Choosing a travel insurance policy when planning a trip abroad can be quite confusing. There would be different insurers, as well as covers to choose from – including single trip policies or multi-trip annual policies.
So what are these policies and which should you choose when traveling abroad?
Single trip insurance
Single trip travel insurance, as the name suggests, will cover a single trip to a foreign country for up to 180 days. Some are also extended for an additional 180 days.
So, if you are planning a vacation with your family and loved ones and you are convinced that this will be your only trip abroad this year, single trip coverage would be the best option for you. At a reasonable premium, you can enjoy maximum protection against all possible accidents under this policy.
According to Sanjiv Bajaj, Co-Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Capital, “For people on long overseas trips (more than 90 days), a single trip policy is preferable.”
An annual multi-trip travel insurance policy, as the name suggests, will provide coverage for the entire year for a single premium paid at the start of the policy.
As the contract is valid for one year, an insured person can make as many trips as they wish as long as all these trips are for a period of less than 90 days. Although comparatively slightly more expensive than a single-trip travel insurance policy, annual coverage is convenient and ideal for those planning multiple overseas trips in a year.
Bajaj adds, “Multi-trip annual cover, on the other hand, is for people who travel abroad more than once a year. However, both of these travel insurance plans cover you for inconveniences that may occur during your trip, such as trip cancellations, flight delays, and medical emergencies.
Similarities and differences
Single and annual trip policies provide coverage against medical emergencies, trip cancellation and loss of baggage and/or passport.
Therefore, the main deciding factor for choosing a policy should be based on the number of trips you intend to undertake in a year. Second, you need to consider the length of your trips.
A single trip policy begins the day you leave your home country and ends the day you return, while an annual trip policy begins on the date chosen by the insured and ends after 365 days, regardless of the number of trips.
Also note that a single trip costs almost half compared to a multi-trip insurance policy which comes as an annual package.
So, a single trip insurance will ideally be the best option for families and individuals who only take a few vacations a year. On the other hand, for those who travel abroad more than once a year, multi-trip annual travel insurance would be the best option.