Should you buy a single-trip or multi-trip travel insurance?

Travelling can give you a break from your daily monotonous routine but it can also expose you to several risks, especially if you are travelling abroad. Buying a travel insurance plan comes handy in such a scenario. These plans typically provide adequate financial protection against unforeseen medical and non-medical emergencies abroad.

However, before finalizing the insurance, you must research about the various policies that are available. Generally, there are two types of travel insurance plans: single-trip travel insurance and multi-trip travel insurance.

The single-trip travel insurance plan provides financial protection against exigencies for only one trip— domestic or international. It provides coverage for up to 180 days. If you travel to multiple destinations in a single trip, it will still be considered one trip. The plan starts once you board a flight from your home country (India) and lasts with your return to your home country or the end of the policy period (whichever is earlier). The duration of coverage may vary for different insurers. Typically, single-trip travel insurance covers cash support for baggage loss or robbery, passport loss, hospitalization expenses, emergency dental treatment coverage, home burglary protection, loss of luggage, personal items and travel documents.

The multi-trip travel insurance plan provides coverage for a specified time, typically for a year, wherein you can travel as many times as you want under the same plan. Like the single-trip insurance, this plan also covers emergency medical expenses, loss of passport, trip cancellation etc. However, some plans have limitations on the duration of trips in a year, varying from 30-70 days. Therefore, you must thoroughly read all the terms and conditions before buying one.

Which plan to choose?

Both the plans offer similar coverage except the duration. The primary reason to prefer one over the other depends on the number of travel trips you take in a year. It would help if you also keep in mind the duration of those trips.  

Sanjiv Bajaj, Jt. chairman and MD, Bajaj Capital Ltd, said, “Single trip travel insurance plan is ideal for people who take long trips (more than 90 days) overseas once a year. Multi-trip travel insurance begins the day you buy a plan and ends after 365 days, irrespective of the number of trips taken. This type of travel insurance is suited for people who frequently travel in a year for work or business purposes.”

Mint take: When buying travel insurance, take note of a few factors as the plan coverage varies from country to country. For instance, you should consider the destination, the duration of vacation, cash and valuables in your possession, medical expenses (that may arise out of any sports and adventure activities), trip cancellations, and insurance plan limits and exclusions.

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