Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a month-long international adventure, the anticipation of exploring new places is incredibly exciting. But with the thrills come the uncertainties—flight delays, trip cancellations, and unforeseen medical emergencies are all risks we can’t overlook. This is where travel insurance comes into play. Especially if you’re in the UAE, with its thriving travel culture, understanding the types of travel insurance available is crucial.

One of the most common challenges travellers face is deciding between per-trip travel insurance and annual travel insurance. Both have advantages, and various factors like frequency of travel, destinations, and specific needs could influence your choice. 

So, let’s dig into each to find out which one is the best fit for you.

Travel Insurance Per Trip

Travel Insurance


Per Trip Travel Insurance, also known as single-trip travel insurance, is a policy that covers you for one specific trip. You purchase this insurance for the exact duration and destination of your travel. The coverage usually starts when you leave home and ends when you return, but often not more than 30-90 days.

Potential costs

  • Basic coverage: AED 100 to AED 250 per person per trip.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Could go up to AED 300 to AED 700 or more, depending on the destination, duration, and activities involved


  • Cost-effective for infrequent travellers: Per-trip insurance can be more cost-effective if you travel only once or twice a year.
  • Customisable: Policies can be tailor-made to suit the specific needs of each trip, including the destination, activities involved, and trip duration.
  • No long-term commitment: You only buy it for the duration of a specific trip.
  • Tourist appeal: Given that UAE residents often travel to various international destinations for holidays, per-trip coverage can be customised to meet destination-specific risks.


  • Tedious for multiple trips: If you end up travelling more frequently, purchasing insurance for each trip can become cumbersome and potentially more expensive.
  • Limited duration: Most single-trip policies, usually not more than 90 days, cover a limited period.
  • Last-minute hassle: For spontaneous trips, arranging travel insurance at the last minute can be a hassle.

Annual Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance


Annual Travel Insurance, sometimes called multi-trip or year-round travel insurance, covers you for an unlimited number of trips within a one-year period. The policy starts on the purchase date and lasts for one full year.

Each trip has a maximum duration, usually around 30-60 days, but you can travel as many times as you like within the year. Generally offers a standard set of coverages that apply to all trips made in the year.

Potential Costs

  • Basic annual coverage: Around AED 400 to AED 800 per year.
  • Comprehensive annual coverage: AED 900 to AED 1,500 or more for extensive benefits.


  • Convenience: One policy covers you for an entire year, no matter how many trips you make.
  • Cost savings: For frequent travellers, an annual policy could offer significant savings over multiple single-trip policies.
  • Ever-ready coverage: Spur-of-the-moment weekend away? No worries, you’re already covered.
  • Business travel: The UAE is a hub for business, and business travellers may find it easier to opt for annual plans.
  • Family packages: Many UAE insurers offer annual family packages, which can be more economical if multiple family members are frequent travellers.


  • Higher upfront cost: The initial outlay can be quite steep compared to single-trip policies.
  • Standard coverage: Annual policies may not be as customisable as single-trip policies. They may not cover higher-risk activities or destinations.
  • Wasted if unused: If you find that you’re not travelling as much as you expected, you may feel like you’ve wasted money.

Factors to Consider

Travel Insurance


Frequency of Travel

  • Per-Trip: Best suited for those who travel occasionally or once a year.
  • Annual: A more economical and convenient choice for those who travel multiple times a year.

Type of Travel

  • Per-Trip: Ideal for specialised vacations or trips (e.g., skiing, scuba diving, etc.) where a specific type of coverage is needed.
  • Annual: Better for standard types of travel such as business trips or regular vacations.

Duration of Trips

  • Per-Trip: Typically offers coverage for a limited number of days, usually not more than 90 days.
  • Annual: Each trip duration may also be limited, but you can take multiple trips throughout the year.

Geographical Coverage

  • Per-Trip: This can be tailored to include specific countries or regions.
  • Annual: Usually offers global coverage, but make sure to read the fine print for any exclusions.

Variety of Destinations

  • Per-Trip: Good if your trips vary widely in terms of destinations and activities, which might require different types of coverage.
  • Annual: More convenient if you frequently travel to similar destinations that require standard coverage.


  • Per-Trip: This can be cost-effective for infrequent travel but can add up if you make multiple trips. 
  • Annual: Higher upfront cost but can offer significant savings if you travel frequently. But you can apply some cost-effective tips to save money when buying this insurance.

Spontaneity of Travel

  • Per-Trip: Requires a new policy for each trip, which might not be suitable for spontaneous travel.
  • Annual: Provides the flexibility to take last-minute trips without worrying about insurance.

Family and Group Travel

  • Per-Trip: You’ll need to purchase separate policies for each family member or group member, which can be time-consuming.
  • Annual: Family and group plans can offer more convenience and sometimes more economical pricing.

Health and Age Factors

  • Per-Trip: If your health condition is likely to change within a year, you might prefer per-trip policies tailored for each trip.
  • Annual: Some annual policies may have age restrictions or may not cover certain pre-existing conditions.

Cancellation Policies

  • Per-Trip: It might be beneficial if there is a higher likelihood of cancelling or rescheduling trips.
  • Annual: Generally offers broad cancellation coverage for all trips during the policy period, but check for limitations.

Convenience and Time

  • Per-Trip: Requires individual research, application, and payment for each trip.
  • Annual: One-time research and payment, saving time and effort throughout the year.


The choice between per-trip and annual travel insurance ultimately boils down to your individual travel plans and lifestyle. If you’re an occasional vacationer, the per-trip option is probably your best bet. On the other hand, if you find yourself catching flights more often than buses, an annual policy will likely serve you better in the long run. Either way, the key is to read the fine print to make sure what is covered and what is not. Then, make informed decisions. Safe travels!

About Author

Hanna Rico

About Author

Hanna Mae Rico is a skilled content writer. With a bachelor's degree in English Language Studies, Hanna has spent over three years working in the digital marketing industry. Her versatility shines through her ability to captivate audiences with lifestyle, travel, and other engaging topics. Her love of written words and her innate ability to transport readers to different places make her a true wordsmith.