Travel insurance for Ireland

Get the right travel insurance for your trip to Ireland

Ceri McMillan travel insurance expert
Ceri McMillan
Updated 11 November 2022  | 3 mins read

Do I need travel insurance for Ireland?

Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland (ROI) and Northern Ireland (NI). The travel insurance you need depends on which part of Ireland you’re visiting - the main difference is whether or not you need medical cover.

Travel Insurance for Northern Ireland

If you’re visiting Northern Ireland, you can use the NHS just as you would here for emergency care, so the medical part of a travel insurance policy isn't as important.

But, without the right cover you could end up out of pocket for lost baggage, flight cancellations or delays.

Think about whether you’re prepared to take the risk of being unprotected against other losses before you travel.

Do I need travel insurance for the Republic of Ireland?

When you visit the ROI you’ll need a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) to get the same healthcare as Irish nationals - you won’t be covered for private medical care or repatriation though. You can apply for an GHIC online or over the phone with the NHS.

Driving in the Republic of Ireland

You’ll need valid car insurance to legally drive in the Republic of Ireland. Check if your existing policy covers you.

Think about taking out European breakdown cover too – that way you’ll be eligible to have your car fixed at the roadside, or be towed to the nearest garage.

In 2011, the drinking and driving limit in Ireland was reduced to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for fully-qualified drivers - that’s 30mg lower than the limit in England.

The penalties for being over the limit are severe and random tests are conducted by the Garda (Irish police).

It’ll be safer and simpler to not drive after drinking any alcohol in the ROI.


As Ireland is a member of the Common Travel Area (CTA), British nationals don’t require a passport to visit Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. But given Irish immigration officers check the identification of all passengers flying in from the UK, and may ask you to prove your nationality, it’s advisable to bring your British passport with you.

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