Europ Assistance explains the must-know key difference between annual and single-trip cover
Frequent travellers who want to take advantage of annual multi-trip travel insurance, which gives them peace of mind for a full 12 months, should make sure they pick the right start date for their policy, cautions leading travel assistance firm Europ Assistance.
Unlike a single trip policy, which is usually bought at the same time as the holiday and, as its name implies, covers a specific trip, an annual policy provides cover for a specific time period and allows for multiple trips. Wise travellers will make sure that their annual policy starts the day that they first make a financial commitment for a trip, not the first day of the first trip. As with a motor or house insurance policy: there is a specific start and finish date for cover.
When you are asked for a policy start date, make sure you provide the date from which you are exposed to potential losses, and not the date you go on the first trip of the year.
“It is a false economy to try and eke out a few weeks extra cover at the end of the year by delaying your policy start date,” advises Europ Assistance director Peter Dingle. “If anything happens to cause you to cancel your trip, then your loss will only be covered if your policy start date precedes the incident.”
Of course, you must also be sure to disclose any pre-existing medical problems. You may incur a higher premium, but it is just not worth the risk of finding that you have no cover when you fall ill overseas. If you develop a medical condition during the year, do contact the insurers to see if your policy remains valid.
The main thing to remember is that you really should take time to read your policy documents. Unless you have been told otherwise, there is a 14-day cooling off period, giving you time to check the policy, contact the insurer to raise any queries and, should you so choose for any reason whatsoever, cancel the policy in return for a refund.
“Often people spend just a few minutes buying a policy online, basing their decision on price only. Reading the policy to make sure it matches your and your family’s needs can be time very well spent,” says Mr Dingle.