How does annual travel insurance work?

6 minute read

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If you’re planning to take multiple trips during a one-year period, you may want to look at annual travel insurance.

From convenience to potential cost savings, there’s a range of reasons an annual multi-trip policy can be worthwhile for frequent travellers. In this article, we’ll look at how this type of insurance works, how it differs from single trip insurance and what to consider when researching your options.

What is annual travel insurance?

Annual insurance allows you to take multiple trips during a year period, under the same policy. This means you don’t need to worry about getting a new policy each time you travel (as long as your trips all meet the criteria outlined in your insurance agreement).

 

How does annual travel insurance work?

With annual travel insurance, you can apply for (or renew) your policy once a year. After this, you can travel multiple times during that period knowing you have a certain level of travel insurance in place. It should not, however, be seen as unlimited travel insurance as there are some restrictions you may need to bear in mind.

 

Length of stay per trip

Typically, you can take as many trips as you like with annual travel insurance, but each of your getaways must align with the maximum length of stay outlined in your policy. This can differ greatly from one provider to the next. Some providers have been known to set their limit as low as 21 days per trip, whereas others might have it at 45 days, so it’s worth checking your policy against any travel plans. 

 

Total number of days away

Some providers may also set a limit for the total number of days you can be away for during a policy year. This means that when you add each of your trip durations together over the 365-day policy, it can’t exceed a certain amount of days. For example, if you take six trips throughout the year, the total number of days combined across all of your travels should be less than 180 days in total. If you need to exceed those terms, you can look to take out additional cover such as long-stay insurance.

 

What does an annual travel insurance policy typically cover?

Although every annual travel insurance provider will have a different offering, a typical policy will provide a level of cover for:

  • Medical expenses - should you need to pay for emergency medical treatment whilst on holiday.
  • Cancellation - should you need to cancel or curtail your trip for an insurable reason (for example, if you had an accident or fell ill).
  • Delays or missed departures - should your transport be delayed following an insured event ( for example, extreme weather).
  • Lost, damaged or stolen baggage or belongings - should your luggage go missing through an event that isn't your fault.
  • Personal liability - should you accidentally damage items, property or injure someone whilst on your travels.

Some annual travel insurance policies may also offer added benefits, depending on the provider you choose. These can include medical evacuation and lost luggage coverage, which may not be included in some standard single trip policies. As such, it’s worth comparing these features when assessing which policy is right for you. Knowing what to look for can help you secure adequate coverage at a price that works for you.

 

Where might I need additional cover?

It’s always important to check the details of your policy and ensure that your cover reflects the activities you plan to do on holiday. This can be especially important with annual travel insurance. This is because the cover you need for your trips can vary over time and you may not be prompted to raise this with your insurer if you’re not making new applications as you would a single trip policy.

Below we list some example scenarios that may require you to buy additional cover.

  • Sporting activities, such as water/winter sports or golf
  • Travel to destinations that the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has advised against
  • Cruise holidays
  • Longer-stay holidays
  • Destinations outside of your existing policy (for example, if you have European cover but plan on going to Mexico)

 

Equally, if you have a pre-existing medical condition , you may need to add additional cover to your annual policy or seek a different specialist policy. You should also update your insurance provider regarding any changes to your medical condition during your year-long insurance period.

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How does single trip insurance compare to annual insurance?

Single trip and annual travel insurance policies cater to different needs and travel habits. Each offers distinct advantages depending on your travel frequency and requirements. Understanding the key differentiators between the two can help you make informed decisions when selecting the most suitable travel insurance option.

Single trip travel insurance is aimed at individuals planning one-off journeys or holidays within a specific timeframe. It offers comprehensive protection against various travel-related risks such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost baggage.

Since it is designed for short-term use, and the coverage is only needed for a trip that lasts a few days or weeks, single trip travel insurance can be cheaper upfront. However, long-term it tends to only be cost-efficient if you’re an infrequent traveller.

You may also want to consider single trip insurance if you’re embarking on a series of one-time adventures that each require a specific type of insurance, such as a cruise trip and a winter sports break.

 

What are the benefits of buying annual holiday insurance?

Here we explore some of the benefits that annual travel insurance can offer for certain travellers.

Ongoing protection

If you’re someone that likes to travel frequently, or at short notice, an annual policy can provide consistency and flexibility as you don’t have to remember to renew or buy a policy for each journey within that year.

Potential cost savings

If you’re a frequent traveller, it’s possible to save money over time with an annual travel insurance policy when compared to buying numerous single-trip policies.

Ease and simplicity

Getting an annual policy can save you the task of repeating all the details in the application stage. Plus, you can use auto-renewal to make sure you don’t miss your renewal dates.


How much is annual travel insurance?

There is no set cost for travel insurance as the premium you’re quoted will depend on various factors including your personal details, your travel habits and requirements.

 

Why is annual travel insurance cheaper than single in some circumstances?

Unlike single-trip policies where you pay separately for each trip, annual travel insurance covers you under a single premium. If you're someone who likes to travel often, it’s possible that annual travel insurance can work out cheaper than buying lots of individual policies. The savings, however, will depend on many factors including how often you intend to travel, trip duration and your desired level of coverage.

 

Finding the right fit for you

When assessing your insurance options, it’s essential to consider factors such as travel frequency, destination and specific coverage needs. Evaluating your personal travel habits and requirements can help determine which policy best suits your needs, provides value for money and can offer added peace of mind during your travels.

To find out more about Age Co Travel Insurance, simply click here. You can also find more travel advice, as well as guides for getting the most out of later life, in Age Co’s Useful Article section.

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