Single trip travel insurance covers you for one trip with a specified start and end date. It may be a cheaper option than annual travel insurance (also known as multi trip travel insurance) if you don't take many trips during the year.
If you do plan to go abroad several times a year, you may find that annual travel insurance offers better value.
Search for annual or single trip travel insurance with Uswitch and theIdol.com*
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has made buying travel insurance difficult. When the government advised people not to travel overseas in March 2020, most travel insurance companies stopped selling policies. This was because the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) had advised against all but essential travel outside the UK.
It's still the case that the FCO is advising against all but essential international travel to many countries. However, this advice is currently under review and measures may be relaxed or tightened as the government sees fit, so it's important to keep up to date with travel advice.
In July 2020 the FCO said people could travel to some destinations overseas again, and published a list of countries it considered safe and which you could fly to without having to quarantine on your return, if you lived in England. The advice on quarantine for people who travelled abroad and then were returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is different, and is changing, so it is best to keep up to date with the latest guidance.
However, the FCO gave explicit advice against cruise ship travel, based on medical advice from Public Health England. This advice does not include ferry travel or privately rented boats.
Unfortunately, even though the FCO is allowing some overseas travel, this doesn't mean that you will be able to find suitable or comprehensive single trip or annual travel insurance to cover you while you are travelling or away on holiday or business travel.
In fact, most travel insurance policies that are on sale will not cover any risks associated with coronavirus. This includes travel disruption or cancellation due to COVID-19 and any medical treatment you may need if you catch it. For this reason, you may find that the travel insurance on offer is very limited and only covers medical emergencies not connected with COVID-19. This is because the global pandemic means that COVID-19 is now a "known event" in travel insurance terms, and all cover of associated risks are exempt.
If you bought a travel insurance policy before March 2020 then you will be covered for any COVID-19 related claims. This isn't the case if you buy a new policy now.
Therefore, if you have an existing policy and you're planning to travel later in the year, you may be able to use it if you have had to reschedule your trip due to COVID-19, but your travel company has not cancelled the trip. However, it's best to check with your insurance provider to see if anything has changed. Even if you have an existing policy you will not be covered if you travel to a country which the FCO advises against travelling to.
It may be in the future that the situation changes again, and insurers begin to offer cover for coronavirus claims.
In the future, consider the benefits between single trip policy versus an annual travel insurance policy. You need to add up all the trips you plan to go on, and compare the quote for annual insurance to your single trip insurance quotes.
It's very important to check the small print of your policy to check that all the countries you hope to visit are covered under the policy.
Compared to multi trip, single trip travel insurance can be:
Generally cheaper - if you don't plan to go anywhere else in the next year.
More specific - if the nature of your trip and your journeys vary considerably with specific requirements such as, risky sports or more risky destinations, getting annual travel insurance may get too expensive. One trip to Africa and another trip to go skiing might not be covered under the same policy, for example.
Single trip policies can cover illness and injury, holiday cancellation, loss of baggage, theft, emergency repatriation, public liability and personal accidents.
You should get access to a 24-hour emergency line to call in the event of an emergency, or to make a claim as soon as possible.
Travel insurance for a single trip can cost just a few pounds. But if you're considering the cost of a policy, you need to make sure that it covers all eventualities.
Make sure you aren't losing out on cover in important areas if you opt for a cheaper policy. Often policies which come as part of a credit card perks package, or travel insurance associated with your flight or travel package don't offer enough cover for emergencies.
The cost of travel insurance can vary greatly depending on many factors, including:
Where you are travelling
Whether you want single, joint or family cover
Pre-existing medical conditions
Extra cover for sports and activities
Using a price comparison site will make it easier for you to select your preferences and compare prices from lots of insurers, without having to fill in your details again and again.
Search for annual or single trip travel insurance with Uswitch and theIdol.com*
Single trip travel insurance is sometimes known as one trip travel insurance. When you're comparing costs and insurance policies, bear in mind that the best single trip travel insurance may not be the cheapest.
It's possible to buy single trip travel insurance for a single person, a couple travelling together, or family travel insurance for a single trip or destination.
If you're looking for worldwide trip cover, which involves onward travel, one way travel, or trip with no return leg to the journey, then you may need to use a specialist travel insurer.
You can use our single trip travel insurance comparison tool to find the best single trip travel insurance policy for you, and compare prices and find the best travel insurance rates.
While you might only remember to buy travel insurance when you're packing your suitcase, ideally you should take out cover as soon as you've booked.
Good quality travel insurance policies will cover you for cancellation, and if you take out your policy as soon as you've booked, you'll be covered straight away.
If you wait until nearer to your holiday and then have to cancel, you won't be covered if your policy isn't in place yet.
For more information about travel insurance, check out our guide based on frequently asked questions.
If you've decided you need a single trip policy instead of annual cover, you should also look out for these factors when choosing your cover:
Do you need worldwide or European cover?
How many days' travel will you be covered for in total?
Does the policy include baggage cover, and is the limit high enough?
What’s the single article limit for valuables and gadgets?
Do you already have cover for your belongings away from home with your home insurance?
Is your cash covered for loss or theft?
Is the cancellation cover limit high enough to cover the cost of the booking?
Have you declared any pre-existing medical conditions? (If you don’t declare any illnesses your claim could be rejected.)
Are there any exclusions?
Can you afford to pay the excess if you need to claim?
Are you covered for any planned activities, such as skiing and scuba diving?
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.