When comparing travel insurance policies, you’ll be asked whether you want to buy single trip cover or an annual policy. Both options have pros and cons, so it’s important to consider which one best suits your needs before purchasing. This guide runs through how both types of cover work to help you decide.
Single trip cover is a travel insurance policy that covers you for one trip abroad.
When you apply for a single trip policy, you will need to confirm the:
End date of your trip
You will then be covered for this destination and period only. If you’re planning to visit more than one destination in one trip, make sure you include all the sites.
Cover will usually include medical expenses, emergency repatriation, holiday cancellation and lost or stolen luggage and possessions.
Also known as multi-trip travel insurance, annual travel insurance covers you for every trip you take in a set period, usually 12 months.
When you apply for an annual cover quote, you will need to confirm where you will be travelling. You will usually be given a choice between:
Worldwide, excluding the USA, Canada and all Caribbean islands
Worldwide, including the USA, Canada and all Caribbean islands
It’s important to select your options carefully as you will only be covered when you travel to countries in those locations. For example, if you chose Europe and travelled to Asia, you would not be covered. It can also cover any domestic trips you take within the UK.
Be aware there will be a limit on the number of days covered for each trip you take. Many policies will cover an individual trip of up to 31 days, so you would be covered for several trips of 31 days or less, but not any that last 32 days or more.
However, other policies offer periods of just 10 days or up to 90 days, so check the policy carefully before you take it out.
This will depend on how many trips you make per year. If you know you will only go on one or two holidays abroad in a 12-month period, a single trip policy will most likely be the best option.
However, if you take several trips abroad each year, an annual multi-trip policy could be cheaper. Always compare both options to be sure.
Both types of travel insurance policy should cover:
Baggage and personal possessions
Check each policy carefully because not all insurers will cover the above as standard. Also, check how much you are covered for. For example, if your baggage is worth £2,000, make sure you are covered for at least this amount.
Find out more about what else can be covered by a policy in our guide to travel insurance.
When comparing both annual and single trip travel insurance, you must check exactly what is and isn’t covered and keep the following in mind:
Winter sports: Adding winter sports cover to an annual policy can be more expensive than getting single trip policies, especially if you only go skiing once. Here is what winter sports insurance covers.
Pre-existing medical conditions: You must declare any conditions when you apply. Annual cover that includes pre-existing medical conditions can be expensive, so check to see if it is cheaper to get individual single trip policies each time you go away. Find out how pre-existing conditions affect your travel insurance here.
Your age: Many insurers will not offer annual travel insurance for travellers over 75 or 80 years old, so you will need to get single trip cover which often has no age limit. Here is how to find travel insurance as an older traveller, or you can compare travel insurance for over 75-year-olds here.
This will depend on your situation, but if you are certain you will only travel once in the next 12 months, you should get a single trip policy for that holiday.
If you are unsure of how many trips you will take, an annual policy may be more expensive, but it will give you the peace of mind of knowing you are covered. You will also not have to worry about taking out separate policies before you travel.
You can find out what is covered under a travel insurance policy in this guide.
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Make sure you get the best possible cover when you go away by comparing travel insurance deals. You can find the cover you need at the right price whatever your travel plans.