Annual Travel Insurance – Everything You Need to Know
It covers you in exactly the same way as a policy for a single trip does.
The difference is that you pay a premium once per year and you can take as many trips as you like during that year.
Check out this post for all you need to know about this type of travel insurance coverage.
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
What Is Annual Travel Insurance?
Annual travel insurance is a policy that you pay for once and it covers you for a whole year. There is no limit on the number of trips you can take in a year, but often a limit on the number of days per trip.
Is It Worth Getting Annual Travel Insurance?
It is definitely worth getting annual travel insurance if you plan to take more than one trip a year. It will also give you cancellation cover for trips booked during the year.
I have spent over 30 years travelling the world with guests on coach holidays. During that time I have seen guests experience all sorts of medical emergencies. These have included;
- Fall requiring skin graft in Russia
- A broken leg in Morocco
- Fall and a broken leg in China
- Atrial fibrillation episode in Spain
- Heart problem in the Azores
- Heart attack in Nice
- Heart attack in Scotland
There have been many more issues along the way which required day treatment. The incidents above required hospital stays and the holiday finishing early.
In 2022 I also saw the huge impact of COVID-19 on travellers including;
- 8 guests had to isolate in Edinburgh for 3 weeks before returning to the US
- 4 guests had to isolate in Shetland before returning to Edinburgh and then the US
- 8 guests having to isolate for a week in Edinburgh before returning to the US
These incidents of COVID-19 all required new flights and hotel bookings. They also required new transfers and all meals and drinks for the duration of the isolation.
All the costs involved were covered by the travel insurance company. They ran into thousands of pounds. Without travel insurance coverage travellers would have had to pay for everything themselves. On top of this, they would have to make all the arrangements themselves too.
Travel insurance is one of my travel essentials for a reason. It isn’t worth the financial risk to travel without it.
Read More: Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Definition of Annual Travel Insurance
Annual travel insurance is a travel insurance policy that you purchase once a year. It is sometimes known as multi-trip travel insurance or yearly travel insurance. It can cover pre-existing medical conditions and some policies offer winter sports cover too.
Whilst there is generally no limit on the number of trips you can take in a year with this type of travel insurance there is generally a condition in the policy which dictates the number of days per trip.
For Coverwise, my recommended trip travel insurance company, the limit is 24 days per trip.
Benefits of Purchasing an Annual Insurance Policy
The main benefit of purchasing this type of travel insurance policy is that you are covered no matter how many trips you do in a year.
Annual travel insurance can also be much better value than single-trip travel insurance.
Taking out an annual insurance policy also means that you will have some cancellation coverage for trips you book after you have purchased your policy.
How Does Annual Travel Insurance Work? – here’s my guide to what you need to know and how to get the most from the policy
Types of Annual Travel Insurance Coverage
There are a variety of options available with travel insurance annual policies. Cover can be adjusted to take into account;
- Parts of the world you will be travelling to
- Types of travel you will be undertaking i.e winter sports, holiday or business travel
- Number of people requiring cover
- Level of coverage with options to increase coverage levels as you prefer
Read More: What Does Annual Holiday Insurance Cover?
Trip Cancellation Coverage
One of the great things that this type of travel insurance covers is trip cancellation or abandonment for any trips you can during the year (providing you take out cover before you book). This means that any travel you book after you have taken out your insurance policy will have some level of cancellation coverage. You will need to look at your specific policy for the specifics in relation to the amount of cover and excess payable.
For Coverwise, the travel insurance provider that I recommend, £1,000 of cancellation cover is included in their standard annual insurance policy. This can be increased to £2,000 by paying a higher premium.
Medical Emergency Coverage
Medical emergency insurance is provided with an annual policy the same as it is with single-trip travel insurance. The difference with an annual policy is that the insurance cover is the amount for each person on the policy, not the total.
For example, Coverwise provides £20 million pounds of medical coverage on their annual travel insurance policies. If there are 4 people covered by the policy it means each person gets £20 million pounds of coverage, it’s not £5 million pounds of coverage each (£20 million divided by 4 people).
Lost/Delayed Baggage Coverage
Baggage coverage is generally included in an annual travel insurance policy. Again it is one of the items where the amount covered can be adjusted by paying a higher premium.
Coverwise, provide £1,000 insurance on their standard annual trip travel insurance. This can be increased to £2,000 by paying a higher premium
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage
This covers you if you need to be moved out of a country and taken back home. The costs of this can be very expensive if you were trying to arrange it on your own.
How to Choose the Right Annual Travel Insurance Policy for You
Choosing the right travel insurance coverage is essential to ensure that your insurance is effective and covers you when you need it.
Here are the things you need to think about when choosing a policy.
Consider Your Destination(s) and Activity Levels
Think about which parts of the world you will be travelling to. This will affect the amount of premium you pay. If you choose to cover one part of the world and travel to another then you will not be covered. This could be very expensive.
Coverwise has 3 areas of the world as follows;
- Europe (including the UK)
- Rest of the World (excluding Canada, the USA and the Caribbean)
- Rest of the World (including Canada, the USA and the Caribbean)
Here are the differences in premiums for each of the regions as follows (based on a standard annual travel insurance policy for a 52 year old solo traveller)
- Europe (including the UK) – £12.95
Rest of the World (excluding Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £59.08
- The rest of the World (including Canada, the USA, and the Caribbean) – £72.32
You also need to decide if you require winter sports cover in your policy. This includes any type of skiing or snowboarding activities.
Here are the differences in premium for each of the regions with winter sports cover included
Europe (including the UK) – £40.96
Rest of the World (excluding Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £88.14
Rest of the World (including Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £123.32
It’s not just winter sports cover that you need to think of though. During your holiday you might take part in all sorts of activities – things like horse riding, hot air ballooning, kayaking, scuba diving – this list is endless.
To ensure you have the right level of coverage it is worth checking what sports and activities are covered by your insurance. Here is the Coverwise list to give you some ideas of things to think about.
You also need to ensure you declare all your medical conditions fully when applying for your travel insurance as this will affect your coverage.
Failing to declare your medical conditions can mean your insurance is invalid. If you miss something because you think it isn’t relevant you could void your travel insurance. Declare everything and that way you know you have cover no matter what happens.
For most travellers with an existing medical condition, an annual travel insurance policy should be OK, although the premium may be a little higher.
For those with more complex health conditions, for example, a history of heart attacks, stroke or transplant there are specialised medical travel insurance policies. These could be more cost-effective. You can generally buy these as single-trip or annual multi-trip travel insurance.
For this type of insurance, I recommend Travel Insurance 4 Medical. Their premiums are the best value I have found and they cover a wide range of medical conditions.
The best way of checking which policy is best is to get a quote for both and compare the premiums and what is covered.
It is important to review the policy documents carefully. As with all insurance, you have a period to review the documents, cancel your coverage and get a refund if it isn’t suitable.
Use this time to review everything that is covered in your policy and everything that is not.
Many people make assumptions about travel insurance which can make things very difficult when they come to make a claim.
Type of Travel
There are many different types of travel and you need to think about which types of travelling you will be doing during the whole year when buying an annual policy. Types of travel to think about are;
- UK travel
- Business travel
You need to think about whether you want Covid coverage as part of your travel insurance policy. Some companies include it as standard now, some don’t so it is always worth checking.
Coverwise included Covid cover as standard, which includes cancellation due to falling ill as a result of Covid, being required to self-isolate etc.
As with any cover, it is worth double-checking the specifics to make sure the policy details match your requirements.
Don’t Skimp on Coverage – Buy Enough to Meet Your Needs
It may be tempting to buy the minimum amount of cover you need so that you pay the smallest premium. Given the costs of things that is understandable.
Look at each area of the travel insurance policy and really think about whether it is enough for your travel requirements.
Here is a quick example using Coverwise annual travel insurance.
With their standard annual travel policy, the excess for most things is £125.00. This means each time you claim you will get the amount of coverage, less £125.00. For cash, this policy provides £300 of cover for cash that is stolen when you are travelling. However, for each claim you make you will only be paid £175.00 (£300 of cover less the £125 excess).
With their Gold annual travel policy, the excess is £50 and the cover is higher. This policy provides £500 of cover for cash that is stolen while you are travelling, with an excess of £50. That means for each claim you make you will receive £450.
The difference between the cost of the two policies is £17.61 per year.
Make Sure You Buy Your Travel Insurance Before You Book Your Trip
Many people leave buying their travel insurance until after they have booked their trip.
That means they will not be able to claim any cancellation coverage under their travel insurance policy. This is the same whether the insurance is a single trip or annual travel insurance.
So make sure you buy your travel insurance and then book your holiday.
Check out this video for a quick comparison of single-trip and annual travel insurance cover
Cost of Annual Travel Insurance Policies Compared to Single-Trip Policies
It might seem safe to assume that annual travel insurance is more expensive than single-trip insurance coverage. That is not always the case so it is always worth checking.
Here’s a comparison using Coverwise again;
Here is a reminder of the costs of an annual multi-trip policy for a solo traveller aged 52.
- Europe (including the UK) – £12.95
Rest of the World (excluding Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £59.08
Rest of the World (including Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £72.32
Single Trip Cover is based on a single traveller, aged 52, taking one trip that is two weeks long;
- Europe (this does not include the UK) – £15.16
- Rest of the World (excluding Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £18.67
- Rest of the World (including Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) – £49.84
As you can see by the prices there is not that much difference between a single trip and annual insurance cover.
What’s the Difference Between Single Trip and Annual Holiday Insurance? – the way the policies operate is different and the coverage is different. Check out this quick guide
Pros of Annual Travel Insurance
- No need to keep taking out travel insurance cover
- Premiums are generally great value, especially if taking more than 1 trip
- Covers unlimited trips during a year. (Generally, there is a limit on the duration of the trip.)
- Gives some cancellation cover to trips booked during the year (if the policy started before booking travel)
Cons of Annual Travel Insurance
- It can be easy to forget to update the insurance company in relation to any health or medical issues.
- There can be some time between taking out the insurance and taking a trip. This can mean there is a risk the health declaration is out of date.
Professional Traveller Recommended Annual Travel Insurance
I recommend the insurance company that I use for my own travel insurance – Coverwise.
Here’s why I recommend them;
- Their cover is competitive. I paid £60 this year for cover, which includes COVID-19, and I have an existing health condition too.
- They cover business travel which is ideal for people like me who travel for work.
- My cover also includes trips in the UK which I often take for work too
- I can choose the level of cover to suit my needs.
If you head to the Coverwise website you can easily get a quote.
When you arrive at their main page select ‘Annual’ as the type of policy you are interested in.
Then select the type of cover you would like – whether you would like winter sports cover on your policy or not.
Then choose which region of the work you are going to be travelling in;
Then select the number of travellers you want cover for;
Once you have that all sorted you will get a quote for your travel insurance
The Professional Traveller Recommended Annual Travel Insurance
The Professional Traveller Recommended Medical Travel Insurance – Travel Insurance 4 Medical
This is by far the best value medical travel cover I have found.
Annual Travel Insurance – Summary
- Annual travel insurance coverage is ideal if you plan to take more than 1 trip per year.
- Annual travel insurance is not always more expensive than insurance a single-trip policy.
- Buy your travel insurance before you book any travel to get cancellation cover
- Declare all your health and medical conditions and keep this updated
- For more complex health conditions check if specialised travel insurance might be cheaper
Annual Travel Insurance FAQs
What travel is covered?
Leisure travel ie holidays are covered. Some companies cover business travel and some also cover winter sports activities too. You choose the cover that best suits your travel plans.
Where Does Annual Travel Insurance Cover?
Annual travel insurance provides cover to different regions of the world, which you select when you choose your policy. The most common annual travel insurance areas are;
Europe (may or may not include the UK depending on the company)
The World (excluding the US, Canada and the Caribbean)
The World (including the US, Canada and the Caribbean)
Do We All Have to Travel Together with an Annual Travel Insurance Policy?
Anyone who is on the policy can travel on their own and they will still have cover as per the limits listed in the policy. (Check your policy conditions to be sure.)
Is the Cover Person or Per Policy?
If you take out an annual travel insurance policy the limits on the policy schedule are per person. For example, if the medical cover is £2 million pounds, the cover is £2 million per person on the policy.
How Many Trips Does it Cover?
Generally, an annual travel insurance policy has no limit on the number of trips that you can take in a year. There is usually a time restriction on the length of each trip.
Do I Have to Notify My Insurance Company of Each Trip?
Annual travel insurance means you can focus on enjoying your travels. There is no need to notify your travel insurance company of each trip. Just make sure that all the destinations you are visiting are covered in your policy, including any excursions, stopovers and cruise ports.
Is Annual Travel Insurance Suitable for Long-Term Stays?
An annual travel insurance policy will generally cover trips of around 3 weeks. Specialised insurance companies offer travel insurance for stays up to 18 months.
Does Annual Travel Insurance Cover Me If I Have Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?
The premium may be higher depending on the medical condition. Declare everything when you take out your insurance. For more complex medical issues specialised medical insurance may be cheaper.
Does Annual Travel Insurance Cover Cruises?
You need to check your policy to make sure but in general yes. However, you need to make sure that all the destinations you visit on your cruise are covered in the areas covered in your travel insurance policy.
Does Annual Travel Insurance Cover UK Holidays?
Some annual travel insurance does cover UK holidays. You need to check your policy to make sure. Coverwise, my recommended provider, includes UK holidays in its annual travel cover.
Does Annual Family Travel Insurance Cover Individuals?
Annual family travel insurance covers each of the individuals named on the policy. Each individual is covered as per the policy limits. The cover is per person not per policy.
When Does Annual Travel Insurance Start?
Annual travel insurance starts on whatever date you choose. The best time to start your policy is before you book any travel.
Other Articles You Might Like
What does Annual Holiday Insurance cover? – all the details
Annual Multi Trip Travel Insurance – guide to this type of insurance
7 Travel Insurance Annual Policy Things You Need to Know – to ensure you are fully covered
Yearly Travel Insurance – All you need to know
Author Bio – Melanie Newdick, Annual Travel Insurance Expert
I’m an Annual Travel Insurance Expert because;
- I’ve helped guests who have experienced medical emergencies all over the world
- I’ve dealt with many different insurance companies on behalf of guests
- Check out my top money saving resources
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