Press Release: ‘Air Bridges’ Without Lifting Non-Essential Travel Would Invalidate Insurance Cover

Thu Jun 25 2020

Brokers Ireland has today warned that in the event of the Government approving “air bridges” to certain countries but not changing the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice to avoid all non-essential travel abroad, travel insurance and private medical insurance for travel would be impacted.

Cathie Shannon, Director of General Insurance at Brokers Ireland, which represents 1,250 Broker firms said: “The effect would be to make Travel Insurance and the overseas travel section of Private Medical Insurance invalid. Exclusions that deny cover to those who travel contrary to official guidance are standard in the Travel Insurance sector. It is very important that anyone who may be proposing to travel via an “air bridge” if these are approved is aware of the impact on their travel insurance of the current advice to avoid all non-essential travel.

She said it would make people who become ill abroad most likely to want to return home to have their medical issues addressed, whereas otherwise they could have such issues dealt with abroad under their Travel or Health Insurance as appropriate.

If the Government/Department of Foreign Affairs were to retract the advice to avoid non-essential travel to countries in respect of which “air bridges” have been approved, then there would be no issue,” she said. “Meanwhile we would strongly recommend that anyone travelling abroad brings their EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) with them.  This will ensure they can get healthcare in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) state for free, or at a reduced cost,” she said.