Kerry manager Peter Keane said his team made plenty of basic errors as they laboured past Clare in Cusack Park.
The reigning Munster champions led by nine points at half-time, James O'Donoghue's goal shortly before the break giving them a substantial cushion.
They added to that lead early in the second half, stretching it out to eleven at various points but were thoroughly outplayed in the final quarter, particularly after Mark Griffin was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
The game was delayed by 12 minutes due to an injury to Clare's Kevin Hartnett following a clash with Sean O'Shea.
While the gap never dipped below six points in the second half and the tension never rose to unbearable levels, it was still an uncomfortable evening for Kerry who booked their place in the Munster final against Cork in three weeks time.
"It was a tight, dour struggle in that second half," Keane told RTÉ Sport afterwards.
"I suppose we gave a lot of oxygen to Clare. We didn't put them away. We made a lot of basic errors.
"I don't know if it was the conditions or what on the night but we did make a lot of basic mistakes and we won't get away with that going forward.
"We're not too focused on (the Munster final). We'll just gather ourselves in the dressing room and see who we have. It was a long game. There was a lot of injuries. We finished with 13 in the end. There's a lots to work on but at least we have something to work on."