Travelling abroad, is, in the most part enjoyable, but it can also be a risky business. Flights can be delayed, accommodation can turn out to be not what you expected, the local cuisine could give you food poisoning – or you could even be unlucky enough to have an accident. Travel insurance covers you, and your family, against a variety of risks while you are abroad or travelling on holiday, and many travel agents sell single-trip insurance to cover a specific holiday. However, if you travel more frequently you may find you save money by taking out annual travel insurance.

The difference between Single-Trip and Annual Travel Insurance?

Quite simply, single-trip travel insurance only covers you for the holiday it was bought to cover. An annual travel insurance costs more, in most cases, but will cover all your holidays, often both in the UK and abroad, for an entire calendar year. It can also give you more flexibility as you can book last minute trips without worrying if you need insurance or not.

Should I get a family policy or individual cover?

If you mainly travel with your family then an annual travel insurance family policy will usually be best. If you take holidays without your children, then make sure that it allows you to travel without them – some policies only cover the whole family group.

If most of your travel is done alone, then an individual policy covering just you could be a better choice. Shop around and look for annual travel insurance quotes, as a family policy that allows for individual travel might turn out to be cheaper in the long run. If you, or any member of the family suffer with any medical conditions, you may want to check out whether insuring that person separately is a cheaper option as well.

What risks should my policy cover?

Most policies include cover for cancellation and missed departures. For example, if you fall ill the day before you are due to fly out or get stuck in traffic driving to the airport you should be covered. There may also be payments to cover delays during your journey or to protect you if the hotel turns out to be unsuitable.

For most people, theft is one of their biggest worries about travelling. Make sure that you know what is covered by your policy and that it is sufficient to cover your property.

Accidents and illnesses are another area where you could find yourself out of pocket. Make sure your policy covers any risky activities you may be intending to do, such as scuba diving or annual travel insurance including winter sports (you may need a specialist policy). You should also check that you will be repatriated – or you may end up spending longer abroad than intended!

Where can I go? And for how long?

Most of the usual holiday destinations are included on the best annual travel insurance policies although the US may require a higher premium. Riskier trips, to countries at risk of war or terrorist activity, will probably be excluded from some UK annual travel insurance policies so if you aren’t sure, ask your insurance provider before you travel.

There is usually a length limit on each individual trip of 30-60 days so make sure you know what it is, or you may find yourself not covered.

Before purchasing an annual insurance policy you should read the annual travel insurance reviews of leading insurers, you’ll get insights into the insurers that consumers have had the best experiences with.