Annual vs single trip travel insurance
Annual vs single trip travel insurance
Should you pick annual (multi-trip) or single trip travel insurance? In this article we look at the difference between the two and why you might choose one or the other.
What is annual travel insurance?
Annual travel insurance – also called multi-trip insurance – covers you for a year from the date the policy starts.
You’re covered for however many trips you go on in those 12 months, but you’ll usually be limited to around 31 days per trip. Some insurance providers may have a limit of up to 60 days, but this is down to the individual provider, so if you’re planning a long holiday it’s something to check.
On 7 September 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated the list of countries that are exempt from its ongoing advice against all non-essential international travel.
If you choose to travel overseas to a destination where the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel at the time of your departure, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected.
For domestic travel, please check the local public health rules for the destination you wish to travel to within the United Kingdom.
For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.
What is single trip travel insurance?
A single trip policy covers you for just a single holiday and ends when you come home. This type of policy is cheaper than an annual one – but if you go on a few holidays each year and take out a single policy each time, the cost can add up.
You might want your policy to start as soon as you book your holiday, so you have some cover for cancellations. Take that into account when you consider quotes.
Find out more about single trip travel insurance.
Annual vs single trip insurance – how do you choose?
Over the last few years, more and more people have been choosing annual travel insurance. Back in 2006, 62% of policies sold were single trip policies. By 2016, that had dropped to just 21%.
Many people think that if you’re going on more than one trip in a year, multi-trip insurance is cheaper. But it’s not actually that simple. There are situations when single-trip insurance might be cheaper.
For example, if you’re going on one skiing holiday in Canada and one relaxed city break in Paris, the two trips would need very different levels of insurance. The skiing holiday would need worldwide insurance with winter sports cover. That would be very expensive if you got an annual policy – certainly not worth it just to cover your short trip to France as well. Getting two single-trip policies could be the more sensible choice.
The good thing about this is that you don’t have to guess – you can compare travel insurance quotes for your trips, both as annual and single trip, and see how they compare.
And what about for the spontaneous types?
You should also consider how spontaneous your travel plans tend to be. Even if you don’t have multiple trips planned, if you’re the type to jet off for a weekend at short notice you should factor that into your insurance choice.
With an annual policy, you don’t need to worry about cover every time you book a holiday. But remember, if you’ve bought annual travel insurance that only covers Europe, don’t spontaneously go to Morocco. Stop and upgrade your travel insurance first.
What are the many varieties of travel insurance?
There are various types of travel insurance. So far, we’ve just looked at annual vs single trip travel insurance, but you’ll also need to decide a few of other things, such as:
- do you want travel insurance for just yourself or would you like couple’s travel insurance, family travel insurance or group travel insurance?
- what countries are you visiting? Find out more about the different options: Where is my travel insurance valid?
- do you need extras such as winter sports travel insurance?
What insurance cover do you get?
There will usually be limits to the amount your insurance provider will pay for each of these things listed below – and remember – always check the details before you buy a policy. This is a quick look at the cover you’ll normally get with travel insurance:
- medical expenses – travel insurance usually includes money towards the cost of any medical treatment you need while away, which can add up – especially if you end up in a private hospital. You should also look for emergency repatriation cover to get you back home
- cancellation and curtailment – if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday for an insured reason, then your provider may reimburse you
- missed departures and delays – if you’re delayed because of strikes or bad weather, or if you’ve missed your flight because of a car breakdown, then you could get some money back
- luggage – don’t underestimate the value of your belongings, especially when you include your smartphone, tablet, camera or any other gadget you can’t live without. Decent travel insurance should cover the cost for these things in the event of loss, damage or theft
The first step to deciding on annual vs single trip travel insurance is to get quotes for each option. It’s quick and easy with Compare the Market.