For those planning multiple holidays this year, it’s not just the amount of sun hats and tanning lotion they might need to reconsider. Switching to an annual travel insurance plan can offer huge benefits to those getting away across the year, when compared to single-trip insurance.
Here at Asda Money, we’ve answered some of the most common questions surrounding annual travel insurance to help you prepare for any future trips abroad.
What’s the difference between annual and single-trip insurance?
Annual travel insurance, also known as multi-trip travel insurance, is designed for those who go on three or more trips abroad during the space of a year. Whether you are travelling alone or as a couple, annual insurance cover often proves a cheaper and more efficient option.
The cost of an annual travel insurance policy could be considerably less than the combined cost of several single-trip policies. Plus, you don’t have to arrange new cover every time you take a trip abroad either, which can be particularly useful if you want to book a last-minute holiday. Another bonus is the level of cover, which generally speaking is more generous on annual insurance policies.
Single-trip insurance, as the name suggests, only provides protection for the duration of a single trip, rather than multiple. When taking out single-trip insurance, typically the destination and duration of the trip must be provided, and only this trip will be covered in the policy. If you’re not travelling solo, family and group insurance policies can also be taken out to cover a single trip.
What and who does annual travel insurance cover?
Cover will vary between insurance providers, as well as individual policies. However, a comprehensive annual travel insurance policy, such as Asda Money’s, will provide protection for medical issues, lost or stolen luggage and money, as well as flight cancellation cover. Typically, other benefits will include 24-hour assistance helplines and personal liability protection, but it’s always advisable to check the terms of your policy with your insurance provider.
The amount you’re covered for within your policy will also differ, and this mostly comes down to personal circumstances. Usually, 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 their items. A cap on the maximum value of any one item may apply, but individual expensive objects such as laptops, for example, can sometimes be covered separately if specified.
Certain exclusions may apply in an annual travel insurance policy, such as activities which are deemed dangerous, like water sports and bungee jumping. If there is an activity you’re interested in doing abroad that is not covered in your standard policy, in many cases these can be added for an extra cost on the premium as extended cover.
If you’re planning on travelling with family, or as part of a group, it would be worth looking into family cover or group travel insurance policies. It is also worth noting that family and group travel insurance policies may be available in an annual or multi-trip format, covering the members of the group who have been named in the policy agreement.
This is also similar if you’re planning to take a gap year or going backpacking, as annual travel insurance usually has limits on the number of days covered per trip. As the maximum limit is usually between 30 and 60 days, backpackers and gap year travellers will usually require unbroken cover for longer periods of time. Therefore, it would be worthwhile looking into a specialist backpacker policy that covers extended trips abroad instead.
Do I still need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
If you’re travelling within Europe, it is a good idea to apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which allows you to receive free or reduced cost medical treatments in any European Economic Area country. For the time being, following on from recent political changes, the EHIC card is not being affected which means you can still apply for one as usual.
It is important to remember that the EHIC may not help to provide the equivalent treatment which would be provided on the NHS. However, it does provide you with the same treatment as a resident of the country you’re visiting.
Costs and treatments will vary from country to country, and it’s also worth noting that a EHIC doesn’t provide private medical treatment or the cost of emergency repatriation to the UK in the event of a serious accident or medical condition.
Here at Asda Money we offer a range of travel insurance policies to suit your personal circumstances, and would be more than happy to help if you require any assistance regarding our services.