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What is Single Trip Travel Insurance?


Single Trip Travel Insurance

A single trip travel insurance policy is designed to provide insurance coverage for a one-off return journey trip to one or more overseas destinations. This policy will run for a specified time, with some insurers offering a maximum of 30/31 days, and others offering up to around 3 months.

The idea of a single trip normally implies a journey to a specific country, either for a holiday, possibly a wedding or even a short weekend break. It can also include trips to several different countries so long as they are all part of the same holiday.

As insurance companies issue this type of policy on a geographical basis, it is important to remember to take the widest possible range of geographical cover provided.

Types of Policy

A single trip travel insurance policy will provide a range of different benefits, although the extent of that coverage will vary with different insurance companies.

Also, most insurance companies will offer different plans within the context of a single trip policy, often labelling them with titles such as Standard, Premiere, Premier Plus, Platinum, Sapphire, Emerald, Gold, Diamond etc.

Most of these plans will offer the same type of cover but with differing financial limits and different levels of policy excesses or deductibles.

Many insurance companies will provide specimen policies and policy wordings on their website which can be downloaded as a free pdf.

Also, many countries have consumer laws allowing for what is known as a cooling-off period after a policy is taken out, normally 14/21 days. This gives people time to look through the policy, check if it is appropriate for their needs and if not cancel it and obtain a refund of premiums paid.

Single Trip Travel Insurance

Single trip cover provides travel insurance for a single holiday trip that can include more than one country.

If you embark on two or more trips annually, opting for an annual travel insurance plan may prove more cost-effective than purchasing two separate single trip policies.

However, if you embark on a holiday only once a year, single trip insurance may offer better value.

The choice of insurance policy depends on your destination, and you can normally select from the following options:

  1. European single trip travel insurance
  2. Worldwide single trip travel insurance that includes USA, Canada, Caribbean, and Mexico
  3. Worldwide single trip travel insurance that excludes the above countries, but includes the rest of the world.

What a single trip travel insurance policy normally covers

  1. Cost of medical treatment and repatriation: Coverage in the event of an accident or illness while you’re abroad, including provisions for air ambulance services and repatriation to your home country if necessary.
  2. Cancellation and Curtailment: Protection against financial losses if you need to cancel or cut short your trip for reasons specified in your policy. This can often be a contentious issue as to what is and is not covered.
  3. Flight Cancellations: The possibility to make a claim if your flight is cancelled or delayed for over 24 hours, or if you’re not rebooked on a new flight within 24 hours (refer to the policy for specific details).
  4. Stolen or Lost Baggage: Compensation for lost or damaged luggage, offering financial support when airlines fail to properly handle your belongings.
  5. Lost or Stolen Valuables and Personal Money: Coverage for lost or stolen cash and traveler’s cheques, with some policies having limits. Consider adding extra gadget insurance for specific valuable items.
  6. Personal Accident Insurance
  7. Some Legal Expenses

A single trip travel insurance policy can normally be upgraded to include areas such as

  • Cruise Cover
  • No Excess Policy
  • Covid Cover
  • Winter sports cover, skiing etc
  • Adventure Holidays
  • Sports and Activities Cover

Trip Duration

A single trip travel insurance policy will vary widely in terms of the duration of the trip or policy – this normally depends on the age of the person or people insured on the policy, and the reason for travel.

This type of policy is normally intended for what might be called normal holidays or travels, as opposed to people wanting travel insurance for extended stays in a country, backpacking etc where separate insurance policies are more appropriate.

Health Requirements

A single trip travel insurance will require the proposer to answer a number of medical screening questions to determine their eligibility to be accepted for the travel insurance policy.

This can sometimes seem a bit daunting. The intent is for the insurance company to assess the likelihood of medical problems arising when overseas, based on known facts declared before travel.

The insurance company is most interested in what are known as pre-existing conditions, which can pretty much be any medical illness or disease going back over a period of time.

Insurance companies can differ quite considerably in their attitude to pre-existing condition, in terms of what they are willing to cover and at what cost, so it is worth shopping around if this is applicable to you or anyone you are travelling with.

What is really important is that you are completely honest in answering all questions – failure to do so could well result in a claim being denied at a future date.

The medical screening questions are either normally done online or via telephone. It is also important to notify the insurance company if your health changes between taking out the policy and starting your travels.


A single trip travel insurance policy will normally cover someone who is pregnant, but certain time limits normally apply and will be specified in the policy. It is also important to check with the airline what their policy is.

It is worth noting the travel insurance policy would exclude what is known as medical tourism, which in this case would mean someone flying to another country ie USA, specifically to give birth in order to gain citizenship.

Single Trip Travel Insurance Claims

In the event of you needing to make a claim there are a couple of things to be aware of. The policy will normally contain a 24 hour emergency line that you can ring in the event of a medical emergency and get help from.

The policy will have quite strict time and date requirements as to when the insurance company must be notified of either a hospital admission or claim under the policy.

It is worth checking with the insurance company if they will pay any hospital bills directly, or if they expect you to pay up front and then make a claim to be paid back for any costs.

In the event of making any claim, the insurance company will require a certain amount of documentation in order to verify the claim details, normally known as claims evidence. What documentation is required should be specified in the policy document.


The single trip travel insurance policy will have what is referred to as a schedule or table of benefits. This will spell out in detail what financial compensation you are entitled to if a valid claim is made under the relevant section. Some sections may not apply to your policy and as such would not be valid.

Cancellation of Trip and Trip Disruption

This is often the most contentious area of disputes relating to travel insurance policies. Insurance companies are very specific as to what they will and won’t cover in the event of a trip needing to be cancelled or delayed, and the reasons for it.

The insurance policy will spell out these terms and conditions of cover in a  specific section of the policy.

Personal Belongings

A single trip travel insurance policy will normally cover someone’s personal effects and their baggage against most types of loss or damage.

Items classed as valuables will normally be covered, but may need a different section. There is likely to be a single article limit, as well as a overall limit for valuable items. Some insurance companies deem items such as laptops and tablets as valuables.

You will be expected to take sensible precautions against loss of valuables – if not any claim may be declined. The example normally given is not leaving valuables such as a camera unattended in a cafe or visible in an unoccupied car.

Different Levels of Single Trip Travel Insurance

Most insurance companies offer different levels of cover for their travel insurance policies, which in effect are basic, average and premium, although they will use much nicer terms.

All will have some level of cover as described above, but the premium policy is likely to include perks such as access to a complimentary airport lounge in the event of a plane delay.


A single trip travel insurance policy will have a built in expectation that you have the correct travel documents you need in order to enter the country you are visiting.

  • sign your passport and complete the emergency contacts page
  • ensure that your passport meets the entry requirements for the country you are visiting (for example, it may need to be valid for a set period after your trip ends)
  • get the correct visa for your destination
  • take an extra form of photo ID with you, other than your passport
  • if you are travelling with children check whether you need extra documentation
  • if you plan to drive abroad check whether you need an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Policy Exclusions

All single trip travel insurance policies will have some exclusions, and it is worth being aware of them before travelling so as not to be caught unaware.

Review the coverage of your insurance policy in the following areas:

  1. Alcohol and Drugs: Most travel insurance policies exclude events occurring after excessive alcohol consumption or the use of recreational drugs or other substances.
  2. High-Risk Destinations: Check whether your travel insurance covers trips to destinations deemed high-risk by your national government. If they advise against all but essential travel or all travel to a specific country, your policy may not provide coverage. Review your policy details and the relevant country travel advice pages before booking your trip and purchasing insurance.
  3. Mental Health Conditions: Some policies may not cover treatment related to pre-existing mental health conditions. Refer to foreign travel advice for individuals with mental health issues for additional guidance.
  4. Age Restrictions: When purchasing a policy, verify if there are any age-related restrictions. If so, seek guidance on selecting the appropriate level of cover, obtaining the best deal, and making a travel insurance claim. Specialized advice is often available for travellers over 65 or those with pre-existing medical conditions.
  5. Adventure Sports: Standard policies typically do not include coverage for activities such as bungee jumping, jet skiing, winter sports, skydiving, quad biking, or moped rentals.
  6. Driving Overseas: If you plan to drive overseas, check the driving abroad guidelines. For rental cars, assess the coverage provided by the rental company. If using your own vehicle, review your motor insurance policy to understand the extent of coverage.
  7. Terrorist Acts: Most policies offer limited coverage for terrorist acts. At a minimum, ensure your policy covers emergency medical expenses and repatriation in the event of a terrorist attack. Some insurers offer add-ons for additional coverage in case of a terrorist attack in your destination, including cancellation cover if your trip is affected before departure.
  8. Other Incidents: Some policies provide limited coverage for claims related to natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes or tropical cyclones) or civil unrest. Additionally, coverage may be restricted for incidents (e.g., strikes or industrial action) that were publicly known when you booked your trip or purchased your travel insurance.