What Is Annual Travel Insurance?

Annual travel insurance is a combination of travel insurance, travel medical insurance and travel life insurance for the frequent traveler. You might have guessed from the word “annual” that you buy this insurance yearly, which makes it cost-effective for people who take a lot of vacations in a year or whose job forces them to (or lets them) travel throughout the year. Instead of getting a single-trip travel insurance plan, you buy a year of protection at a time.

Because jobs aren’t always as predictable as we might want them to be, people don’t feel comfortable buying continuous travel insurance, like you would standard medical insurance. So there are annual travel insurance plans you buy once-per-year, so you don’t have to buy travel insurance every time you take a flight or a vacation.

Annual Travel Insurance Versus Multi Trip Insurance

Annual travel insurance and multi-trip insurance are essentially the same thing. In fact, you’ll often hear yearly travel insurance referred to as “annual multi-trip insurance”. Whatever the name is, the concept is that a person buys insurance for multiple trips that will take place over a long period of months. These trips might be a 1-day trip to Chicago for a business meeting, a convention trip that takes place over a 4-day weekend or a month-long vacation across Europe. While you are on vacation during that year, no matter how many days you are traveling, your annual multi-trip travel insurance covers you.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

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Travel insurance covers any number of contingencies when traveling, though each travel insurance plan is different. Ask your annual travel insurance provider what exactly your travel insurance covers.

Emergencies your travel insurance should cover are lost bags, the costs of delayed luggage, cancelled flights and cruises, and similar costs that come from unexpected events in your travels. Medical travel insurance covers unexpected medical expenses that aren’t covered in your current medical plan. These might be expenses outside the country (on this European trip or a cruise to the Caribbean) when your standard insurance plan stops at the borders of the U.S., dental emergencies, minor medical expenses, major medical procedures — pretty much anything that might not be covered in your default medical insurance plan. Travelers can buy a combination of travel insurance and medical travel insurance for a single trip. Annual travel insurance is simply a longer version of these medical insurance plans.

What is annual travel insurance good for when I’m not traveling?

When you are not traveling out of town, annual travel insurance isn’t a factor in your insurance expenses. So don’t buy annual travel insurance as a substitute for standard medical insurance. If you are in your every day life, travel insurance pays none of your bills. Annual travel insurance is sometimes called “supplementary travel insurance” for this very reason.

Annual travel insurance is supplementary, because it fills in the gaps where your normal medical insurance doesn’t apply. Travel and transit have all manner of contingencies which your insurance won’t cover, so you buy supplementary insurance.

Finally, if you don’t plan on traveling more than once this coming year, you don’t need annual travel insurance. Annual multi-trip travel insurance is great if you travel a lot and you don’t want the expense and hassle of continuously purchasing travel medical insurance, but it’s not worth the trouble if this is your only trip out of the country this year.

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