Almost 1 in 3 travel insurance claims made by Irish customers are lodged before the holiday has even begun, recent research has found.

In an analysis of its own claims data since 2012, AA Travel Insurance found that on average 30% of claims made each year are lodged as a result of the holiday-goer needing to cancel or curtail their holiday pre-departure.

In 2017 alone, 859 of the 2,822 travel insurance claims received by the company were filed before the customer’s planned departure date.

“It’s very easy to fall into the trap of assuming you only need travel insurance while you’re actually abroad and leaving it until the very last minute before your departure to purchase cover. Unfortunately, taking that approach can prove exceptionally risky as you could be left with a significant hole in your wallet if you’re forced to cancel your holiday at short notice for any reason,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated.

“If your airline cancels your flights they will have to cover any costs you incur, but if, for example, an illness were to leave you unable to travel and you’ve avoided taking out travel insurance you could find yourself still having to pay considerable amounts for a holiday you won’t get to enjoy.”

The analysis also found that one in 5 claims made by Irish holiday-goers related to unexpected medical expenses incurred while abroad.

Meanwhile, over 1 in 7 claims lodged in 2017 were in relation to lost baggage.