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.
A single trip policy may also be useful if you are doing an activity, or visiting a country, insurers consider high risk, as you will only be paying the premium for the time you are taking that additional risk.
If you plan to go abroad several times a year for normal activity holidays, you may find that annual travel insurance offers better value.
If you will only have one holiday this year then a single trip policy is likely to be the best solution. If you travel more frequently, or at short notice, an annual policy may offer greater flexibility.
You need to add up all the trips you plan to go on, and compare quotes for annual insurance to your single trip insurance quotes. Check the small print of your policy that all the countries you hope to visit and all the activities you intend to undertake are covered.
Compared to a multi trip, or annual policy, single trip travel insurance can be:
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.
However, there may be disadvantages. For example an annual policy may be more convenient if you want to suddenly decide to take a last-minute deal, or while on holiday, fancy crossing the border to another country, trying a new ‘dangerous’ activity, or staying a few days longer and extending your trip.
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.
Most policies (38 of our 40) will now cover fully-vaccinated travellers for Covid risks - getting it, having to isolate, cancelling, being hospitalised while on holiday, curtailing your holiday and being repatriated. If you have not been vaccinated against Covid, then all Covid claims will be excluded.
It’s easy to see the exact Covid wording for each policy when you generate a list of quotes.
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.
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. You may find that you cannot cancel for Covid for the first 48 hours - to stop people who found they had Covid from buying insurance and immediately claiming cancellation costs.
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 that you have, 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) also access to a directory of insurance brokers 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.