Ireland is pretty safe as travel destinations go, but getting travel insurance for Ireland offers peace of mind. You know never know what could happen abroad – even in Ireland!
Since I quit my corporate attorney job to travel the world and blog, I’ve been through a lot: dengue in Thailand, robbery in Belize, protests in Bolivia, and getting trapped in Argentina by covid-19. Thankfully my Irish trips have been uneventful, but I still buy insurance just in case.
In this guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about Ireland travel insurance:
- ☘️ Is travel insurance required?
- ✔️ Why I choose insurance
- 👉 Best sites for Ireland travel insurance
- 👮 Travel safety in Ireland
Disclosure: I am not a licensed broker and cannot choose insurance for you. Be sure to read policy terms and conditions closely before making a purchase. Also please note that this is a reader-supported travel blog, so by purchasing through my affiliate links you help support our site.
Is Travel Insurance Required for Ireland?
There is no legal requirement for tourists to buy insurance in order to travel Ireland, and neither airlines nor immigration will ask you for it. The US Embassy in Ireland, however, recommends that “all Americans traveling overseas consider a travel insurance policy to cover unexpected illness, injury or other circumstances adversely affecting their travel.”
Why I Insure My Trips to Ireland
While you do not need travel insurance to enter Ireland, like many travelers, I personally choose to travel with insurance when I am abroad, including on my trip to Ireland.
Here’s why I personally opted for Ireland travel insurance:
Covid-19 Is Still a Factor
The coronavirus is going to continue to be disruptive to international travel in 2021, even for vaccinated travelers. Vaccines are not 100% effective and, even if they were, the virus could still wreck havoc on your travel plans.
Just check out this article by The New York Times, entitled “A Traveler’s Worst Nightmare: When Your Covid-19 Test Comes Back Positive.” It details several tragic stories about unprepared travelers affected by Covid-19 lockdowns, quarantines, and positive test results.
There Are Many Ways Travel Can Go Sideways
Even when there isn’t a global pandemic, travel isn’t always fun, games, and Guinness.
Here are some benefits many travelers – including me – often appreciate when shopping for Ireland travel insurance:
- ✈️ Trip Cancellation Protection
- What It Is: Trip cancelation is a benefit that reimburses you for any pre-paid non-refundable trip costs if you need to cancel due to a circumstance covered under your plan.
- Why It Matters: Anyone remember the time Iceland’s volcano shut down all air traffic to Europe? It doesn’t take a crazy natural disaster to cancel your trip abroad, though: it could be something as common as a family member or traveling companion getting sick.
- 💉 Emergency Medical Coverage
- What It Is: If you’re injured or get sick while you’re traveling, and you’ve bought the policy for the activities you’re doing, you can be covered for hospitalization, out-patient treatment for medical emergencies, prescribed medicines, x-rays and lab tests.
- Why It Matters: Emergencies happen no matter where you are, and medical expenses can quickly add up. Medical insurance is one of the top reasons I chose to get covered when visiting Ireland!
- 🚗 Rental Car Protection
- What It Is: Like almost everywhere, Ireland requires car insurance of anyone behind the wheel to protect against liability in case of an accident.
- Why It Matters: Ireland is a great destination for road trips! Making sure you have rental car protection can help make the journey smoother.
- 🚁 Emergency Medical Evacuation
- What It Is: This benefit could include transportation costs and any related medical services or supplies. If you’re going to be at a hospital for a prolonged period of time, it may also include transportation of a family member or companion to your bedside or the return of a dependent child back to your home.
- Why It Matters: Sure it’s scary to think about, but if you need to get evacuated in a medical emergency, it could quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- 💻 Lost Luggage and Gear Theft Protection –
- What It Is: Protection against your bag being lost, or important items being stolen. Note you’ll want to check the policy limits closely here, as most policies have a cap on how much they’ll pay out for this type of loss.
- Why It Matters: It’s never part of the plan when you show up at your destination- and your baggage doesn’t. While Ireland is pretty safe, Dublin – like most European capitals – has its fair share of pickpockets and vandals. I like knowing my cell phone, laptop, and cameras have some coverage.
- 📞 Emergency Assistance – When things go wrong and you’re in a foreign time zone, it can sure help if your insurer provides an emergency assistance line.
These are just examples of some common benefits of Ireland travel insurance. Your actual insurance coverage will depend upon the terms and conditions of the policy you choose, so always be sure to read carefully!
Best Sites to Compare Travel Insurance for Ireland
Ok, so once you’re ready to look for travel insurance for Ireland, let’s talk about the best sites to search. Here are my personal favorites:
Personally, I used World Nomads during my trip to Ireland – just like I have in almost 50 countries around the world.
Here’s why I love and use World Nomads:
- 😀 Flexible – As someone who travels full time, I love how they make it easy to extend if you decided to stay in Ireland for a couple more nights at the pub.
- ☎️ 24/7 Emergency Assistance Contact Number – It’s nice to know someone is always standing by to take your call at all hours.
- 🌎 Founded by Actual Travelers – World Nomads is the most trusted and popular brand in the space, probably because they were by an Australian traveler looking to serve other travelers. I’ve been personally using them for half a decade.
Now, nothing is perfect, and to be totally honest, I don’t love everything about them. Most significantly, World Nomads USA doesn’t sell insurance to seniors over 70 (in other countries, the limit is 65 years).
That’s why you should always your own research and compare trip insurance quotes. Speaking of, our next site is great for running comparisons:
What I really love about the TravelInsurance.com site is how easy it makes it to compare different policy providers. You can pull up quotes for Ireland travel insurance from hundreds of companies in less than a minute.
With so many companies, you’ll need to thoroughly vet whichever one you’re looking at to make sure it’s reputable. I love that the site makes that easy by clearly displaying customer reviews for each provider!
Insure My Trip just recently came on to my radar when readers suggested it as a good place for finding travel insurance for seniors 70+ or those with pre-existing conditions. Again, it’s an aggregator site that allows you to shop and compare many different travel health insurance providers.
They also have a “Anytime Advocates” program, which is where they assign you a representative to advocate for you if you need to file a claim with the insurance company underwriting your specific policy.
Again, with all these sites, it really pays to read the terms and conditions carefully!
Travel Safety in Ireland
In terms of crime and general safety, Ireland is about as safe as any destination out there. Crime is relatively low, and most travelers feel perfectly safe in Ireland. Still, it is always a good idea to check the latest Ireland travel advisories from the US State Department and the UK’s FCO.
Crime in Ireland
Crime in Ireland is relatively low, and pretty similar or better than the United States. A few interesting data points on safety in Ireland:
- The Berkshire Hathaway blog rates Ireland as the 9th safest country in the world.
- According State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council’s Ireland Crime and Safety Report, “[v]iolent crime in Ireland is rare but does exist.”
The most common threat travelers to Ireland is petty theft and scams. Here are a few travel tips to consider:
- 👜 Keep your belongings close, especially in Dublin’s crowded streets, to avoid pickpockets.
- 👉 Consider investing in a money belt or slash-proof bag.
- 💳 Keep a backup credit card somewhere separate from your wallet, to use in case of emergency.
Don’t stress too much. Just practice common sense and stay aware of your surroundings, and you’ll likely have a safe and peaceful trip to Ireland.
Ireland’s Healthcare System
Ireland has a dual public and a private healthcare system. Foreigners will typically be expected to pay for the costs of medical care, which is a major reason why I personally feel I need travel insurance for Ireland as an American.
Residents of the EU and Switzerland, meanwhile, should research potential benefits provided through the European Health Insurance Card.
Though Ireland’s public healthcare system generally receives high marks for the quality of its medical services, the country has had issues with hospital overcrowding.
Health Insurance in Ireland
Looking for Irish health insurance coverage? If you’re an expat or long-term traveler looking to relocate to Ireland, you can find more information here about the ins and outs of the public Irish medical system, as well as on private medical insurance plans.
Coronavirus in Ireland
As of spring 2021, Europe continues to experience issues with covid-19, and tourists planning to visit the continent from the US should always check online for the latest status of coronavirus in your destination. You can find Ireland’s latest covid case, hospitalization, and vaccination statistics here. You can also find information about restrictions and testing requirements in Ireland here.
You can also review our full article on travel insurance and coronavirus.
Ireland Travel Tips
- 🗺️ Where to Go: Dublin, Galway, Cliffs of Moher, and Killarney are all among the top stops on my suggested 7 day Itinerary for Ireland.
- 📆 Best Time to Visit: Ireland is a popular tourist destination that can get very crowded during the summer, so I suggest visiting during shoulder season (March to May, and again from September to November). Ireland is less popular in the winter, but prices are more affordable.
- 💶 Currency: Ireland uses the Euro (which in 1999 replaced its previous currency, the Irish Pound).
- 🗨️ Language: Irish and English are the official languages.
Check out my full article on travel tips for Ireland for more!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get travel insurance for Ireland?
Each traveler must make their own decision about whether or not to get travel insurance for Ireland. Many travelers, including myself, choose to get Ireland travel insurance, but you’ll need to consult a licensed insurance broker if you want advice for your circumstances.
Can I still buy travel insurance after booking?
It is possible to buy travel insurance after booking. Many travel insurance companies allow you to purchase insurance coverage even after booking your initial trip costs.
Will my private health insurance cover me in Ireland?
Most American private medical insurance companies do not apply to travel abroad. But different insurance plans have different coverages, so call your insurer’s support line to inquire about your covered benefits.
How much does travel insurance usually cost?
The average price of travel insurance coverage varies based on factors like the insured’s age, destination, and length of trip. For a one week trip, you can usually expect to find quotes online between $50 and $150 USD.
That’s it for this guide to travel insurance in Ireland. Remember to always read the terms and conditions before making a purchase, and to seek advice from a licensed broker if you have questions about what is and isn’t covered by specific insurance plans.
Before you leave, be sure to check out all our Ireland travel guides to help you plan your trip!
Enjoy your visit to Ireland!