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Single vs Multi-Trip Insurance: When Does My Cover Start?

Travel Insurance Label

Dear EssentialTravel.co.uk,
I'm a little confused about what date I should book my insurance for and also when it comes into effect. Is there a waiting period between booking and activation? Sandra Kyle, Brighton

Our Answer

Dear Sandra,

Thanks for asking this very important question. Although single and multi-trip/annual insurance offer similar cover, it's essential to understand how both policies work - start date, end date and what you get from both policies.

Single trip insurance cover starts on the day you purchase your policy, however an annual multi-trip policy commences on the dates that you enter (into the quote form) when purchasing your policy. Remember: prior to the start date of a multi trip policy there is no pre-departure cover.

Booking At The Right Time/Getting Pre-Departure Cover

An often overlooked function of your travel insurance policy is to provide pre-departure cover. This ties in with buying your policy at the right time, because pre-departure cover safeguards you against unexpected events like natural disasters, strikes, falling ill or being made redundant; basically anything that rules your holiday out unexpectedly.

When To Book Single Trip

Start Date: Pre-departure cover for single trip policies starts immediately. If you are going on holiday in three months time and book your insurance policy today, you will be covered from the moment you purchase the policy.

It's a great feature of the single trip policy and a good reason to get your insurance sorted out way ahead of schedule. You only need to list the dates you will be out of the country when you book - whether you book three days or three months ahead of schedule.

When Does It End? Your policy will expire on the return date that you list when making your booking. Be very careful if you change your return date - make sure you contact your insurers and get an extension on cover.

When To Book Annual/Multi-Trip Cover

With our Annual Trip policies, your insurance cover starts on the date you enter when booking. So make sure your annual insurance policy starts before or on the same day as you buy your plane tickets and tour packages, so that you qualify for pre-departure cover.

NB:Your cover starts from the date you enter into the quote form when purchasing the policy.

When Does Cover End: Annual travel insurance policies last for one year - twelve months from the date you list when purchasing your policy.

Last Updated: October 2011