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How to renew your travel insurance

We explain what you need to consider at renewal time if you have an annual policy and what steps to take to grab yourself a travel insurance bargain.

In this article
Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel insurance update What do I need to think about at renewal time? What is auto-renewal and how does it work?
Will I be charged a renewal fee? Can I cancel my policy if it rolls over without me wanting to? How can I find a cheap alternative?

Anyone who has bought annual travel insurance will be faced with a yearly dilemma – do I stay with my current provider or do I switch to a new one? Below are some things you need to consider and keep an eye out for when the time for renewal rolls around.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel insurance update

The spread of coronavirus has resulted in considerable disruption to travel plans. It has also caused some insurers to make changes to their policies.

Be aware that policies bought or renewed on or after 12 March may lack cover for coronavirus-related incidents.

You can find the latest updates and advice in our dedicated Which? coronavirus information hub.

What do I need to think about at renewal time?

The first thing to think about is the amount of trips you might take in the next 12 months. You may not need annual travel cover if you are only having one or two holidays, so a couple of single-trip policies, which obviously don’t need to be renewed each year, might be your best option.

If you do want annual cover, it's important to think about any personal circumstances that may have changed in the past 12 months. If you have developed any medical conditions, for example, make sure you tell your provider, whether you decide to renew or opt for a new policy; any conditions your provider is unaware of will not be covered.

This is even more important if you have travel cover as part of a packaged bank account. Under these circumstances, you are much less likely to review your cover every year, so make sure you keep in regular contact with your provider, even if it is not at renewal, to declare a change in your circumstances.


What is auto-renewal and how does it work?

Like car and home insurers, some travel insurance providers have auto-renewal clauses in their policies (this will only be the case for annual policies, single-trip policies won't automatically renew). This means that, unless you tell your provider you don’t want to renew, your cover will roll over automatically at the end of the policy.

You should be told about the renewal of your policy before it rolls into the next year. The notice is usually sent in the post at least 21 days before the start of your new policy. The notice should outline the full details of your new policy, the premium and explain how to cancel if you change your mind.

Will I be charged a renewal fee?

Unlike car and home insurance policies, we are unaware of any annual travel insurance policies that charge renewal fees. However, make sure you check your policy carefully to ensure you are aware of all the fees and charges you may have to pay before you buy.

Can I cancel my policy if it rolls over without me wanting to?

You can, but it may come at a cost. You'll have a 14-day cooling-off period once your policy has started, and most insurers will let you cancel and only charge for the cover you have used.

However, some providers will still charge a fee if you cancel in the first 14 days, and the charges can be higher if you are outside the cooling-off period, so make sure that, if you want to switch, you cancel your cover before it is renewed.

How can I find a cheap alternative?

Eleven months into your policy is a good time to start looking for new cover. Follow our full tips to finding cheap travel insurance to help you find the right policy at the right price.