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Annual multi-trip travel insurance

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What is annual multi-trip travel insurance?

Designed specifically with frequent travellers in mind, annual multi-trip insurance cheaply covers people who travel for holiday or business reasons three or more times per year.

Instead of buying separate insurance each time you set off, you take out multi-trip insurance to cover every trip you make during a 12-month period. 

The cover you get with multi-trip insurance is the same as single-trip insurance, but it costs a little more as it applies to every holiday you take in a year – making it most useful to people who travel frequently.

There are three categories for multi-trip insurance: European, Worldwide and Worldwide excluding the USA, Canada and Caribbean.

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What does multi-trip travel insurance cover?

A typical multi-trip insurance policy should include the following cover as standard:

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Medical cover including repatriation costs

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Cancellation and delays

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How much annual cover do you need?

Every traveller’s circumstances are different, especially if they leave the country on a regular basis. However there are certain base levels of cover you should expect in every multi-trip insurance policy, so look out for the following:

Look for policies offering cover in the region of £5 million.

You'll need cover amounting to around £1 million.

This should be of equal value to your holiday, including the cost of prepaid excursions. Cover is usually offered on a per-person basis so to cover a £2,000 holiday you'd need cover of £1,000 each as a minimum.

This covers the cost of replacing your suitcase and contents should they be lost or stolen. You should also consider the cost of single items such as your phone, camera, tablet or laptop.

This should be around £250 or equal to the value of the cash you will be taking with you.

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Multi-trip checklist

Things to remember before you book:

  • Are all the activities you have planned covered?
  • Do you have an EHIC/GHIC card?
  • How long will you be away for each trip?
  • Do you need gadget cover, or are you insured on another policy?
  • Do you need extras such as winter sports or cruise cover?
  • How old are you? Insurers may impose an upper age limit
  • Have you declared pre-existing medical conditions?

Multi-trip cover pointers

There are some additional considerations if you’re thinking about annual multi-trip cover:

  • Length of trip

    While you can take unlimited trips, there’s usually a 30-day cap on each individual excursion

  • Trip activities

    Cover isn’t specific to each trip and certain activities – such as winter sports – might not be insured

  • Frequency of trips

    If you don’t go away more than three times in a year, you’ll probably be overpaying

  • Travelling companions

    If you always travel with friends or family, a group or family policy might work out cheaper

  • If you’re backpacking

    Specialist backpackers’ insurance is available for young people who want to see the world

Annual travel insurance - also known as multi-trip travel insurance - covers holidaymakers who take more than one foreign excursion per year. Instead of buying separate cover for every trip you take, you buy one policy that covers every holiday in a 12-month period.

An annual travel insurance policy is more expensive than single-trip cover, but is likely to be cheaper overall if you take three or four more holidays in a calendar year.

Costs vary according to which part of the world you are travelling to - Europe, the rest of the world, or the rest of the world minus North America. You should also expect to pay more the older you are; according to MoneySuperMarket data from March 2019, people under the age of 25 pay less than £23 on average for a multi-trip policy. Once you get into your mid 30s and above, you should expect to pay £40 or more. There's another leap when you retire, when you can expect to pay £65 or more on average.

Annual travel insurance works for all intents and purposes like regular travel insurance, with a couple of caveats. You buy the same level of cover as a single-trip policy, but it works across multiple trips. Most insurers impose a time limit on each individual trip, however, which is generally 31 days, though some policies allow for 60 days.

Likewise, you still need to pay for the usual extras should you need them, such as winter or extreme sports cover. Otherwise, you make claims as usual.

Annual travel insurance can work out cheaper for people who take lots of short trips in a single year. It's cheaper in the same way that buying goods in bulk is cheaper: even though your insurer's profit per unit (ie each trip you take) is lower, they're guaranteed more money up from, while your chances of making a claim do not really increase.

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