For anyone looking to travel abroad, the question which travel insurance to buy is always perplexing. While some travellers prefer taking single-trip coverage, others prefer a multi-trip annual protection policy. In general, a single trip cover is best suited for people taking long trips (more than 90 days) abroad and also for those who are unlikely to travel abroad more than once a year. On the other hand, the annual cover is designed for people who travel abroad more than once in any given year. However, both these travel protection plans cover you for the inconveniences caused in your travel plans such as flight delays, trip cancellations and medical emergencies.
As the name suggests, single trip travel insurance covers you for a single trip to a foreign land of up to a maximum of 180 days. It is also extendible by another 180 days for most. If you plan to go on a vacation with your family and loved ones, and you are quite sure that this will likely be the only trip abroad you make in the year, then single trip cover is best for you. Under this cover, you can enjoy maximum protection against all possible miss happenings at a reasonable premium.
Annual multi trip travel insurance policies cover you for the entire year under one single policy at a premium paid at the start of the policy. As the policy is valid for 12 months, you can take as many trips as you want within the year, as long as all your trip durations within the year are less than 90 days. While it is slightly expensive than the single trip travel insurance policy, but if you are planning multiple trips abroad within a year, the annual cover is the most convenient & best for you.
Both, single and annual trip policies cover the same incidences including medical emergency, trip cancellation and loss of baggage/passport.
There are many reasons why you can choose one over the other and the first and most important reason is the number of trips you plan in a given year. Second, duration of the trip. While a single trip policy begins from the day of your departure from the home country and ends on the day of your return, the annual travel policy starts as per start date selected by insured and ends after 365 days, regardless of number of trips.
The most basic choice of the plan that you should buy comes down to the number of trips you have scheduled for the year. The cost of single-trip insurance is almost half the cost an annual package. This makes single-trip insurance the most appropriate choice for families and individuals who take limited vacations in a year. However, if you plan to take more than one trip abroad this year, annual multi trip travel insurance is the best option for you!
Pre-existing Medical Conditions: When applying for travel insurance, it is important that you always declare pre-medical conditions, if any. Do always remember that any pre-existing medical condition that results in an emergency visit to a doctor or hospitalisation in a foreign land is not covered under the policy unless you purchase a policy with a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver.
(By Tarun Mathur, Chief Business Officer-General Insurance, Policybazaar.com)