Following the new FCA guidelines abolishing the term annual multi-trip to stop consumer confusion, Stephen Howard, Managing Director of Infinity Insurance Solutions comments on the difference between long stay and multi trip travel cover.
"When it comes to choosing a travel insurance product, there are many options available. But time and time again I see customers becoming confused between two particular products - Long Stay and Multi Trip insurance.
Long Stay and Multi Trip are two completely different products. A Long Stay policy involves a single trip over a long duration, usually a gap year round the world trip, and it has a start and end date but involves numerous transport and location changes. A Multi Trip policy is valid for 12 months and allows you to make any number of short duration trips during the 12 month policy period.
So which option is best? As with most things, it is dependent on your personal circumstances. If you want to take an extended holiday or you are planning a long trip, Long Stay would be best. The product is best suited for those looking to travel for six months or longer, generally referred to as backpacker insurance. However this type of insurance would also be suited for those who have the time and money to take a long holiday, such as those who are retired.
Most Long Stay travel insurance policies can cover trips up to 24 months duration, and a few will cover up to 24 months, so you can take a trip around the world and be covered wherever you land. During your journey you might visit different countries and your premium is geared up to the destination in the highest geographical band. So if you were travelling through Europe, Asia, South America and the USA, you would pay the premium for Worldwide including USA. A Long Stay policy may also allow you to return home for a limited period during the policy period.
A Multi Trip policy is valid for 12 months and allows you to make any number of short duration trips (31, 45 or 62 days) within your chosen geographical area during the 12 month policy period. Multi Trip policies prove to be more economical for those who make more than two trips a year.
The FCA has advised that they did not like the term 'annual multi-trip' because it implied travel for 12 months (i.e. a 12 month trip period). Unfortunately some travel insurers have been referring to multi-trip policies as 'annual multi-trip' which creates even more confusion for the consumer when choosing the correct product.
At Infinity Insurance Solutions, our products Holidaysafe and Alphatravelinsurance have decided to grapple with the semantics and have begun naming the product Multi Trip, excluding the word 'annual' from the product name. We have redesigned our policy wordings and excluded all small print to ensure they are clearer and easier to understand for our customers.
In the digital age, most of us prefer to book our travel insurance online. When looking to book travel insurance I recommend that consumers do their research before buying to see which policy best suits their needs both in terms of cover provided and the premium charged. Our websites are full of helpful tips and advice, and they can always chat with a sales representative over the phone to check that all their needs will be covered before choosing the policy right for them."
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Alpha Travel Insurance and alphatravelinsurance.co.uk are trading names of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN306537. tifgroup is trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc registered in England No. 3220410. tifgroup; all rights reserved. Registered Office: 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UY