Recently, I was chatting with my father-in-law about travel insurance. He was very proud to tell me he and my mother-in-law are staunch travel insurance purchasers, year after year, with one of TuGo’s key insurance distribution partners. They were at a party chatting about travel, when the conversation naturally shifted to insurance (oh, the joys of adulthood!); the group began to discuss how long their annual travel insurance policy actually covered them for.

As we flushed it out, I quickly understood why they, and likely many other travellers, could be confused between Emergency Medical coverage under a Multi Trip Annual Plan versus a Single Trip Plan. Let’s break it down and hopefully clear up some misconceptions.

How a Multi Trip Annual Plan works

If you’re the type of traveller who takes more than one trip outside of Canada, a Multi Trip Annual Plan would usually be the best option for you. With this plan, you choose the trip length, and you have unlimited trips for that number of days, for an entire year. It’s often the most economical way to go, rather than buying multiple policies throughout the year.

This comes in handy, depending on the type of traveller you are:

  • If you’re planning to cover your frequent cross-border shopping or entertainment trips, you’ll likely choose a shorter trip length, say up to 5 days, with a worldwide Multi Trip Annual Plan.
  • In contrast, if you’re retired and travel abroad often for a few weeks at a time, you’ll likely choose a longer length of time, like 60 days.
  • If you’re a frequent business flier, you might also choose a reasonable trip length, say up to 20 days.

How many days can be purchased

While policies differ amongst providers, with our Traveller product:

  • If you’re aged 69 or younger, you can choose a trip length of 5, 10, 20, 35, 60, 95, 125, 155 or 182 days.
  • If you’re aged 70+, you can choose a trip length of 5, 10, 20, 35, or 60 days.
Trip length and age are factors that will determine the plan that’s best suited for you to travel throughout the year.
Trip length and age are factors that will determine the plan that’s best suited for you to travel throughout the year.

When a Single Trip Plan is the way to go

Heading for just one long vacation? Lucky you! If that’s the case, you’ll probably want to choose a Single Trip Emergency Medical Plan.

These plans are available for worldwide travel, worldwide excluding USA travel and for travel within Canada. The expectation is that you’ll be taking one trip, but you’re welcome to visit multiple destinations on the same trip. If you choose a worldwide excluding USA plan, you’re covered for up to 5 days for transit through or stopovers in the USA.

How many days can be purchased

  • If you’re 59 or younger, you can buy a Single Trip Plan for up to 365 days (366 during a leap year!).
  • If you’re aged 60+, you can buy a plan up to 182 days (about 6 months).

Add an extension to either plan

Sometimes, your plan doesn’t cover you for that extra day or two you want to tack on. No problem! All you have to do is contact your local broker or your travel insurance provider and ask for an extension.

Here are a couple of scenarios where adding an extension makes sense:

  • You’ve already purchased your Multi Trip Annual plan with a trip length of 10 days, but you’ve planned a 14-day cruise. You can upgrade your policy to a longer trip length, or you can add a one-time extension to your trip length to be covered for this one trip.
  • You’re already on day 6 of your 7-day vacation, on a Single Trip Plan. You’ve decided to stay a few extra days to lap up the sun, but your policy was only purchased for the days you originally planned to be away. No problem, just call to extend before your policy expires!

I hope that clears it up for you, and for my father-in-law 😉. If not, please leave your questions below and I’ll get you the answers you need!

Happy travels,


What an Annual Travel Insurance Policy Really Means for Canadian Travellers

Oct 3 2019