What's in this guide?
- What types of annual travel insurance can I buy?
- What does annual travel insurance cover?
- Compare annual travel insurance policies
- What isn't covered any annual travel insurance?
- Who should buy a multi-trip travel insurance policy?
- The drawbacks of annual travel insurance
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
What types of annual travel insurance can I buy?
Most insurers won’t offer comprehensive coverage under multi-trip policies. But in most cases, you can take out these types of annual policies:
- Emergency medical evacuation. If you become sick or injured while traveling, you’ll be covered for the cost of your transportation to a medical facility. Basic policies cover your transportation to the nearest hospital, while top-level policies provide coverage to bring you to the hospital of your choice.
- Medical travel insurance. Falling ill or getting injured while you’re overseas can be expensive. Annual multi-trip medical insurance covers emergency medical treatment, ambulance transportation and hospitalization overseas. In many cases, transportation to a better equipped facility is covered, and you also may get coverage for trip interruption, lost or stolen baggage and more.
I’m planning to travel all year. Can I purchase an annual policy?
No. While you may be covered for 12 months, the length of individual trips can vary between insurers — generally between 30 and 75 days.
There are no limits on the number of trips you can take, though.
What does annual travel insurance cover?
It depends on the policy you choose. Here’s a breakdown of what each coverage offers.
Emergency medical evacuation
Known as medevac, this covers your transportation to a hospital if you’re injured or sick. You might choose to move to a hospital with better resources, or a hospital you prefer.
It also pays for transportation back to your home country if you need more treatment.
Medical travel insurance
This insurance typically covers medical-related expenses, such as:
- Hospital stays (up to a specified limit)
- Professional services — including surgery, anesthesia, X-rays, in-hospital doctor visits and lab tests
- Intensive care costs
- Local ambulance transportation
- Emergency room costs
- Urgent care center costs
- Outpatient prescription drugs
- Treatment costs — if you don’t need to be admitted to a medical facility
- Emergency dental treatment and surgical procedures
- Emergency medical evacuation to to a suitable medical facility if it’s medically necessary
- Transportation and lodging required as part of your medical evacuation
- 24-hour assistance and referrals to medical and dental facilities wherever you are in the world
- Medical repatriation costs
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Emergency reunion — the cost of reuniting you with your family members following an injury or illness
- Loss of checked luggage
- Travel delay — coverage for accommodation and meals when your trip is delayed
- Repatriation of remains — this also includes local burial or cremation
Depending on your provider, you may be able to get extra coverage for personal liability, natural disaster, crisis response, bedside visit and more.
Compare annual travel insurance policies
What isn’t covered any annual travel insurance?
Your annual multi-trip travel insurance policy typically won’t cover these claims:
- Caused by any pre-existing medical condition.
- For treatment or surgery that is elective, experimental, investigational or for research purposes.
- Due to war, terrorism, political insurrection or protest.
- For immunizations or routine physical exams.
- Related to venereal disease or the AIDS virus.
- Related to pregnancy, childbirth, birth control or abortion.
- Following your participation in any excluded sport or adventure activity.
- Related to visual or hearing tests and the provision of visual or hearing aids.
- For vocational, recreational or speech therapy.
- Because you break the law or engage in an illegal occupation or act.
- If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- For any willfully self-inflicted injury or illness.
- For any treatment or services provided or supplied by a relative of yours.
- For the treatment of mental or nervous disorders.
- For organ or tissue transplants or any related services.
Who should buy a multi-trip travel insurance policy?
Annual multi-trip travel insurance is designed with frequent travelers in mind, including:
- Business travelers. Corporate travelers, like business owners or IT consultants, who take multiple small trips throughout the year.
- Travel enthusiasts. Some people simply love to travel and take trips whenever they have the time and money.
- Retirees. If you’re no longer working but still in good health, retirement is the perfect time of life to get out and explore the world.
- Humanitarian workers. If you frequently travel to countries or regions where medical treatment is scarce or not of a high standard, these policies can cover your transportation to a better facility in case you get sick.
If you fit into one of the above categories, taking out single trip travel insurance for every trip you take is expensive. Over 12 months, annual multi-trip travel insurance can offer significant savings.
The drawbacks of annual travel insurance
Just like any other type of travel insurance, annual multi-trip coverage has its limitations and exclusions, including:
- No comprehensive coverage. The amount of coverage that a comprehensive travel plan offers is offered only for single-trip insurance plans.
- No domestic health coverage. If you’re traveling within the US, you won’t be covered for emergency medical expenses. You’ll need a major medical health insurance policy in place — in fact, this is often a requirement for annual multi-trip coverage.
- Trip length limits. Most insurers allow either 30 or 75 day maximum for each trip.
- Reduced benefit maximums. While this type of policy offers most of the same benefits, it often includes reduced benefit maximums for common benefits.
- Age limits. If you’re older than 65, you may not be able to find multi-tip coverage.
- No trip cancellation. Because you won’t know the details of all of your trips when taking out an annual policy, you won’t be reimbursed for cancelling your trip.
Designed for frequent and business travelers, annual travel insurance covers all your trips in a 12-month period under the one policy. It’s a convenient way to ensure you have coverage in place all year long, and it tends to cost less than taking out multiple policies. But it has its limitations — and doesn’t cover trip cancellations.
To get the best possible policy for your needs, compare travel insurance companies.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Moving expenses deduction for 2020-2021
Learn what the moving expenses deduction is, how to claim it on your taxes and more.
Lemonade car insurance review for 2021
Safe drivers and electric car owners could see cheap rates, but its claims process isn’t perfect.
How much does umbrella insurance cost?
Get a low-cost policy for liability expenses that exceed your car or home insurance coverage.
Best umbrella insurance
Receive extra liability coverage with an umbrella policy from these top insurers, though they may require you to have car insurance through them.
Guardian dental insurance review 2021
This insurer has four dental plans to choose from — compare costs and features now.
What is health insurance cost sharing?
Learn cost-sharing terms to find out how much you’ll really pay for healthcare.
Lemonade life insurance review
This fintech just branched out into low-cost life insurance — but its lineup is limited.
Compare teledermatology options
Get the skincare you need without taking a trip into your doctor’s office.
Compare life insurance wellness programs
Get an incentive to meet your existing health and fitness goals with a discounted premium.
Combined life insurance review May 2021
Find unusually low face values for a whole life policy, ideal for supplemental insurance.
Ask an Expert