Annual Travel Insurance Plans: Coverage, Benefits, and Tips

Annual Travel Insurance Plans: Coverage, Benefits, and Tips

Affiliate links for the products on this page are from partners that compensate us (see our advertiser disclosure with our list of partners for more details). However, our opinions are our own. See how we rate insurance products to write unbiased product reviews.

  • Annual travel insurance offers multi-trip coverage for travelers taking several trips over a year.
  • Annual travel insurance can be cheaper and more convenient but is less flexible than single trip insurance.
  • A 30-year-old US resident can expect to pay between $125 to $700 for annual travel insurance.

The more you travel, the higher your chances are that something goes wrong. Fortunately, coverage is available that can soften the financial blow if you get sick, lose your luggage, or experience some other hiccup while abroad.

While single trip travel insurance can cover one-off trips, frequently travelers may want annual travel insurance, which covers all your trips throughout a year. Read on to learn what annual travel insurance covers, how much you can expect to pay, and when you should buy.

What is annual travel insurance?

Annual travel insurance, also called multi-trip insurance, is a type of insurance policy that protects you from potential losses on all trips in a 12-month period.

An annual travel insurance plans is more expensive than one single trip policy, but annual travel insurance becomes increasingly cost-effective as you take more trips. Buying annual travel insurance is also more convenient than shopping for travel insurance every time you take a trip. As such, these policies are particularly good for people who travel for work.

While annual travel insurance offers more convenience over single trip policies, you forfeit some flexibility offered in single trip travel insurance. For one, annual travel insurance limits the maximum number of days it will cover in one trip . This threshold varies from provider to provider, but generally it’s up to a maximum of 90 days.

“During the coverage period, a traveler can move between countries and remain covered on the same insurance policy,” says Rajeev Shrivastava, chief executive officer at VisitorsCoverage, a travel insurance marketplace. “With 30-day coverage, the plan is no longer valid on day 31. The traveler needs to return to their home country, resetting the 30 days and allowing them to resume travel.”

Additionally, some annual travel insurance policies only cover trips a certain distance (say, 100 miles) from your residence or farther. Make sure to note these limitations before purchasing your policy — particularly if most of your travel is domestic. 

Coverage options in annual travel insurance plans

Annual travel insurance coverage varies by plan and provider, but it is generally less comprehensive than a single trip policy.

Annual policies typically include coverage for emergency medical care, medical evacuations, trip delays, and lost or stolen baggage. Most basic plans do not cover trip cancellations (though a few more comprehensive ones do). If you’re looking for cancellation reimbursement, you may want to purchase a single-trip plan with cancel for any reason coverage.

Here are just a few things a basic annual travel insurance plan might include:

  • Trip cancellation for covered reasons
  • Trip interruption
  • Trip delays
  • Missed connections
  • Lost or stolen baggage
  • Baggage delay
  • Rental car damage or theft
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • Repatriation of mortal remains

Limitations and exclusions to annual travel insurance

As we mentioned earlier, annual travel insurance plans are less flexible compared to single trip plans. While this affects how many days are covered in one trip, it’ll also limit what you can cover. For one, coverage limits are usually lower throughout the policy.

Most notably, annual travel insurance plans do not offer cancel for any reason coverage. To receive reimbursement for a canceled trip, you must have canceled for a covered reason, such as illness or a disaster at your travel destination. 

Depending on your provider, you may be able to add coverage for adventure sports injuries or purchase an adventure sports-specific policy, as these are not covered by standard travel insurance. 

“Annual travel insurance doesn’t cover losses that arise from expected or reasonably foreseeable events,” says Daniel Durazo, director of external communications at Allianz Travel Insurance. “If your trips involve high-risk adventure — like skydiving, caving, mountain climbing, or participating in any athletic competition — your annual policy may not cover medical care if you sustain injuries.”

How much does annual travel insurance cost?

Your age, the number of trips you plan to take, where you live, and other factors will figure into the cost of your coverage. For a 30-year-old US resident taking an estimated eight trips per year, all for fewer than 30 days each, annual travel insurance plans cost roughly between $125 and $700, according to an analysis of plans on travel insurance comparison platform SquareMouth. 

For example, under Seven Corner’s travel insurance, one of the companies listed in our guide on the best international travel insurance companies for its long-term coverage, a 30-year-old US resident taking trips to eight destinations (including the US) would pay $375.50 for the annual plan with the lowest annual cancellation limit ($2,500) and $648 for the highest ($10,000). 

“The per-trip length of coverage is usually a determining factor of the cost,” Shrivastava says. “The longer the trip duration, the more expensive the policy can be.”

Purchasing annual travel insurance

Since annual travel insurance plans cover you for a full year, consider purchasing your policy right before your first trip. Strategic purchase dates could help you stretch your coverage period to cover more travels, but don’t ignore the drawbacks of this approach.

First, you could forget. A lot goes into preparing for a trip, so leaving your travel insurance until the last minute could cause it to fall through the cracks. If you do opt to wait, make sure you set an alarm or calendar reminder.

Additionally, if you wait too long, your policy may not cover any pre-existing medical conditions. Some travel insurance companies will only cover pre-existing conditions if you buy your policy within 14 days of making your first trip payment.

As Durazo puts it, “Whether you’re choosing an individual or annual policy, the best time to purchase insurance is always at the same time as you book your travel.”

Assess your travel needs

Annual travel insurance isn’t right for everyone, but if you travel often, it might be a good fit. Before you take out your policy, have an idea of what travels you’ll take in the next year, and use the following chart to help guide your decision.

“These plans are ideal for frequent travelers such as business travelers, digital nomads, or other avid travelers,” Shrivastava says. “They aren’t a fit for travelers who are only taking one or two trips per year or someone looking for a more comprehensive range of benefits.”

Annual travel insurance frequently asked questions

Yes, many policies include an option to add family members when you buy your policy, though. However, terms will vary depending on the insurance provider.

Some insurers allow you to automatically renew your annual travel insurance when it expires, though you can also wait until you’re going on another trip to re-purchase. You can cancel annual travel insurance at any time, but you will only receive a refund if you cancel within your policy’s money-back guarantee period and your trip hasn’t started yet.

Pre-existing conditions can be covered under an annual travel insurance plan as long as you meet certain requirements. Policies often require that you buy travel insurance within a certain number of days from when you placed a deposit on your trip, usually two to three weeks. Additionally, many travel insurance providers require that your condition is stable. 

Affiliate links for the products on this page are from partners that compensate us (see our advertiser disclosure with our list of partners for more details). However, our opinions are our own. See how we rate insurance products to write unbiased product reviews. Annual travel insurance offers multi-trip coverage for travelers taking several trips over…

Leave a Reply