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Single Trip Travel Insurance.

Single trip travel insurance: information, rating and quotes

There are two basic types of travel insurance: single trip travel insurance and annual multi trip travel insurance. There are important differences between the conditions of each and their general suitability. As well as providing information on these differences, this page will discuss rating factors and offer quotes.

Single trip or annual multi trip insurance?

Usually, though not always, single trip travel insurance is cheaper than an annual travel insurance policy. The reason is straightforward: the former policy provides cover for a specific number of days whereas an annual travel insurance policy provides cover for unlimited number of days (although some policies restrict cover to 183 days per annum). Nevertheless, a single trip travel insurance can cover longer periods away as an annual travel insurance policy restricts travel to a set number of days (21, 31, 45, 61, 93 are the most common)

It is a quirk, however, that the premium for a single trip travel insurance policy for a period similar to the maximum length of an annual travel insurance policy is very similar and on occasion the annual policy may be cheaper!

The most important difference between a single trip travel insurance and an annual travel insurance policy.

Cancellation cover! With a single trip travel insurance policy cancellation cover commences as soon as the policy is taken out. With an annual travel insurance policy cover does not commence until the inception date! DO NOT buy an annual travel insurance policy to start on the day you travel as there is then no cancellation cover in force.

Rating factors used to price a single trip travel insurance

Single trip travel insurance is one of the easiest products to rate (although one of the most complicated in terms of the wide variety of cover provided). The rating factors are:

  • Ages and relationships of the people travelling

  • Their destination

  • The dates of the trip (the length is the important factor but some companies give a discount if the trip is short notice as cancellation is unlikely)

  • What they are doing on the trip

  • Any pre-existing medical conditions

Ages and relationships

A typical party needing single trip travel insurance will be either: Individuals (e,g, a school party, businessmen), a couple, single parent family or a normal family. Insurance companies often give discounts for large parties and families - in the latter case children often go free - but purchasers should make sure that the children qualify! Many internet-based insurance policies restrict children to being under 18 and offspring of the adult(s). The better insurance policies (which we use on our quotation system) extend this to children under 23 providing that they are in full time education and either living at home or at college. Children NOT meeting these requirements e.g. friends of the family/ grandchildren have to be insured as individuals.

Single trip travel insurance premiums increase with the age of the travellers. Travellers under 50 are cheaper but as the age goes over 75, , over 75, over 80 or over 85 the cost increases - general information is provided for travel insurance for the under 50, travel insurance for the over 75, single trip travel insurance for the , single trip travel insurance for the over 75, travel insurance for the over 80 and travel insurance for the over 85. The good news is that from April 1st 2012 the Redwood travel insurance policy will cover people not over 85 for up to a year. For longer journeys see our long stay travel insurance over 75, long stay travel insurance , long stay travel insurance over 75 and long stay travel insurance over 80 pages.


It is impracticable at the moment to rate individually each country for the purposes of quotes for single trip travel insurance, especially as travellers may visit more than one or (especially on long stay travel) decide suddenly to visit one not previously declared. The travel insurance therefore spolits the world up into 4 (or 5) areas. Please note that this does not mean that cover is provided if travel is to an area against the advice of the Foreign and Colonial Office - see their website for up to date details.

The areas are:

  • The UK: This usually means 2 days pre-booked rather than one-off excursions. Note that the Channel Islands, Isle of Mann and Eire are probably not rated as being the UK for travel insurance purposes.

  • Europe: Insurance companies are beginning to split Europe into North and South - travellers buying insurance should note this. More interestingly some insurance companies rate North African Countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Israel, Lebanon and Syria) as being part of Europe - it is well worth checking definitions as cheaper travel insurance premiums may be obtained.

  • Australia: As well as Australia this usually covers New Zealand (with one or two companies extending to Pacific Islands). A requirement will be registration with Medicare on first illness (to reduce costs).

  • Worldwide Excluding (USA/Canada/Caribbean). This covers everywhere in the world apart from the highest rated countries (which may include Mexico).

  • Worldwide Including America/ Canada/ Caribbean). Anywhere in the World

Length of the trip

The length of the trip determines the likelihood of losing luggage, being attacked, having a medical problem etc. Unlike long stay travel insurance  or (for the student) backpacker travel insurance (where the length is measured in months) single trip travel insurance is split into short bands, typically 5, 10, 17, 24, 31 days and then a rate per week or part thereof - usually up to 3 months.


If intending to do any hazardous activities on a trip, travellers should ensure that their single trip travel insurance covers them! Some travel insurance policies will cover very few activities whereas others (again like backpacker policies) are more flexible. Some activities, like scuba diving, may be covered to different degrees e.g. in this case depth. The Redwood policy offers a wide variety of such activities. Winter sports is also of great concern - there are many types of winter sports and ski-ing and the unwary traveller may find that their travel insurance does not cover the winter sports participated.

Pre Existing Conditions

Our advice, for travel insurance, is to declare any pre existing conditions to the medical screening line and pay the increased premium (if any) to cover them. The additional costs, should you need to claim, will far outweigh the increase in the premium. More information on pre-exising conditions can be found on our travel insurance medical page.

Information about cheap travel insurance for the over 65, 70, 75 or 80

Travelers over 75 but 85 or younger, with our without medical conditions can find cheap travel insurance through our Redwood product

Compare quotes online.

This includes the Redwood travel insurance policy as, although it is flexible, gives wide cover and is cheap, it is not always the most appropriate.

If you want advice on travel insurance or a personal recommendation, we recommend you call us on  01207 509446 for assistance.