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.
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:
Most annual travel policies include:
It depends on the insurance provider and your particular policy but in general, standard travel insurance won’t cover you for:
There are a number of advantages to taking out a multi-trip policy including:
You may want to consider the following before taking the plunge and picking a policy:
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.
There are lots of optional extras you can add to a travel insurance policy, including:
Extra protection when you’re on the slopes
Includes cover for loss, theft or damage to your golf equipment
Extra protection for theft or damage to things like your tablet, mobile phone and laptop
Includes cover if you’re confined to your cabin, miss excursions or if there’s a change of itinerary
Extra cover if you intend on taking part in a hazardous activity, includes things like kite surfing, hang-gliding or gorge walking
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
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.
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.
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.
Not all insurers will cover you if you have a pre-existing medical condition like cancer or heart disease. But there are insurers that will, though the premiums will be more expensive than a standard policy.
It’s important that you declare any pre-existing conditions to your insurer, though. If you don’t, they’ll be unlikely to pay out for any claim related to your medical condition, such as medical expenses or having to cancel or cut short a trip.
For people with serious medical conditions who can’t find cover, the government’s MoneyHelper service has launched a directory of insurance providers that may be able to give you a quote.
You can cancel your travel insurance within 14 days of receiving your policy documents and will be entitled to receive a full refund, as long as you haven’t travelled or made a claim.
If you cancel after this time, you may not be entitled to a refund.
A Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you access to state-funded healthcare for free or at the same rate as a resident of that country in the European Union (EU). It’s replacing the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but your current EHIC remains valid until the expiry date on the card. You can apply for a new card on the NHS website.
A GHIC/EHIC card isn’t a replacement for travel insurance, though. It won't cover any private healthcare, or repatriation back to the UK.
As most EU countries don't have free medical care like the NHS, you might only be able to access private treatment while abroad. And without travel insurance, you'd have to pay for it.
Even if you have travel insurance in place, you should take your EHIC or GHIC card away with you. Some insurers will insist on this as part of the conditions of their policies.
It depends on the activities you intend to do and your particular policy.
Most will cover low-risk activities - like fishing, rowing, tennis or squash - as standard.
But if you want to have a go at something more dangerous - like jet-skiing or paragliding - you’ll usually have to pay for extra cover.
There may also be terms and conditions you’d need to adhere to for your policy to be valid, such as wearing pads and helmets if you’re rollerblading or skateboarding.
If you’re skiing or snowboarding, you’ll need a specialist winter sports policy.
An annual policy for either European or worldwide destinations will usually cover your UK trips as well. Just make sure you check for any exclusions around UK travel. For example, a policy might state that your UK trip must be for a minimum of two nights to be covered.
Your annual travel policy will normally cover lost or stolen baggage, belongings and money up to a maximum amount. There’ll usually be a limit on the amount you can claim for any single item and valuables – this could be anything from £100 to £500. Policies also impose a limit on the maximum amount they’ll pay out for lost or stolen cash and travellers’ cheques.
If you’re taking valuable items, you can protect things like your smartphone or tablet with gadget cover. Or valuables may already be covered on your home contents insurance if you have personal possessions away from home cover.
Some travel insurance companies offer student discounts or specialise in insuring students.
Your best bet is to compare a wide range of cover, so you get the right policy for your particular travel plans.
It’s a good idea to compare quotes, cover levels and prices for annual travel insurance.
Policies that offer lower cover levels will be cheaper, but you need to ensure you’re adequately covered. For example, if you paid £3,000 for your holiday, choosing a policy that pays out just £2,000 in cancellation cover would leave you out of pocket.
Sometimes, choosing a policy which has a higher excess payable (the amount you’d need to pay if you make a claim) can result in cheaper premiums. But you need to be sure you could afford that excess should you need to make a claim.