Category: Topics

Ucompare Blog covers – Latest news, handy tips and updates on topics like travel, gadget and life insurance. Keep yourself updated!

Family Vacation Tips for Travelling with Children

Family Vacation Tips for Travelling with Children

Are you a new parent or planning to travel with kids abroad for the first time? Travelling with the whole family can be an exciting time but requires some planning and organisation. To help, we have gathered some top tips for holidays with toddlers so you can be guaranteed a smooth-sailing trip to remember!

Travel with kids

Are they old enough to travel?

The first decision to be made is whether or not your child or children are old enough to travel abroad. In general, it is recommended to stay closer to home for the first 8 months of a baby’s life. Between regular feedings and nappy changes, travelling with an infant can be a challenge. However, most airlines will allow babies as young as either one or two weeks old to travel on board.

If your baby was born prematurely you must wait until their initial due-date has passed, and if the baby was conceived by caesarean section you need to wait until after your check-up appointments before getting the green light.

If you are in any way unsure, it is a good idea to consult your travel plans with your GP and airline just in case.

What to bring

If this will be your first vacation with infants, you may worry about having enough supplies in your suitcase. If you are tight on space or weight, it could be a good idea to buy certain supplies at the other end in a local supermarket or pharmacy. Either way, the main thing to do is prepare and plan in advance.

travel with kids

Some essentials to bring are:

  • A passport travel pack with everyone’s passports and boarding passes
  • High factored waterproof sun cream
  • A first aid kit
  • Adapters to suit your location
  • Enough medication (if required) to last the entire trip plus a few extra days, and any prescriptions for such
  • Their favourite toys and teddies
  • Enough games, movies and music to keep them entertained on both journeys and during the days

A good investment to make would be a small portable DVD player, or one which can store movies or TV shows downloaded in advance, which can provide hours of entertainment.

Where to go

For a family vacation with toddlers, staying in Europe can often be the easiest plan. But don’t worry – Europe offers a huge array of destinations and cultures to be explored not far from our doorstep.

travel with kids

Some of our top pick destinations for the best places to holiday with kids are:

  • Spain (Alicante, Costa del Sol, Malaga)
  • Portugal (Albufeira)
  • Italy (Lake Garda, Lake Como)
  • France (Île de Ré, Bordeaux)
  • Greece (Santorini, Corfu)

Where to stay

Once you have chosen your ideal destination, it is a good idea to find some children-friendly hotels or apartments in the area. Lots of hotels or aparthotels host kids clubs during the day and offer fun night time entertainment for the whole family. They may also offer babysitting services at an affordable price. These types of hotels are great for kids’ holidays.

Travel with kids

Kids clubs mean that your child can make friends and give you and your partner some quiet time to enjoy during the day. It offers the best of both worlds to ensure that everyone has a good time.

Click here to see Europe’s best rated kids clubs in some of the most family friendly destinations.

What to do

 And now for the fun part! We all know how important it is to spend some quality time with the kids during the holidays. It can be a good idea to research your destination in advance to see what activities are on offer and to see if you can save money by buying tickets for events or parks online.

travel with kids

Our top picks for family holiday activities are:

  1. Water parks
  2. Boat rentals
  3. Horse-riding
  4. Canoeing
  5. Cycling

By planning these activities ahead in advance, you stand to save a good amount of money by taking advantage of special offers and advanced booking discounts.

Camping holidays

Another type of popular holiday would be a family camping one. Family campsites come fully equipped with plenty of entertainment and facilities for every age, and often provide a safe and secure environment.

Travel with kids

France is a popular European destination for a family camping trip, and offers some of the best holidays for toddlers. If you have ever dreamed of warm Summer nights camping in a park or near the beach, this is a must!

Take a look at L’Atlantique, Bonne Anse Plage and Les Méditerranées for some top quality French campsites especially designed to cater for children of all ages and facilities to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

And last but not least… Make sure to travel with peace of mind

Travelling with the whole family can at times become a stressful ordeal. Make it that bit easier and stress-free by ensuring you have travel insurance for your family before you jet off on your holiday.

Ucompare.ie can take the time and effort out of finding the best deal for your family’s travel insurance by helping you get the perfect insurance policy at the best price. Having travel insurance will allow you to relax in full peace of mind throughout all stages of your journey knowing you will be covered if anything goes wrong.

You might be surprised by how often problems can occur while travelling. Everything from mobile phone and safe robberies to accommodation cancellations can be quite common and these are not pleasant experiences.

Invest in your safety and security by spending a small percentage of your total trip costs on travel insurance and enjoy your family holiday to the max!

Get Quotes here

Does Automatic Insurance Renewal Help Insurers or Consumers?

Does Automatic Insurance Renewal Help Insurers or Consumers?

If you have taken out travel insurance, automatic insurance renewal may seem like the best idea when it comes to the end of your policy. However it is important to be aware of both the pros and cons of auto-renewal, as consumers may lose out on potential savings. Here we have gathered all you need to know about automatic renewal so that you can make an informed decision. 

 The insurance renewal process is simply the easiest way for your insurance company to keep you as their customer. It also benefits insurers as they incur fewer costs than in acquiring new customers. If you are happy with the cover provided to date, or if you have not yet had any incident that required you to use your cover, you may also be just as happy for the policy to roll over. However, it can be a good idea to avoid renewing automatically and later being stung by the insurance company who refuse to help when you attempt to make a claim. 

 Although auto-renewal benefits you as the consumer by saving you some time and effort searching through the marketplace to find the best insurance policy, you will gain more benefits from having a look around each year. 

 There are quite a few key advantages to the alternative of shopping around: 

 Cheaper cover 

 While shopping around last time, you may have opted for the cheapest policy available to you. This might lead you to believing that if this was the cheapest insurance provider last year that they most likely still are. Unfortunately, this is not a given. 

 Insurance companies change their pricing structures regularly, and this adds to the general confusion around trying to find the best available insurance policy at the best price. 

 By looking around the insurance marketplace with the help of Ucompare.ie when it comes to insurance renewal time, you are sure to make the most informed decision about whether to renew your policy or not. Take a look here at how to choose the right travel insurance policy.  

 Make sure to read exactly what potential alternative policies would cover you for, as you might find that a cheaper price may be due to inferior cover. It is crucial to examine your needs on a year-to-year basis and choose the best price with sufficient cover for you accordingly. Please read our complete guide on cheap travel insurance.

 A more relevant policy 

 If you experienced a road accident during the year and discovered that your car insurance didn’t cover you for what you tried to claim for, now is your opportunity to switch to a policy with greater coverage. 

 Whether you have a new car or will be travelling on the road more this year, as soon as your situation changes your needs change too. This is why you need to reevaluate whether or not your old policy will still be relevant for you over the next 12 months. 

 As your policy comes to an end each year, it is a good idea to take this time to do a quick reassessment of your needs and ensure that your insurance policy still meets your expectations before your insurance renewal date. 

 New customer benefits 

 If you do think that you may need to change your cover, one of the best ways to make extra savings in this situation is to take full advantage of new customer discounts and benefits. These benefits are not available when you automatically renew your insurance. 

Automatic Insurance Renewal

 As the car insurance market is so highly competitive, insurers often offer new customer discounts to attract new clients. You are fully entitled to move your insurance provider and make the most of these deals. 

 Insurance Renewal protection 

 If you do decide that you are happy to renew your current policy for another year, it is important to be aware of your consumer rights. Insurers are bound by insurance renewal regulations which are in place to protect you as the consumer. 

 Firstly, you will receive a letter outlining the end date of your policy and the price for the next 12 months if you want to renew. You are entitled to be given all details of any changes being made to your policy, prior to car policy renewal to allow for reflection time.  

 If you change your mind, you are entitled to an insurance auto-renewal cooling off period of 14 days. 

 You have the right to shop around for quotes with other insurance companies and the right to decide not to renew. However, it is your responsibility as the consumer to inform the insurance company about your decision. 

 In conclusion 

 As you can see, auto-renewal helps the insurer more than the consumer in many cases. 

 When you receive a policy renewal letter from your insurer, you may find the information difficult to understand. As policies and prices are forever changing, you may be told that certain elements of your previous contract will now be changed. It can be tricky to know exactly where you stand and what your options are. 

 The most important thing to do is to not ignore this change of policy. Spend a little time reading through the changes and comparing these to alternative options from other insurance providers. Take into consideration any changes you might need to make at this time. 

 If you do decide to switch, don’t forget to inform your old insurer first. As most insurance policies are renewed automatically, you could face large cancellation fees if you try to cancel after the cut-off point. If you don’t contact the company, they will assume you are happy to renew.  

 Some consumers may opt for renewing their current policy simply as they find insurance policies complex or the idea of cancelling their current policy daunting.Using a comparison tool like Ucompare.ie can help you greatly with the task of comparing policies. You are in control of your decision and have full authority to switch at the end of your policy. 

 Ucompare.ie can help you with the task of shopping around to help you get the best value on your insurance renewal or switch. Make the most of the platform to compare your current insurer against competitors and see what savings can be made today! 

How To Choose the Best Ski Insurance for your Winter Holiday

How To Choose the Best Ski Insurance for your Winter Holiday

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 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.

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

 

Step 1: Choose the right location

Best Ski Insurance
Lack Of Snow At A Resort By Max Whittaker, Getty Images

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.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.

Check out some of our favorite & best skiing destinations in Europe for some inspiration:

Tignes, France

Best Ski Insurance
Barrage de Tignes by Semonz , Wikimedia

Val Thorens, France

Best Ski Insurance
Val Thorens, France By Marc Lagneau, Flickr

Vallnord, Andorra

Best Ski Insurance
Vallnord, Andorra

Kitzbühel, Austria

Best Ski Insurance
Kitzbühel, Austria

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Best Ski Insurance
Olympiaschanze, St. Moritz, Switzerland

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.

Best Ski Insurance
Choose The Best Ski Insurance For You & Your Family

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

Best Ski Insurance
Don’t Forget To Check What’s Covered In The Policy

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 best ski 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
Plan Your Budget

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!

Best Ski Insurance
Enjoy!! Happy Holidays

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

Get Quotes here

Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Best Christmas Markets In Europe

Did you know that the cheapest time of the year to fly is during the first two weeks of December? If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting one of the best Christmas markets Europe has to offer, it’s time to stop dreaming and make it a reality!

In between two hectic periods for travelling, Thanksgiving and Christmas, early December is the ideal time for a cheap and festive getaway. As this is a quiet period for traveling in general, you can profit from excellent accommodation prices and less crowded tourist attractions too. 

Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving are out of the way, it is time to really get into the Christmas spirit. This comes with a whole array of joyful activities: putting up the Christmas tree, watching the Toy Show, and getting stuck into some mince pies. But what if this year you were to do something extra special in the run up to the holiday season? Make this your best holiday season ever with a trip to one of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

In Ireland, we are blessed to live so close to all of the world’s best Christmas markets. This means we can benefit from cheap Christmas destinations which also happen to offer the best festivities to be enjoyed. 

Here are our favourite Christmas markets to visit: 

  1.  Strasbourg, France 
Best Christmas Markets Europe
Strasbourg, France. Image Courtesy: Unknown

Strasbourg was the winner of the Best Christmas Market,Europe award in 2014 and 2015 consecutively, and it is still sure to live up to all expectations. As the oldest Christmas market in Europe, dating all the way back to 1570, Strasbourg has maintained its reputation as the capital of Christmas. This spectacular event is named Christkindelsmärik, and sees 300 stalls spread out over 12 different locations all around the city of Strasbourg. As part of the celebrations, a huge number of concerts and a live Nativity scene will also bring the city of Strasbourg to life. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy at the infamous Strasbourg markets. 

When To Go: Open from 24th November 2017 until December 30th 2017.

   2. Brussels, Belgium 

Best Christmas Markets Europe
Winter Wonders, Brussels, Belgium. Image Courtesy: Unknown

Each year, Brussels hosts a 5-week long event called Winter Wonders, which sees the capital of Belgium come to life for the festive period. Aside from the traditional markets, you can also enjoy the ice rink, fun fair, and a huge range of live events. Be sure to check out the incredible sound and light show which takes place at the Grand-Place each evening from 5-10pm, every hour during the week and every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays.

When To Go: Open from 25th November 2017 until December 31st 2017.

3. Vienna, Austria

Best Christmas Markets Europe
Vienna,  Austria. Image Courtesy: Unknown

Vienna offers a unique Christmas holiday experience as there are several different markets and Christmas villages all over the city to be enjoyed. As part of the traditional Krippenmarkt, the city transforms famous areas such as City Hall Square, Belvedere Palace and Maria-Theresien Platz into the true Austrian Christmas experience. Vienna also hosts a New Year’s market which extends until January 1st 2018. 

When To Go: Open 17th November 2017 until December 26th 2017.

    4. Cologne, Germany 

Best Christmas Markets Europe
Cologne, Germany. Image Courtesy: Imgur

Cologne’s Christmas markets are Germany’s most famous and attract millions of visitors each year. The largest market is held in downtown Cologne, but events and attractions are spread out all over the city. There are many markets to be visited; the Cathedral market, the Old Town market, Angel’s Market in the City at Neumarkt, and a Gay and Lesbian Christmas market. For more unusual handcrafted items, the market at Stadtgarten is a must-see.

When To Go: Open from 27th November until December 23rd 2017.  

     5. Prague, Czech Republic 

Best Christmas Markets Europe
Prague, Czech Republic. Image Courtesy: Unknown

The Prague Christmas markets offer a more intimate experience in comparison to some bigger markets across Europe. The two most popular markets are those at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, which are conveniently only a 5 minute walk away from each other. Prague offers a unique medieval atmosphere and traditional Czech food to be enjoyed, such as Trdelnik, a famous hot sugar-coated pastry. 

When To Go: Open from 2nd Dec 2017 until January 6th 2018.

    6. Zagreb, Croatia 

Best Christmas Markets Europe
Zagreb, Croatia: Christmas Market. Image Courtesy: Unknown

Although Croatia may not be what first comes to mind when we usually think of Christmas markets, but Zagreb has been awarded the European Best Christmas Market for the last two years running. The event named Advent is definitely not one to miss. The city will transform its main squares into a festive and cultural experience for the whole family. As Croatia doesn’t have decades of experience like markets in France or Germany, Advent in Zagreb offers a less commercialized and more authentic experience of Christmas the Croatian way. Be sure to enjoy the famous Croatian Christmas cookies!   

When To Go: Open from 2nd December until January 7th 2018.

7. Manchester, United Kingdom

Best Christmas Markets Europe
Manchester, UK, Christmas Market. Image Courtesy: Unknown

Manchester’s Christmas markets have been growing in size each year since 1999. This year, over 300 stalls will welcome people from all over the world to visit the UK’s biggest and original Christmas market. Located in the centre of Manchester City you’ll be sure to find great accommodation located within walking distance of the markets, making this an ideal Winter weekend trip destination.

When To Go: Open from 10th November 2017 until December 20th 2017.

So… Need any more convincing?

Explore the Best Christmas Markets Europe has to offer this Christmas season 2017!

 Remember, if you are looking to travel in full security and with peace of mind this winter,visit Ucompare.ie to get cheapest travel insurance quotes.  

Get Quotes here

Do I Need Winter Sports Travel Insurance?

Do I Need Winter Sports Travel Insurance?

The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder… That must surely mean that ski season is right around the corner! For all you avid skiers and snowboarders out there, Winter is an extremely expensive season for you – both with a plethora of Christmas presents to buy and your ski trip to plan. However, did you know that Winter sports travel insurance can actually be quite low-cost? By taking out an insurance policy for only a tiny percentage of your trip costs, you can save yourself a huge amount of money if you did have an unfortunate accident while skiing or snowboarding or accidentally damage or lose your equipment. 

Why do I Need Winter Sports Travel Insurance?

 Snow sports can be quite dangerous especially when it comes to even more experienced skiers and snowboarders who may venture off-piste or go for the black slopes The more risks you take, the more you are put at risk – and this can pose quite a high liability.  

 If you do have an accident while participating in snow sports, you may find yourself needing a few days or even weeks in a foreign hospital which in itself can be quite stressful, especially if you do not speak the language of the local region. You can quickly run up a huge bill for such services which may be at a much higher cost than what we are used to in Ireland.  If you have no insurance to cover you, there is no other option – you simply must pay. By having winter sports travel insurance , you are guaranteed to make big savings in terms of both cost and stress incurred. Winter sports travel insurance is an optional add-on that can be added to either a single trip or multi trip insurance policy.   

What Does Winter Sports Travel Insurance Cover?

The majority of ski insurance policies will cover all costs you are likely to incur if you injured yourself or others in an accident, are affected by robbery of equipment or piste closures 

If your ski resort is hit by an avalanche, as unfortunate as this would be, many Winter sports policies also cover lost costs in this situation. And if there is an avalanche expected to hit nearby, do not take the risk of venturing out onto the slopes as this would be extremely dangerous. 

If you cannot ski due to a lack of snow on the slopes, this will often also be covered so you can instead enjoy other activities offered near your ski resort without losing out on costs you may have already incurred such as ski equipment rentals which you cannot use. 

Winter Sports Travel Insurance

All emergency medical expenses incurred by an accident on the slopes are covered, but do not forget that you must inform your insurance company in advance if you have any medical condition. Failure to fully inform the company about your health status may lead to your policy being determined as void – so be 100% honest when taking out your insurance. 

Another important factor to consider before you go on your Winter trip is that you must follow local rules wherever you are skiing or snowboarding. Failure to do so can result in your insurance company withdrawing your cover if you do have an accident and have not respected local laws. For example, you must always wear the necessary protection such as a helmet and you will not be covered if you ski under the influence of alcohol. 

 Do’s and Dont’s

  • We all know how much fun you will have at après-ski… But do what is safest and take the ski lift back home afterwards if you are drinking! Always follow the local dos and don’ts for your pistes and follow any further advice given by your ski instructor. They know these slopes better than you and I, and so their knowledge cannot be taken for granted. 
  • Going skiing in Europe? Don’t forget your EHIC card! Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to state-provided healthcare within the EU’s 28 states and Iceland. If you do not yet have one, sign up here for free. But beware! The EHIC card will not cover many costs such as transportation, emergency mountain recovery, or many medical procedures or treatments that you may require if you are involved in a serious accident. For this reason, it is essential that you take out Winter sports cover. 

If you are going skiing or snowboarding for the first time, this will be an exciting trip! With this excitement may come some nerves or hesitation as you wonder what the experience will be like. Ensure that you enjoy your holiday to the very fullest by taking out sufficient Winter sports cover. Having a ski or snowboarding add-on to your travel insurance will allow you to enjoy your chosen activity with as little worries as possible. 

For those of you who travel several times per year and who already have an annual travel policy or are considering taking out one, opting for an annual travel insurance policy including Winter sports may be the best option. This means that you will have all the essential cover you need for sun holidays, city breaks and your ski trip. 

So whether you are going skiing or snowboarding with friends or family (for your first or fiftieth time!) make sure to get your Winter holiday insurance in advance to enjoy the slopes with complete peace of mind.

Get the best travel insurance quotes by visiting Ucompare.ie to ensure you have the best cover at the best price for your upcoming Winter sports holiday! 

Get Quotes here

Does travel insurance cover hurricanes?

Does travel insurance cover hurricanes?

As Hurricane Ophelia passes over Ireland the first question that might be coming to every traveller’s mind is does my travel insurance cover hurricanes? You may be worried about how severe weather conditions may affect you should you or your belongings get damaged while abroad or should your travel plans become disrupted.

Ophelia left 400,000 people without power and 3 people dead. The worst of the damage was seen in the South and West Coast of the country where the worst storm in Ireland in over 50 years hit hardest. Schools closed for 2 days and public transport services were cancelled. A huge number of flights in and out of Ireland were cancelled due to Ophelia, with mainly Aer Lingus, British Airways and Ryanair flights affected.

Luckily, it is not common for us to experience such extreme weather conditions in Ireland. However when travelling to areas regularly affected by hurricanes, floods or tornados, it is vital that you plan ahead to ensure you are not left stranded if your flights have been cancelled and your trip has been disrupted.

If you are already the victim of cancelled flights due to the storm, you should be provided with accommodation and meals by your airline until they can get you on the next flight provided you have travel disruption cover. However, what if you arrive safely at your destination but a hurricane will hit and be hugely disruptive to your further travel plans? This is where travel insurance can help you.

Travel insurance cover hurricanes season & becomes extremely important. Holiday destinations like Florida are particularly notorious for their extreme weather conditions. Hurricane season occurs between June and November, the period when Irish holidaymakers are most likely to take a sun holiday to places like Florida which are at risk. This means that your trip may be in total jeopardy if you do not have sufficient travel insurance to cover cancellations due to severe weather conditions.

Key tips for travelling during hurricane season:

  • Research well in advance: See if your location is at risk and if so, how high are these risks;
  • Know how to react: Don’t panic. Instead, focus on establishing whether it is safe to proceed with your trip. Your airline and insurance provider are the most important points of contact. If you are already caught up in the hurricane, focus on contacting local emergency services;
  • Contact your travel provider: Contact your airline and see if your flight will be rescheduled or if they have any advice for travellers;
  • Keep your travel insurance policy details safe and accessible: Always carry your insurance details with you when travelling abroad. For extra safety, scan and store a copy of these details online on your cloud or email them to yourself so you can access them from anywhere in the world. Your insurance provider will also normally offer an emergency contact line which you can ring for advice, and is normally located on your policy document.

What you need to know?

Be aware that you must have taken out your travel insurance policy with additional covers before a hurricane or storm has been predicted in order to be covered. Therefore it is important to keep an eye on predicted weather conditions at your destination and to plan ahead of time. If you are travelling in Summer or Autumn, don’t risk it without being covered. As soon as you book your next holiday, please make sure you have relevant travel insurance cover straight booked at the same time.

Storms and mass flooding can occur almost anywhere in Europe. For this reason we recommend everyone to take out travel insurance even if you are staying in Europe. As we have seen over the past few days alone in Ireland, thousands have had their flights cancelled in and out of Dublin airport. Although Europe is less prone to weather extremities, they do occur from time-to-time so it’s not worth taking the risk of having no cover.

However, it is even more important to ensure you will be fully covered if your destination is the East Coast of America or the Atlantic region in general. Some of the worst hit areas in recent years include Florida, Texas, Mexico, and the Caribbean, which are all popular destinations for travellers. Moreover, even if the area hit is not your final destination, your lay-over could be affected if you are travelling on international flights through the Atlantic region.

When buying travel insurance, you need to look out for additional covers like travel disruption and natural disaster as if you these covers are not included under standard policy, you need to pay additional premium for it. Tsunamis and earthquakes have caused horrific damage in recent years in places like New Zealand, the Indian Ocean and Chile. Such natural disasters will obviously put all your travel plans at risk. As a result, natural disaster cover may be required on top of the recommended flight cancellation and extreme weather travel insurance policies. While tsunamis can technically occur anywhere in the world, we usually know in advance if a city is at risk of an earthquake due to proximity to a fault line (such as the San Andreas fault in California). So do your research on your destination location to ensure you are well informed and can select the most relevant and comprehensive travel insurance for you.

Here are some of the most common situations in which you will require travel disruption and natural disaster cover:

  • There are some hurricane warnings at your destination in past;
  • Your destination has been hit by a storm, earthquake or tsunami in past;
  • Mass flooding at your departure or arrival destination means your flights have been cancelled;
  • Extreme weather conditions mean that your cruise or trip has been completely cancelled.

Having seen how travel insurance cover hurricanes and truly is essential, what about the cost? On average, a travel insurance plan covering cancelled trips and interrupted trips due to a hurricane will cost approximately 4% of your total holiday cost. This is terrific value considering that without travel insurance, you could potentially lose out on the entire cost of your trip if it has been disrupted by a hurricane.

 If you have any trips coming up or are thinking of planning your dream holiday, get the cheapest travel insurance by comparing quotes from leading Irish Insurance companies in minutes. 

 

Get Quotes here

Another Day, Another Ryanair Flight Cancellation

Another Day, Another Ryanair Flight Cancellation

It has been a truly tumultuous few weeks in the travel industry. Mass Ryanair flight cancellations have caused huge disruption all over Europe. While Ryanair continue to battle staffing issues, Monarch Airlines’ collapse is now competing for the spotlight amidst current controversy surrounding air travel.

This blog will provide you with knowledge on your rights and how to obtain compensations if you are affected by these flight cancellations while abroad.

Ryanair Flight Cancellations : Background

400,000 passengers have been affected by Ryanair’s reductions to its flying schedule over the coming months, while 110,000 passengers have been left stranded overseas after the UK’s Monarch Airlines went into administration with all future bookings cancelled.

Ryanair decided to fly 25 fewer aircraft in order to reduce the risk of flight cancellations in the future. In the process, there have been a series of mass flight cancellations affecting nearly half a million passengers. Ryanair, keen to maintain its reputation or what may be left of it, said it intends to roll out a series of low fare seat sales for Winter 2017 and remains confident that there will be no further roster related cancellations.

Ryanair claims that less than 1% of its 50 million customers flying this Winter will be affected. Customers have received between five weeks and five months’ notice of these schedule changes, and have been offered alternative flights or full refunds of their airfare. CEO Michael O’Leary apologised to customers who have been affected by flight cancellations, and reassured “From today, there will be no more rostering related flight cancellations this Winter or in Summer 2018”.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has launched enforcement action against Ryanair (more info here) for “persistently misleading passengers” about their rights, after the company announced the second wave of flight cancellations. A full list of all those flights cancelled and rescheduled can be found here.

860,000 passengers in total will be affected by Monarch’s flight cancellations, with 300,000 future bookings cancelled in what has been the biggest ever airline to go into administration.

What Happens Next

All of the passengers who have been affected by the Ryanair disruptions have been offered re-accommodation or full refunds and their applicable EU261 entitlements.

Customers affected “are receiving a travel voucher (€40 one way/€80 return) which they may use to book any Ryanair flight of their choice during October for travel between October and March 2018 (These cannot be used between December 20 and January 7). “We look forward to welcoming them all on board,” said Mr O’Leary. He also announced plans to purchase 50 new Boeing aircrafts in May 2018 to bring their fleet to a total of 445 aircrafts in time for Summer 2018.

Ryanair said that it has more than 2,500 pilots on a waiting list, and that over 650 new pilots will join Ryanair between now and May 2018. However, in the year to March 2019, Ryanair will carry 4 million fewer customers than originally planned as a result of the havoc.

Your Rights

Ryanair, as required by law, offered all customers disrupted by flight cancellations the option of either a full refund or rerouting to their final destination as follows:

  1. A full refund will be given of an unused flight sector and associated fees. If the disrupted flight is their outbound sector, customers will also be offered a full refund of the return sector.
  2. Ryanair will offer all disrupted customers the following sequence of re-accommodation options:
  • You will be offered the next available Ryanair flight on the same route. If this option is not available the same or next day, then;
  • You will be offered the next available Ryanair flight from/to a suitable alternative airport (for example: Luton or Gatwick in the case of Stansted). If this option is not available the same or next day, then;
  • You will be offered re-accommodation on any one of Ryanair’s agreed disruption partner airlines to your destination as follows; Easyjet, Jet2, Vueling, Cityjet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian or Eurowings airlines. If this option is not available the same or next day, then;
  • You will be offered re-accommodation on any comparable alternative transport (another airline flight, train, bus or car hire) with the cost of this comparable transport ticket to be assessed on a case by case basis.

If your flights were cancelled but you received more than two weeks notice, you are not entitled to compensation under regulation EC261.

Ryanair have clarified “We have taken on extra customer service staff and are moving now to process and expedite all EU261 claims from affected customers. We are committed to processing all such claims within 21 days of receipt and hope to have all such claims settled before the end of October”.

If you had travel insurance including travel disruption cover, you may be covered for additional transport or accommodation expenses up to a maximum of €1,000:

  1. Loss of unused travel and accommodation, which cannot be reimbursed from other sources, will be refundable (subject to a delay / cancellation of 12 hours);
  2. Additional travel and accommodation which cannot be reimbursement from other sources, if they choose to make other travel arrangements because the alternative offered by Ryanair could not be provided within 12 hours.

Flight cancellation cover would apply for additional travel and accommodation costs incurred which cannot be reimbursed from other sources, if you choose to make other travel arrangements because the alternative flight offered by Ryanair was not within 24 hours.

Customers who purchased the additional cover after the notification was issued by Ryanair will not be covered.

Customers who booked flights directly with Monarch Airlines unfortunately will not be protected by the company.

What To Do

If you have been affected by flight cancellations, the first step forward should be to refer to your airline’s policy and your travel insurance policy.

Passengers must recover costs which are payable under the EU261 regulation against their airline. Under EU261, Ryanair will reimburse any reasonable expenses incurred by customers as a result of these flight cancellations, subject to receiving an EU261 expense claim form supported by original receipts. It is vital that you keep all hard-copies of your receipts in order to receive this compensation.

Any further costs which are not covered by EU261 may be claimed against your travel insurance provider. We can help you here at Ucompare in regards to this.

Ensure you get covered before you travel to avoid stress overseas. Speak to us at Ucompare and let us help you get the best cover for your buck to keep you safe abroad. We’ll find you the best travel insurance policy at the best price.

Get Quotes here

Craziest Travel Insurance Claims

Craziest Travel Insurance Claims

Ever wondered how strange or random some travel insurance claims can be? We reveal the best (and wackiest)!

Most travel insurance claims are along the lines of a flight or accommodation issue…. But are they all as boring as this? Not at all!

In fact, some of the claims received by insurers are so funny that they simply must be shared.

Certain bizarre claims may be made with the sole objective of giving their insurance provider’s representative a good laugh, while others may be wannabe fraudsters… but some are genuine claims regarding real yet highly-unlikely events!

Read on to find out which bizarre real claims were accepted or denied:

Pure Monkey Business

A couple exploring the beauty of Bali, Indonesia, embarked one day to visit an ancient temple. What should have been quite a relaxing day turned dramatic when a wild monkey appeared and stole their bag before they had time to react. The couple and monkey then began a “fight to the death” for the bag. The baboon was crowned victorious, throwing the bag off the cliff before vanishing. Fortunately enough, their travel insurance claim for the bag and items inside was accepted!

Teeth Ahoy!

Seasickness is the only possible downside of being on a cruise that we can think of. However if you are suffering from this, your unforgettable cruise trip may become unforgettable for the wrong reasons… One pensioner found himself feeling ill on board his cruise vacation. He fell so ill, in fact, that he lost his dentures in the process of vomiting over the side of the ship. Although this may have limited his enjoyment of all the wonderful food on board – luckily he filed a successful travel insurance claim in order to replace his missing teeth.

There’s s-no-w snow in sight…

For those sporty travellers, the highlight of your calendar is probably your annual ski trip in Winter. But could you imagine the horror of arriving to your ski resort to find no snow? One lady from the UK succeeded in her travel insurance claim after she arrived to her ski resort to find that there was no snow to be seen. To make things worse, she had just purchased new skis before setting off on her journey… Ski season ruined!

Manchester(s) United

If you’re thinking of planning a trip to Manchester for a football match or just a city break, be careful to ensure you’ve chosen the right Manchester… One man accidentally booked his flight from Manchester, New Hampshire, USA instead of the UK! He continued attempting to board the plane until he discovered that he was in the wrong continent for his flight… Oh dear! Sadly, his travel insurance claim was denied.

Lousy Landing

A family camping in the Welsh countryside were suddenly interrupted by a parachutist who accidentally landed on their tent… In the process, he destroyed the tent and all of the family’s camping equipment. Needless to say, the parents had not anticipated this happening, and so had not taken out cover for accidental damage. Better to be safe than sorry – lesson learned!

(Don’t) Burn Baby Burn!

Paris, the city of love. romance, the Eiffel Tower, endless glasses of exquisite wine – what more could you want? Maybe some, emm… bugs? Although Paris is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, some hotels still fail to meet the mark in terms of hygiene. One couple found themselves attacked by bedbugs in their Parisian hotel, and subsequently decided to burn all of their clothes upon returning home. They filed a claim for their wardrobes to be replaced but the request was denied. Note to self: Make sure you know in advance what your travel insurance policy covers!

Worth a shot…

Did you know there have been more Rolex Oyster watches claimed as being lost abroad while travelling than have actually been made? Seems like there are a lot of people out there hoping to “get lucky” with their false claims! But don’t get too smug yet – without a proof of purchase, these claims are quite unlikely to be accepted.

Moral of the story: Ensure that you have the best travel insurance policy for you, and that you know exactly what you are covered for before you jet off!

If you do ever find yourself in urgent need of assistance abroad, most insurers provide a 24-hour contact number for you to call. Find out more details on dealing with emergencies while travelling here.

If you need to make a travel insurance claim, follow these essential steps:

  1. Refer to your policy details,
  2. Find out what your policy excess is,
  3. Keep all receipts and reports safe as these may later be required to backup your claim,
  4. Contact the police if necessary (dial 112 from anywhere in Europe or 911 from America), and
  5. Contact your insurer’s claims department to get a claims form if you do not already have one.

Want to avoid such funny travel insurance claims, act now before it is too late and visit us today at Ucompare to get the cheapest quotes.

Get Quotes here

Do you have any crazy travel stories of your own? Share them with us at Ucompare and let us see if we can help you get covered!

Ryanair Flight Cancellations And How Travel Insurance Policy Can Help

Ryanair Flight Cancellations And How Travel Insurance Policy Can Help

After an extremely rocky few days for Ryanair, are you worried that you may be affected by further flight cancellations in the future?

Over the next few weeks, up to 50 flight cancellations per day due to what Michael O’Leary has deemed a staff rostering issue and a move to improve flight punctuality. Many of these flights were cancelled with extremely short notice, leaving approximately 400,000 people potentially stranded abroad. Now is the time to take out that travel insurance policy you’ve been thinking about and make sure if you are eligible for flight cancellation compensation.

The Irish airline has faced a backlash at home and overseas, with over 150 flight cancellations affecting Dublin airport alone. Some of the other airports worst affected are some the busiest and most popular destinations; London Stansted, Milan Bergamo, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, Glasgow and Krakow. What may have been a relaxing city break or a quick business or leisure trip for many has turned into a chaotic nightmare, especially for those without travel insurance.

Click here for a complete list of cancelled flights.

Are you eligible for a flight cancellation compensation & how quickly will  Ryanair compensate travellers for the disruption?

Unfortunately, the process of claiming back money from airlines directly is a slow and tedious process, which offers very little immediate assistance, if any.

For those affected, Ryanair are offering 2 options in line with EU law. You may either apply for a refund or change your cancelled flight for free.

If you choose to take the flight refund, you will be waiting up to seven days to get this money back and no claims for expenses will be accepted by Ryanair. If you have already travelled quite a far distance to get to the airport or you are now forced to find last-minute accommodation, this may prove quite distressing, as nothing will be compensated.

Although Ryanair are offering the possibility of rescheduling your flight, many passengers are being told that the next available seat to get them home will be in over one week’s time. This simply doesn’t cut it for the large majority of those travelling who have work and other commitments the next day.

If you choose to accept the next available flight, you will be covered for meals, accommodation and transfers if required. Ryanair may or may not organize these for you. If they don’t, you must keep all relevant receipts and you will receive a reimbursement for all expenses deemed “reasonable”. For example, Michael O’Leary has stated that 5-star hotels would not be covered.

Also in line with EU law, passengers should be entitled to assistance following a cancellation if it was within the airline’s control. Cancellation amounts may range up to €250 for short-haul flights, such as those affected in this situation, and up to a maximum of €600 for long-haul trips. Again, it is “too little, too late” by the time any money reaches the passenger’s pocket. However, if Ryanair manage to prove that the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances, you will not be entitled to any compensation from the airline.

Some extra cover may apply for additional costs incurred, which cannot be reimbursed elsewhere, and the alternative flight offered by Ryanair was not within 24 hours of the original flight time.

If you were lucky (or clever enough!) to have taken out a travel insurance policy in Ireland including travel disruption cover, you may be covered for additional transport or accommodation expenses up to a maximum of €1,000. This covers costs which Ryanair will not. Please find further information on what’s covered under travel insurance policy:

  • Travel delay

No cover available. Policies extend to covering travel delay resulting from strike, industrial action, adverse weather or mechanical breakdown only.

  • Abandonment

No cover available.

  • Cancellation/Curtailment

No cover available.

  • Travel Disruption

Excludes claims arising within 7 days of the date you purchased the insurance or the time of booking, whichever is later.

Extended Travel Delay would apply.

Extended Abandonment would apply.

  1. Loss of unused travel and accommodation which cannot be reimbursed from other sources, will be refundable (subject to a delay / cancellation of 12 hours);
  2. Additional travel and accommodation which cannot be reimbursement from other sources, if they choose to make other travel arrangements because the alternative offered by Ryanair could not be provided within 12 hours.
  • Flight cancellation cover

Cover would apply for additional travel and accommodation costs incurred which cannot be reimbursed from other sources, if you choose to make other travel arrangements because the alternative flight offered by Ryanair was not within 24 hours.

Passengers must recover costs which are payable under the EU261 regulation against the airline. Customers who purchased the additional cover after the notification was issued by Ryanair will not be covered. 

It is quite a complex situation, and no doubt those affected abroad are feeling the impact of the turmoil. But don’t be put off by planning that next European trip!

“By cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks, until our winter schedule starts in early November, we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90%,” Ryanair’s Head of Communications Robin Kiely assures us.

Stay safe when travelling with budget airlines and make sure you are aware of the flight cancellation compensation policies. Buying a travel insurance to protect you in such cases is most ideal. Visit us today at Ucompare to see how we can help you avoid turmoil and minimize stress when travelling. We have the knowledge and expertise to ensure you get the right travel insurance policy at the right price.

Get Quotes here

Click here for further information on finding the best travel insurance policy for you.

Why Buy Multi Trip or Annual Travel Insurance

Why Buy Multi Trip or Annual Travel Insurance

As the holiday season is already on, you might wonder what type of travel insurance policy you need to have. There are different types of travel insurance policies such as single trip travel insurance,multi trip travel insurance also known as annual trip travel insurance or backpacker travel insurance. The number of Irish people taking trips abroad jumped significantly in 2015 and 2016. The UK is still a favourite destination amongst Irish travelers followed closely by Spain. With this increase in the number of people taking to the skies, there has also been a rise in the number of travelers looking for cheap travel insurance in Ireland. Annual travel insurance policies can be purchased cheaply and they really are great value.

If you are aged under 65 with no medical conditions you are likely to avail of the best rates on the market. Travel Insurance companies do charge extra for persons over 65 or those with pre-existing medical conditions as they pose a higher risk.

If you take more than two trips abroad per year you are likely to save money by opting for the annual travel insurance policy instead of the single trip travel insurance policy. There are also additional discounts if you choose a couples or a family travel insurance policy.

A couple’s policy will generally require that you and your partner are living at the same address in Ireland for at least six months. It will however cover you to travel independently from each other.

Many family travel insurance policies offer free cover for children. There may be restrictions if children choose to travel independently from you, so this is something to watch out for. If children are traveling independently from their parents, they may require their own separate travel insurance policy. Buying a separate travel insurance policy for your child will not invalidate your family policy. There is no limit on the number of children you can add to your policy and if a have a baby mid policy it’s very simple to add them on.

If any person on the travel insurance policy suffers from a pre-existing medical condition, it is best to mention this at the time of taking out the policy. If a claim were to arise because of an undeclared medical condition it is likely that the claim would be declined due to non-disclose, so it is best not to take the risk. Some companies may ask you to fill out a questionnaire online while others will ask you to call separate medical screening line and answer a series of questions.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)