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Annual travel insurance: compare cheap quotes from a wide range of insurers
If you’re like the vast majority of British travellers and holidaymakers you take out a new travel insurance policy before each holiday, covering you for the duration of that trip. If you plan to take several holidays each year, though, be they skiing trips, family vacations or weekend breaks, you may well find that you’ll save money if you opt to take out an annual travel insurance policy instead of insuring each trip separately.
What is annual travel insurance?
Who needs annual travel insurance in the UK?
Annual cover is aimed at anyone who travels at least twice a year.
If you take one overseas holiday each year it probably goes without saying that a single-trip travel insurance policy is going to meet your needs, but if you travel a lot an annual policy could prove much more cost effective than taking out a series of policies.
However, if you only plan to take two trips during the next 12 months it might be worth comparing quotes for both annual travel insurance and two standalone holiday insurance policies, since annual cover isn’t always the cheapest option if you only travel twice a year.
How long can I be away for with annual multi-trip travel insurance?
Most insurers set limits on how long each trip can last. Typically this is capped at 31 days, but some insurers may have a higher or lower limit.
You’ll usually be able to take as many trips as you like during the course of the year, though, so long as each individual trip is no more than your holiday insurer’s maximum duration.
If you do plan to go away for more than 31 days at a time it’s worth considering backpacker insurance. These policies are aimed at anyone travelling continuously for a long period of time – usually for 12 or even 18 months.
What does the best annual travel insurance cover?
A good travel insurance policy will cover you for similar events no matter whether it’s a single trip or multi-trip policy.
Bear in mind that different insurers will word their policies slightly differently, but in most cases the best policies should cover you for:
- Medical expenses – pays for any treatment you need while you’re on holiday.
- Repatriation – covers the cost of getting you back home in an emergency.
- Cancellation or curtailment – compensates you if you have to cut short (curtail) or cancel your holiday through no fault of your own. For example, if you become too ill to travel.
- Missed or delayed departure – covers any expenses if you miss your flight or if it’s delayed.
- Lost or damaged luggage – covers costs if your luggage is accidentally lost, delayed, stolen, damaged or destroyed.
- Personal liability – covers compensation and legal fees if you have an accident and someone blames you for injury or damage to their property.
You can also tailor your annual travel insurance to suit your holiday by adding on a range of optional extras, such as:
- Winter sports cover – covers the cost of lost, damaged or stolen skis or other equipment. If you are skiing or boarding, it’s essential to have winter sports cover as it’s very unlikely that standard travel insurance will include this.
- Extreme sports cover – covers you if you’re doing anything considered ‘risky’, for example bungee jumping or rock climbing.
- Gadgets cover – compensates you for damage or theft of pricy tech like cameras, mobile phones and tablets.
What are the advantages of yearly travel insurance?
Yearly travel insurance means you won’t run the risk of forgetting to arrange cover before a last-minute holiday. While it might not seem like a big deal, medical costs outside of the UK can spiral into the tens of thousands – that’s before you even think of the cost of getting home in a medical emergency.
Annual insurance is more expensive than a single-trip policy, of course, but if you’re lucky enough to travel several times a year it could work out cheaper in the long run.
How much cover do I need?
The amount of cover you need depends on lots of different factors such as:
- The cost of your holiday – you should choose an amount that’s equal to the price you paid for your holiday (at the very least).
- Value of luggage – the value of your suitcases and clothes is probably more than you think. Your policy should be enough to meet this cost if you were unlucky enough to lose all your luggage.
- Value of gadgets – your insurance should cover the cost of replacing (or repairing) the gadgets you’re taking with you. If you’ve got very expensive devices like a brand-new smartphone or laptop, make sure any limits set by the insurer are high enough.
How much does yearly holiday insurance cost?
The type of activities you’ll be doing also impacts the price. For instance, policies that include cover for winter sports or extreme sports are generally more expensive because of the increased risk of injuring yourself or damaging equipment.
Where can I buy cheap annual travel insurance?
Travel insurance is an essential part of any holiday and it’s important to remember that cheap cover isn’t always the same as the best value cover.