Buy Annual Insurance to Save on Summer Travel

Avoid hassle and cut your travel insurance costs by signing up for an annual multi-trip plan that will cover any and all of your trips—short or extended—over the next 12 months. It’s one of the best deals travel insurers offer and your savings can be significant.

You apply once, pay one annual fee based on the trip duration you select, and you can travel as often as you like during the year, without having to notify your insurer—just pick up and go. For example, if you pick a 30-day multi-trip plan, you can take as many trips of 30 days or less as you like. The only stipulation is that you must return to your home province for at least one day between each trip segment.

Insurers calculate the policy premium on the trip duration you select—the shorter the duration, the lower the premium. A 15-day multi-trip plan will cost less than a 30-day plan; a 30-day plan will cost less than a 60-day plan; and so on. The key is how long will you be out of the country on any one given trip. And if you need to extend one of your trip segments, you can always top it up with an additional one-time purchase.

Most insurers now offer these plans in varying trip segments: anywhere from 9 days to 15, 30, 60, 90, or other configurations. The attraction is the low cost and the flexibility of being able to travel at a moment’s notice, without having to sign in or call anyone for a last-minute application. It’s becoming the prime choice for seasoned travellers, so I suggest you look into it.

But, as with any travel plan, there are limitations. For example: If you make a claim, your insurer has the right to ask you to prove that the trip for which you are claiming didn’t exceed the number of days you selected for your plan. You may be asked to provide proof of travel such as air ticket stubs; gas, hotel, or credit card receipts; passport stamps; or other similar documents.

Also, if your health status changes between trip durations, you need to tell your insurer. Your terms of coverage are based on the information you provide when applying. So if you generate a claim during one trip segment, you need to tell your insurer before you begin your next trip. I know of cases where a medical emergency encountered during one trip segment was considered a pre-existing condition for subsequent trips. But that can easily be avoided by telling your insurer.

Annual multi-trip plans are, for the most part, just as comprehensive as the more conventional single-trip plans you are used to. You can use them to travel to the US one month, to China the next, and to Brazil the next. There are no limits on where you travel—just so long as you don’t spend more than your allotted number of days outside of your home province on any one trip.

Look into it. You don’t need to have your travel plans all lined up for the next year before signing up. All you need to determine is the trip duration segment that best suits you. Do it early. You can activate your trips whenever you want, and avoid the hassle of buying last-minute insurance.

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