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We temporarily do not offer annual multi-trip insurance quotes through our comparison service. However, you can use our service to compare single trip travel insurance policies.

Annual travel insurance (also known as multi-trip travel insurance, annual multi-trip travel insurance, or frequent traveller insurance) could help you save time and money by covering you for unlimited trips within 12 months.

Why is annual travel insurance beneficial?

You could choose to travel once or take a trip every month and be covered under the same policy cover through annual travel insurance. It offers automatic coverage for any number of trips (international or domestic, depending on the policy) all year round.

These policies can be more convenient (and cost-effective) than a single trip travel insurance policy or other travel insurance plans if you travel more than once in the same 12-month period. This allows you to fast-forward to the exciting part of your trip!

Two business partners walking through an airport, covered by annual travel insurance

How does annual travel insurance work?

There are two types of annual travel insurance, these include:

  • Domestic policies. Offer coverage for an unlimited number of trips within Australia. For insurance to take effect, you may need to travel a minimum distance from your home (50 or 250 kilometres, depending on the policy). Domestic policies usually cover delay and cancellation costs, lost or damaged belongings, rental car excess and more, but exclude emergency medical and hospital expenses.
  • International policies. Can provide cover for worldwide travel or to countries in certain regions. Most international policies offer comprehensive coverage and can include unlimited cover for emergency medical expenses and any travel delays. Some annual policies that provide cover for international destinations also provide cover for trips within Australia, as long as your trip takes you a certain distance from your home.

As travel insurance policies vary between insurers, remember to always read your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to know exactly how and what you’re covered for.

Most annual multi-trip travel insurance policies stipulate a maximum duration for each trip. These time limits can range from 15 to 90 days.

It’s also important to note that you can’t purchase annual travel insurance while overseas. You must be in Australia when your travel documents, such as your Certificate of Insurance, are issued.

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

While annual travel insurance and single trip policies are very similar in coverage, some differences are worth noting. As mentioned, annual travel insurance covers you for multiple trips in one year. By contrast, a single trip policy only covers one trip. You can also visit various destinations on a single trip policy, but your cover will end when you return to Australia.

Annual travel insurance typically covers multiple trips in one year for trips up to 90 days in duration. On the other hand, single trip policies cover just one trip that could be as short as two days or as long as 12 months and more.

Do I need annual multi-trip travel insurance?

If you and your dependants are frequent travellers or travel more than once a year, an annual travel insurance policy could be a cost-effective option rather than single trip policies. You could pay lower premiums in total on an annual multi-trip policy than you would if you took out separate policies for all your trips.

A significant advantage of an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy is that it provides consistent coverage for your travels during a 12-month period. This gives you the same financial protection for every trip you take, as long as you return within your policy’s prescribed time limit.

What should an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy include?

Annual travel insurance generally offers the same level of protection as single policies, including cover for:

  • Overseas medical and hospital expenses
  • Trip cancellation, amendment and delay costs
  • Lost, damaged or stolen luggage, personal effects and personal belongings
  • Theft of cash
  • Rental vehicle car hire excess
  • Legal liability
  • Permanent disability and loss of income
  • Accidental death
  • 24-7 emergency assistance.

As with any insurance policy, it’s important you carefully check your PDS for any inclusions or exclusions.

Annual multi-trip travel insurance: Exclusions to watch out for

Just like single trip policies, annual travel insurance comes with general exclusions, including:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions (although some providers may cover certain conditions or include cover as an optional extra)
  • Travelling against government advice or warning (these are listed on Smartraveller.gov.au)
  • Negligence leading to loss of personal property and valuables
  • Extreme or dangerous activities
  • Drug or alcohol-related claims
  • Loss or injuries from unlawful activities
  • Loss or injuries from unapproved pre-existing conditions
  • Acts of war, terrorism or civil unrest.

Furthermore, you might find that some exclusions apply to seniors over a certain age. That doesn’t mean you can’t get cover, but there may be limited benefits or inclusions. Read more about travel insurance for over-50s and seniors.

Depending on your level of cover, annual travel insurance may not cover certain activities like winter sports, including skiing, snowmobiling and snowboarding. These activities are considered high-risk and can only be covered by paying an extra premium. For more information, please read about adventure travel insurance.

Our top tips for annual travel

Check your passport and visa requirements

Before you book your next travels, check your passport’s expiry date and ensure it’s in good condition. Standard wear and tear should not affect your passport’s usability, but you could be barred from travelling overseas or entering a country if it’s faulty or seriously damaged. 1

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your departure date. Many countries don’t allow travellers in with passports that have less than six months’ validity beyond their planned stay. 2

Check for travel updates and advice from the Australian government

It’s a good idea to regularly check Smartraveller.gov.au’s travel advice for your destinations in the time leading up to your departure. That way, you won’t be caught unaware if the international situation suddenly changes. You can also subscribe to Smartraveller’s free email service to receive travel advice, alerts and the latest updates on your destinations.

Some international travel insurance providers also refuse to cover journeys to countries with a ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or ‘do not travel’ warning from Smartraveller. As well as checking the travel advice for your destination, you should also check which warnings will exclude you from cover in your policy’s PDS. Check with an authorised representative for advice on any exclusions you might face.

Sign up to a Frequent Flyer program

Frequent Flyer programs are loyalty programs offered by most airlines that reward travellers for using a particular airline. They offer points or Frequent Flyer miles when you travel, which can be redeemed for discounted flights and other rewards.

So, if you travel regularly or plan to travel more in the future, a Frequent Flyer card could reward you with seat upgrades, priority check-in and boarding, access to VIP lounges and maybe even a free flight!

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Tips from our travel insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

  1. Some annual policies will cover international travel, as well as trips in Australia. It’s worth comparing products to ensure you get the most value from your travel insurance. Using a comparison service can speed up this review.
  2. Consider a higher excess to reduce your premium. But remember that your excess is what you pay out of pocket if you need to make a claim, so always choose a manageable excess amount.
  3. Always declare any pre-existing medical conditions to ensure there are no surprises if you’re injured or become ill.
  4. Don’t leave your possessions unattended in a public place, as theft claims may not be met.
  5. Leave a photocopy of your travel insurance policy and passport with someone back home in case you lose them overseas or need assistance.
  6. Choose the best time to visit your chosen destination, especially if it has distinct seasons.

We temporarily do not offer annual multi-trip insurance quotes through our comparison service. However, you can use our service to compare single trip travel insurance policies.

Sources

1 Australian Government: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – ‘Damaged and faulty passports’ – Accessed 07/12/2021
2 Australian Government: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – ‘Passport validity and foreign visas’ – Accessed 07/12/2021

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