Should you get single trip or annual travel insurance? | (2024)

When comparing travel insurance policies, you’ll be asked whether you want to buy single trip cover or an annual policy. Both options have pros and cons, so it’s important to consider which one best suits your needs before purchasing. This guide runs through how both types of cover work to help you decide.

What is single trip travel insurance?

Single trip cover is a travel insurance policy that covers you for one trip abroad.

When you apply for a single trip policy, you will need to confirm the:

  • Destination

  • Start date

  • End date of your trip

You will then be covered for this destination and period only. If you’re planning to visit more than one destination in one trip, make sure you include all the sites.

Cover will usually include medical expenses, emergency repatriation, holiday cancellation and lost or stolen luggage and possessions.

Single trip pros and cons


  • Can be cheaper than annual cover
  • Specific cover for your trip
  • Can have a higher maximum age than annual


  • More expensive per trip
  • Shorter term cover
  • Need a new policy each time you travel

What is annual travel insurance?

Also known as multi-trip travel insurance, annual travel insurance covers you for every trip you take in a set period, usually 12 months.

When you apply for an annual cover quote, you will need to confirm where you will be travelling. You will usually be given a choice between:

It’s important to select your options carefully as you will only be covered when you travel to countries in those locations. For example, if you chose Europe and travelled to Asia, you would not be covered. It can also cover any domestic trips you take within the UK.

Be aware there will be a limit on the number of days covered for each trip you take. Many policies will cover an individual trip of up to 31 days, so you would be covered for several trips of 31 days or less, but not any that last 32 days or more.

However, other policies offer periods of just 10 days or up to 90 days, so check the policy carefully before you take it out.

Case study – Fatema's story

"I let my travel insurance policy lapse last year as I wasn’t travelling anywhere because of Covid. But hopefully, I can start travelling again soon and I’ll make sure I’m covered with a new travel insurance policy."
Fatema, West Yorkshire

Annual cover pros and cons


  • Can work out cheaper per trip
  • You only need to buy one policy per year
  • Covers trips in the UK


  • Often has a lower maximum age limit
  • Cover not specific to each trip
  • Costs more if you do not travel enough

Is annual travel insurance cheaper than single trip cover?

This will depend on how many trips you make per year. If you know you will only go on one or two holidays abroad in a 12-month period, a single trip policy will most likely be the best option.

However, if you take several trips abroad each year, an annual multi-trip policy could be cheaper. Always compare both options to be sure.

What do single and annual travel insurance cover?

Both types of travel insurance policy should cover:

  • Medical expenses

  • Holiday cancellation

  • Baggage and personal possessions

  • Personal money

  • Emergency repatriation

  • Personal liability

Check each policy carefully because not all insurers will cover the above as standard. Also, check how much you are covered for. For example, if your baggage is worth £2,000, make sure you are covered for at least this amount.

Find out more about what else can be covered by a policy in our guide to travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Other factors to consider

When comparing both annual and single trip travel insurance, you must check exactly what is and isn’t covered and keep the following in mind:

  • Winter sports: Adding winter sports cover to an annual policy can be more expensive than getting single trip policies, especially if you only go skiing once. Here is what winter sports insurance covers.

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: You must declare any conditions when you apply. Annual cover that includes pre-existing medical conditions can be expensive, so check to see if it is cheaper to get individual single trip policies each time you go away. Find out how pre-existing conditions affect your travel insurance here.

  • Your age: Many insurers will not offer annual travel insurance for travellers over 75 or 80 years old, so you will need to get single trip cover which often has no age limit. Here is how to find travel insurance as an older traveller.

Should you get a single trip or annual policy?

This will depend on your situation, but if you are certain you will only travel once in the next 12 months, you should get a single trip policy for that holiday.

If you are unsure of how many trips you will take, an annual policy may be more expensive, but it will give you the peace of mind of knowing you are covered. You will also not have to worry about taking out separate policies before you travel.

You can find out what is covered under a travel insurance policy in this guide.

For all your travel essentials in one place, visit our Travel Hub.

If you have apre-existing condition, you can still get a quote through These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.
Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you're unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
You can contact theMoney and Pensions Service (MaPS)or you can telephone0800 138 7777.

Make sure you get the best possible cover when you go away by comparing travel insurance deals. You can find the cover you need at the right price whatever your travel plans.

Compare travel insurance

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Should you get single trip or annual travel insurance? | (2024)


Should you get single trip or annual travel insurance? | ›

This will depend on your situation, but if you are certain you will only travel once in the next 12 months, you should get a single trip policy for that holiday. If you are unsure of how many trips you will take, an annual policy may be more expensive, but it will give you the peace of mind of knowing you are covered.

Is it better to get single trip or annual travel insurance? ›

Which should I choose? To recap, think about your travel plans for the next 12 months. If you're sure you'll only take one holiday, then single trip cover is likely to be your best option. If you're planning more than one trip, you might be better off getting annual multi-trip insurance.

Is it better to buy travel insurance as a group or individual? ›

Group travel insurance might make sense if everyone in your group has the same itinerary and travels to the same destination. The main perk of group travel insurance versus separate policies for each person is that it streamlines the purchasing process.

Does annual travel insurance make sense? ›

Annual travel insurance can be worth it if you take multiple trips each year and want to make sure you always have coverage in place.

What is the best international travel insurance for seniors? ›

Summary: Best Senior Travel Insurance Companies
CompanyForbes Advisor RatingTop-scoring policy for seniors
Tin Leg4.8Gold
Travel Insured4.8Worldwide Trip Protector
USI Affinity4.8Ruby
Generali Global Assistance4.5Premium
8 more rows
1 day ago

How much travel insurance is enough? ›

How much travel medical insurance do you need? Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site, recommends buying at least $50,000 in emergency medical coverage for international travel. For travelers going on a cruise or to a remote destination, the site recommends at least $100,000 in coverage.

What are two disadvantages travel insurance? ›

It can also be expensive, difficult to file claims, and not always cover the things you thought it would — or should.

Should you buy travel insurance separately? ›

It could be particularly useful if: You've spent a lot on prepaid, non-refundable expenses. You're traveling internationally where your health insurance won't apply. You're traveling to a remote area.

How much travel insurance do I need for Europe? ›

Without this coverage, you are responsible for any medical expenses. The average cost of travel insurance is between 5% and 10% of the total price of your trip. This can be worth it for the medical benefits alone when traveling in Europe.

What to look for in travel insurance? ›

What cover should travel insurance include?
  • medical expenses and cover for getting you home if you're injured or fall ill abroad.
  • personal injury and cover for accidents or damage caused by you.
  • cover for lost or damaged items.
  • cover for lost or delayed baggage.
  • cover for cancellation or missed departure.

What is the best travel insurance company? ›

The Best International Travel Insurance Providers in Detail
  • Faye. Our Top Pick. ...
  • Travelex. Our pick for families. ...
  • Nationwide Travel Insurance. Our pick for most coverage reimbursed. ...
  • Tin Leg. Our pick for customizable coverage. ...
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. ...
  • Seven Corners Travel Insurance. ...
  • AIG Travel Guard.

Who has the best annual travel insurance? ›

The 5 Best Annual Travel Insurance Plans
  • Seven Corners: Trip Protection Annual Multi-Trip.
  • Trawick International: Safe Travels Annual Basic.
  • International Medical Group (IMG): Patriot Multi-Trip Travel Medical.
  • Allianz Travel Insurance: AllTrips Premier.
  • AIG Travel Guard: Annual Plan.
Apr 5, 2024

Does AARP have travel insurance for seniors? ›

Is There AARP Travel Insurance For Seniors? While there are no AARP travel insurance products or discounts available for seniors, members can use the AARP website for trips and tricks on how to plan for international travel and information regarding how to choose the right insurance plan for older travelers.

Can a 70 year old get travel insurance? ›

As an older traveler, you may focus on comprehensive medical care and evacuation protections when buying travel insurance. Seven Corners offers a broad selection of medical insurance policies, with travelers 65 to 79 years old provided up to $100,000 in medical coverage.

Who is the best and cheapest travel insurance? ›

The 7 Best Cheap Travel Insurance Companies Worth The Cost
CompanyBBB RatingCheapest Plan
Travelex Compare PlansA+Travel basic
Seven Corners Travel Insurance Compare PlansA+Trip Protection Basic
Generali Global Assistance Compare PlansA+Standard Plan
AIG Travel Guard Compare PlansA+Essential
3 more rows

Does Medicare cover me when I travel outside of the United States? ›

In most situations, Medicare won't pay for health care or supplies you get outside the U.S. The term “outside the U.S.” means anywhere other than the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

When should I take out annual travel insurance? ›

Annual multi-trip policies can be bought usually up to 90 days in advance. Cover will only begin on the start date that's stipulated in the policy. So, to ensure you're covered before you go on your trip, be sure to arrange that the policy begins on the day you buy it, or on the day you book your first holiday.

What is single trip or annual? ›

Unlike annual travel insurance, a single trip policy covers you for a one-off holiday. The coverage period ends when you come home. You can choose which country you want to cover. This type of policy is usually cheaper than an annual one. You are just paying for the number of days of your holidays.

What is the difference between single trip and multi-trip travel insurance? ›

The difference between single-trip and multi-trip travel insurance is that single-trip travel insurance covers you for one round trip within Canada or abroad. In contrast, multi-trip travel insurance covers multiple trips in twelve months, and you only purchase coverage once for all your planned trips.

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