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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.  

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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! 

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Travel Insurance and Why do I need it

Travel Insurance and Why do I need it

While Travel Insurance is not a legal requirement in Ireland unlike car insurance, but that doesn’t make it any less important. With the rise in the number of Irish people regularly leaving the country on holidays, business trips & even emigrating, it is crucial that you have a good travel insurance policy in place. Many people view travel insurance as an unnecessary expense but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Market research has shown that people are more likely to buy a travel insurance policy after hearing about other people’s misfortune when abroad.

And with good reason too, if you had an accident in abroad, the medical bills can put a big dent in your wallet. What can start out as a happy holiday away can leave families financial crippled. For example, a week-long stay in a European hospital could cost you up to €10,000 while similar stay in a U.S hospital can be several times more.

Aside from medical expenses, there are many other benefits to travel insurance too. Baggage is another important cover. While we never expect anything to happen when we travel abroad, we are without a doubt more vulnerable in other countries. It is important for you to have adequate travel insurance cover when you travel away with expansive jewellery, electronic or camera equipment, clothes, shoes etc. Thieves have many ways in which they target tourists, whether it by breaking into your accommodation, hijacking your transport or assaulting you in the street. In addition, airlines are also known to occasionally misplace their passengers’ belongings. The baggage cover in your insurance policy may also extend for additional covers, such as mislaid passport & delayed baggage. To help reduce the worry when you are abroad, it is best to get a travel insurance policy with baggage cover to meet all of your needs.

Another important consideration when taking out travel insurance cover is the cancellation section. The majority of trips we book, are booked months in advance of our intended travel date. While this gives us something to look forward to, it can also leave us exposed as something could go wrong in the meantime. That may be in the form of illness or death of a close relative. Travel insurance gives you the peace of mind that are protected should something get in the way of your travel plans.

 

Travel Insurance Ireland

Do I need travel insurance when traveling in Ireland?

While traveling around Ireland has its advantages, it’s not without its own risks too. Most people associate travel insurance with traveling abroad and rightly so, however, it is easy to forget that certain instances are just as likely to happen while traveling at home in Ireland. You are still likely to need to cancel a trip in the case of emergency. Your accommodation can still be broken into and your possessions stolen, and your transport provider may still go on strike and ruin your plans. I mention these instances with caution though, as the cover for traveling in Ireland can vary greatly from provider to provider. Some providers have a really good plan while others may exclude traveling in Ireland altogether.

Be aware that most travel insurers will not cover medical expenses in Ireland as this is likely to be relatively cheap or maybe even be covered on your health insurance. There is often a limit on the number of nights you have booked in Ireland in order for cover to apply, for example the policy may say that you need to have a minimum of two or three nights pre booked accommodation. There may also be restrictions on the type of accommodation you have booked, for instance it might only apply if you are staying in a hotel or B&B. If in doubt, it is best to check with your travel insurance provider.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Insurance

Choosing travel insurance can be confusing. Some people still prefer to sign up to the travel agent’s like they always have. Others wonder if there’s any point. Yet, once you know the difference between multi-trip and backpackers cover, it’s easy to see why it’s beneficial to compare travel insurance products. Importantly, you’re in control of how much or little you pay so there’s no nasty surprises when you need help the most. We’ve put together answers to top travel insurance FAQ and provided useful tips for finding cheap travel insurance for everyone from the bucket list types to the average family.

Top Travel Insurance FAQ

Business, pleasure and adventure are most people’s reason for travelling. Some travel often, others once a year. And while thousands flock to the beach, many prefer snow. Travelling by coach, boat or plane is also a preference and often part of the holiday. For this reason, there’s more than one type of policy, and lots of extra cover. To help, here’s some of the most frequently asked questions:

Is it a waste of money?

No. Medical bills can run into staggering amounts, even a basic policy provides medical and liability cover worth millions. You can get fairly cheap travel insurance and have peace of mind.

Where can I compare covers and prices?

Ucompare.ie can do it right now. While the kettle boils, you’ll get quotes from the top providers of travel insurance in Ireland.

Why should a traveller buy insurance?

There’s always a level of risk involved when travelling, and while we’d like to think accidents only happen to others, many are out of our control.

When do I need a single-trip policy?

If you travel once a year, a two week holiday for example, single-trip insurance is fine. If you plan a long trip, consider backpackers insurance.

When do I need annual cover?

If you travel often, annual (or multi-trip) policies offer good value. With weekend shopping trips to Europe becoming more affordable, people travel more.

When do I need cruise connection insurance?

Missing your connection may be nobody’s fault but the weather’s. Unfortunately, it’s not always included in a cruise policy.

Why do I need winter sports cover?

Ski and snowboarding holidays involve more risk than beach holidays. Medical emergencies often require specialist rescues. Your equipment is usually covered too.

 

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Tips for finding travel insurance from Ireland’s top insurers

Besides helping you find cheap travel insurance, these 15 tips should give you an idea about different levels of cover, extras, and might prevent a few problems.

1. Grab a pen and paper to make a list of what you might get up to while you’re away. This is your insurance checklist.

2. Don’t presume. Riding an elephant in Thailand might be as common as riding a donkey; swimming with wild dolphins in New Zealand safer than a roller coaster ride. But some insurers might class these as dangerous sports.

3. Low-cost airlines. Compare cover for lost baggage, delays and cancellations. It’s these add-ons where they make money.

4. Buckets lists have at least one thrill-seeking activity. You might need adventure sports cover.

5. Stag and hen party mini-breaks could benefit from group cover.

6. Boat trips and excursions. It’s expected that most will take a day trip while on holiday. Many insurers include it, some don’t.

7. While backpackers insurance covers you consistently throughout a year’s travel, and includes working while you’re away, multi-trip/annual cover is usually limited to 90 days, travel only.

8. In most European countries, a European Health Card entitles you to the same (often free) medical care as a local person.

9. Excess. Lower premiums often have a higher excess. Paying a little extra on your premium might be a Godsend.

10. Increase single item cover. Standard policies only cover €250 per item. But phones and tablets cost much more.

11. Natural disasters. Although rare, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis occur. Ash clouds ground flights for weeks; floods block roads. Catastrophe cover isn’t always included.

12. Group cover. If anyone has been declined insurance, had more than three claims in three years, or has a criminal record for fraud, your policy could be void.

13. Before you travel. Make hard copies of everything: family and emergency contacts, insurance policy numbers and other travel documents.

14. Off the beaten track. Check the local government’s website for the latest travel alerts. Most insurers won’t cover acts of terrorism, like kidnapping.

For tips on keeping safe while travelling, click here.

15. Couples cover. Couples save costs by sharing many things, insurance for travelling is no different.

The best travel insurance quotes instantly

Being Ireland’s first real-time online travel insurance comparison website, Ucompare.ie has earned an excellent reputation amongst its customers for providing the best travel insurance quotes. An easy-to-navigate website, with common-sense questions and options, means using Ucompare.ie to compare travel insurance is almost fun.

Knowing the type of cover you need, for this holiday and future adventures, you can now choose what works best for you and do it with confidence.

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Mountains are calling!!

Mountains are calling!!

What you need to know about Ski Travel Insurance

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! 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.

What kind of Travel Insurance do you need then?

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 cheapest Travel Insurance policy might not cover all your requirements.

Questions you want to check before you buy a winter sports 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 injury another person on the slopes?
  5. Does this policy cover extras, such as lost/thief of ski equipment?
  6. Does my policy covers 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 cloths and enjoy the slopes!

 

 

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