Hot, bothered and broke: how to insure against costly summer accidents

Irish families who have been forced to cancel their summer holidays this year due to passport arrears are unlikely to recoup the money spent on their return trip.

Ravel insurance will generally not cover you if you have to cancel your holiday due to long delays in processing your passport application, even if you applied for your passport months in advance. The Passport Office will also not pay the bill for canceled vacations.

“The Passport Service does not compensate people who should have canceled their trip,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

You could lose thousands of dollars if you had to cancel your vacation due to passport delays – if you paid for that trip in advance. Contacted by The Sunday Independent, Getcover.ie, VHI Multitrip, Blue Insurance multitrip.com, Laya Travel Insurance and travel insurance underwriter Mapfre Assistance said there would be no cover for canceled holidays in such a scenario.

“We cannot cover the late arrival of your passport,” a Mapfre spokesperson said. “A specific exclusion in our policies is any claim arising from your failure to hold or obtain a valid passport prior to your trip.”

You may be able to reschedule your holiday if your passport is unlikely to arrive in time – so explore this with your travel agent, airline or accommodation provider. However, don’t wait until the last minute to do so.

Irish passport delays are just one example of why you could lose out financially this summer. So why else could you run into a financial crash this summer — and will your insurance cover you if you do?

The chaos of queues at the airport

Your travel insurance is unlikely to cover you if you miss your flight due to long airport security queues – and you end up canceling your holiday as a result. Getcover.ie, VHI Multitrip, multitrip.com, Laya and Mapfre Assistance have stated that they will not offer any cancellation cover here.

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has said it will reimburse reasonable costs (such as a changed flight, additional accommodation and transport costs) incurred as a result of recent long security queues at the airport – which saw around 1,500 passengers miss their flights in the last weekend of May.

Bouncy castle injury

You could face a lawsuit if a child is injured playing on a bouncy castle in your backyard.

“Ideally, only use a bouncy castle company that has insurance – but note that many bouncy castle companies cannot obtain insurance today,” said Jonathan Hehir, managing director of the broker. online insurance, coverinaclick.ie.

“If you are sued by a parent because their child was injured playing on a bouncy castle in your garden, the parent must prove your negligence. You could face a court case if a child were injured on a bouncy castle in your backyard and you – or the bouncy castle company – being sued as a result.

Your home insurance may cover you if a child is injured on a bouncy castle in your backyard, depending on your insurer and the terms of your policy. FBD and Liberty Insurance will not cover you in such cases. The liability coverage offered by Liberty’s home insurance “excludes liability arising out of the use of entertainment equipment or facilities provided by someone else in connection with a social event.” (The civil liability guarantee protects you in the event that you are responsible for injuries to others).

Aviva and Allianz will generally cover injuries on bouncy castles, although they may refuse to pay if the injuries are due to your own negligence.

“Our home insurance indemnifies customers against any accidental bodily injury that occurs on their premises, provided that all reasonable precautions have been taken,” an Aviva spokeswoman said.

“In the case of bouncy castles, it is the responsibility of the home owner to ensure that the area is free of tripping hazards, that children are supervised by a responsible adult and that all safety instructions given by the supplier of the bouncy castle are followed.”

Lapping

Some of the most common summer insurance claims are caused by burglaries, according to Hehir.

“When people go on vacation, burglars seem to know when they’re away,” Hehir said. “It is very important to check that you have not under-insured your contents before you go on holiday.”

You may have underinsured your contents if you weren’t fully aware of the true value of those possessions when you originally purchased the home insurance – or you may not have adjusted your contents coverage over the years to account for any new content you have in your home.

If you don’t insure the contents of your home for the correct amount, you may only receive a fraction of the payment you expect from your insurer in the event of a claim after a burglary.

Riding lawn mower

A riding lawn mower is one of the most expensive pieces of garden equipment you can own.

Be careful when leaving your vehicle unattended on the lawn. Some home insurers, including Aviva, will only cover the theft of a riding mower if it is stolen from a locked shed.

Check what your insurer’s position is on this.

“In a situation where a homeowner very briefly leaves a lawn mower unattended while in use, our home insurance policy provides coverage under the contents section of the policy,” an Allianz spokesperson said.

Even if your home insurance covers the theft of contents left out in the open (such as in the garden), any payment received could only be a fraction of the cost of a riding lawn mower. FBD and Liberty, for example, offer €650 coverage for content left in the open.

Car windows down

On hot summer days, it’s not uncommon to leave the windows down in your car, but be aware that your auto insurance may not cover you if a thief steals your car after you do.

“If you left the windows down and the engine running or the keys in the car, you’re not covered,” Hehir said. “But if you just leave the windows down [without the engine running or keys in car] and the thieves managed to start the engine themselves, you would usually be covered.

This will, however, depend on your insurer – and whether or not they believe you have taken all reasonable steps to protect your car.

FBD, for example, would not cover a theft in a scenario where the terms of its auto insurance policy state that the insured’s car “should never be left unattended or unlocked with the keys still inside. of the car or any open window or sunroof”.

An Allianz spokesperson said: “If the keys have been left in the car or if it has not been locked, a claim is unlikely to be paid. So always make sure you lock your car properly. vehicle, even if you only leave it for a few minutes.

car beach problem

You may park on a beach at some point during the summer – but don’t assume your insurer will cover you if you go for a walk and come back to find your car submerged by the rising tide.

You may be covered for loss or damage to your car in such cases if you have comprehensive cover – depending on whether or not your insurer feels you have taken all reasonable precautions to protect your car.

“If the insured should have known that the tide had come in but left his car on the beach and damage occurred, we will have to take this into account in any decision on a claim,” a carrier said. word of Allianz.

Note that if your car is damaged beyond repair, your insurer will only cover the market value of the car.

As always, know where you stand with your insurer.

stolen animal

The recent pandemic pet boom has driven up the price of puppies and some breeds of cats – with some pet price tags now running into the thousands.

Be aware that home insurance will generally not cover you if your pet is stolen from your home or yard during the summer. You will need pet insurance to cover you here.

dog bite

Home insurance will usually cover you if a visitor to your home is bitten by the family dog ​​– as long as your dog is not listed as a restricted breed under dog control regulations.

BBQ fire out of control

The huge increase in the cost of building materials in recent months could surprise homeowners this summer if there is damage to their home from a barbecue fire spiraling out of control.

“Many Irish homeowners may be underinsured on their properties due to the sudden and unexpected increase in the cost of building materials,” an Allianz spokesperson said.

The sum of buildings insured is the cost of rebuilding your home from scratch in the event of destruction. The figure you chose when purchasing or last reviewing your policy may not reflect current costs to repair or rebuild at current rates. You may only get a fraction of the payment you expect from your insurer if your home is damaged and you have underinsured your home.

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