What is annual multi trip travel insurance?
With annual multi trip travel insurance you are covered for a number of trips within a 12-month period. It can often work out cheaper than taking out multiple single trip policies for each trip you take. Insurers differ in terms of how many consecutive days they’ll provide cover for, so make sure you check the small print of your policy.
Who is annual travel insurance suitable for?
Whether you are a solo traveller or a couple, annual cover can be the cheapest option when it comes to making sure you are covered to travel more than three times each year.
If you plan to travel with a group or with your family you may find that it is more cost effective to purchase a group travel insurance policy or family cover and this is worth investigating before you proceed to purchase annual multi trip cover.
Likewise, if you plan to take a year out to travel the globe then it may be worth investigating a backpackers policy as this is designed to cover you to travel to a variety of destinations for a longer duration and provide additional cover for the activities you may embark on.
What are the benefits of annual multi trip travel insurance?
When it comes to travel insurance, just 19% of people book an annual multi trip policy**. Since they cost around two times as much as single trip travel insurance, they represent a substantial financial outlay for many people.
However, for anyone who travels regularly the benefits can be substantial. You can save as much as 33% on the total cost of your trips, and for each additional trip that you make the savings can be even higher.
What does multi trip travel insurance cover?
The level of cover you receive can vary a great deal from insurer to insurer but the average annual travel insurance policy should at least include:
- Medical cover
- Cancellation and delay cover
- Loss of baggage cover
Other types of cover included in a comprehensive annual multi trip policy could include: cover for valuables and holiday money, scheduled airline failure insurance, personal accident/personal liability cover and legal expenses cover.
As a good rule of thumb, you should aim to have the following amounts in each area of cover:
Medical cover in the region of £2 million (double this if travelling to the USA). This should also cover the cost of emergency repatriation.
Personal liability cover amounting to around £1 million.
Cancellation cover of equal value to your holiday (including the cost of prepaid excursions). Cover is usually on a per person basis so to cover a £2,000 holiday you'd need cover of £1,000 each as a minimum.
Baggage and personal possessions cover to cover the cost of replacing your suitcase and contents should it be lost or stolen. You should also consider the cost of single items such as your digital camera or laptop and factor this into the cover level you require (it is commonplace for insurers to apply a cap to the amount you can claim for on any one item so read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully).
Holiday spending money cover of around £500 or equal to the value of the cash you will be taking with you.
What about the EHIC, do I need one of those?
The European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC, is designed to ensure that you receive free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment in any of the EU member countries - plus Switzerland - and is available for those aged 16 and over free of charge.
It is a good idea to apply for one if you will be travelling within Europe as you will be asked for this first in the event of you needing healthcare whilst on holiday.
It is important to remember that the EHIC does not fully cover the cost of your medical treatment and will not entitle you to free or reduced price private treatment. It will also not cover the cost of emergency repatriation to the UK, so it is always wise to have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place.
They are valid for three to five years, so check yours is in date before you travel.
How many days can I travel for?
Annual travel insurance is designed to cover those travelling three or more times a year and it is common for the cover period to be limited to around 31 days of consecutive travel per trip. The number of trips per year will more often than not be unlimited as long as you return within the number of days specified by the insurer.
You may however find that some insurers offer extended periods of travel up to 60 days and over but this could be at an additional cost.
How to find the best price for annual multi trip travel insurance
When taking out an annual multi trip travel insurance policy it’s important to make sure you’re sufficiently covered, without paying over the odds for cover.
You can reduce the amount you pay for cover by cutting out optional extras, opting out of gadget cover (if you’re already covered by other insurance policies) and comparing travel insurance quotes from a range of insurers.
When is annual multi trip cover not suitable?
Annual holiday insurance may not be suitable if you will be staying at your holiday destination for longer durations (see restrictions above).
Multi trip cover may also not be the best option if you are undergoing tests for a medical condition that could mean you'd need to declare pre-existing conditions before you travel later in the year. In this instance a pre-existing medical conditions single trip policy taken out just before travelling would ensure you are correctly covered.
It is also important to note that some insurers may have an upper age restriction on their multi trip policies so you should verify this before purchasing the policy.
If you plan to take part in activities that the insurer deems to be dangerous - such as skiing, water sports or bungee jumping - then you may not be covered under the standard terms and conditions of the policy but you might be able to bolt on this cover element.
Tips for frequent travellers
Anyone who travels on a regular basis knows that there’s plenty of ways to make the experience a little bit easier. Before you go travelling, you should consider doing the following:
- Load up your phone with apps. Whether you’re after a travel guide, a map, a dictionary or a phrase book, there are apps for pretty much everything that you can think of, many of which are completely free to download.
- Book flights for affordable times. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays tend to be the busiest times for airports, and flights on these days can end up being much more expensive. If you can, book a midweek flight instead.
- Travel in the off-season. September and October flights, for instance, are much less costly than flights in the summer.
- Back up your documents. You can never be too safe when it comes to your travel documents, so make sure that before you travel you’ve got electronic and physical backups. To be even more safe, save copies on cloud-based internet storage sites like Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Make a checklist of everything you’re travelling with. This can be a real boon if the airplane ends up losing your luggage.
*Annual cover from £10.53 based on an individual aged 18 taking annual cover for travel in Europe. Cover starts on the 1st of December 2017 and ends after a year.
**MoneySuperMarket travel insurance data, multi trip 2015-17