Annual travel insurance, also known as multi-trip travel insurance, is insurance designed for those who make multiple trips abroad during the space of a year.
What's the difference between annual and single-trip insurance?
Single-trip insurance, as the name suggests, provides protection for the duration of a single trip. Typically, the destination and duration of the trip must be provided and only this trip will be covered by the policy. Single-trip insurance policies can be taken out by individuals and group or family insurance policies can also be taken out to cover single trips.
Annual travel insurance gives the policy-holder protection for multiple trips taken over the course of a year. This can be both handy and more cost-effective for people who take multiple trips per year. The cost of an annual travel insurance policy could be considerably less than the combined cost of several single-trip policies. You do not have to arrange new cover every time you take a trip, which can be particularly useful for last minute trips.
Additionally, the levels of cover offered are sometimes more generous on annual insurance policies.
What does annual travel insurance cover?
The levels of cover will vary from insurer to insurer and between individual policies. A comprehensive annual travel insurance policy will, however, typically include medical cover, cover for lost or stolen baggage and cancellation cover.
Other benefits may include 24-hour assistance helplines and personal liability protection to cover you if you cause injury to another person or damage to property. You can also cover your spending money against loss or theft. In the case of theft, you will be expected to report the crime to the local police.
The exact amounts covered will also vary. How much you need depends on your personal circumstances but many people will want to match the level of cancellation cover to the cost of their holiday and the level of baggage cover to the cost of all items in their baggage. There may be a cap on the maximum value of any one item, but individual items such as laptops or expensive camera equipment can sometimes be specified and covered separately.
There may also be exclusions in an annual travel insurance policy. These can include activities that are deemed dangerous such as skiing, water sports and bungee jumping. Many activities and circumstances that are not covered in a standard policy can, however, sometimes be added as extended cover elements for an extra cost on the premium.
Who does it cover?
Annual travel insurance can be purchased to cover any individual or couple making multiple trips in the space of a year. If you are planning on travelling as a group it may be worth looking into family cover or group travel insurance policies. Family and group cover may also be available in an annual or multi-trip format, covering a group of named individuals for multiple trips in a year. If you take more than two family holidays a year, this can be well worth checking out.
Is annual cover suitable for a gap year or backpacking?
Annual travel insurance is often ideal for people who make three or more trips abroad in the space of a year. It is designed to cover individual trips though. Typically, annual travel insurance covers a number of individual trips, each lasting a maximum number of days.
These periods can often be extended (usually at an extra cost) but there will still be a limit on the number of consecutive days of travel covered for each individual trip. Usually, the maximum covered is between 30 and 60 days. The number of trips covered is often unlimited but each individual trip must last no longer than the maximum period allowed.
Backpackers and gap year travellers will usually require unbroken cover for longer periods. Specialist backpacker policies that cover extended trips abroad may be more suitable for this kind of traveller.
Do I still need a European Health Insurance Card?
The *European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to receive free or reduced cost medical treatment in any European Economic Area country. These include all countries in the European Union plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is also covered.
The EHIC basically provides you with the same treatment as a resident of the country you are visiting. It's worth noting that this may not be equivalent to treatment provided on the NHS. The treatments available vary from country to country, as do the costs. Some treatments will be free, depending on the country you are visiting, while others may require a 'patient contribution'.
The EHIC does not provide private medical treatment. It also does not cover the cost of emergency repatriation to the UK in the event of a serious accident or medical condition. The EHIC will not provide any medical cover when travelling in countries outside Europe.Back to top