Single-trip travel insurance

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Covid-19 (coronavirus) – important information

From 17th May 2021, a travel traffic light system is being introduced and trips to green list countries will be legally permitted if you live in England. Strict border control measures will remain in place for your return to the UK.

Before you buy, you should consider the implications of your destination moving from a green list country to amber or red as you may incur additional costs and/or face travel restrictions that will not be covered by your travel insurance.

The traffic light rules only dictate what you have to do on returning to England – so even if a country is on the green list, you still need to check your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel to your destination and you still decide to travel, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase.

A few insurers do offer cover If you are an essential traveller, however if you are in doubt or have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing.

Until dates have been set to permit non-essential international travel from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland it is important that you follow all the rules that apply to your country of residence.

What is single-trip travel insurance?

Single-trip travel insurance offers cover for one trip, that lasts a month or less.

You can book a single-trip policy far in advance of your holiday, but fewer insurers could be willing to cover you if you’re arranging travel insurance with more than a year until your trip.

Single-trip travel insurance is available whether you want an individual, couples, family or group policy.

What’s covered?

Travel insurance for a single trip covers:

  • Medical expenses
  • Emergency repatriation
  • Flight and holiday cancellation, curtailment or delays
  • Delayed or lost luggage
  • Theft of money and personal belongings

If you’re planning any activities, check they’re covered by your insurer. You might need extra protection for winter or extreme sports.

The cancellation cover included in your single-trip policy applies from the moment you buy the policy until the end of your holiday.

The other elements of your cover, like medical treatments and luggage cover, only apply for the duration of your holiday.

Get the right amount of cover

Consumer group Which? suggests the following cover levels as a minimum:

  1. Medical expenses

    £2 million for Europe and £5 million worldwide

  2. Personal liability cover

    £1 million

  3. Cancellation cover


  4. Baggage or personal belongings


Alternatives to single-trip insurance

Annual cover

Annual or multi-trip insurance will cover you for two or more trips within a 365-day period.

Each individual trip can’t be longer than a month.

Buying annual cover is usually cheaper than getting multiple single-trip policies if you’re going somewhere like America or Canada. But if you've just got a couple of European trips planned, or one of your holidays is in the States and another is closer to home, it’s not always the case.

If you’re looking to make the best saving, take the time to compare between the two.

Long-stay insurance

Long-stay cover, sometimes called extended-stay or backpackers’ insurance, will cover you for a single trip that lasts a month or more.

This type of policy doesn’t cover multiple trips, it just covers one long holiday.

How much does single-trip travel insurance cost?

The average cost of single-trip travel insurance policies was £21.30 for those without medical conditions and £56.05 for people with medical conditions in 2020.[2]

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[2]Average price purchased data recorded by for single-trip travel insurance, split by those with medical conditions and without, from 1 January to 31 December 2020.

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021

Next review due: 15 December 2021

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