Single Trip Travel Insurance

Looking for quality travel insurance for a single trip? Here are the main points to think about.

Updated

Single trip travel insurance is designed to provide affordable cover for just one trip. This is a suitable option for single travellers or families that generally only take one major trip per year. It is generally quite flexible and less expensive than Annual policies that provide cover for multiple trips in a single year.

This article will offer key tips on what to look for in a policy and how to get affordable cover that still offers enough protection.

What does single trip travel insurance cover?

Most single trip policies will provide standard cover for:

  • Overseas medical emergencies
  • Trip cancellation and lost deposits for flights, accommodation and tours
  • Lost, damaged and stolen luggage and valuables
  • Personal liability

Many providers will also offer additional cover so you can tailor your policy closer to the trip you will be taking, i.e. winter sports or cruise cover.

Should I get single trip or annual multi trip travel insurance?

Not sure whether a single trip or annual multi trip policy is better for you? Keep in mind these points:

  • Annual cover is typically only cheaper for travellers that head overseas at least three times a year… if you don’t travel that often, you may be better off going with a single-trip policy.
  • Most single trip policies will allow you to take out cover for up to 12 months (some specified policies extend this to 18 months). Individual trips on annual policies is often only available for 30-, 60- or 90-day periods. If you plan on staying at your destination for longer than this period, then you are better off going with single trip cover.
  • There may be lower age limits to single trip policies.
  • Some annual policies may have a reduced level of cover to that offered on the single trip policy.
  • Cover for groups is generally not available under annual policies.
  • Travellers with pre-existing medical conditions can have difficulty taking out annual travel insurance and will usually have to purchase individual cover for each trip and provide evidence for their health at each application. A pre-existing medical condition is a health issue, such as diabetes or cancer, which you had before the date a health policy starts.
  • Single trip travel insurance may be more suitable if you need additional cover for your trip i.e. winter sports cover, cover for expensive items you are travelling with.
  • Not all trips are the same and you may only require a reduced level of cover for certain trips.

Looking for a family policy for a single trip?

You may be able to secure a better rate on your travel insurance policy by applying for group cover for your family as oppose to individual policies. The normal family travel insurance policy covers two adults and as many as four children under 21 years of age, though this may vary between providers. Some benefits of this option for policy owners include:

  • Convenience of having only one policy to manage: Reduced hassle of managing multiple policies in the event of a claim.
  • Generally provides higher level of cover than individual policies: This includes higher levels of cover for cancellation protection, alternative accommodation and baggage cover.
  • Free child cover options: In some cases the children named in the policy are included without you having to pay any extra cost.

Looking for a group policy for a single trip?

It is also possible to obtain single trip insurance for a group of people travelling together. It is a typically cheaper way of getting comprehensive cover for all without each person having to go to the trouble of arranging and taking out their own individual protection. Group single trip insurance is ideal for friends travelling together to a common event such as a major sporting event or concert in another country. It is also an ideal type of cover for groups of co-workers travelling abroad for a conference. Whatever the reason, group cover will give you the same protection individually as you would have received if you had ‘gone it alone’ and often at a much more competitive rate.

Things to look out for with group cover can include:

  • It might not cover you for some pursuits such as extreme sports like jet boat skiing, rock climbing, scuba diving, etc. If this is case and you are keen to participate in these kinds of activities you will have to ask the insurer to have such an activity included specifically for you before you will be covered.
  • Number of people covered under a group policy. The total number of travellers that can be covered may vary from policy to policy. Most group policies will provide cover for up to 8 – 12 travellers.
  • Older travellers in the group might have trouble arranging group single travel insurance, especially those 65 years of age and over. An increased level of risk of claim from pre-existing medical conditions will usually require each member of the group to take out an individual policy.
  • Conditions apply for each member. Anyone looking to apply for group cover should remember that the same policy conditions and exclusions will apply for each member of the group. If a member of the group is not satisfied with the level of cover provided they might want to look into taking out their own individual policy.

How can I get cheap single trip travel insurance that still provides cover I need?

When applying for single trip travel insurance there are some key steps to take that can lower your premium cost even further, these are:Woman on holiday

  • Work out how much cover you actually need. It’s no good taking out the most comprehensive policy out there if half of what is covered doesn’t apply to your cover needs. Work out suitable cover levels for each loss and avoid policies with expensive extras you don’t actually require
  • Before making up your mind on which policy to choose, compare a number of quotes and fully evaluate their worth. Comparing travel insurance options online can save you both time and money as multiple options can be viewed simultaneously. Make sure you are not drawn to the cheapest quote, as it will generally only provide the most basic cover available. Comparing online will also give you the opportunity to quickly read through and compare the policy benefits available
  • Keep an eye out for special discounts. Travel insurers are always looking for new customers and most will offer great discounts to help you cut your cost even further.

How much cover do I actually need?

The difficulty in finding the right single trip travel insurance policy is knowing what an appropriate level of cover is for your trip. It is worth taking the time to consider how you will be spending your time away and any additional coverage that may prove valuable. Most policies will have predetermined cover levels in place for you to compare.

  • Where are you heading? It is crucial you know what countries you will be covered for under the region you have chosen. In some cases it could be worth taking out a worldwide policy to make sure you are covered across multiple destinations
  • How much medical cover do your require? As a rule of thumb the first priority for single trip travel insurance is to be certain that if you became ill or injured during your trip you will have adequate resources to pay for proper medical treatment and if necessary to be returned home
  • Cover for loss of your luggage and other belongings? Most policies will let you note down specific valuable items to be covered within the policy. This may include electronic equipment, cameras, valuable sporting equipment, expensive luggage and jewellery. There will generally be a maximum amount of cover that can be taken out on each item. Learn more about cover for expensive items
  • Need cover in case your trip is cancelled? Overseas travel is not cheap and it has to be paid for before you leave your home shores. However if something was to go wrong and you had to cancel after paying for your trip you won’t get a lot of sympathy from your trip organiser. You can insure yourself against having to cancel, which means you can have the cost of the trip returned to you so you are able to fly out on some other later occasion. Most policies will let you cover bookings made in your itinerary such as hotels, tours and car hire.
  • Do you need additional cover? You may feel that your trip requires additional cover for activities you are undertaking. Additional cover could include cover for winter sports or for expensive items.

What cover do most single trip policies include?

The benefits and exclusions of single travel insurance policies can vary significantly between providers. It is worth getting an idea of some benefits to look out for and the typical conditions that usually apply before comparing different policies on offer. You then might want to think about additional options to tailor the policy closer to your needs. Some of the more important standard provisions you should start off with should be as follows:

Cover for medical treatment and repatriation

  • Cover for medical expenses. The cost of getting medical treatment, especially if it involves a hospital stay can be extremely expensive with some hospitals in Asia often charging in excess of €500 a day and a staggering €15,000 in America. Repatriation back home can be as high as €60,000 in some instances. For these reasons it is important that you have unlimited medical cost protection. Many standard single trip travel insurance policies will cap the amount they are willing to pay for medical treatment. It is worth checking if the country you are travelling to have a reciprocal agreement with your own country as far as the cost of medical treatment is concerned.
  • Emergency medical assistance. Most policies will offer 24 hour medical assistance while you are overseas. This should cover costs such as ambulance fees, medical evacuations and funeral arrangements.
  • Dental cover. Cover for emergency dental treatment following acute pain.
  • Additional expenses. Additional transport or accommodation expenses if you can’t travel due to illness/injury.
  • Family emergency. Cover if your travelling companion or relative passes away or is disabled and requires hospitalisation.
  • Accidental death/permanent disability. Will provide a lump-sum payment if you pass away or suffer permanent disablement.

Cover for lost, damaged or stolen luggage and valuables

  • Cover if your luggage or valuables are lost, damaged or stolen. The inconvenience and cost of replacement can be considerable, especially if you are taking your laptop, camera and smartphone with you. Most standard policies will have these type of items covered but what you must look for is if there is any cap on the cover they will provide. It is crucial to check if there is excess that you must pay first before a claim will be assessed and if there is a single item maximum payout.
  • Credit card fraud/replacement. Cover for replacement cost of stolen credit cards that are then used.
  • Theft of cash. Cover for cash stolen from your person.

Cover for trip cancellation costs and lost deposits

  • Cover if you need to cancel all or part of your trip. You don’t know what is likely to happen in the future and if something was to occur and you were forced to cancel your trip, it is important that cover is in place to minimise any financial loss. If you decide to cover yourself against cancellation you should also check to see if you can cover other components of your trip that have already been booked including flights, accommodation, car hire and tours. Cover generally only applies if the cause of cancellation was out of your control.
  • Disruption of your journey. Cover for any additional meals and accommodation after your transport carrier is delayed.
  • Alternative travel expenses. Cover for additional expenses following delays to special events i.e. wedding, funeral, conference.

Legal costs incurred while travelling

  • Personal liability. Cover for legal liability, for example bodily injury or damage to another parties property.
  • Rental vehicle excess. Cover for excess payable on rental vehicle following theft or accident.

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Frequently asked questions

Can you take out single trip travel insurance with no excess?

The policy excess is the additional fee charged by the insurer in the event of a claim being lodged by the policy owner. The excess will vary depending on the type of policy and insurer and will be clearly stated on the website or product disclosure statement. The excess can vary depending on what is being covered. There are a number of insurers that offer the option to have the excess removed by paying a small fee.

How long does single trip travel insurance provide cover for?

Most policies will provide cover for up to 12 months.

Are there age limits on policies?

Age limits will vary between insurers with some capping the maximum age at 80. That said, there are insurers willing to cover travellers beyond this age. Find out more about getting travel insurance for seniors.

How do I know if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

A pre-existing condition is generally defined as a defect, illness or disease that has received treatment from a certified medical practitioner within 90 days of taking out cover. It may also include any chronic or ongoing medical condition that is documented prior to cover being taken out. It’s worth reviewing your policy or speaking to your insurer to know exactly how your condition will be covered.

Can I still take out a policy if I have a pre-existing condition?

Each insurer will disclose what conditions they are;

  • Willing to provide cover for
  • Cannot cover
  • Will need to be assessed before providing cover

In most cases you will be able to take out cover, but claims relating to the illness may be excluded. It is usual for insurers to request additional information from the applicant regarding their condition before providing cover.

Am I covered for work overseas?

Cover for paid employment overseas can vary between insurers. Some insurers will provide cover for injuries sustained at work while others state that this liability falls with the insurer.

Can I take out single trip cover if I am already overseas?

Yes. There are some insurers that offer policies if you’re already travelling overseas. It’s important to note that most providers will apply a minimum waiting period before you can make a claim on your policy. This could be around a week after the date of issue, but check each individual policy you compare.

Can I extend my policy if I decide to travel for longer?

Yes. Most insurers will let you extend your cover if you submit an application for extension prior to the conclusion of your current policy. This option will not be available for all insurers with some requiring you to purchase a new policy. If you’re not positive how your travel plans may change, it may be worth taking out cover with a provider that is flexible with extensions.

Am I covered for stopovers?

Most providers will offer automatic cover for stopovers that are no longer than two days in length. If your stopover is longer than this period, you will be required to purchase cover that also covers the region you are stopping in.

When should I purchase my policy?

It’s best to take out travel insurance once you’ve paid for any big ticket items such as flights, accommodation or tours. This way if something goes wrong you’ll be able to claim back any pre-paid costs (non-refundable flights, travel agent fees, activities, accommodation etc) if you are forced to cancel your trip for reasons outside of your control.

Does that mean I pay for days before my trip actually starts?

No. You are covered for cancellation from the day the policy is issued but you will only pay for those days that your policy officially starts.

Can I cancel my policy after application?

Most providers will offer a cooling off period during which you can cancel your policy. This period is usually between 15 and 30 days and can only be exercised if you have not commenced your trip.

What do I need to make a claim?

This may vary between providers and is dependent on the loss but can include:

  • Copy of your insurance claim number
  • Medical report from certified practitioner in the event you receive medical treatment
  • Invoice
  • Receipt to show proof of purchase of item
  • Police report from local authorities were loss occurred

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