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Annual Travel Insurance

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What is annual travel insurance?

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

The benefits of annual holiday insurance include:

  • Pay once for 12 months’ cover
  • Travel insurance for an unlimited trips (although each individual trip length will have a limit)
  • The more you travel, the more you save

We can help you compare annual travel insurance and find the right cover for your needs. You can choose from the following regions:

  • UK
  • Europe
  • Worldwide (excluding USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico)
  • Worldwide.

A simples guide to annual travel insurance

If you’re wondering how annual travel insurance works, and whether it’s the right option for you, here’s what you need to know:

The information in this video is available as a text transcript.

What will an annual travel insurance policy usually cover?

A typical multi trip travel insurance policy could protect you against:

  • Medical expenses – this can cover medical emergencies, the cost of any treatment, overnight stays and repatriation. Remember to tell your insurance provider about any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Cancellation  – this could help if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday. For example, you fall ill or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Missed departure or delays  – offers cover if your flights are delayed because of an insured event, for instance, bad weather.
  • Stolen, lost or damaged luggage  – make sure you have enough insurance to cover the cost of your luggage.
  • Theft or loss of personal possessions – this could cover your valuables, money, travel documents and other belongings.
  • Personal liability – this may cover the cost of any damage or injury you inadvertently cause while you’re away.

Some insurance providers offer annual multi-trip travel insurance policies where you can choose between different degrees of cover, with increasing levels of protection. 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 excluded from yearly 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 on a standard annual travel insurance policy typically include:

  • Medical treatment for pre-existing conditions – you’ll usually need to pay extra to cover these

  • High-risk sports and activities like bungee jumping and rock climbing – again, you may need a specialist policy for these

  • Claims arising from travel to a place the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has advised against travel, prior to your trip
  • Claims resulting from being under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Events such as terrorism, natural disasters and civil unrest

  • Trips over a set number of days (usually 31)

How to get a cheap annual travel insurance policy

One of the best ways to find cheap annual multi-trip 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 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 may 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 – this is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim. 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 a multi trip policy?

Annual travel cover could be a good choice for anyone who makes two or more trips in a 12-month span.

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 could be cheaper than paying for multiple single trips
  • Suitability – with several types of annual multi-trip 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.

How much does annual travel insurance cost?

Multi-trip travel insurance for Europe
from £11.05[1]

Multi-trip travel insurance worldwide
from £29.80[1]

[1] Based on Compare the Market data for an annual multi trip travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe/Worldwide. Prices correct as of December 2023.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need annual travel insurance if I have an EHIC/GHIC card?

Yes, you should have both if you’re planning to make multiple trips to Europe in a year. Travel insurance will cover other costs that the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) or GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) won’t, such as flight delays or lost luggage.

And although these cards allow you to get the same access to medical treatment as a local in EU countries, they don’t cover all health-related costs. For instance, they won’t cover you for emergency repatriation if you need to be returned to the UK for specialist medical care.

Has Brexit affected multi-trip travel insurance?

Even though the UK has left the EU, Brexit hasn’t massively changed how travel insurance works. You’ll still be able to take out a new annual multi-trip travel insurance policy that’s specific to Europe, which will cover you just as it did before.

If you already have a rolling annual multi-trip policy, you shouldn’t need to worry either. It should just continue to cover you as normal. If you’re unsure though, it’s always best to talk to your insurance provider or check your policy wording.

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:

These could give you the cover you need if you’re taking part in riskier activities – but you’ll need to pay a bit extra to add them to your policy.

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 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 multi-trip travel insurance to start from?

Ideally, on the day you pay for it. This is because the cancellation cover on annual multi-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 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, your insurance provider will pay you £200 if your claim is successful.

Different parts of the policy may have different excess amounts. For example, the excess for cancellation might 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. Some annual travel insurance providers won’t cover people over 75, and the maximum trip duration is usually 31 or 60 days, depending on the cover you’re buying.  

The maximum duration for flyers aged 66 to 75 is usually around 21 days, and 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 should also make sure you understand what to do if you make a claim, such as reporting the incident to the police.

Can my family travel independently on an annual policy?

In most cases, each adult named on a family policy is covered to travel alone. You don’t all have to go away together at the same time. Children can often travel independently of others named on the policy as long as they’re accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Some policies won’t cover family members travelling independently though, so do check if this is going to be an issue for you.

How many times can you claim on annual travel insurance?

You’ll be covered for each trip you take. This means that, in theory, you could claim each time you travel, regardless of whether you’ve made a claim before or how many times you’ve gone away. But unless you’re very unlucky, the chances of having to make multiple claims in one year are slim.

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 can cover missed port stops or cabin confinement.

Long-stay trip insurance (also known as backpacker insurance) might 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.
Author image Anna McEntee

What our expert says...

"You might think a multi-trip annual policy isn't for you, but even going away twice in a year could make it worth it. It can also remove some of the admin from travelling, with one policy covering you for all your trips, rather than having to take out cover each time."

- Anna McEntee, Insurance comparison expert

Why use Compare the Market?

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We compare 39 providers[2]

[2] Correct as of December 2023.

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Page last reviewed on 15 JANUARY 2024
by Anna McEntee