Everything you need to know about annual travel insurance

Compare your options with us. Simples!

Compare travel insurance

Everything you need to know about annual travel insurance

Compare your options with us. Simples!

Annual travel insurance (also known as multi-trip travel insurance, annual multi-trip travel insurance, or frequent traveller insurance) can help you save time and money, as it can cover you for unlimited trips within a 12-month period. If you’re a self-confessed jet-setter, frequent leisure traveller, or someone who loves to travel on a whim, annual travel insurance can provide peace of mind for multiple trips each year.

Why is annual travel insurance beneficial?

Annual travel insurance offers coverage for those regularly travelling domestically or internationally. In these circumstances, such policies are typically more convenient than single trip travel insurance, as you don’t need to spend money on, and organise, a new policy each time you hop on a plane. This means you can fast-forward to the exciting parts of your trip.

How does annual travel insurance work?

There are two types of annual travel insurance policies that cover an unlimited number of trips. These include:

  • Domestic policies: These policies only offer coverage for travel within Australia. For insurance to take effect, your travel may need to be a minimum distance from your home (for example, 50 or 250 kilometres from your home). Domestic policies exclude emergency medical and hospital expenses.
  • International policies: International policies can provide cover for either worldwide travel or to countries in certain regions. Most international policies provide comprehensive cover and normally include unlimited cover for emergency medical expenses.

Most annual travel policies stipulate a maximum duration for each trip; these can range from 20 to 90 days. This means that between trips, you need to return home to keep coverage. For example, if your policy has a maximum trip duration of 90 days and you had organised a four-month trip, you would need to return home before those 90 days elapsed for the policy to cover any losses incurred during your four-month trip.

It’s also important to note that you cannot purchase annual travel insurance while overseas; you must be in Australia when your Certificate of Insurance is issued.

What does annual travel insurance cover?

Annual travel insurance generally offers the same levels of cover as single policies. Typical scenarios covered include (some with individual limits):

  • travel cancellation and delay costs
  • emergency travel and accommodation
  • cover for personal belongings like luggage, documents, equipment, cash, and laptops
  • overseas medical and dental cover
  • liability cover
  • additional expenses, like cover for some hire vehicle insurance excess.

As with any insurance policy, it’s important you carefully check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any inclusions or exclusions, and carefully compare annual travel insurance policies to understand which is best for you.

traveler guide the pyramids

What isn’t covered by annual travel insurance?

Depending on your level of insurance, annual travel policies won’t cover certain activities like winter sports including skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding. These activities are considered high-risk and can be covered by paying an extra premium. Even so, you can still be subject to certain conditions. Interestingly, some providers automatically cover bungy jumping, skydiving, and white water rafting subject to terms of cover. For more information, please read adventure travel insurance.

Similarly, cruises require cover specific to certain scenarios, including being confined to a cabin, or requiring emergency medical attention (like an airlift to the nearest hospital).

Claims arising from the following are typically not covered:

  • travelling to countries with “Do Not Travel” warnings. These warnings are listed on Smartraveller.
  • negligence leading to loss of personal property and valuables (forgetting your luggage in your hotel room, for example)
  • extreme or dangerous activities
  • injury sustained from paid work (consider business travel insurance)
  • drug or alcohol-related claims
  • pre-existing conditions
  • unlawful activity
  • mental illness
  • motorcycling

What is the difference between annual travel insurance and a single trip policy?

While annual travel insurance and single trip policies are very similar in coverage, there are some differences worth noting. As mentioned, annual travel insurance covers you for multiple trips in one year, whereas a single trip policy, as its name suggests, only covers one trip. You can visit multiple destinations when covered by a single trip policy, however the cover ends when you first return to your home in Australia. Moreover, while annual travel insurance typically covers multiple trips in one year of up to 90-days duration per trip, single trip policies cover just one trip that could be as short as two days, or could cover travellers for one long trip of up to 12 months or longer.

Travelling for business on an annual travel insurance policy

If you’re an employer or an employee who regularly hops on a plane for interstate or international business trips, you might like to consider business travel insurance. You can find an annual policy to cover either one or multiple employees within the same organisation throughout a 12-month period. Be sure to check your travel policy’s PDS, however, as some won’t cover injury, loss, or damage resulting from your profession.

Other considerations when buying an annual travel insurance policy

Here are some extra considerations if you’re planning on taking out annual travel insurance:

  • Do you have any pre-existing health conditions? You must make any pre-existing health conditions known to your provider before purchasing your policy – you don’t want to be left uncovered when travelling. Some annual travel insurance providers may charge more to cover certain conditions, or may not offer cover at all.
  • How old are you? Some exclusions may apply to those over the age of 65. As of this, it’s vital (no matter your age) you read the PDS thoroughly to understand any exclusions or special conditions that may affect your level of coverage.

For further information on how your age might affect your policy, be sure to take a look at seniors travel insurance.