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Annual or Single Trip Travel Insurance Policy – what’s the deal?

12 October 2010 10:54

It’s August, and right across the UK people are heading off to far flung shores to enjoy their holidays, but have they got the best deal on their travel insurance? And did they even consider the different type of policies?

Many people don’t realise that the travel insurance industry is able to provide a range of policies for many different types of travel and policies can be tailored to suit the needs of travellers. The first choice when buying a policy, should always be whether to opt for an annual multi trip policy, or a single trip policy. 

There are pros and cons for both, from cost, flexibility, level of cover and eligibility but many people miss out on getting the best deal by going for what may be seen as the cheap and easy option.

Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner of independent travel insurance specialists, World First, offers advice on getting the best deal and finding the right policy.

“Travellers need to be savvy when it comes to their travel insurance” Comments Martin Rothwell. “They need to be careful not to fall into the trap of buying a ‘one size fits all’ policy or being sold something that doesn’t meet their needs.”

He continues. “So often people get in touch with us because they are having trouble getting a renewal on their annual travel insurance policy and actually, when you look at their travel history and plans, they’d be far better off with a single trip policy anyway.

“People are often surprised at the benefits of looking at a different type of policy.  We are all creatures of habit and we have found consumers often renew policies year on year without shopping around or finding something that’s tailor made.  There is so much choice out there and with a bit more information travellers should be able to get a better deal and a better policy.”

Generally speaking, travel insurance policies can be tailored to suit most individuals and their chosen holidays.  One of the main considerations when buying a policy can be the cost and this is often the basis of choosing one policy over another, rather than evaluating the other pros and cons before making a decision.

This year World First has noticed a trend towards single trip policies.  They say there may be a number of reasons for this, such as travellers being cautious with their plans this year and only planning on taking one holiday, consumers seeing the relatively lower cost for a single trip policy and believe they are getting a cheaper deal without considering future travel plans and travellers who have reached an age where a single trip policy is often the only affordable option.

There are a few key points to consider when buying a travel insurance policy:

  • Annual cover is harder to find after the age of 65, although World First offer policies up to the age of 74;
  • Single trip policies are more readily available for travellers over 65 and World First can insure people up to the age of 100;
  • Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions may find it harder to get an annual policy;
  • Insurers are more likely to provide a single trip policy to someone with a medical condition, as they can better assess the risk for a one-off, compared to an annual policy, which covers all trips for the year.
  • Single trip policies may appear cheaper but if more holidays are booked then an annual policy can pay for itself after the second trip;
  • Annual policies can sometimes cover leisure and business travel;
  • Think about the sports and activities you enjoy. If you plan to go skiing in the winter, then add it to your policy when you insure your summer holiday if buying an annual policy.