Do You Need Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance? (2023)

If you take several trips annually, with some destinations overseas, a multi-trip travel insurance plan could be a worthwhile option. These are also known as annual travel insurance plans.

A multi-trip plan is likely worthwhile if you want to simplify your travel insurance logistics and minimize costs. Here’s how to decide if a multi-trip policy will make sense for you.

What Is Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance?

Multi-trip travel insurance is a travel policy that covers multiple trips during a specified time. It provides coverage for a year from the effective date of your policy.

The benefits of these plans vary. There are medical-only plans that cover medical emergencies, but not trip cancellation. The more comprehensive or all-inclusive plans offer trip cancellation protection and baggage insurance on top of their medical coverage. Some travel insurers offer both.

The best multi-trip travel plans include these important benefits:

  • Emergency medical: Covers emergency medical-related expenses during your trip such as doctor’s visits, X-rays, hospitalization and medication. May also include medical repatriation, non-medical emergency evacuation and medical follow-up in Canada.
  • Trip cancellation: Reimburses up to the insured amount for prepaid, non-refundable and non-transferable expenses if you need to cancel your trip before you leave home due to a covered reason, such as a medical emergency or death.
  • Trip interruption:Provides coverage for expenses if you need to cut your trip short and return home due to death, illness or injury, family emergencies or other reasons listed in the policy.
  • Baggage insurance: If your bags get stolen or damaged, baggage insurance can help you recoup the costs. Baggage delay insurance will provide funds to tide you over for clothing and toiletries if your luggage is temporarily lost.
  • Travel accident insurance: In the event that you’re killed or catastrophically injured due to an accident in flight, at an airport or in transit, this coverage will pay out to your family or estate.

Multi-trip plans have a per-trip duration limitation for trips outside Canada. For example, Manulife offers coverage for an unlimited number of trips each lasting up to four, 10, 18, 30 or 60 days.

Generally, the maximum trip length for each trip taken during the 364-day period ranges from 30 to 60 days. However, there are exceptions: Blue Cross offers multi-trip insurance for four, eight, 17, 31, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 days per year.

How Do You Know if You Need Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance?

The types of trips you’re planning will generally determine if a multi-trip travel insurance plan is the best fit for you.

Basic multi-trip travel insurance plans are best for:

  • Travellers who take lots of trips within a year.
  • Those who want to save money, as multi-trip plans are generally less expensive than insuring multiple trips individually.
  • People who take last-minute trips and want the convenience of having a year-long travel insurance policy in place.
  • Business travellers who travel frequently.

Multi-Trip Travel Insurance Plan Examples

There are many types of multi-trip travel plans available that are designed to serve frequent flyers and spontaneous jet-setters. Depending on your needs you can either buy a basic medical-only plan or a more comprehensive plan that includes trip protection.

Here are a few examples:

  • Manulife offers a stacked Multi-Trip All-Inclusive Plan with $10 million in emergency medical benefits, up to $3,500 per trip and $6,000 per policy for trip cancellation and interruption, as well as $3,000 baggage loss or damage and $500 trip delay per policy coverage. Manulife also offers a Multi-Trip Emergency Medical Plan that covers the same medical benefits as the all inclusive, but without trip protection. You can choose between four, 10, 18, 30 or 60-day plans.
  • Allianz Travel Insurance offers a $10 million Annual Medical Plan for 10 days or 30 days that includes emergency medical and dental, emergency medical transportation, coverage for meals and accommodation due to a travel delay, vehicle return, pet return and 24-hour assistance.
  • Blue Cross offers two plans for frequent travellers: An Annual medical plan with $5 million in emergency medical and the Annual Package Plus, which includes trip protection. Blue Cross has a generous selection of trip durations, including four, eight, 17, 31, 60, 90, 120, 150 or 180 days.
  • AMA Travel Insurance offers both a Multi-Trip Medical Plan that offers $5 million in emergency medical care coverage and a comprehensive Annual Premium Package that covers both emergency medical and trip protection for 15, 30 and 60 days.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance?

While travel insurance is always a good idea, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding between single trip or multi-trip insurance.

The Pros

Streamlined coverage.Multi-trip plans provide the convenience of purchasing just one policy for the entire year, rather than individual policies each time you travel.

Affordable coverage for multiple lower cost trips. An annual travel insurance plan could be a particularly good option for frequent fliers who travel often within North America. If you go on numerous, low-cost flights over the course of 365 days, an annual plan would provide affordable coverage for the most common travel insurance needs without needing to purchase a policy for each separate trip.

The Cons

Limited days you’re allowed to travel per trip. While the number of days varies by policy, once you reach your limit you must return home before your coverage starts again, unless you purchase a separate top-up.

Limited coverage compared to single-trip plans. Say you’re a frequent traveller to the US but you have one expensive trip booked to Europe in that same year. Depending on your policy, you may want to buy additional insurance for that trip to bump up your coverage.

Cost of Annual Travel Insurance vs. Single-Trip Insurance

When choosing between a multi-trip plan and a single trip plan, consider both the number of trips and the total number of days you plan to travel for all trips in a 12-month period.

BCAA uses the following case study to illustrate the cost difference between single-trip insurance compared to a multi-trip plan: A 60-year-old person in B.C. crosses the border once a month for a quick trip to Washington State. Each single trip will cost a minimum $20 in travel insurance, totaling $240 a year. In contrast, a BCAA Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance policy will cost $113.39, or a 53% savings.

A good rule of thumb is that if you travel 40 or more days on multiple trips during a 12-month period, you will usually be best served by a multi-trip plan.

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering single trip travel insurance against multi-trip travel insurance, one isn’t inherently better than the other. The decision over what travel insurance plan is best for your budget and your coverage needs comes down to factors such as the length of your trips and how often you travel.

Do You Need Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance? FAQs

Do I need to know how many trips I’m going to take or my destinations?

Because an annual travel insurance plan is based on a period of time, rather than a number of trips, it’s not necessary to know in advance how many trips you might take. When buying multi-trip travel insurance you’ll be asked to guesstimate your number of trips: If you usually go away for a week and your insurer offers four, 10 and 15 day trip duration, choose the 10-day option for maximum flexibility.

The coverage offered by the plan over the course of the year will be the same if you plan on two trips, 14 trips or more.

What if I want to stay past my allotted number of days?

Some policies allow you to extend your trip by purchasing an extension or top-up to your current policy. The cost of the top-up depends on your coverage options and the number of extra days you’d like to stay. Your policy may, however, require you to add days before you leave home. Check the policy wording carefully if this flexibility is important to you.

Can I buy trip cancellation separately when I have a medical-only multi-trip plan?

While some multi-trip plans do not offer trip protection coverage, such as trip cancellation insurance, you may be able to buy a policy for a single trip. For example, say you have an annual multi-trip policy with Allianz that offers $10 million in emergency medical benefits but no trip protection. If you plan to take an expensive international trip within that year of coverage, you can buy a separate cancellation plan for that one vacation.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated: 10/06/2023

Views: 6419

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.