The summer holidays.
Traditionally we Brits headed off on holiday when the kids finished school. The great British break, whether it was Butlins or Cork, it was almost certainly in the UK. In fact, the first package holiday to the med was in 1950.
However, times have changed and so have our holiday habits. A survey released by Monarch Airlines showed that while only 19% of over-50s had spent their first holiday abroad, that number has nearly doubled for the youngsters of today at 37%.
Over half of British people (56%) go on holiday one to two times a year with a lucky 13% going away more than five times a year. On average we head away about 2 times a year with breaks lasting from short weekend breaks to two week getaways.
Whether you go away once a year or ten it is always wise to have travel insurance in case the worst should happen on your trip. However, with 76% of customers buying single trip policies, when exactly is it worth getting an annual or multi-trip travel insurance policy?
What is annual travel insurance?
There are generally two types of travel insurance: single trip and multi-trip, otherwise known as annual travel insurance. While a single trip policy will cover you for one trip of a specified length, an annual policy with cover you for an unlimited number of trip throughout the period of one year.
Do you need annual travel insurance?
The majority of travellers take out single trip policies. However, with the average Brit taking about 2 holidays a year, many may be missing out on the savings offered by having an annual policy.
Generally, according to our travel experts ATOL, if you are under 26 and take two holidays a year then you will save money on your travel insurance policy. If you are over 26 then you will have to take an average of three holidays a year to make the annual policy worth your time.
However, there are a lot of things to take into account when you are comparing policies. That will include where you will be travelling, the frequency that you travel, your age and pre existing medical conditions.
Benefits of annual travel insurance policy
The benefits of having an annual policy rather than a single trip policy are evident for frequent travellers.
They work out cheaper than single trip policies, but not only that, they also save you time comparing insurance for every trip. They also mean that if you book a last minute break you don’t have to worry about arranging insurance or not being able to get cover.
Is single trip travel Insurance cheaper than annual cover?
The table below shows travel insurance quotes* for a single person aged 34 with no preexisting medical conditions travelling to Europe for seven days:
|Annual||Single Trip (August)||Single Trip (January)||Single Trip (November)|
*Quotes from Insure and Go
In this example it will be cheaper to take out single trip policies if you plan to travel once or twice in the year:
Single trip policies for two trips in August and November
£11.00 + £11.00 = £22.00
This is a saving of £8.99 compared to an annual policy.
However if you want to go away four times in the 12 month period, an annual policy will be the better option:
Single trip policies for four trips
£11.00 + £11.00 + £11.00 + £11.00 = £44.00
£13.01 more expensive than an annual policy.
So, You can see that really whether single trip or annual cover is cheaper will depend very much on your individual circumstances but it is reasonably easy to figure out by getting some quick quotes for the planned holidays that you may plan to take over the course of the year.
When you shouldn’t get annual travel insurance
There are really very few reasons that frequent travellers wouldn’t want to get an annual travel insurance policy rather than single trip cover.
One of these might be if you want to travel for more than 31 days at a time.
How long can you travel with an annual travel insurance?
The lengths of the trips that you take are very important. Usually, you can travel for a maximum of 31 days on an annual insurance policy and this may be restrictive if you are someone who travels frequently for long periods of time.
However, there are some insurers, such as /travel-insurance/suppliers/virgin-money Virgin Money and Saga, who will let you travel for up to 90 days on an annual policy. Others such as Staysure and Flexicover will even cover you up to 100 days! Remember that these longer trip times will come with a premium so make sure you check the prices and do a comparison before committing.
What does annual insurance cover?
Worldwide insurance covers the same things as if you were to take out any other kind of insurance policy covering, Europe, Canada, Japan or the United States. The only difference is where you are covered. A worldwide policy will be valid in the countries which you have specified when you buy your insurance policy. Insurers will usually ask you where you plan to travel on your holiday and adjust your premium accordingly. Of course, this works a little differently if you have an annual worldwide policy.
As a general rule as a minimum you should make sure that you are covered for the following things:
Evacuation and full medical coverage: The main reason for having travel insurance is to have medical coverage while you are abroad. Make sure that as a minimum you have at least 2 million pounds of medical coverage.
Lost, stolen or damaged gear or luggage: Whether the airline has lost your bags or a light fingered friend has taken a liking to your wallet your insurance policy should be there to compensate you. If you are buying an annual travel insurance policy it becomes more important to keep an eye on what you pack to make sure that you don’t include anything not covered by the insurance - you’ll have to think a bit more before you pack your favourite gadgets!
Cancellation or curtailment: Your holiday is an investment and especially if you are planning a trip to far flung places you’ll find that the cost soon add up. What would happen if for some unexpected reason you weren’t able to go? Life is unpredictable and the best way to protect your investment is to have travel insurance that has protection against cancellation, curtailment and abandonment.
Legal protection: Most worldwide insurance policies will cover you for personal liability. So, if you hurt someone else by accident or destroy someone else’s property then you will be able to pay for their treatment and defend yourself in court should someone decide to try and sue you or blackmail you.