Published by Joe Davine on
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How to get annual travel insurance

If you’re an intrepid traveller and are planning on taking more than two foreign holidays/trips over the course of a year, then annual travel insurance is a great way to save both time and money. Instead of having to book individual travel insurance policies every time you go abroad, you can just take out one policy and be covered for an entire year. Keep reading and we’ll take you through how it works and the different options available.

What is annual travel insurance?

Annual travel insurance is also known as and is one policy that covers all the trips you take over the course of a year. You can take as many holidays during this time as you want to, but each trip is usually limited to 31 consecutive days. If you’re planning on two or more trips in a year, then you will usually find it is cheaper to take out an annual travel insurance policy than get individual policies every time you go abroad.

What does it cover?

The first question you need to know the answer to when taking out a travel insurance policy is what exactly you will be covered for. A standard annual travel insurance policy will usually offer coverage for:

  • Medical costs
  • Repatriation expenses
  • Holiday cancellations
  • Lost luggage
  • Stolen valuables
  • Personal liability

If you want to get more substantial cover, then more expensive policies can also include:

  • Legal cover
  • Larger amounts of cover for valuables and luggage
  • Extreme sports (but these have to be added as an extra to your policy)

Claims on an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy will be subject to an excess (the amount you have to pay before the insurance starts covering the costs). Always be sure to check the small print of any policy you’re taking out to make sure that the excess is set at a reasonable rate, and that you’re covered for everything you need to be insured for.

Where can I go with an annual travel insurance policy?

This depends on the type of annual travel insurance policy you take out. There are policies that allow you to travel anywhere in the world, and there are some that limit your insurance to trips within a certain geographical area. Typically you will find three different types of policy available:

Europe

Wanting to take multiple European city breaks over the course of a year, or explore a part of the continent you’ve never been to before? Then a Europe annual travel insurance policy is what you need. The cheapest form of annual travel insurance policy, this type of cover will insure you for travel anywhere in Europe for an entire year.

Worldwide (excluding the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean)

If you’re planning on travelling further afield, but not on visiting North America or the Caribbean, you can get yourself covered for all your travels with this type of policy. Worldwide policies that exclude the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean leave almost the whole world to explore, and help keep the cost of your annual travel insurance down.

Worldwide (including the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean)

Big travel plans require comprehensive travel insurance. These policies will insure you anywhere you want to go in the world for an entire year, so the only limit is your sense of adventure. Full worldwide cover is the most expensive annual travel insurance option, but it can be a big money saver if you’re planning on travelling to a wide variety of places.

Are there any common exclusions with annual travel insurance?

Yes, as with any type of insurance, annual multi-trip travel insurance has certain conditions that may prevent you from being able to make a claim, or from being able to get a policy at all. These vary between insurers, but you will often find annual policies with the following exclusions:

Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it does not mean that you won’t be able to get travel insurance (although this can be the case). However, it is likely to mean your cover will be more expensive, and if you fail to declare a medical condition when taking out a policy your insurer will refuse to pay out on any claim related to that condition.

Age

Commonly you’ll find that annual travel insurance is only offered to people aged 19-75, and if you are at the upper end of this age range, the length of time you can travel per trip will be reduced (usually to about 21 days of consecutive travel as opposed to 31 with other policies).

Sports and activities

Standard annual travel insurance policies will not typically provide cover for extreme sports and activities. If you’re planning on undertaking any sport - from golf, to white water rafting or skiing - then you will have to add these as extra to your policy.

Injuries related to drugs or alcohol

If you were inebriated at the time you got injured, or require hospital treatment for something directly related to alcohol or drug abuse, then your annual travel insurance will not pay out to cover your medical bills.

Countries deemed unsafe by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

One instance in which your travel insurance will not be valid is if you elect to go to a country to which the FCO has advised against travelling. The reasons that this may be the case are usually that the country is currently an active war zone or foreign tourists have recently been kidnapped there (so these countries may not make the most ideal holiday destinations anyway). You can check the advice on travelling to any country easily on the FCO’s website.

How many trips can I take, and how long can they be?

With annual multi-trip travel insurance you can usually take as many trips as you want over the course of the year, but a limit will be set on the duration that each trip can last. Individual trips are usually limited to 31 consecutive days of travel, but it is possible to find policies that offer up to 60 days per trip. If you’re looking to cover an extended trip, then it’s best to look into backpacker insurance.

How much does annual multi-trip travel insurance cost?

This question is very hard to answer because of the variety of annual travel insurance options, and factors such as the age of the person looking to be insured and any sports or activities included in a policy. The only way to get a truly accurate quote is to fill in our form and get a free quote.

What can be said is that annual travel insurance will usually work out as cheaper for you if you’re planning on taking more than two holidays in a year. To give a ballpark figure, an annual European travel insurance policy will usually cost you in the region of £20-£30, whereas a worldwide policy could be as much as £50 or over.

What are my other travel insurance options?

If you’re unsure whether you need annual travel insurance, here’s a quick summary of the other options available to you that may be more suited to your needs:

Single trip

The most basic form of travel insurance, single trip insurance will cover you for a one-off trip. The level of cover offered by these policies is similar to annual travel insurance, but the policy will expire once you return, rather than stay valid for the rest of the year. If you’re only planning on travelling once or twice in a year, then taking out individual single trip policies is likely to work out cheaper than annual multi-trip travel insurance.

Backpacker

If you’re looking to travel for a longer period of time than the 31 consecutive days offered by most annual travel insurance policies, then you’ll need a backpacker policy. Backpacker travel insurance can cover you for up to a year (or even more with some policies) of constant travel.

Like annual travel insurance, these policies can be taken out to cover certain continents or the entire world - depending on where you’re planning to go. They will often also include cover for sports and activities, and even for trips home if there’s a family emergency.

Winter sports

Travelling for the purpose of winter sports, such as skiing or snowboarding, requires that you either take out a specific winter sports travel insurance policy or add winter sports cover to an existing policy. If you choose to add winter sports cover to an annual multi-trip policy, then there will usually be a limit set on the overall number of days you can spend on the slopes (commonly around 18 days maximum over the course of a year).

I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), do I need travel insurance?

Yes. A European Health Insurance Card is not a substitute for travel insurance. If you have an EHIC, then you will be able to access basic medical cover within most European countries, but nothing else. Travel insurance not only offers more comprehensive medical cover (many millions of pounds worth), but also covers the cost of repatriation if you need to be transported home and additional insurance for your valuables or costs associated with holiday cancellations.

Should I get an annual travel insurance policy?

It depends whether it’s the right travel insurance for you. If you’re not planning on taking more than two trips in the course of a year, then it may be cheaper for you to take out single trip insurance for each holiday individually. And if you’re planning on travelling for longer than 31 days at a time, then you will want to look into backpacker insurance.

Annual multi-trip travel insurance is a great option to cut both the cost and the paperwork associated with travelling abroad for anyone who travels frequently and wants to enjoy a good level of coverage. If this sounds like you, then yes, you should get an annual travel insurance policy.

Can I get a quote right away?

Yes you can. Simply click the link below and one of our trusted insurers will help you find a great annual travel insurance quote in minutes.