Should You Get Multi-Trip Travel Insurance?

Should You Get Multi-Trip Travel Insurance?

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated June 21, 2021

Many Canadians take a trip or two every year to get away, whether it’s to take a break from work, experience a different culture, or simply for a change of scenery. 

Regardless of which category you fall under, you’ll want to have a travel insurance plan in place to cover you against any exorbitant expenses that you may inadvertently incur while travelling abroad. 

But more specifically, a multi-trip travel insurance plan would be warranted if you fall into the latter category and travel multiple times per year.

What Is Multi-Trip Travel Insurance?

A multi-trip travel insurance plan provides coverage for several trips within a 12-month period. In fact, you can travel an unlimited number of times in a year while still being covered, as these plans do not place restrictions on the actual number of trips taken. 

However, there are limits on the number of days each trip lasts, which will vary from one policy to the next. Once you’ve reached that limit, you’ll need to go back home before you can head back out again in order to ensure that you are covered. Generally speaking, trips can last anywhere from 10 to 30 days within a 12-month period, though these time frames may vary by plan. 

Types Of Multi-Trip Travel Insurance Coverage

There are a few things that multi-trip travel insurance plans cover, including the following:

Trip Cancellation/Interruption

Most travel insurance policies cover costs associated with the interruption or cancellation of a trip. 

Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for travel plans that have to be cancelled before the departure date. If something happens that prevents you from beginning your trip, you may be covered, as long as the reason for the trip cancellation is covered under your policy. 

Expenses such as flights, hotel bookings, and car rentals can be compensated for if they’re non-refundable. This type of insurance must be purchased before your departure date, and coverage ends once you’ve left for your trip. 

Trip interruption insurance covers you for costs associated with having to return home earlier than your intended return date. It will cover the non-refundable portions of unused, prepaid travel costs and can help pay for things such as an early flight to return home. 

Travel Medical/Health Insurance

Medical costs can be sky-high, especially when it comes to hospital stays and surgeries. These expenses can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or more out-of-pocket. 

But with a travel medical insurance policy in place before you leave for your trip, you can have your medical expenses covered, including a visit to a doctor’s office, medications, hospital stays, and major medical procedures.  

Lost Baggage 

It’s possible for your airline to lose your luggage when you fly, leaving you without the things you need every day, including toiletries and clothing. A lost luggage insurance plan will cover you when your checked baggage is lost by an air carrier. 

You’ll be reimbursed for a certain amount for the belongings that were lost so you can get what you need to continue your travels in comfort. 

Flight Delay And Cancellation

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you may find yourself having to cover extra expenses, including hotel accommodations and meals. A flight delay and cancellation insurance policy will reimburse you for these extra costs incurred as a result of a delayed or cancelled flight. 

Pros And Cons Of Multi-Trip Travel Insurance

There are plenty of perks associated with having a multi-trip travel insurance plan in place when you travel, but there are a few drawbacks to consider as well. 

Pros: 

  • Cheaper per trip. If you travel three or more times in a year, you’d be saving money with an annual multi-trip travel insurance policy as opposed to buying individual policies per trip.
  • Save time and get peace of mind. When you take out an annual multi-trip travel insurance plan, you know that you will always have one in place for the rest of the year and won’t have to worry about purchasing a plan whenever you decide to take another trip. 

Cons: 

  • May be difficult for older people to get. Multi-trip travel insurance policies may be more difficult to secure for those who are over the age of 60.
  • Not suitable for infrequent travellers. If you only plan to travel once or twice a year, then you’ll be paying more for a multi-trip travel insurance policy. 
  • You may need to add extra coverage for repatriation. If you are planning to become an expat and temporarily live abroad, you may need to top up your policy, which will cost you more. 

Best Multi-Trip Travel Insurance Providers

We’ve rounded up the top multi-trip travel insurance providers:

Types of Travel Insurance OfferedGeographical Availability
Rates.caSingle TripsMulti TripsSnowbirdCOVID-19 travel insuranceAll of Canada
Insurance HotlineSingle TripsMulti Trips Trip CancellationAll Inclusive Travel InsuranceTravel Insurance For StudentsTravel Insurance For VisitorsSnowbird Travel InsuranceSuper Visa InsuranceAll of Canada
TD TravelSingle TripsMulti TripsTrip CancellationTrip InterruptionAll of Canada
ManulifeSingle TripsMulti TripsEmergency MedicalCOVID-19 Pandemic Travel InsuranceTrip Cancellation Trip InterruptionAll inclusive Travel InsuranceAll of Canada
CAA-Quebec TravelSingle TripsMulti TripsTrip CancellationTrip InterruptionEmergency Medical CareVisitor Travel InsuranceSnowbird InsuranceCar Rental DamageQuebec Only

Difference Between Multi-Trip Travel Insurance And Single Trip Travel Insurance

A single trip insurance policy covers you for one trip outside of your province or Canada. As soon as you return home from your trip, the policy will end and you will no longer be covered. If you leave for another trip, you’ll have to take out another policy, as the single trip plan will only apply for one trip. 

A multi-trip travel insurance policy covers you for several trips made within a single year. These plans are also known as “annual plans” and will provide protection within a 12-month span, regardless of the number of trips you take. 

However, multi-trip plans typically have limits on how long your trip can be. Anywhere from 10 to 30 days is typical, though you may be able to find plans that offer coverage for a longer period of time. 

Should You Buy Multi-Trip Travel Insurance Or Single Trip Travel Insurance?

Certain factors should be considered before choosing a single or a multi-trip travel insurance plan. Use this chart to help you choose.

Single-Trip Travel InsuranceMulti-Trip Travel Insurance
You plan to take 1 or 2 trips within a yearYou plan to take several trips within a year
You don’t plan on returning to Canada during your winter awayYou plan to return to Canada frequently throughout your winter away

Multi-Trip Travel Insurance FAQs

Do I really need travel insurance?

When you travel outside the boundaries of your province or country, you won’t have the same level of coverage that you would have at home. This is especially true if you travel internationally. Once you are outside of Canada, you will not be covered for any medical care unless you take out a medical insurance policy.  If you plan to travel outside of Canada, you should seriously consider taking out a travel medical policy to ensure that you are adequately covered. That way, you won’t have to pay for any medical expenses out-of-pocket. 

Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?

Most travel insurance companies do not cover medical issues stemming from COVID-19. However, Manulife CoverMe plans may cover COVID-19. When comparing travel insurance policies, make sure to ask questions to find out exactly what is covered and what isn’t. 

Is it cheaper to buy annual/multi-trip travel insurance?

That depends on how many trips in a year you plan to take. If you plan to go away only once or twice in a year, you’re better off taking out a single trip travel insurance policy, which will cost you less. But if you plan to go away multiple times per year, you’ll save money with an annual travel insurance plan that can be used to cover all trips taken in a 12-month period. 

Final Thoughts

Leaving the confines of Canada’s borders will leave you vulnerable if you don’t have some sort of travel medical insurance policy to back you up. And when you do apply for a policy, make sure it suits your needs. More specifically, if you plan to go away a few times in one year, a multi-trip travel insurance plan may be best.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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