Single trip travel insurance

14 Min Read


Travel insurance should be an essential part of holiday planning. Not only could it go a long way to covering the cost of expensive medical bills while away, it could pay out in the event the policyholder is forced to cancel their trip due to illness, bereavement or redundancy for example.

A single trip policy provides cover for a one-off trip, as opposed to an annual (multi-trip) policy which covers any number of eligible trips over the course of 12 months.

When choosing which single trip policy to buy, consider the premium and the ‘excess’ which is the agreed amount levied on each claim (or whether it’s worth paying an extra premium to waive this excess).

There’s more than cost to consider, though. Ensuring the policy comes with adequate levels of coverage across areas such as medical treatment and repatriation (the cost of getting home), trip cancellation and lost or stolen baggage is vital.

And while Covid is almost completely behind us in terms of travel restrictions, it’s still a consideration if you catch the virus before you go and need to cancel, or while you’re away and require medical treatment.

With all this in mind, we’ve identified our top five single trip travel insurance policies. Always carry out a fresh search before buying.

Best single trip travel insurance policies

1. Explorer Travel Insurance Single Trip (Platinum) – 5/5 stars

[Best for a family or single person]

Price for 7-day family trip to Spain: Single traveler: £16.47| Two adults & two teenagers: £33.31*

Cancellation cover: £5,000

Excesses: £75

Why we picked it

Offers £5,000 per person in cancellation cover – the highest level out of all the policies listed.

For lost or stolen luggage, there’s £2,000 per person.

The £75 per person excess on eligible claims can be waived by paying an additional premium.


  • £5,000 cancellation cover

  • £25,000 personal accident cover

  • £500 personal cash cover


2. CoverForYou Standard – 5/5 stars

[Best for couples]

Price for 7-day family trip to Spain: A couple: £24.60 | Two adults & two teenagers: £37.67*

Cancellation cover: £3,000

Excesses: £50

Why we picked it

Topping the list for a couple, robust levels of cover are balanced with a reasonable price and low excess, should the policyholder need to make a claim.

There’s up to £3,000 to cancel or curtail the trip, and £2,000 for lost or stolen baggage and belongings, for each person.

A £50 excess, the lowest we found, is levied on accepted claims. This can be waived by paying an additional premium.


  • £3,000 ‘end supplier’ failure cover

  • Low £50 excess levied per person per claim


3. NOW Premier ST – 4.5/5 stars

Price for 7-day family trip to Spain: £35.73*

Cancellation cover: £3,000

Excesses: £75

Why we picked it

For £35, each person can claim up to £3,000 for trip cancellation. There’s also a relatively sizeable £3,000 per person for lost or stolen baggage and belongings.

An excess of £75 per person is payable on eligible claims but this can be waived by paying an additional premium.


  • £1,500 missed departure cover (both departure and return journeys)

  • £500 personal cash cover


4. Cedar Tree Classic Plus Single Trip – 4/5 stars

Price for 7-day family trip to Spain: £34.80*

Cancellation cover: £2,000

Excesses: £95

Why we picked it

Offers £750 per person in lost or stolen gadget cover.

There’s also £2,000 for cancellation or curtailment, and £1,500 for lost or stolen baggage and belongings.

The £95 per person excess levied on eligible claims can be waived by paying an additional premium.



5. TravelTime PremierPlus – 4/5 stars

Price for 7-day family trip to Spain: £32.32*

Cancellation cover: £4,000

Excesses: £99

Why we picked it

For £32, there’s a relatively substantial £4,000 in cancellation cover per person.

Each person is also covered up to £2,000 for lost or stolen baggage and belongings cover.

The £99 per person excess payable on each accepted claim is relatively high, but there is the option to waive it by paying an additional premium.




Using our travel insurance journey, powered by CYTI, we ran quotes for a family of two adults aged 38 and 42, and two children aged 12 and 14, a couple aged 38 and 42 and an individual aged 42, traveling to Spain for seven days .

We assumed that none of the travelers had pre-existing medical conditions.

We scored the top five cheapest providers’ most competitively-priced policy that includes at least £2 million for medical treatment and repatriation, £2,000 for trip cancellation and £1,500 for lost or stolen baggage and belongings.

Each policy won up to five points for price and up to five points for excess, as well as an additional five points if it offers an excess waiver.

We converted the total score for each policy into a rating out of five.

* Premiums correct at the time of research but can change

What is single trip travel insurance and who is it for?

Single trip travel insurance is designed for those planning a one-off holiday and typically lasts around 30 days, although some policies will stretch up to 60 or 90 days.

It’s best suited – and usually works out to be the most cost-effective – for those taking one or two holidays a year. But remember, a separate policy will be required for each and every trip.

Planning to go away more than twice a year? Annual cover will likely be more appropriate, although it pays to compare single trips and careful annual policies.

For those over the age of 75, single trip travel insurance is also usually the best choice as many travel insurers will not offer annual cover to those in this age group.

What should my policy cover?

A ‘good’ single trip travel insurance policy will cover the following as standard:

  • medical expenses: covering medical bills for emergency treatment treatment abroad

  • personal liability: in the event the policyholder injures someone or damages their property while away

  • cancellations and curtailments: covering a canceled trip or a short trip cut due to illness, redundancy or bereavement

  • missed departures: if the policyholder misses their flight, ferry or train through no fault of their own

  • baggage and personal belongings: in the event the policyholder’s items are lost, damaged or stolen (always check the ‘single item limit’ on the policy as items worth more than this amount must be covered separately).

For a more comprehensive travel insurance policy, a range of optional extras can usually be added, such as:

  • end supplier failure and/or scheduled airline failure: providing financial protection if the hotel, travel company or airline goes into administration. This is worth adding if the flights are not part of an ATOL protected package holiday

  • legal expenses: covering legal fees if a claim is made against the policyholder for an incident that wasn’t their fault

  • natural catastrophe and terrorism cover: for claims arising from a natural disaster such as a volcano eruption, or due to a terrorist attack

  • sports and activities covers: specialist cover if the policyholder is taking part in high-risk or winter sports, eg. skydiving or snowboarding.

Whether this extra cover is necessary will partly depend on the type of holiday planned and whether it will involve extreme activities, as well as the planned spend for the travel insurance policy.

It may be that some policies automatically include higher levels of cover as standard, while others will require paying extra. Running a number of comparisons can help when looking for the best price for the required level of cover.

Are there any exclusions?

When comparing policies, it helps to check the small print carefully for what is not covered. Typical exclusions within a travel insurance policy are as follows:

  • medical treatment for pre-existing conditions

  • claims due to drug or alcohol-related incidents

  • claims arising from visiting a country the Foreign and Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) have advised against

  • claims resulting from not taking reasonable care of possessions, for example leaving a bag unattended and someone stealing it

  • claims relating to not having the correct vaccinations for the holiday.

Will a single trip travel insurance cover me for Covid?

All travel policies will cover medical expenses after falling ill with the virus while away, while others will also include cover for trip cancellation as a result of contracting the virus. Details can be found in each policy’s terms and conditions. In the meantime, see our guide to the best travel insurance policies specifically for Covid.

Can I take out single trip travel insurance for more than one person?

Yes, it’s possible to take out single trip travel insurance whether traveling alone, with someone else or as a family.

Family cover generally works out cheaper than arranging a separate policy for each person, although it’s always worth running several quotes to confirm this before taking out cover.

Do I need single trip travel insurance for the UK?

For breaks in the UK, it’s easy to assume travel insurance isn’t necessary. But having a cover in place can still provide vital financial protection for trip cancellation or loss of possessions.

Check whether the policy only provides cover if away for more than a specified number of nights, or whether the break has to be a certain distance (maybe 25 miles) from home.

When should I buy single trip travel insurance?

The best time to buy any type of travel insurance policy is as soon as a holiday is booked. Doing so will ensure all-important cancellation should cover illness, the death of a family member or redundancy scupper holiday plans.

How much does single trip travel insurance cost?

The cost of a single trip travel insurance policy will be determined by destination, trip duration and who is traveling.

For example, a couple going for a week’s holiday in Spain could get basic cover for around £10, while a family of two adults and two children traveling to the United States could expect to pay over £60 for a policy with £10 million of medical expenses cover.

What are the top destinations for single trip travel insurance?

This cover is suitable for any destination provided the trip isn’t for a prolonged period – policies usually stipulate 30, 60 or 90 days. Normally, the policyholder must be visiting one country rather than touring through several.

Many holidaymakers buy single trip travel insurance for their journeys to the likes of Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Turkey.

Will I need a specialist travel insurance policy if I am over 65?

Older travelers do not need a specialist travel policy on account of their age, although they will find the cost of a standard policy is higher once they reach 65 or 70, with further increases in stores as they get older still.

A specialist policy will be required if the traveler has a ‘pre-existing’ medical condition such as heart disease or cancer, or has had such medical problems in the past. When applying for travel insurance, a comparison tool will need information such as whether anyone traveling has a medical condition, and if so, it will show insurance companies that have experience of providing cover in these cases.

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