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Travel Insurance: USA

Compare travel insurance for the USA

published: 18 March 2020
Read time: 5 minutes

On your way to the USA? Check out our tips for a great holiday – and remember to take out travel insurance too

It’s no surprise that British tourists love taking a trip across the pond. In fact, the USA is our most popular travel destination outside of Europe. They might speak the same language, but it’s as exotic a place as any, rich in huge empty deserts, huge mountains, and alligator-filled swamps. The USA also has some of the world’s most iconic cities and attractions, from the Statue of Liberty in New York to the Hollywood sign in the hills above LA.

With so much to see and do, you’re sure to have a great time stateside. Just make sure you’ve got your travel insurance sorted before you leave, so you’re protected in case anything goes wrong.

Do I need travel insurance to America?

If you’re planning a holiday in America, you should always make sure you have travel insurance before you set off. That way, you’ll be protected against many common travel problems while on your trip. For instance, travel insurance can cover you against illness, accidents, lost baggage, and theft while you’re on your American vacation.

Travel insurance also means you’ll be able to reclaim your costs if you need to cancel or cut short your trip in an emergency. This way, you can relax and enjoy your holiday.

Image of New York Yellow Taxis

What type of travel insurance do I need for the USA?

The USA isn’t covered by an ordinary worldwide travel insurance policy. Instead, you’ll need a Worldwide insurance policy that covers the US, Canada, and the Caribbean.

However, depending on what you want to do abroad, there are many different types of insurance that might suit your holiday. When comparing travel insurance deals through MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be able to tailor your insurance to your needs. Here are some categories to look out for:

  • Single-trip insurance: If you only want to cover your trip to the States, select 

    single-trip travel insurance and type in the USA as your destination

  • Annual multi-trip insurance: If you take two or more holidays a year, you might save money by buying an insurance policy for the entire year

  • Backpackers’ insurance: If you’re visiting America as part of a backpacking holiday, you can find great deals on backpackers’ insurance, which can cover you for longer trips or if you’ll be visiting several different countries

What should my USA travel insurance include?

When you’re choosing a travel insurance deal for your American holiday, watch out for these important features your cover should include:

  • Medical cover, which most insurers will offer for costs up to £5m

  • Cancellation cover, which pays out up to a certain amount if you need to cancel your holiday or cut it short due to an emergency

  • Repatriation, which covers the cost of bringing you back to the UK

  • Baggage cover, which insures you in case your luggage is lost during your trip or your possessions are stolen. If you’re taking any particularly expensive items – such as jewellery – on your holiday, make sure they’ll be included in your insurance

  • Gadget cover, which will help in case a possession, such as a mobile phone or a GoPro, is lost or stolen

  • Passport cover, which protects you against extra expenses if your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad

You should also keep an eye on your policy’s excess, as that’s the amount you’ll have to pay yourself towards any claim. A higher excess usually means your premium is cheaper, but make sure it’s an amount you’ll be able to pay.

The full details of your insurance will be in your policy document, so make sure you read it in full before you choose a travel insurance deal.

What won’t be covered in my American travel insurance?

There are some features that may not be included in your policy. These are known as exclusions. Make sure you know what you can and can’t claim for before you make your holiday plans.

  • Some insurance policies might not cover you for accidents or injuries you sustain during activities like skiingsnowboarding, or even hiking or kicking around a football on the beach. MoneySuperMarket’s insurance comparison tool allows you to quickly find out what activities will and won’t be covered in any travel insurance policy. If you plan on enjoying any physical activities while on your American getaway, check that they’re included first.

  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, or you’ve had one in the past for which you’ve received advice or treatment, you may be charged a higher premium. If this is the case, it may help to take out a special policy for pre-existing conditions.

  • You may not be covered for incidents related to civil unrest, war, or terrorism.

  • If you suffer an accident or injury that can be linked to you drinking too much or using illegal drugs, insurers are likely to refuse your claim.

When should my USA travel insurance policy start from?

When you choose an insurance policy, make sure you’re covered from the day you book your trip and not the day you actually leave. That way, you’ll be covered in case you need to cancel your holiday before you set off.

Health and vaccinations

American hospitals and healthcare facilities are excellent. However, the healthcare system in the USA can be complicated and expensive. This makes travel insurance more crucial than ever. Without it, you might not be able to get the help you need if something goes wrong, or you might be left with an enormous bill.

Some hospitals in the USA might ask for some ‘good faith’ money upfront from foreign patients. You should refer this to your insurer and only pay directly if your insurer tells you to.

In some parts of the United States, diseases spread by insects have been detected. Mosquitoes in parts of Texas and Florida might carry the Zika virus, and there have been outbreaks of dengue fever in Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. Ticks and biting insects have been known to carry infections such as the West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The risk of transmission is low, but you should take precautions to avoid being bitten, such as by using insect repellent.

You won’t need any special shots for America, but it’s important to make sure you’re up to date with all your ordinary vaccines before you set off.

Prescription medicines

The legal status of some medicines might be different in the United States. If you’re travelling with prescription medicines, it’s best to check in advance to make sure they’re not controlled or prohibited. You should also bring a copy of your prescription with you.

Keep in mind that prescription medicines are likely to be much more expensive in America than at home. Therefore, you should make sure you leave with enough to keep you going throughout your stay.

Get the best price on travel insurance to America

Organising a trip to Washington DC, New York, or Chicago? Travel insurance to America is essential to keep you protected. That said, not all policies are the same. To find the best value American travel insurance that meets all your needs, it’s important to compare before you buy.

We’ll ask you a few simple questions about you and your holiday. Where are you going and for how long? What do you want your policy to cover? In just a couple of minutes, you can compare prices from a range of leading travel insurers by using MoneySuperMarket’s comparison tool.

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