Annual travel insurance is sometimes called yearly travel insurance, or yearly holiday insurance, because it covers any travel within the 12-month period for which you are insured. The alternative, single trip travel insurance, will only cover you for one specific trip.
Read our guide to learn more about annual travel insurance, and how to get the best Uswitch deal.
The market for yearly travel insurance is quite wide – it could be couples who want cover for multi trip travel insurance because they enjoy short breaks in European cities. Or it could be annual family travel insurance for families who like to go on a couple of foreign holidays a year.
Bear in mind that the best annual travel insurance or annual multi trip insurance is not necessarily the cheapest. It's the best option for the trips that you are planning to make and provide the convenience of knowing you are covered for all your holidays.
For example, if you're looking for worldwide annual travel insurance, then you need to ensure that there is sufficient medical cover included in your policy. Visits to countries, such as the United States, can lead to high medical bills if you need medical care, which can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
If you're only travelling within Europe, then you can specify you want a European only annual travel insurance policy when you are comparing cover. This will be cheaper than worldwide cover.
You can find good value, cheap annual travel insurance by using an insurance comparison service, which shows you deals from a panel of different multi trip travel insurance providers.
Annual travel insurance is great for people who made a lot of short trips abroad – for example a couple of foreign holidays and some long weekend breaks. There are limits on just how many days per trip and in total you can spend abroad but they suit most holidaymakers.
It also means that you know you have travel insurance in place each time you want to travel. That means your travel plans could be spontaneous and you could book a holiday at the last minute or change your travel plans mid-trip.
If you are fully vaccinated and buy a new annual travel insurance policy it will cover you for cancellation or disruption due to Covid. It will also pay out and help you if you are taken ill on holiday with Covid that needs medical treatment.
If you have chosen not to be vaccinated, the risk of you getting Covid and of your symptoms being much worse is so great, insurers will not cover you for any Covid risks. You would be covered for any other illnesses and risks, just not Covid.
Our comparison tool for travel insurance quickly shows what each insurer’s policy is towards Covid so you can compare and be sure you get the appropriate cover for you and your family.
If you're using a travel insurance comparison site, you will be shown a number of options.
Once you have this series of annual travel insurance quotes, you can buy your annual travel insurance by clicking through to the provider who best meets your needs.
Bear in mind that when you are buying annual travel insurance, you need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions that might affect your policy. These are medical conditions for which you're currently receiving treatment or medication, or from which you are recovering.
If you're looking for annual travel insurance over 65, or annual travel insurance over 70, you may find that your options for cover are more limited, and the number of insurers who are willing to offer you an annual travel insurance policy may be smaller.
However, there are still specialist providers who will be willing to provide yearly travel insurance for older customers, or for those who have pre-existing medical conditions, but who want travel cover.
If you travel a lot and you're looking for a policy that will cover you for a number of trips abroad within a 12-month period, then an annual policy might be the best option for you.
If you're only planning one foreign trip, then you will find a single trip travel insurance policy to be the best value.
Compared to single trip cover, multi-trip travel insurance can be:
cheaper - if you go on holiday more than once a year, an annual travel insurance policy may be cheaper than buying multiple single trip policies.
more convenient - you don't have to arrange a new policy every time you travel;
there when you need it - if you decide to take a last minute holiday, or add an extra destination or activity, you can rest assured that you're already covered.
Multi-trip travel insurance policies will usually have a limit on the number of days one trip can last, or a maximum number of days they will cover. This is usually 30-31 days, but this can differ by policy.
So if you're a jet-setter who's on holiday more than you're at home, you might have to take out specialist backpacker cover or consider single trip cover each time you travel.
Just like single trip cover, the cost of multi-trip travel insurance can vary greatly depending on many factors, including:
Where you are travelling
The type of policy you choose (single, joint or family cover)
Pre-existing medical conditions
Extra cover for sports or activities
The easiest way to find out how much your policy will cost is by doing a quick quote online. But as a guide, an annual travel insurance policy could cost just a little more than cover for a single trip, meaning it could be very economical if you go away a few times in a year.
While annual travel insurance can help you save money compared to buying lots of single trip policies, it's important to find the right cover and not just base your choice on price.
Here's a list of things to check before you buy your travel insurance policy:
Do you need worldwide or European cover? (You may be able to extend European cover to worldwide later if you need to.)
How many days' travel will you be covered for in total, and for each individual trip?
What’s the maximum amount of money you can claim if your baggage is lost or stolen? (The level of baggage cover.)
What’s the maximum amount of money you can claim for valuables, e.g. cameras and jewellery? Is this limit high enough to cover your valuables?
Does your home insurance cover your belongings when you’re away from home? If so, you might not need cover for your valuables and baggage.
What’s the maximum amount of money you can claim if your cash is lost or stolen?
Will you get compensation if your holiday is cancelled or cut short?
Have you declared any pre-existing medical conditions? (If you don’t declare any illnesses your claim could be rejected.)
Is the policy open to people of your age?
Are there any exclusions?
What’s the excess? (The excess is a set amount that you’ll have to pay if you make a claim. A higher excess could mean your policy is cheaper, but you would have to pay more if you need to claim.)
Does it cover you for any activities you might want to do, like skiing, rafting or diving? Even if you don't plan to do these activities now, bear in mind you may want cover for later trips
Most of this information is available when you get a quote online, so you can easily find the right policy for your needs.
If you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get a quote. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.
Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you're unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
You can contact the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) or you can telephone 0800 138 7777.