Travel insurance can be confusing. Two of the terms that we see tossed around a bit are single trip policies and multi (or annual) trip policies.
This article explains the difference between single and multi-trip policies, helps you decide which type right for you and gives you some ideas for where to start comparing prices.
What is a single trip policy?
Single trip policies insure you for the duration of one trip away from home. Most travel insurance is sold as a single trip policy. Single trip policies are usually a little cheaper than a multi-trip annual policy.
When is a single trip policy best?
A single trip policy is best for you if you’re certain you will travel only once within a given year, or if you’re traveling for a long period of time in one stretch.
What is a multi-trip policy?
A multi-trip policy, often called an annual policy, provides travel insurance for multiple trips in a single year. Multi-trip plans often have limits on the length of the trips you can take. 15 or 30 days is standard, although some companies will insure up to 60 days per trip.
A multi-trip policy usually costs about 30% more than a single trip policy for the same timeframe. However, any subsequent trips for that original length or shorter are already covered under the same plan.
When is multi trip annual policy best?
If you travel several times in a year, usually for a relatively short period of time, it may be worthwhile to buy a multi-trip travel insurance policy.
Make sure you find out the length of time you’re insured for each time you travel. It can differ greatly between insurance companies, and seniors are often insured for a shorter period on credit card policies.
If you plan on using the multi-trip travel insurance on your credit card, be sure to pay for your flights and other travel arrangements through the card. Many credit card companies don’t insure your travel unless you’ve paid using their card!
Tip! Don’t be fooled by something called travel accident insurance offered on your credit card. This insurance will not cover you in the event of a medical accident or injury. Travel accident insurance (often called accidental death and dismemberment insurance) only covers you if you die in an accident in a common carrier (like an airplane), or if you lose use of one of your limbs. Make sure your credit card insurance includes real travel medical insurance, which insures you for medical attention if you’re injured or become ill on your trip.
Where can I get single trip or multi-trip insurance?
We think that the Canadian online quote comparison site Kanetix.ca is a great place to start, as it allows you to compare quotes for travel insurance from several different companies at once. You can also compare the prices and policies of multi-trip and single trip policies side by side.
You can get multi-trip insurance almost anywhere you buy single trip insurance.
Many Canadian credit card companies offer multi-trip policies as a perk (click here for our review). Coverage often includes the cardholder’s spouse and children (and sometimes even a travel companion). As always, read the insurance policy carefully, so you know exactly what you’re getting. We like the Capital One Aspire Cash™ World MasterCard®, which offers a suite of travel insurance (including medical travel insurance) at no annual fee.
Tip! Check your wallet – one of the credit cards you’re carrying may already have travel insurance coverage as a perk.
*As always, the information on this page is from one Canadian traveller to another. We have spent years abroad and have gotten to know the ins and outs of the industry however we are not travel insurance agents. If you have any travel insurance questions, please talk to a qualified travel insurance agent or broker. Finally, policies and plans can and do change all the time, without warning, so always consult your insurance policy since that is the legal document to which you are agreeing to.
*This article is only intended as general advice. Please check your own policy carefully.