Single Trip: What Travel Insurance do I Need?

a plane flying around the globe

Planning on going somewhere nice...or maybe a few places? We’re here to help you cut through all the information and get a great deal. With so many options we know it can be frustrating searching and even harder actually making the decision. That’s why we’re going to share exclusive tips on how to get the best single trip travel insurance policy for you! We’ll even answer those tricky questions about single trip travel insurance for the UK, USA, Europe, and pre-existing medical conditions. So make yourself comfortable and read on...


What Travel Insurance do I Need: Single Trip or Annual Multi-trip?

If you’ve planned your holiday, your very next thought should be 'what travel insurance do I need'? It’s great that you’re already researching, that’s the first step so nice work! Next, you want to consider whether this is a one-off trip for the year or not. The clue is really in the name. Travel insurers generally have single-trip policies or annual multi-trip policies. Yes, there are numerous add-ons, variations etc on top of these but this defines which path you head down.

The main reason you need to decide between single trip and annual multi-trip is price. We don’t believe you should base your search criteria solely on price for travel insurance, but if you have selected your provider and the coverage level, single trip will usually be cheaper than annual if you are taking just the one holiday. There’s no point paying extra for something you won’t use. If you’re planning more than two trips in the year though you may want to look at annual multi-trip travel insurance as this could save you money.


What is a Single Trip Travel Insurance Policy?

A single trip travel insurance policy will cover you for one holiday for a specified period of time. Travel insurance is one of those things that really depends on your needs and circumstances. However, there are certain pros and cons that generally go along with single trip travel insurance. Before we go any further let’s take a look at the most common!

scales with tick and cross

What are the Benefits of a Single Trip Travel Insurance Policy?

  • Only pay for the time you need to be covered. If you’re only planning on going away once in the next year, this is probably your cheapest option.
  • Many insurers won’t offer annual travel insurance past a certain age. Single trip travel insurance policies sometimes offer no upper age limit.
  • Cover for your trip will start when you purchase the insurance (and have booked your travel). Depending on the policy you take out, that means you could be covered right away for cancellation and possible strikes etc.

What are the Negatives of a Single Trip Travel Insurance Policy?

  • If you end up taking another trip during the year you would need to read the fine print, make that all-important decision and physically book insurance again.
  • Could end up more costly if you decide to take another trip during the year.

Single Trip Travel Insurance with Pre-existing Medical Conditions

If you are one of the many travellers with a pre-existing medical condition then a single trip policy could work out cheaper than an annual policy.

What is a pre-existing medical condition? A pre-existing medical condition could include anything from asthma, diabetes, to high cholesterol. With literally thousands of ailments on the hit list, it’s safe to say that most of us will end up in this bucket at some stage.

These days, it’s fairly straight forward to declare a condition when you’re getting your quote. If you’re not sure if you need to declare something, type it in when performing your quote and if you need further help give the provider a call. They should be happy to help in this situation. It’s always best to be over-cautious in this respect because there have been cases where people don’t declare a condition and cannot claim later (usually a very expensive and stressful mistake).

We have compared prices for single trip travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions against annual policies. We ran an online quote for a 35-year-old single female traveller with asthma to Spain (one week). The information was taken solely based on price to provide an example. The level of cover offered has not been factored in. This varies wildly between suppliers and you should check the limits when you get a quote.

Travel Insurance Provider
Single trip (Asthma declared)
Single trip (no pre-existing condition)
Annual multi-trip (Asthma declared)
Annual multi-trip (no pre-existing condition)
Puffin
£5.71
£5.11
£18.86
£16.25
Admiral
£8.66
£6.03
£21.94
£13.92
Virgin Money
£9.21
£6.14
£22.06
£14.71
Cedar Tree
£10.21
£5.75
£23.50
£16.00
All Safe
£11.21
£7.01
£29.48
£17.64

Prices are correct as of August 2019.


Single Trip Travel Insurance UK

A common question is do you need single trip (or annual) travel insurance for holidays in the UK? The simple answer is YES!

For as little as the cost of a coffee you could get cover for:

  • Lost, stolen or damaged belongings
  • Transport cancellation/delays
  • Accommodation cancellation
  • Dedicated sports or activities i.e. rafting, skiing, golf
  • Transfer closer to home if you are taken to hospital

With more people than ever planning holidays within the UK it’s wise to think about the nature of your holiday and what could go wrong, even at ‘home’. The last thing you want is for your dream UK holiday to turn into a nightmare.

It’s important to note that many providers have certain clauses that apply for UK holidays. These can include the distance you are away from your home before your cover starts and only being covered in a commercial venue (i.e. not your friend’s house). Always check the policy wording before purchasing your insurance or give the company a call if in any doubt.


Single Trip Travel Insurance Europe

map of Europe

Do you even need single trip travel insurance for Europe? After all, you have your EHIC card and isn’t that supposed to cover you for medical expenses? Read our complete guide on the EHIC versus travel insurance, but the short answer is ‘yes’. While the EHIC card entitles you to the same healthcare as the citizens of that country, the level of care varies across the different European countries. Also, it’s really important that you have repatriation cover as this is one of the greatest costs you could face and this is not covered by our EHIC card.

The EHIC card doesn’t insure your belongings against damage, theft, or loss either. Good travel insurance can also insure you for personal liability, cancellations/delays, legal fees, and much more. The good news is that travel insurance for Europe does not cost the earth. Go on, if you’re going to treat yourself to that special holiday, why not pay the extra for peace of mind too? It will probably cost less than getting to the airport!


Single Trip Travel Insurance USA

The States offers such a diverse range of scenery, cuisine and activities. From the majestic rocks of Utah, to the tranquil beauty of Yosemite National Park, to the wild metropolis that is New York City, you are almost certain to find something that appeals to you. Just make sure you have the appropriate level of cover so your dream holiday remains that way.

The USA generally has excellent health care available but it comes at a cost. For that reason, insurers usually charge more for travel insurance to the States. Most UK visitors don’t usually make the trip across the pond more than once a year and if this applies to you, single trip travel insurance to the USA is likely to be a good option. Business travellers often visit more frequently and should make sure their company has adequate coverage for them, or, if self-employed, take out valid business insurance.

Research shows that having a heart attack in the USA without travel insurance could cost you more than £230,000! This is more than most of us have just lying around so be prepared. If you do your research you can find an affordable deal that covers you.

We’ve compared the prices of travel insurance for the USA versus Europe to give you an idea of what to expect. We ran some quotes for a single female traveller, 35 years old with no pre-existing medical conditions. The prices below were the cheapest that each of the providers listed offered and we have not rated them on quality of features at all. Please remember to check the policy wording and level of cover before purchasing any travel insurance.

Travel Insurance Provider
Single trip (USA)
Single trip (Spain)
Annual Multi-trip (Worldwide, including USA)
Annual Multi-trip (Europe)
Puffin
£14.54
£5.11
£35.75
£16.25
Admiral
£15.87
£6.03
£27.07
£13.92
Virgin Money
£15.57
£6.14
£24.78
£14.71
Cedar Tree
£14.00
£5.75
£31.75
£16.00
All Safe
£22.78
£7.01
£45.00
£17.64

Prices are correct as of August 2019.

As you can see, all of the providers charge more for USA cover. As we mentioned, this is largely due to the high medical bills. Still, wouldn’t you agree that £14.00 for single trip cover is a lot better than £230,000 for a single accident?!


Does Single Trip Insurance Cover Multiple Countries?

We’ve talked about country-specific insurance, but does single trip insurance cover multiple countries? A common misconception is that single trip travel insurance only covers one trip to one country. We must admit, the name is a little tricky, especially when compared with annual multi-trip, but single trip travel insurance does allow you to visit multiple countries within the same trip. The main difference from an annual multi-trip policy is that you cannot return to the UK in the middle of your trip.

Be sure to include all the countries you plan on visiting when you get a quote. Many insurers (such as Admiral) will allow you to travel for up to 365 days on a single trip policy. That’s a generous amount of time and gives you freedom to roam the globe at your leisure.

If you do decide to visit multiple countries during your trip, a single trip insurance policy may be more expensive than if you were just visiting one country (depending on which countries you are visiting). If you are including a country such as the USA, then you can nearly guarantee it will cost more. To give you an example, we ran some quotes for a single female, 35-year-old traveller with no pre-existing medical conditions. The prices below are for one week’s cover (quite a busy week if you have to fit in Spain, France, and the USA, but you get the idea).

Travel Insurance Provider
Single Trip (Spain, France, USA)
Single Trip (Spain)
Puffin
£14.54
£5.11
Admiral
£15.87
£6.03
Virgin Money
£15.57
£6.14
Cedar Tree
£14.00
£5.75
All Safe
£22.78
£7.01

Prices are correct as of August 2019.

Interestingly, if you compare the multiple country quote to the quotes we ran for the USA only (see above), they are the same! You get three for the price of one in this scenario. That’s because European cover is much less risk for insurers and cheaper to start with. Anyway, make sure you get quotes from a variety of providers as the amount of risk they place on a country varies. Shop around and always check the policy wording and levels covered.


Best Single Trip Travel Insurance

woman relaxed in a chair

One of the most common questions asked is what is the best single trip travel insurance? This is the equivalent of asking how long is a piece of string? What’s right for one person in the world of travel insurance may be the opposite for another. Sorry we can’t give you a magic answer here, but we can help narrow down your search criteria, saving you valuable time.

Here’s a list of factors to take into consideration when shopping for single trip travel insurance:

  1. What’s covered - look particularly at medical benefits as they are generally the most expensive claims! If you’re going away on your anniversary and are taking expensive jewellery, you may want to increase your valuables limit or purchase a higher level of cover.

  2. Which countries you are heading to - while price should never be the driving factor, once you’ve decided what level of cover you need, look at different insurers as they place different risks on countries so you may get the same level of cover for cheaper elsewhere.

  3. Who’s travelling - age is one of the biggest factors that travel insurers go by. Check what the upper age limit is and use a broker if you need a bit of help. If you’re travelling as a couple or family, it usually works out cheaper to include your entire party on one policy!

  4. The number of days you’re away - some insurers are much more generous on longer trips than others.

If you’re heading somewhere a little more exotic (and on the dangerous side) keep up to date with government travel warnings and check your insurance isn’t null and void at any stage before you travel.

Once you’ve made up your mind and purchased your single trip travel insurance all that’s left to do is enjoy your trip. Wherever you are off to, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay happy.


Data and information correct as of August 2019

All material on this page and the selectra.co.uk website is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of financial advice. Selectra.co.uk is not responsible for any consequences that might arise from your use of the information provided.

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