The different types of travel insurance explained


Travel insurance is often considered a necessity when you go abroad even for a short amount of time. The risks of travelling uninsured are considered too great for many to risk going without insurance.

With an insurance policy, you can avoid sky-high medical bills, get cover for trip cancellation, know that your valuables are protected and much more.

But which type of travel insurance is suitable for you? Most providers will offer a range of policies, so here are some of the main ones that you may come across.
Single-trip and multi-trip

Single-trip and multi-trip travel insurance are the standard policies that most insurers will provide. Single-trip cover provides you with insurance for a single period outside of the country. There may be a minimum and maximum limit on that time period. It is often up to three months, but it can be longer or shorter.

Multi-trip insurance covers you for various trips during the year. If you travel abroad several times a year, it can often save you money. However, always compare both options to find out which is the most suitable for you.
Long-stay and backpacker

These are two separate types of cover, but their names are sometimes used interchangeably. There is no exact definition of what each of them includes, so you should find out from each individual insurer.

Long-stay insurance is typically used for trips abroad that are longer than that provided in the single-trip policy. This could be stays up to six months, a year or even longer depending on the insurer. These policies typically cover the same or similar events to standard single-trip cover.

Backpacker cover is often designed specifically with backpackers in mind, so although it may also cover longer trips, it could include casual, non-manual work or extreme sports like bungee jumping.

Some policies are designed specifically for people going on cruises. These may provide cover for flights to and from the cruise departure and arrival point, as well as personal possessions and other things common to standard policies.

In addition, they may cover medical air assistance should you require medical attention when you are not on land. In this case a specialist air ambulance could take you to the nearest land-based hospital.
Winter sports

According to the ABTA, over 12 million people will go on a winter holiday this year, with 18% planning on going skiing or snowboarding (this figure rises to 39% for the 16-24 age group).

If you go skiing on a standard single-trip policy and injure yourself, you may well find that you are not covered. As such, a specialist policy may typically be required.

As well as providing cover for skiing and snowboarding, winter sports insurance may also provide cover for other activities. These types of activities are considered riskier than standard activities you may do on holiday, and for this reason you may need separate cover for them.

Also included on this type of policy could be cover for your equipment as well as piste closure and lost lift passes.
Basic and comprehensive insurance

Different insurance providers may offer the above policies and more. However, within these policies they will often provide options ranging from basic to comprehensive. For example, you may be able to buy a basic single-trip policy that only covers medical care, or a comprehensive policy that covers you for many more events.

Always look around and compare your options to find the policy that is most suitable and cost-effective for your trip.

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