Should you get single trip or annual travel insurance?

If you’re not sure which type of insurance to choose, take a look at the pros and cons of single trip and annual cover.

What is single trip travel insurance?

A single trip policy insures you for one booked holiday or business trip abroad.

To get quotes, you’ll need to enter:

  • Your destination: usually shown as UK and the Channel Islands, Europe or Worldwide (including or excluding USA and Canada).
  • The dates of your trip: this is the date you leave Ireland and the date you arrive back in Ireland.
  • Who the cover is for: usually shown as individual, couple or family but check the help information for exclusions.

You may also be asked to confirm:

  • The age of each policy member
  • If you hold private medical insurance
  • If you need cover for winter sports

Most policies cover trips up to 30 days long but some offer cover for up to 60 days. If you’re going away for longer than this, read our guide on backpacker travel insurance.

It’s best to buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip so that you’re covered against cancellation.

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What is annual travel insurance?

An annual or multi trip policy insures you for all the trips you make in a year.

Each policy sets a maximum duration for each trip (usually 30 to 60 days) and a combined total number of days you can be away for over the year (around 180 days).

Always choose a policy that covers the longest trip you’ll be making in the year, by checking the maximum duration policy details.

To get quotes, you’ll need to enter:

  • Your destination: Choose between Europe or Worldwide and make sure all your trips are covered for the year.
  • The date your policy should start: Cancellation cover starts from this date.
  • Who the cover is for: usually individual, couple or family but check for any restrictions.
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You may also be asked to confirm:

  • The age of each policy member
  • If you hold private medical insurance (for the year)
  • If you need cover for winter sports

You’ll only be covered for trips to the destination you choose when buying your policy.

Choosing Worldwide will offer the best cover if you’re not sure of your plans.

You’ll be covered for any nights away in Ireland too, as long as you’ve pre-booked your accommodation.

Is it cheaper to get single trip or annual travel insurance?

It depends how often you travel each year. If you have three or more trips planned, it’s usually cheaper to get an annual policy.

Your age and private medical status may affect the policies you can get and the price. You could get around 20% off if you hold private medical insurance.

Don’t pick the cheapest policy you can find, choose the right level of cover for your needs.

With annual insurance for example, you may need extra cover for repatriation as some policies only cover this once.

So, which policy should you choose?

Single trip pros & cons

  • Cheaper than annual cover for just one trip a year
  • Cancellation cover starts when you buy your policy
  • It’s easier to get cover for a one off trip if you’re older
  • You’ll pay more per trip than with an annual policy
  • You’re only covered for the dates of your trip
  • You’ll need to get a new policy if you travel again

Annual policy pros & cons

  • Cheaper per trip if you travel three or more times a year
  • One policy for the year, gives you peace of mind and saves time
  • Includes nights away in Ireland (if they’ve been pre-booked)
  • Can be harder to get if you’re an older traveller
  • You’ll pay more than you need if you only travel once or twice
  • You may need to add extra cover for repatriation

If you’re still unsure which is the right policy for you, read our guide on how to choose the best travel insurance policy.

Single trip and annual travel insurance FAQs

Can you buy an annual travel insurance policy before you book your first trip?

Yes but you need to know roughly when you’ll be travelling as you have to choose a start date for your policy and it runs a year from that date. If you book a holiday that starts before your policy does, you won’t be covered.

Is it cheaper to get an annual or single trip policy?

If you’re only going away once then a single trip policy is the cheaper option but if you’re travelling at least three times a year then it’s cheaper to buy an annual policy.

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