Annual travel insurance

If you’re planning on going away a few times a year, then an annual travel insurance policy can cover all your trips offering great value protection.

Compare cheap quotes for multi-trip travel insurance now.

What is annual multi-trip travel insurance?

Annual travel insurance - also known as multi-trip insurance - covers you for all the trips you’re planning on taking over the course of a year.

Single trip travel insurance, on the other hand, only covers you for one holiday.

If you’ve got more than one trip planned this year, it makes sense to look at taking out annual travel insurance and comparing it against single-trip options.

It could save you money, and time too, as you’ll only have to go through the process of taking out cover once a year.

Depending on where you’re planning on going during the year, you can pick from three types of annual cover:

  • European
  • Worldwide including the USA, Canada and the Caribbean
  • Worldwide excluding the USA, Canada and the Caribbean
Young adult couple at an airport loading their luggage in the trunk of a car.

What’s covered?

Most annual travel policies include:

  • Medical expenses - Cover for accessing private healthcare and emergency treatment when needed. If you have a pre-existing condition, you should mention it when you take out insurance or it won’t be covered
  • Repatriation - Pays for the cost of transporting you back to the UK because of your health, or if your return travel plans are affected by illness or an accident abroad
  • Personal liability - You’re covered if you injure someone or damage their property and you’re legally responsible
  • Delays and cancellation - If you need to cancel your trip, or there are problems with your flights
  • Lost or delayed luggage – Pays out to replace essential items on an outward journey
  • Theft or loss of personal possessions - Things like gadgets, money or travel documents. Double check you’re not covered as part of your home insurance already, because only one insurer will pay out
  • Covid-19 - Cover when Covid-19 affects your travel plans

What isn’t covered?

It depends on the insurance provider and your particular policy but in general, standard travel insurance won’t cover you for:

  • Changing your mind - If you cancel your holiday simply because you’ve changed your mind about taking the trip. This is known as ‘disinclination to travel’ in insurance terms and isn’t covered by travel insurance
  • Travelling against government advice - If the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) warns against all travel, or all but essential travel to your holiday destination before you go and you choose to travel anyway, you normally won’t be covered by your travel insurance
  • Natural disasters - Some insurers don’t accept claims that are the result of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis
  • Complete COVID-19 cover - Most good policies cover cancellation due to a positive test or if you need treatment for Covid-19 while abroad and/or have to extend your stay because of a diagnosis. But only a handful of policies provide cover if a UK lockdown means you can’t travel, or the FCDO changes its travel advice after you’ve booked your trip
  • Alcohol and non-prescription drugs - You’ll probably not be covered for accidents that happen when you’re under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs that impair your judgement or physical ability
  • Illegal or malicious activity - Policies won’t pay out for a claim that’s the result of you taking part in anything that goes against local laws
  • Failure to get vaccinated for a preventable tropical disease - If you get ill from a tropical disease and haven’t had the recommended inoculations or medication, any claims can be rejected
  • Taking part in extreme sports and activities - A standard policy won’t cover you for dangerous activities like hang-gliding or bungee jumping. You’ll need to take out extra cover for these kinds of risky sports
  • What are the advantages of an annual trip policy?

    There are a number of advantages to taking out a multi-trip policy including:

    • It’s usually more cost effective than buying multiple single-trip policies
    • Saves the hassle of purchasing a new policy every time you travel
    • You can be impulsive and take impromptu trips without worrying about organising insurance before you go (just make sure you’re covered for your chosen destination)
    • Annual travel insurance can cover you for UK staycations too
    • You don’t have to let your insurer know every time you’re going away
  • Are there disadvantages to taking out annual travel insurance?

    You may want to consider the following before taking the plunge and picking a policy:

    • Annual policies usually have time limits for each individual trip – usually around 30 days. If you’ve got a longer trip planned, you’ll need long-stay travel insurance
    • If you’re only taking a couple of trips a year, it doesn’t always work out cheaper. For example, if the two trips are in Europe, it can sometimes work out cheaper to buy two single-trip policies. Compare different types of policies to find the right choice for you
    • Some providers won’t offer annual cover for travellers over a certain age, so check the policy’s upper age limits. If you’re a senior, you can compare travel insurance policies for over-70s
    • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, a multi-trip policy could be expensive. Again, it’s worth comparing the cost of annual versus single-trip policies if this is the case

What different cover levels are there for annual travel insurance?

Many insurers offer three different levels of cover - such as ‘economy, standard and premier,’ or ‘bronze, silver and gold’ for example.

Each level will provide cover for the usual things as standard. What changes is the amount of cover you have for each section. So, the more comprehensive your policy, the higher the maximum payout available.

What additional cover options are there?

There are lots of optional extras you can add to a travel insurance policy, including:

  1. Winter sports cover

    Extra protection when you’re on the slopes

  2. Golf cover

    Includes cover for loss, theft or damage to your golf equipment

  3. Gadget cover

    Extra protection for theft or damage to things like your tablet, mobile phone and laptop

  4. Cruise cover

    Includes cover if you’re confined to your cabin, miss excursions or if there’s a change of itinerary

  5. Adventure and extreme sports cover

    Extra cover if you intend on taking part in a hazardous activity, includes things like kite surfing, hang-gliding or gorge walking

  6. Travel disruption cover

    If you can’t travel or continue a trip because the FCDO advises against all, or all but essential travel to your destination due to an unforeseen incident. This may include events like earthquakes or hurricanes at your destination, or if a strike affects your means of transport

Is annual travel insurance cheaper than a single-trip policy?

Although the cost of taking out an annual multi-trip policy will be more expensive than a single-trip policy initially, it normally works out cheaper in the long run if you take two or more trips a year.

With an annual policy you can usually take as many trips as you like - including impromptu breaks away - and be covered for all of them.

It’s worth assessing your options before making a decision though.

When should I start my annual travel insurance?

It’s best to take out a policy as soon as you’ve booked one of your trips or have started paying for it. That’s because, if something happens, like you fall ill or suffer a bereavement and you need to cancel, you’ll be covered.

How does annual travel insurance work?

Usually, there are no restrictions on how many times you can go away on an annual travel insurance policy, as long as each trip doesn’t exceed the maximum duration allowed on that particular policy.

For example, a policy may allow individual trips that last up to 21 days, 31 days or 60 days. If you’re taking any trips that last longer than the maximum duration allowed, you’d need to take out long-stay insurance.

Some annual policies may also have a limit on the total number of days you can be away within the policy year - for example 183 days in a 365-day period.

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