If you’re going on holiday, you need travel insurance to make sure you’re covered in case something goes wrong. If you have insurance, you’ll be covered if you get injured and face costly medical bills, or if you have to re-book because part of your trip is cancelled, for example. Without it, you face paying out of your own pocket, and the costs can be extortionate.
What is single trip travel insurance?
Single trip travel insurance covers you for one trip for a specific period of time. Depending on the level of insurance you choose, you can get cover for a number of outcomes including unforeseen medical expenses, cancellation costs and lost luggage, to name a few.
Why get single trip insurance?
Travel insurance is essential for any holiday, and single trip insurance is a great option if you go away once or twice a year. With single trip travel insurance, you don’t over-pay for year-round insurance that you may not need, but you still remain covered for the duration of your holiday.
Single trip travel insurance is often the most affordable way to get cover for a vacation. But although prices start very low, you shouldn’t be tempted to buy the cheapest policy without first checking that it offers enough cover for your trip and your belongings.
Frequent holidaymakers that plan to go away three or more times a year could save money with an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy, rather than buying a single trip policy every time a holiday is booked.
According to MoneySuperMarket data from January to May 2018, showing the average quoted cost of travel insurance for the five least expensive countries.
What does single trip travel insurance cover?
A single trip travel insurance policy will usually cover you and anyone else named on the policy for a number of possibilities, including:
- Injury and illness: you can claim for the cost of emergency medical treatment
- Emergency repatriation: your insurance will pay for you to be brought back to the UK if you need to be repatriated
- Flight and holiday cancellation or curtailment: you can claim if your holiday is cancelled or cut short – and you may be able to claim for flight delays, too
- Delayed or lost luggage: if your luggage is lost or delayed and you need to buy new items, you can claim for your missing possessions and the cost of replacing them
Does single trip travel insurance have different cover levels?
When searching for single trip travel insurance, it's important to make sure you find a policy with the features and cover levels you want. Choosing a cheaper policy based on price alone can lead to you missing out on valuable cover in important areas.
When you’re looking for holiday insurance, make sure you include these minimum levels of single trip cover:
- Medical cover of at least £5 million
- Personal liability cover in the region of £1 million
- Cancellation cover equal to or higher than the value of your holiday
- Baggage and personal belongings cover that equals the cost of replacing any personal items you take with you.
- Personal money cover that is equal to the amount of cash that you plan to take with you, which could be up to £250.
Advice from MoneySuperMarket's spokesperson Kevin Pratt advises what the minimum level of cover your travel insurance policy should include.
How much does single trip insurance cost?
The cost of single trip travel insurance varies greatly depending on personal circumstances and details of the holiday. Cover starts from £4.79 - that’s based on an 18-year-old taking a trip to France for three days, between September 1 and 3, 2018. The same individual would pay £10.69 for an annual European policy, starting on September 1, 2018.
The destination, and duration, of a trip has a big impact on the cost of travel insurance. The average premium for single trip insurance to Spain is £8.73, where over a quarter of Brits visit. The cheapest destination is the Netherlands, with an average price of £6.29 – and Belize is the most expensive, costing £30.96 for insurance.
The top five most expensive countries to visit is based on the average premium costs taken out through MoneySuperMarket.
How can I save money on single trip insurance?
Travel insurance is already affordable, especially for single trip cover. However, the cheapest of policies may not give you the level of cover you need for your holiday. Plus, you’ll find that the excess you would pay in the event of a claim is usually higher for a cheap policy.
Even though prices are low, it still pays to shop around for the best cover at the most competitive price. When you compare travel insurance quotes, make sure you watch out for any additional extras – choosing gadget cover, or winter sports cover when you don’t need it will increase the price for no reason.
It’s also possible to increase your excess and see the prices drop, but you should consider whether saving a couple of pounds now and paying tens or hundreds more in the event of a claim is the most economical choice.
Would a different travel insurance be better for me?
If you travel three or more times a year, a single trip policy is unlikely to be the most cost effective solution to your insurance needs and you should consider an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy.
But if you are travelling with your family, purchasing a single trip policy for each family member may not be the best option. Instead, you should look for family holiday insurance which could save you some money in the process and may include extras such as additional baggage cover.
Likewise, if you plan to travel with a group, considering a group travel insurance policy may present the best value for money and you can usually add extras such as cover for water sports and skiing.
According to MoneySuperMarket data, people under 25 pay an average of £9.54 for a single trip policy and £20.19 for a multi-trip. Buying three single trip policies would cost 32% more than an annual policy. For the over 25s, the average cost of single trip insurance is £16.93 and the average multi-trip policy costs £50.05. Three single trip policies would be 35% more expensive than buying an annual policy.
Possible exclusions from single trip insurance
You need to pay close attention to exclusions when shopping for single trip travel insurance, because if you fall foul of these then your claim is likely to be rejected. Furthermore, it’s an easy way to spot if you need extra cover – for example, if you’re over 65 you may need a specialist policy, or you may see that your insurer won’t pay more than £200 for each item you take on holiday, which means you may need special gadget cover to insure your phone or expensive camera.
While there are a number of exclusions that you’re likely to find, these can vary by insurer. Some common exclusions could include:
- Taking part in winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding
- Taking part in high-risk sports, such as sky-diving, scuba diving, heli-skiing, and bungee jumping
- Behaving recklessly or unlawfully
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident
- Intentionally causing yourself or someone else harm
Top tips for single trip travel insurance
When you’re looking for single trip travel insurance, it can be helpful to keep the following in mind:
- Destination – as single-trip travel insurance only cover you for one holiday at a time, if you’re planning on going to different locations you should make sure they’ll all be included.
- Duration – some single-trip policies might have a limit on the length of a holiday before you need extended stay cover, so it’s good to check beforehand to make sure you policy is still valid.
- Pre-existing medical conditions – if you have any pre-existing medical conditions be sure to mention them beforehand, as if you need medical treatment for something you haven’t declared your insurer may not cover the costs.
- Disruption and cancellation – you should also ensure that you’ll be covered if you need to cancel your trip, or if your travel and accommodation arrangements are disrupted, as your insurer may be able to provide compensation for alternative measures.
- Activities – if you’re planning on taking part in any adventurous or risky activities like skiing or white water rafting, it’s helpful to make sure these are included in your policy. If you need medical treatment or compensation for lost or stolen items as a result of these activities and you haven’t taken out a policy for this, you may not be able to make a claim for the costs.
- Legal cover – it can also be useful to make sure you’re covered for incidents that weren’t your fault by taking out legal fee cover, as well as personal liability cover if an incident was your fault.
The most popular countries visited is according to data from MoneySuperMarket and shows the destinations declared for single trip travel insurance, between January and May 2018.
Compare single trip travel insurance
It’s important that you buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday – otherwise you risk being uninsured if your holiday is cancelled, or if you need to cancel for reasons such as suddenly becoming too ill to travel or the government advising it’s no longer safe to travel to your destination.
One of the best ways to find the most competitive price and cover is to compare single trip travel insurance quotes. It’s easy to do: simply enter your personal details, where you’re travelling to, and what level of cover you’d like, and you’ll be shown a range of travel insurance options.
You can compare prices on various factors, ranging from maximum medical cover, baggage cover, and personal money cover, to optional features like winter sports cover, and legal cover, amongst others.
When you click on a policy, you’ll be able to then select the level of cover you want, whether that’s a basic travel insurance policy or the most premium option. The details page will show you where you’ll be covered, which activities you would be covered for, and the key facts you need to know.
Make sure you read the policy documents and check that you won’t fall foul of any of the exclusions, and check the cover summary table for detail on the specifics of how much you can claim for particular items or events.