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What is annual travel insurance?

Annual travel insurance (also known as multi-trip travel insurance) is an insurance policy that provides cover for those who travel more regularly, usually two or more holidays or business trips in 12 months.

Its benefits include:

  • pay once for 12 months’ cover
  • travel insurance for an unlimited amount of holidays (although each individual trip length will have a limit)
  • savings increase the more you travel

We can help you compare annual travel insurance and find the right cover for your needs.


Starting on 5 November, the Government has introduced a national lockdown for England that will last until at least 2 December. As part of this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against all non-essential domestic and international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination while the FCDO has advised against non-essential travel, or domestically against the instructions of the UK Government, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim will be rejected.

For those living in the UK but outside of England, the public health rules may differ, but you must abide by the restrictions imposed by your local authority.

We’ll continually review the situation, and update you with the latest FCDO or Government guidance on travel.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we will only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover for all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has also launched a directory of insurance providers, who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.

What will an annual travel insurance policy usually cover?

A typical travel insurance policy, including annual travel insurance, could protect you against: 

  • Medical expenses  – your policy should cover you for medical emergencies, the cost of any treatment, overnight stays and repatriation. And remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Although it’s not a replacement for medical insurance, it allows you to get medical treatment like a local in EU countries.

    Also, remember to tell your insurance provider about any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment  – this could help if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday.  
  • Missed departure or delays  – offers cover if your flights are delayed because of an insured event.  
  • Stolen, lost or damaged luggage  – make sure you have enough insurance to cover the cost of your luggage.  
  • Valuables and personal money.
  • Personal liability cover – this may cover the cost of any damage or injury you inadvertently cause while you’re away.

Some insurance providers offer annual policies where you can choose between different levels of cover, with increasing levels of protection. They tend to have different upper limits and lower excesses. The top levels offer more protection but tend to be more expensive.

Make sure you fully understand the cover you’re getting before you buy.

What’s usually excluded from annual trip travel insurance?

Every insurance policy has a list of exclusions that an insurance provider won’t pay out for. You should always read the policy documents carefully before buying to make sure your needs are covered. Exclusions may include:

  • medical treatment for pre-existing conditions
  • some sports, watersports, winter sports and activities
  • strikes that were public knowledge when you bought your insurance
  • claims arising from travel to a place the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against travel, prior to your trip
  • claims resulting from drug taking or alcohol
  • claims because you didn’t get the vaccinations needed for your trip

How to get a cheap annual travel insurance policy

One of the best ways to find cheap annual travel insurance is to compare quotes. This means you can compare cover options and prices to find a policy that’s right for you and your needs. But there are other things that might help you save money on your insurance.

  • Choose the right policy for your region – think about your plans for the year and limit the policy to the regions you know you’ll be travelling to. For example, there’s no need to buy a policy that includes the USA if you’re not going to go there.
  • Don’t duplicate cover – travel insurance is now included in some packaged bank accounts, so check you don’t already have cover before you buy. You might also already have cover for some of your possessions – mobile phone insurance, for example – so you won’t need this included on your travel policy.
  • Choose your excess levels carefully – generally speaking, the higher the excess the lower your premium. Make sure you can afford the excess if you make a claim.
  • Choose your cover levels carefully – typically, the higher the level of cover, the more expensive the policy is likely to be. But it’s not worth choosing, say, a high level of cover for your luggage if it doesn’t reflect the value of what you’re taking with you.

If you’re only making one trip in a year, then you might find it cheaper to get a single-trip policy. We can show you both options so you can decide which is right for you.

What are the advantages of an annual trip policy?

Annual travel cover could be a good choice for anyone who makes two or more trips in a 12-month span. But for those taking a one-off holiday,  single trip cover  might be better. Benefits of an annual policy include:

  • ease - you can go away at the last minute without having to organise travel insurance (one less thing to worry about)
  • affordability – if you take several trips a year, it can be cheaper than paying for multiple single trips
  • suitability – with several types of annual policy targeting different regions of the world, you only need pay for insurance for the areas you know you’ll be visiting
  • flexibility – insurance providers offer a range of cover options, so you can choose between a typical policy and one with much higher limits for pay-outs

That means if you travel once a year, a single-trip policy could be cost-efficient. However, if you travel two or more times a year, you’ll probably find that the best way to save money is by signing up for an annual multi-trip policy.

What are the disadvantages of annual travel insurance?

The main downside of annual trip policies is that age limits can be lower than for single-trip policies, so older people might find them harder to get. Older travellers may find it worth getting quotes for both types of policy.

You may end up paying more than you need for insurance if you buy an annual policy and your travel plans change.

Frequently asked questions

Will I need extra cover for sports and activities?

If you're intending to do any sports or adventure activities you may want to look at:

How many times can I go away on an annual policy?

It’s up to you. The beauty of multi-trip travel insurance is that there are no rules as to how many times you need to travel to qualify for it.

If you’ll be making numerous trips, it’s advisable to double check the small print on your insurance provider’s policy, though, in case there’s a maximum trip limit, as all policies vary.

How many days can each holiday be for?

Typical annual travel insurance cover normally stipulates that each individual holiday within the year of your annual policy can’t exceed a certain number of days – normally 31.

When should I select my annual travel insurance to start from?

Ideally, on the day you pay for it. This is because the cancellation cover on annual trip insurance begins from the start date of the policy. To make sure you have this protection, you need to be covered from when you pay for your first trip, not just from when you start it.

Will my annual travel insurance policy cover me for trips in the UK?

Most policies will cover you for UK trips, but there may be conditions that apply, for example:

  • a minimum number of nights
  • a minimum distance from home.

Check your policy for details.

Do I still need an EHIC card if I am going to Europe?

Yes, from now until 31 December 2020, transitional arrangements apply so you can still use your EHIC card to get medical treatment on the same basis as locals. Some insurance providers include in their policy that you have to take and use an EHIC card if you want to make a medical claim.

What happens to the status of the EHIC after the transitional arrangements end will be decided as part of the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.

Do I need to tell the insurance provider about any pre-existing conditions?

Yes, as with any travel insurance policy, you need to let your insurance provider know, otherwise your claim could be invalid.

See more on pre-existing conditions.

Will I be covered for my airline or holiday provider going bust?

It depends. Some policies will include this, under End Supplier Failure or Scheduled Airline Failure, while others make it an add-on or won’t cover it at all. When you compare with us, you can clearly see which policies include this and those that don’t. If this is important to you, make sure you choose a policy that includes it.

What is travel insurance excess and how high should I set it?

An excess in insurance is how much you’ll pay towards a claim. If, for example, your luggage is insured for £250 and the excess is £50, if you make a successful claim your insurance provider will pay you £200.

Different parts of the policy may have different excess amounts. For example, the excess for cancellation may be different from the excess for medical treatment. Make sure you check all the amounts are affordable for you.

Can I extend the maximum trip duration on my annual travel insurance policy?

This depends on your age and the level of cover you’re looking for. Typically, providers of annual travel insurance cover people aged 19-75, and the maximum trip duration is usually 31 or 60 days, depending on the cover you’re purchasing.  

The maximum duration for flyers aged between 66-75 years old is usually around 21 days.  

It may be complicated to get an extension. Insurance providers usually suggest you take out a  single trip policy if you need to stay longer than the limits specified in your policy.

Will my valuables and money be protected?

The extent to which your valuables and money are protected varies from policy to policy. There will be upper limits set out in the terms and conditions. To be able to claim you’ll also need to follow the guidelines set out by your insurance provider, for example, never leave your mobile unattended and lock valuables in a safe if available.

You also need to make sure you understand what you need to do if you make a claim, such as reporting the incident to the police.

What are my other travel insurance options?

You can opt for single-trip insurance if you’re only likely to make one trip in a year.

If you’re going on a cruise you may find cruise insurance better suited to your needs, as these policies cover things like missed port stops.

Backpacker insurance may be better suited to a traveller away for long periods and visiting several countries.

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a travel insurance quote with us, it’s a good idea to have some basic information about your travel plans, including:

  • when you want the policy to start
  • all the countries you want to visit
  • how many people you want to insure
  • any medical conditions
  • cover limits, excess limits and additional cover you might want

Patrick Ikhena

Travel insurance expert at Compare the Market

“Getting an annual policy saves time and effort if you’re going away more than once in a year. It helps if you know which areas you want to travel to, so you don’t pay for more cover than you need.”

How much does annual travel insurance cost?

Multi-trip travel insurance for Europe
from £14.05**

Multi-trip travel insurance worldwide
from £28.94***

**Based on an annual multi trip travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe Prices correct as at September 2020. 

***Based on an annual multi trip travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling Worldwide. Prices correct as at September 2020.

Why use Compare the Market?

3 minutes^^ to get a travel insurance quote

We compare 42 providers^^^

87.4%^^^^ of customers found our prices competitive or very competitive

^^On average it can take less than 2 minutes to complete a travel insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in September 2020.

^^^Correct as of September 2020.

^^^^For the period 1st June 2020 to 31st August 2020, 358 people responded to the statement “I think the prices provided by CtM are….” 313 responded with ‘competitive’ or ‘very competitive’ (87.4%).

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