travel insurance policies critically instead of just choosing the cheapest option.

Step 4: Opt for the travel insurance that fits your needs, desires and budget

Once you find a policy or a number of policies that cover you sufficiently for all activities you will be partaking in, now it is time to decide which one fits your needs, desires and budget limits.

Be aware that most Winter sports insurance policies will also outline a list of exclusions, so it is important to familiarise yourself with these before choosing which insurer to go with.

best ski insurance ireland

Also, be sure to examine excess amounts on the policies you are considering.

Sometimes, the excess amounts can exceed the amounts being claimed, especially when it comes to the cheapest travel insurance policies.

Another key point to bear in mind: Inform your insurer in advance of any pre-existing medical conditions. These can affect your premium and non-disclosure could leave to your claims being deemed invalid should you have any trouble on your Winter holiday.

Step 5: Enjoy your Winter sports holiday to the max!

Congratulations! You’ve successfully finished all the hard work and can now enjoy your ski or snowboarding holiday with peace of mind.

best travel insurance for skiing holiday

Ensure to make the most of your trip by enjoying all amenities offered in your ski resort: go skating on the ice rink, soak up the heat in the sauna and enjoy some mulled wine in the ski lodge.

Enjoy your holiday and stay safe on the slopes this Winter season!

Ucompare.ie can make the process of selecting the best travel insurance for ski holidays much easier.

Try it out today by comparing quotes and access some of the most comprehensive insurance policies in Ireland all at the best prices.

Categories
Life Insurance

How to Choose Life Insurance – 8 Simple Steps

When searching for a life insurance plan, you may become puzzled by all the different types of life insurance available to you on the market.

Here we gather all the essential information you need in order to choose life insurance that suits you and your family best!

how to choose life insurance ireland

Step 1: Understand what life insurance is

Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policyholder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a lump sum in exchange for a premium upon the death of the insured person.

Depending on the contract, terminal or critical illnesses may also trigger the payment.

The policyholder pays a premium, either on a regular basis or as one lump sum. Other expenses such as funeral costs can also be included in the benefits.

Life insurance contracts fall into two categories; protection policies and investment policies.

Protection policies are designed to provide a benefit (lump sum payment) in the event of a specified occurrence such as death. This is the most common type of life insurance in Europe.

Investment policies, in contrast, assist with the growth of capital of the insured person as they can choose to invest their money in various funds. These are most common in the USA and the types of policies available are whole life, variable life and universal life cover.

Step 2: Decide if you need life insurance

If you are over 18 with a steady income, a mortgage or children, than you definitely need to consider life insurance.

If you do not earn a significant percentage of your family’s income, then you may not need life insurance.

It is mainly parents and those with significant income or mortgages who need to choose life insurance.

This will offer essential protection for your children or other family members should you become seriously ill or pass away.

Step 3: Become familiar with the life insurance providers in Ireland

There are 6 main life insurance providers in Ireland:

* Irish Life;

* New Ireland;

* Aviva;

* Friends First;

* Zurich Life;

* Royal London.

At first, all of the companies may seem to be very similar in terms of their offerings. But there are some key differences that you should be aware of before you choose life insurance and the provider.

For example, Aviva has a maximum age limit of 84 for the expiry of life insurance, while with Friends First and New Ireland the maximum age limit for expiry is 64.

It can be quite tiresome and difficult to understand the real differences between each provider, and even more complex to choose life insurance that offers the best protection for the best price.

This is why many people will contact an insurance broker, bank or other Third Party to assist them in finding the best policy.

Step 4: Select who to help you choose life insurance

There are many different providers of life insurance available in Ireland. These include:

* Insurance brokers;

* Life insurance brokers;

* Banks.

Depending on who you turn to for help when you need to choose life insurance, you could receive varying advice, information and prices as a result.

It is important to understand the positions of each agent so that you know what they are trying to achieve.

An insurance broker will try to sell you the life insurance that their company offers, and will not consider alternative options for you.

They may try to overcharge you if you are already a customer of theirs and they believe that you will be easily convinced.

By going through an independent life insurance broker, you can receive an unbiased opinion on which life insurance policy is best suited to you.

They can find the best deals available to you and ultimately save you money and time spent searching for the best value.

The banks in Ireland can only sell you policies from one insurer. If you go to Bank of Ireland, they will sell you their own life insurance policy, while other Irish banks will sell you a policy from Irish Life.

Ultimately, it is always better to consider all options in order to choose life insurance that is superior in quality and cheaper in cost. Therefore, Third Party assistance can be hugely advantageous.

Step 5: Calculate how much life insurance you need

You may choose to use an online life insurance calculator tool that can effectively estimate the value of life insurance that you require.

Or, alternatively, you may ask an insurance broker or bank to help you more precisely calculate how much life insurance cover you need.

In general, the rule of thumb is to find a policy that is worth 5-10 times your annual salary. However, this will vary depending on how much debt you have or how many dependents you have.

Be careful to not accept a level of cover that is unnecessarily high.

Shop around and seek advice from more than one source in order to figure out what is most realistic for you. An informed shopper is a wise shopper!

Step 6: Choose a life insurance plan that suits you

The main policies are life insurance, mortgage protection and income protection. Within the life insurance category, there are different types including whole life cover, variable life cover and universal life cover.

Life insurance ensures that your financial dependents will receive income if you pass away in order to replace your income. This is absolutely essentially for working parents with children under 18 especially.

Although it is a horrible thought, tragedies can happen and so we must prepare for the worst but hope for the best.

Life insurance protection policies are seen as a very safe way to protect the money you wish to provide to your dependents after death or serious illness.

However, you may be interested in the alternative that is a life insurance investment policy.

Here are some quick descriptions on the different types of life insurance investment policies to keep in mind when you choose life insurance:

Whole life insurance offers both a death benefit and cash value in the case of death. It is the most comprehensive and expensive type of life insurance.

In traditional whole life insurance policies, premiums remain the same until you’ve paid off the policy. High commission levels and fees from the insurance broker mean that a lot of the money you pay goes directly to the insurance agent. Therefore it is important to be aware of this if choosing a whole life insurance policy.

Variable life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that builds up a cash reserve that you can invest in any of the choices offered by your insurance company. Hence, the value of your life insurance fund may go up or down depending on how these investments are doing.

A universal life insurance policy is a different kind of permanent life insurance that uses part of your accumulated earnings to cover some of the premium costs.

You may also choose to vary the amount of the death benefit. As it offers extra flexibility, there will be some higher fees than with variable life insurance.

Experts often recommend that those under 40 years old, without a family disposition for a critical illness, should choose a term insurance policy that offers a death benefit only. However, you can choose to add on different cash values or conditions as you require.

Mortgage protection is another basic cover that everyone with a mortgage must-have. It means that your mortgage will be cleared if you die, avoiding huge masses of debt being placed on your family should you not be protected.

Income protection is similarly as important. If you become ill and cannot work, you will receive 75% of your income for a number of weeks out of work. This usually covers you for any illness and is definitely something to insure is included in your cover.

Ideally, you will be covered with life insurance, mortgage protection and income protection. It’s up to you, but wouldn’t you rather have total peace of mind should something terrible happen to you or your loved ones?

Such insurance protection will guarantee that you will have the financial support you need whatever happens. This is why it is important to choose life insurance that is comprehensive and complete.

Although you may choose to save money on other areas of your life, life insurance is definitely not one of the areas that it is okay to skimp on.

However, there is a difference between spending a lot of money on life insurance and having high-quality life insurance. See below regarding insurance discounts to see more.

Step 7: Other factors to bear in mind

Health issues

When you first receive your quotes, these quotes will have assumed that you are in perfect health. If you have or have previously had any health conditions, you are obliged to disclose these to the life insurance provider.

Although having health conditions will increase your life insurance quotes, you will find yourself stuck later on if you were not honest to your life insurance provider. Therefore, honesty is essential from the very start when looking to choose life insurance that will support you in the long run.

Discounts

Keep an eye or ear out for any new discounts available on the market. The smaller life insurance providers, in particular, are prone to advertising offers and discounts in order to compete with the bigger, more dominant providers.

These discounts can be a great way of saving money on your life insurance policy, without reducing the quality of your policy.

Step 8: Choose life insurance with Ucompare

Ucompare is an unbiased insurance provider offering travel insurance, car insurance, and now life insurance policies.

Ucompare is an insurance comparison tool that searches the market in order to find the best quotes for you and your family.

As Ucompare considers the best value life insurance policies available especially for you, you can be sure to save time and money in your search to choose life insurance that will keep your mind at ease.

Try our life insurance comparison tool here and see how much money you can save.

Also, have a look at the detailed article on What Questions to Ask When Buying Life Insurance?

Categories
Travel Insurance

Do I Need Travel Insurance for Skiing? – Ski Insurance Guide


Whether you are a romantic couple looking for an adventurous getaway for Valentine´s day or a family looking for a fun and enjoyable Mid-Term week holiday, February is definitely the best month to hit the slopes.

And if you haven´t booked your ski holidays yet, hurry up!

Do I Need Travel Insurance for Skiing?

There are great deals out there which will include flights and accommodation for all budgets, but be careful, many of them won´t include ski Travel Insurance and ski-holidays travel agents won´t let you travel unless you have a valid Travel Insurance policy.

Let´s be honest now, skiing and snowboarding are dangerous sports, no matter how much risk you take on the slopes, the possibilities of having an accident will always be there.

Do I Need Travel Insurance for Skiing?

Winter Sports Travel Insurance, Maybe is the first time you hear about it, or maybe you have seen it before but you didn´t know if it was worth to buy it?

Winter Sports Travel Insurance has many benefits (of course, this will vary depending on the Insurance policy) and below are some of the main ones you want to make sure are covered:

  1. For those who have Annual Travel Insurance, make sure the option of winter travel sports is included, as many Insurance companies will have them as an extra.
  2. Loss, theft or damage of the ski-equipment.
  3. In case of not being able to ski because of an injury, the cost of the ski passes, your school classes, and ski hire equipment would get reimbursed.
  4. Rescue from the mountain/repatriation.
  5. Off-Piste skiing/snowboarding, but be careful here, because some policies will only cover if you are accompanied by a fully qualified ski/snowboard instructor.

We do recommend comparing Insurance policies and buy the policy that suits your criteria and budget.

Please note that the cheapest Travel Insurance policy might not cover all your requirements.

Things to consider before you buy a winter sports ( Ski ) travel insurance policy:

  1. Is there any age restriction on the policy?
  2. If I have to cancel my ski-holiday, will I get my money back?
  3. What will happen if there is no snow in my Ski-Resort?
  4. Does my policy cover medical expenses, including rescue from the mountain or repatriation to Ireland? What happens if I injure another person on the slopes?
  5. Does this policy cover extras, such as lost/thief of ski equipment?
  6. Does my policy cover Off-Piste?
  7. Will I get the money of Ski-Pass/Lessons/Ski Hire if I get injured?

So now that you know everything, pack your warm clothes and enjoy the slopes!

Categories
Travel Insurance

How to Find the Best Travel Insurance – A Quick Guide

Do you have any trips planned for the coming months?

If not, it’s time to get planning.

If you’ve already started to plan your trip, have you thought about travel insurance yet?

Travel insurance in Ireland can be quite complex to understand and many people will struggle to assess the major differences between different insurance providers and plans.

With that in mind, here is a full breakdown of how to find the best travel Insurance? what does travel insurance cover? and the different types available? 

Let’s start with first.

How do I find the best travel insurance?

There are many different travel insurance providers on the Irish market.

This makes it quite confusing when trying to find the best travel insurance in Ireland.

Some of the most popular travel insurance providers in Ireland include AA, Ace, Allianz, Bank of Ireland and Aviva travel insurance.

Depending on which travel insurance provider you select, you can expect to pay approximately between 4% and 10% of your total pre-paid trip costs on a travel insurance plan.

As you can see, this represents only a fraction of the total cost of your vacation but may prove to save you potentially thousands of Euro should you need to make a claim.

As prices and plans can vary so much, it is a good idea to use an inclusive comparison tool such as the one offered by Ucompare.

By using Ucompare, you can easily find the best price available on cheap travel insurance across the various insurance providers in Ireland.

This allows you to clearly compare the different policies and prices in order for you to make the most informed decision possible.

Compare travel insurance in Ireland today at Ucompare.ie and see how much money and time you can save.

Let’s Look at the other Important things before you buy your best travel Insurance.

Understanding Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is an absolute essential when going on vacation.

It is cover that will protect you should you run into any difficulties while abroad.

Insurance is like saving for a rainy day.

find best travel insurance

Although it is not guaranteed that you will fall into difficulties while travelling, your travel insurance will be there to help you if you do.

If you have no protection, you will be forced to fork out large amounts of unforeseen costs that you may not have budgeted for.

This can lead to a lot of stress, especially if you cannot afford the cost of emergency assistance.

Moral of the story: it is always better to be safe than sorry.

So be sure to organise travel insurance in Ireland in advance when planning for your upcoming trips.

 

What does travel insurance cover?

The main areas covered by a typical travel insurance policy are medical cover, trip cancellation, delayed flights, baggage loss, and even various accidents that could occur.

How to Find the Best Travel Insurance

 

As a standard guide, the following should always be included in a good travel insurance policy:

* Cancellation of flights or trip;

* Sudden illness leading to trip cancellation;

* Natural disaster or political conflict at your destination threatening safety;

* Emergency evacuation or repatriation;

* 24/7 emergency services assistance;

* Financial protection if the company you are travelling or staying with goes bankrupt before or during your trip;

* Lost, damaged or stolen personal items such as jewellery, baggage, documents, certain electronics, etc.

It is important to look for a travel insurance policy that has large medical expenses cover.

Most good companies will offer protection up to the value of €100,000 for medical costs overseas.

Ensure to look out for this as a minimum when searching for the best travel insurance available in Ireland for your holiday overseas.

Healthcare is too important of an issue to mess around with. It is also important to understand that healthcare in other countries may not be as cheap as it is at home, so you must take this all into account when searching for the best cheap travel insurance policy.

There are often options to add on other various types of protection as extras.

For example, you will not be covered for accidents sustained due to participation in extreme sports such as skiing or snowboarding as a standard.

You will need to upgrade your travel insurance policy with an extreme sports add-on when inquiring about your travel insurance plan.

Is it safe to travel without travel insurance?

No, it is neither safe nor recommended to travel without travel insurance. The reasons for this are the following:

* You will have no protection whatsoever should your trip or flights be cancelled, other than certain support which may or may not is offered by your airline;

* If you need emergency medical aid you will need to pay the full bill upfront by yourself;

* If your most valued or important items have been stolen or lost, you will need to cover the costs of replacement alone.

Although you could take the risk of having no travel insurance policy, you must understand that you will have to fork out hefty fees to cover the cost of any incident that could potentially ruin your trip.

The costs involved in the replacement of personal goods or rebooking of flights could be extortionate.

What are the different types of travel insurance in Ireland?

The three key types of travel insurance in Ireland are

Single trip Travel Insurance

Multi-trip Travel Insurance

Backpackers travel insurance.

Single trip travel insurance offers protection for just one trip abroad. It can be designed specifically with this trip’s requirements in mind, so can offer flexibility in terms of add-ons.

However, it works out much cheaper to opt for a multi trip travel insurance policy if you travel more regularly than once or twice per year. An annual insurance policy will cover you for all trips made within the year and ends up saving you a lot of money if you are an avid traveller.

Lastly, backpacker travel insurance Ireland will cover you for trips abroad for periods of over 3 months and can extend up to a maximum of 2 years.

This type of travel insurance is specifically for people going to travel the world for a longer period of time.

However, if you are looking to move permanently to another country you will need to seek different insurance from a provider in the local area.

Hope this guide will help you to get the best travel insurance.

Travel safely with peace of mind this Summer with the help of Ucompare.

Categories
Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa

The Schengen Visa is a great way for non-EU citizens to discover the many diverse cultures and climates of Europe. It is generally the easiest way to secure a visa that allows you to travel throughout nearly all countries in Europe freely and without any hassle between borders.

If you’ve ever considered applying for such a Visa and feel that you require some extra information and advice about the process of getting your Schengen Visa, read on!

Background

The Schengen Area began in 1985 when some European countries decided to abolish their internal border controls with surrounding countries. It allows for free movement of people and goods between such countries. This paved the way for a better travel experience for both Europeans and non-Europeans.

By obtaining the Schengen Visa, you can obtain only one visa which will cover you for your travel or backpacking holiday across Europe. For non-EU natives, this provides an excellent opportunity as you no longer need to worry about obtaining multiple different visas for your European trip.

Thanks to the Schengen Visa, if one of the Schengen countries grants you entry to the Schengen Area, there will be no further formalities at its borders with order Schengen Area Member States. Therefore, you need to only apply once for this Visa which will allow you to easily travel to multiple countries across Europe.

For information on the different types of Schengen Visas available, click here.

 Countries in the Schengen Area

The Schengen Area countries cover nearly all of Europe. It covers you for travel in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Not all of the above counties participate in the EU, so do bear in mind that the Euro currency may not be applicable to all of the countries that you may visit. For example in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland you will need to use their national currencies instead. But, the Schengen Area offers the advantage that nearly all participating countries use the Euro which can save you a lot of hassle and money involved in exchanging your currency to the local currency in each different country.

Note: There are some parts of Europe not participating in the Schengen Area. These countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. This means that you will need to obtain visas for these countries separately if you wish to travel to one of them.

If you have obtained a separate Visa for the UK, you may be able to travel to and from Ireland with that visa if you meet certain requirement which you can examine here.

Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa Requirements

 Did you know that people from outside of the EU cannot travel to the Schengen area without having travel insurance?

For those from within the EU, this is not an obligatory requirement. But, if you come from anywhere else in the world outside of the EU, you must ensure that you have travel insurance for your trip to the Schengen Area in order to gain entry to the zone.

After spending quite a lot of money having arranged your Schengen Visa and flights to Europe, make sure you are not caught out at the external border control where you could be denied entry if you do not have travel insurance for your trip.

In order to meet the Schengen Visa Insurance Requirements, your travel insurance policy must have a minimum medical insurance cover of €30,000. The policy must also cover emergency medical evacuation and repatriation costs in the case of death. These requirements are important to note as if you opt for a substandard travel insurance policy, you will not be permitted to enter the Schengen Area.

Below is an extract from the Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009, which entered into effect on 5th of April 2010:

Applicants for a uniform visa for one or two entries shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay(s) on the territory of the Member States.

The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30,000”

Schengen Visa Travel Insurance Exclusions

 As with any travel insurance cover, there are some main exclusions from a common Schengen travel insurance policy. The main ones to bear in mind are pre-existing health conditions, high-risk sports (such as skiing or scuba diving), and travel to high-risk countries that may be experiencing war or natural disaster at the time.

If you want to take out travel insurance cover for the above, you may need to add on cover for these situations separately as they are generally not covered by Schengen Area travel insurance.

Finding the best Schengen Visa Insurance

If you are unsure about where to find the right Schengen travel insurance policy for you, look no further. With the Ucompare comparison tool, you can find the cheapest travel insurance for Schengen Visa trips in Europe. Ucompare offers only high-quality and cheap Schengen travel insurance policies which comply with the minimum requirements as stated above.

If you’ve always wished of traveling around Europe, why wait any longer? Let Ucompare assist you in finding the cheapest travel insurance for Schengen Visa requirements.

Start the process of getting your Schengen Visa and discovering all that Europe has to offer. And, don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance policy before you go!

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Gadget Insurance Topics

10 Quick Tips for Smartphone Care

Do you know how to care for your smartphone properly? We tend to spend quite a lot of money on our smartphones and they are our most critical possession. Yet, we often don’t know how to look after them properly to order to get the most value from them. With a little bit of smartphone care, you can ensure that your new iPhone or Android phone stays in great condition for as long as possible

Here are our top 10 tips for smartphone care:

  1. Keep your phone fully charged

smartphone care

You might think that overcharging your phone could be more harmful. But in reality, it is much better for your phone to be kept as close to 100% as possible at all times. When using your phone, you will notice that it works more sharply and smoothly when kept fully charged. In contrast, phones that drop below 50% battery may die unexpectedly due to a battery flaw.

Maximise your phone’s battery life by keeping it well charged.

  1. Avoid extreme temperatures

Your smartphone is designed to perform well in a wide range of temperatures. The optimal comfort zone is around 16°C to 22°C, but they often function well quite a bit below and above this range.

However, the risk of your phone overheating over 35°C is quite serious. Such temperatures can permanently damage your battery capacity. In contrast, your battery will die quickly in cold conditions, but once the phone returns to a normal temperature its performance will return to normal.

In general, a cooler storage temperature can help to promote a longer battery lifespan. If your phone is at risk of overheating, it is better to switch it off until you can cool the phone down indoors.

  1. Protect your smartphone with a strong case

smartphone care

Smartphones are delicate items. One drop on the floor could lead to the screen smashing severely…

Investing in a good quality phone cover is a must. We recommend the Otterbox phone cases which are very sturdy and strong. Although they can cost €25 to €45, they are sure to save you long-term from expensive screen repair costs.

Check out their stylish range of iPhone cases and Samsung cases here.

  1. Close unused apps

Smartphones aren’t like desktop computers. They have much less processing power, and therefore they often slow down when several apps are open at once.

If you notice this happening, it is beneficial to close all apps that are open in the background. To remove strain on your phone’s processor, try to only keep apps that you are currently using open.

Another idea would be to install a background task killer application, such as Smart Manager. These apps work like task manager on a desktop, and will shut down any background processes that freeze or are slowing down your phone.

  1. Keep the screen and audio outputs clean

If your screen is in need of a clean, use a soft dry wipe such as that of a glasses cleaner. Never use water to clean your phone, however, as water damage is quite serious and can cause internal damage.

iPhone tip: At the bottom of the iPhone, there’s a speaker on the left and a mic on the right. If you can’t hear anything from your phone or if the sound quality has deteriorated, try using a small amount of rubbing alcohol to clean out the audio holes. You could also try using an old toothbrush to scrape off any debris that may have gathered.

  1. Use memory management software

If your memory is constantly filling up, you may benefit from installing a memory management software application. These apps can be free or purchased cheaply from your app store, and can save you the hassle of deleting other apps or phone content.

These apps work by restoring any memory that has been lost by damage to the phone’s hard drive. They remove unnecessary data that means your iPhone or Android can run faster. They are a great way of freeing up some extra memory for more photos or music!

  1. Disable app notifications that you don’t need

Application notifications don’t just drain your battery severely. They can also become quite annoying and distract you from whatever you are trying to do.

It is a good idea to switch off all the non-urgent notifications. For example, you don’t really need to know straight away that someone else has liked your phone on Instagram or you’ve received another spam email…. Try turning all of these app notifications off and see how much time you can save for productivity!

  1. Password protection

smartphone care

Using a password to protect your smartphone is a security essential. Most of us remain signed into our social media applications, so having your passcode to keep all of your data safe is hugely important.

If your phone falls into the wrong hands, it will be much harder for the thief to hack into your sensitive information. With how common iPhone thefts can be nowadays, it would be silly to not use a password.

Be sure to avoid the usual passwords such as your date of birth or 1234… choose random numbers and don’t share them with anyone. With your iPhone, you can also extend your password length to 6 digits long which is another good safety feature to use.

  1. Anti-virus software

Detecting viruses and damaging malware has become almost automatic on personal computers, but it’s still a lot trickier on mobile devices. It can potentially be even more dangerous to have such viruses on your smartphone, considering how much personal data we store on them.

To be on the safe side, be sure to download an anti-virus application such as AVL or AVAST Mobile Security if you have an Android phone. Luckily, iPhone users are generally protected from the risk of a virus.

  1. Insurance

smartphone care

Last but not least, purchasing gadget insurance is possibly the most important step in caring for your smartphone. The cost of iPhone repair or Android repair can be extortionate

Categories
Gadget Insurance Topics

10 Must-Have iPhone Apps

Are you in need of some new iPhone apps to spice up your morning commute or to help with your daily efficiency levels? You may even be searching for something to help you achieve your fitness goals or to help you relax in the evening. Whatever you desire, there is an application out there to help you .

Especially if you recently purchased an iPhone, you may be unsure of the most useful new apps to download from the App Store. We are here to help!

Here are the must-have iPhone apps for 2018:

iPhone Apps

 

Best Free iPhone Apps

1. Headspace – Free

Headspace is a popular mindfulness app and definitely one of the best iPhone apps in general. It allows users to have 5 to 10 minute short meditation sessions at any time of the day. It is extremely effective for helping users to unwind after a stressful day and for promoting positive mental health. Sit back, relax and simply breathe while listening to a calm soothing voice guiding you through your meditation. This is a great choice for meditation beginners, making mindfulness approachable and enjoyable.

To add the popularity of Headspace, the creators have just announced a partnership with the Nike Run Club app which allows joggers to meditate while they train. Find out more here!

2. Calm – Free

Calm won the award for 2017 App of the Year from Apple, and was deemed to be the “Happiest app in the world”. It is similar to Headspace in that it is a mindfulness and meditation app, but it is different in that it offers longer sessions of sleep stories and breathing programs accompanied by relaxing music. Calm covers a range of emotions and topics including gratitude, deep sleep and breaking habits. If you haven’t used this app yet you simply have to download it today and see what positive changes it can help you achieve!

3. Snapguide – Free

Not to be confused with Snapchat, Snapguide is definitely the best free iPhone app of 2018. It provides short videos on everything from workouts to recipes. With Snapguide you can access a range of instructional videos on pretty much anything, helping you in particular with DIY and creative projects. It also offers a range of fantastic life hacks that we could all benefit from! Make life a little bit easier with some help from Snapguide.

4. Houseparty- Free

Houseparty is definitely one of the best free iOS apps. It allows you to have a video group chat with lots of friends simultaneously. This is a great easy to use way of keeping in touch with friends around the world and while on the go. Video chatting is definitely a better way of communicating with all your friends together than by texting. It is also easier to use than arranging a Skype group chat, and allows for easier access and everyone can join the call with their iPhone wherever they are.

5.Duolingo – Free

Duolingo is definitely one of the most amazing apps for education. It allows users to start learning a new language from scratch or resume learning a language previously studied. It is completely free to use and is as effective as many paid language learning tools available today. Many users have successfully mastered more than 1 language after using this app for an extended amount of time, and you can too in a fun and easy to manage way. Duolingo is one of the most fun and useful apps for iPhone.

Best Paid iPhone Apps

1. Get Running – €3.49

Especially now that the weather is finally starting to pick up, there is no better time to start preparing for your first 5k run! With Get Running, you receive human-like coaching that records your progress while providing encouragement along the way. It encourages you to start off at training just 3 short sessions per week, but will have you running a 5k race with ease within weeks. Get Running is certain to be one of the best apps for iPhone 2018.

2. Sleep Cycle Power Nap – €2.29

Sleep Cycle is essentially the ultimate alarm clock. Instead of selecting a time to be woken up at, you select a time frame (Say, between 7:00am and 8:00am). You then place the phone on your bed and go to sleep. The app measures your sleep cycle, analyzing how well you rested and when you hit R.E.M. sleep. It will then sound the alarm when you’re ready to be woken up naturally.

Their new Power Nap version of the app is a fantastic addition designed specifically for all of your napping needs! Recent research has also shown that a 20-minute nap is more efficient in re-energising you than a cup of coffee… So catch those z’s!

3. Pocket Yoga – €3.49

With Pocket Yoga, select between 27 different yoga sessions all varying in difficulty and duration. There is also a pose dictionary with detailed explanations for each posture. There is also a features “Pose of the Day” to expand your yoga repertoire each day. Pocket Yoga is definitely one of the best iOS apps allowing people of all levels to develop a passion for yoga and experience all of the many benefits. Bring your own personal yoga instructor with you everywhere you go with Pocket Yoga.

4. Jamie’s Ultimate Recipes – €7.99

Potentially one of the most popular apps ever for recipes! In Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Recipes guide, he’s packed in over 600 of his all-time greatest recipes with easy to follow instructions through vibrant photographs at every stage. There is a recipe for every occasion and also special bakes for festive occasions too. €7.99 is well worth the investment for this beautiful recipe collection guide.

5. Forest – Stay focused – €2.29

This new app is storming up the App Store charts due to its booming popularity. It is essentially a productivity app that plants virtual trees while you work, helping you to keep focused while working on an assignment or studying. If you fail to resist the temptation of using your phone and leave the app, the tree with wither. It is a great app for students to motivate them to stay focused away from their phone. It also adds an element of mindfulness to the process by encouraging users to be present and stay motivated for their goals. It could be on track to be one of the best iPhone apps ever.

 

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Travel Insurance

Single trip vs. Annual travel insurance: Which is best?

Are you looking for the best value travel insurance on the market but are confused by all of the different types and what they mean?

A major part of the decision process when choosing travel insurance is selecting either a single trip or an annual travel insurance policy. It is important to make the right decision between these two main options based on your own situation and travel requirements. If you make the right choice, you stand to make quite a large saving and instead can use the extra money saved for enjoying your trips abroad instead!

When deciding which type to go for, a good idea would be to firstly check out what your travel insurance policy will cover you for, whether it be single trip or annual cover. Click here for more information on what to look out for when selecting your travel policy.

Let’s take a closer look at each travel insurance type, the benefits and some drawbacks of each:

Single Trip Travel Insurance

 

Best Value Travel Insurance

Benefits

A single trip travel policy is much cheaper than an annual policy. There is also often a higher maximum age limit than with other policies.

Single trip insurance offers you the huge advantage of specific cover tailored to your travel needs for a specific trip. For example, you could plan it specifically for a ski trip and ensure you are fully covered for anything that could happen on the slopes.

In order to select a once-off travel insurance policy, you must provide details of your country of destination, your exact arrival and departure dates.

If you usually only go abroad for one short holiday per year, than single trip insurance is definitely best for you.

Drawbacks

A single trip policy only covers you for one particular trip and nothing more beyond that.

If your plans change along the way, you may be somewhat restrained if you need to then alter your policy cover. In this regard, multi-trip cover is more advantageous as it can cover all of Europe or you can even opt for worldwide cover.

If you travel more than twice per year, you could make big savings by opting instead for an annual insurance policy.

Annual Multi Trip Travel Insurance

 

Best Value Travel Insurance

Benefits

Also known as annual or yearly travel insurance, this type of travel insurance policy will cover you for many different trips abroad over a 12-month period. Opting for this type of cover can save you a lot of time and hassle as opposed to searching for single trip cover each time.

Another advantage to this policy type are that it can work out much cheaper per trip if you travel more than two or three times per year. You can choose broad geographical coverage for all of your trips in one policy (select Europe only, worldwide with USA, or worldwide without USA). You will usually have up to 31 days per trip covered.

If you are looking to travel the world this year and may be abroad for more than one full month at a time, there is a different policy type, backpacker cover (discussed below) which can cover beyond the 31-day general maximum period.

Year-long travel insurance also allows you to plan trips at short notice, allowing you to take full advantage of special deals on flights last minute! Policies can also be quite flexible, in that you may choose to upgrade your policy to a larger geographical coverage or to include extreme sport cover, for example.

Overall, annual travel cover is definitely a great cost-saving tool for the frequent traveller offering an array of flexible options throughout your various journeys.

Drawbacks

As a multi-trip policy provides more general cover for all trips in one policy package, you may miss out on cover more specific to your trip requirements, such as a Winter sports add-on to your annual policy. However, you can often add this on later as an upgrade.

Another disadvantage could be that if you don’t end up travelling as much as you intended to in the year, you may actually lose money by having only traveled once or twice in comparison to purchasing single trip cover instead each time you venture abroad.

You may need to examine your financial position in order plan ahead to see how many trips you will be able to afford this year to help you in this decision process. The more you plan ahead, the more likely it is that you can make savings.

Take a moment to compare the premium prices between single and multi-trip policies. Premiums can be slightly higher for annual cover with certain providers, and conditions may also apply to the number of trips that can be taken within the same year.

Backpacker Travel Insurance

 

Best Value Travel Insurance

Benefits

If annual cover sounds like the better option for you but you are planning to travel for a longer period of time, backpacker insurance is the solution! Backpacker insurance covers you for periods of up to 24-months and can offer you huge flexibility in terms of geographical cover.

Also known as extended stay travel insurance, this type is absolutely essential if you are leaving Ireland for more than 3 months to travel abroad. It offers you all the same advantages of a multi trip policy, except offers you cover for much longer periods of time. It is an essential for any extreme travel bug or adventure seeker.

Drawbacks

This one is quite straightforward: If your trip will last less than one month, than you do not require extended backpacker cover.

Using the Ucompare.ie comparison tool, you may search for all three types of insurance policies and find the one that caters most to your needs with ease.

Which is best for me?

As you can see, the decision here about which policy type is better for you really depends on your own travel plans, the duration of your trips and the regularity of your trips.

  • If you are a keen regular traveller, annual cover is a must.
  • If you are unsure and will be unlikely to travel much this year, then it might be safer to stick to a single-trip policy catered to your specific trip needs.
  • If you will be travelling for more than one month at a time, backpacker travel insurance has you covered.

If you are still unsure about which policy would be best for you, try using the Ucompare insurance policy search tool which can help you to quickly find the best travel insurance in Ireland.

Get Quotes here

Categories
Travel Insurance

What Should A Travel Insurance Policy Include?

When purchasing travel insurance policy for the first time, it can be tricky to know what should be included to make it a good policy. This article will guide you through what to look out for as a base. If you are looking to upgrade your current travel insurance policy, knowing what should be included already can also help you figure out if you are getting good value on your insurance or if you may need to switch insurance provider or policy.

Here are the key aspects which should be included in your travel insurance policy: 

1. Trip Cancellations

Trip cancellation cover is hugely important for travelers as a cancelled holiday can result in a huge loss of money. It is not only flight cancellation insurance or missed flight insurance that should be included; Cruise fares, hotel rooms, boat rentals and tour packages should also be covered. 

Oftentimes, travelers must pay for these expenses long in advance and the fees are non-refundable. Airline travel insurance is often inadequate and most airlines will try to find a reason to not reimburse you for your expenses. Without travel insurance, you are at risk of losing all of the money which you have already invested into your trip even if it cannot go ahead. 

This is where trip cancellation insurance can help. With this included in your travel insurance policy, you can be reimbursed for all of your prepaid and non-refundable expenses if the trip cannot proceed. 

Each insurance company provides a list of acceptable cancellation reasons which will be accepted if you make a claim. Here are the main covered reasons which should be included in your travel insurance: 

  • Sickness, injury or death of yourself, a family member or a travelling partner (the most claimed reason); 
  • Extreme weather conditions at your destination forcing flight cancellations; 
  • Unexpected redundancy from work or obligation to work; 
  • Obligation to carry out jury duty in court; 
  • Bankruptcy of your travel provider; 
  • Terrorist incident at your travel destination. 

Of course, your insurance provider may cover far more than the situations above. As you can see, there is a plethora of different reasons for a trip having to be cancelled and, as such, it is extremely useful to have trip cancellation coverage. 

Trip interruption insurance is similar to trip cancellation insurance, but instead will cover you for the same issues as the list above but while on your trip. Sometimes unfortunate situations can occur when abroad and can be very stressful. If something happens that requires you to interrupt your trip and return home early, your insurer can reimburse you for the lost expenses from the remainder of your trip as well as any additional expenses required such as a last-minute flight booking. 

It is absolutely essential that trip cancellation and interruption cover are included in your travel insurance policy. 

 2. Lost/Delayed Arrival of Baggage and Delayed Flights 

 Delays occur quite commonly while travelling, whether it is a flight that is delayed or the arrival of your bags at your destination. These delays are unexpected and usually not too inconvenient, however if you are taking another mode of transport or a connecting flight at your destination you could be in trouble. 

By ensuring that you are covered for flight and baggage delays in your travel insurance, you can be reimbursed for any lost expenses or extra costs which are incurred as a result of these delays. 

If you need to make a flight delay insurance claim, your insurer will provide you with reimbursements for additional expenses such as an extra night in a hotel or your meals until your delayed flight can proceed. Flight insurance is very important and should definitely be included in your travel insurance cover, as the value of your flights can often be a large part of your overall trip expenses. 

Luggage insurance is another essential to have. In the unfortunate event that your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged, you can be reimbursed up to the total value of your personal belongings affected, while baggage delay coverage will provide you with enough money to buy all your essential items needed until your bags arrive. 

 3. Medical Expenses

Medical expense coverage is an absolute essential for your travel insurance. Depending on your country of destination, travel expenses incurred while travelling can be far higher than at home and can cause quite a lot of stress if you run up a large medical bill. Travel accident insurance protects you for such a situation and will insure reimbursement for medical expenses during your trip. 

Having overseas travel medical insurance becomes vital if you become ill while abroad or require any emergency treatment or care. Such circumstances are generally unforeseen and so having foreign travel health insurance is a must.  

The key point to be aware of here is that you must inform your insurance provider about any pre-existing medical conditions that you have in order for a medical claim to be approved. It is not worth taking any risk; be fully honest with your insurer regarding any health conditions and avoid being caught later if they do not accept your claim. 

 4. Emergency Evacuations

Emergency evacuation expenses can be extortionate. Having cover for this would be particularly crucial if you have a severe accident while abroad and require an airlift or medical assistance on your flight home. 

While this is not the most common of events to occur, it is good to have peace of mind by ensuring you would be covered in such circumstances just in case. 

 5. 24/7 Phone Assistance Services 

Most travel insurance providers offer 24/7 contact services which you can use if you have any emergency while abroad and need to ask for assistance. This service can be extremely useful if you are unsure of what to do in case of an emergency.  

If you have just lost your passport mid-trip or your bag has been stolen, having this number to call immediately will allow you to access the information you require regarding what you will be covered for and what to do next. It is very helpful having this guidance available if needed while abroad. 

Other reasons why you might need to contact your insurer 24/7 might be to locate the nearest hospital, arrange transportation home, access emergency interpretation assistance or get help regarding lost or stolen baggage. 

Travel Insurance Extras 

Some other useful extras for your travel insurance policy include life insurance, extreme sport insurance, or rental car cover. While these are not viewed so much as essentials to be included in your policy, they can be a good idea depending on your plans for your trip and what activities you may participate in while abroad. If you are going skiing, for example, having Winter sports cover would be a must for you. 

Make sure to have sufficient travel insurance that includes everything that you may need while abroad as well as all of the essentials discussed above.  

If you need help in finding the right travel insurance policy for your next trip, let Ucompare.ie help you in your search. We make sure that you get the best insurance cover at the best price on the market using a fast and easy-to-use tool. 

Get Quotes here