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Single trip travel insurance

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What is single trip travel insurance?

Single trip cover is a travel insurance policy for a one-off holiday. If you go away twice or more every year, it could work out cheaper to buy annual travel insurance compared to buying two single trip policies. But if you travel on holiday just once a year, single trip insurance could be better value.


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 are the advantages of a single trip policy?

The pros of a single trip travel insurance policy include:

  • Price – only going on one holiday in the next 12 months? Then a single trip policy could be the most cost-effective choice.
  • Cover for your whole trip – you can arrange cover for the exact number of days you’re away.
  • Higher or no age limits – 75-80 years old? Many insurance providers won’t offer annual travel insurance for travellers of this age, so a single trip policy could be the only option.
  • Cover for your trip will start when you buy it – this could come in handy if you need to cancel your trip.

What are my other travel insurance options?

The alternative to a single trip travel insurance policy is an annual travel insurance policy (also known as a multi-trip policy). This type of insurance should cover all your holidays for one year, but bear in mind that there’s usually a maximum length for each individual trip within that year.

This means that each holiday you take can’t exceed the number of days specified in your policy – typically this is 31 days, but you can find policies for 60 or even 90 days. If you intend to be away for longer, then look for a long-stay policy.

What will a travel insurance policy usually cover?

A typical travel insurance policy, including single trip cover, should protect you against:

  • Medical expenses
  • Personal accidents
  • Cancellation and curtailment
  • Missed departure or delays
  • Delayed, stolen, lost or damaged luggage
  • Lost or stolen valuables and personal money
  • Personal liability

Having seen recent reports of airlines going out of business and travel companies failing, you may also want to see what insurance providers offer in terms of cover for:

  • Scheduled airline failure
  • End supplier failure

You may also find that there are extra cover options that you can choose such as:

  • Legal expenses
  • Cover for sports and activities
  • Natural catastrophe and terrorism cover
  • Cover for airspace closure – for example because of volcanic ash or drones around an airport as this may be excluded in the “delays” cover.

You should also make sure you understand the single item limit. You might need extra cover if you want to take valuables that are worth more than this amount, for example an expensive mobile phone or jewellery.

Many travel policies to Europe also have the proviso that you need to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to use in the first instance if you have a health problem. Following Brexit, EHIC cards will continue to be valid during the transition period to the end of December 2020. What happens after that in the longer term still has to be agreed between governments.

What’s usually excluded from single trip travel insurance?

You should always read the policy carefully before buying to make sure it covers your needs, as insurance providers will have a list of exclusions – things they won’t pay out for if you make a claim. These may include:

  • Medical treatment for pre-existing conditions
  • Some sports, water sports, 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 to avoid – because of disease epidemics/pandemics or terrorism threats, for example - prior to your trip. Always check for the latest update before you travel
  • Claims resulting from alcohol or drug taking
  • Claims because you didn’t get the inoculations and vaccinations needed for your trip.

What is an excess?

An excess is the amount of money you’re expected to contribute towards a claim. For example, if your cancellation cover was for £1,000 and your excess was £250, when your claim is paid you would receive £750.

Travel insurance policies may have different amounts of excess for different parts of the policy. Check that you can afford to pay your share of any claim or find an insurance provider with a lower excess. Examples of different kinds of excess that may be set out in your policy include:

  • Loss of deposit excess
  • Personal money excess
  • Baggage excess
  • Cancellation excess

Frequently asked questions

How can I get cheap single trip travel insurance?

One of the simplest ways to find cheap single trip travel insurance is to compare quotes with us. But there are other things that might help you save money on your insurance, including:

  • Choosing a less expensive destination. Places like the USA can be more expensive for insurance because of the potential risk of high medical costs.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess. But make sure you can afford it if you need to claim.
  • Avoiding taking very expensive gadgets and personal items with you that exceed the single item limit.
  • Not buying cover at the last minute – not only will you not be covered until then but insurance providers tend to raise prices the closer to deadlines for all kinds of insurance.
  • Not buying cover sold with your trip – it may not suit your needs and you may be able to get better cover for less money.

If you’re making more than one trip in a year, then you might find it cheaper to get an annual policy with multi-trip cover, rather than buying separate policies for two or three single trips. We can show you annual cover prices too so you can decide which option is right for you.

Will I need extra cover for sports and activities?

If you’re planning on being adventurous, you should check the details of your single trip insurance or pay for extra cover for the following:

Do I need to mention any pre-existing medical conditions?

Yes. To get you a list of quotes, we’ll ask you a few questions about your health and to include any pre-existing medical conditions.

From a provider's point of view, if you or a member of your family has a health condition, it could mean you're more likely to need medical help while you’re away. Because of this, some conditions might increase the insurance premium, but this isn’t always the case with all conditions.

Make sure you list any medical conditions and give providers all the information they need. If you don’t, you might be charged more by your provider or have a claim rejected if anyone gets ill.

Does it matter where I’m travelling to?

Your destination could well impact on the price of your single trip travel insurance.

For example, the following countries all have a high level of private health care, therefore it costs more to receive treatment there.

As a result, you might find it’s more expensive to get cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition and you’re visiting any of these countries.

Please note: Your travel insurance won’t cover you if you’re travelling to a country that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) doesn’t consider safe. For more information, check the FCO website.

Do I need single trip travel insurance if I’m holidaying in the UK?

While staycations mean you won’t have to worry so much about medical costs, if you suddenly become ill and can’t go away, then travel insurance could cover the cost of a cancelled holiday. UK hoildays often have minimum stay requirements, so make sure you check this before buying a policy.

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:

  • Dates of travel
  • All countries being visited
  • How many people you want to insure
  • Any medical conditions
  • Cover limits, excess limits and additional cover you might want.

Patrick Ikhena

Travel expert at Compare the Market

“When choosing travel insurance, don’t just buy on price. Make sure any policy you choose covers you for the things you need, including all pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, always read the policy carefully so you know what you can and can’t claim for.”

How much does single trip travel insurance cost?

From £2.30
2 nights UK**

From £5.93
1 week Europe***

From £12.38
1 week Worldwide****

**Based on a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in the UK for 2 nights. Prices correct as at September 2020.

***Based on a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe for 1 week. Prices correct as at September 2020.

****Based on a worldwide travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling for 1 week. Prices correct as at September 2020.

Where can I compare single trip travel cover quotes?

We compare 42 providers^^

2 minutes^^^ to get a travel insurance quote

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

^^Correct as of September 2020.

^^^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.

^^^^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%).

We can help you find the right single trip travel insurance policy for you. Simply compare travel insurance and get a quote in minutes.

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