Why You Need Travel Insurance To Go To The USA

When you travel within the UK, you often don’t need travel insurance. When you travel abroad however, travel insurance is something you should always consider and when the trip is to the USA, it is virtually an essential part of the trip. But why and what does it cover?

Basics Of Travel Insurance

Travel insurance covers a range of basics with a few optional extras depending on the policy. You are covered for emergency medical expenses while travelling and for personal liability in the even that you cause damage to property or to someone and are sued. If you lose your bags or they are stolen, the policy will cover you and it will also cover the costs of cancelling or cutting short the trip. One in three people who claim on their travel insurance do so for medical treatment.

There are also things that aren’t covered. These include adventure or winter sports unless you take out specific extra cover for these. You aren’t covered if you travel against Foreign Office advice and if there is a strike, civil unrest, act of terrorism or natural disaster such as earthquakes as well as epidemics such as SARS.

If you are over 65 or have a medical condition, you need to declare this when getting a quote and some insurers may exclude it, charge extra to cover it or recommend you take specialist insurance. Any conditions or other important information not declared at this stage can result in the policy being voided.

Travelling To The US

When you travel to Europe, you are partially covered under the EHIC card that sees European Union countries offer the same level of health coverage as you could get at home – although this may change in the future. However, this isn’t the case when you travel to the US and this is why travel insurance is even more important for a trip there than anywhere.

Medical costs in the US are famously expensive and there is no equivalent to the NHS over there as of yet. A visit to ER, their version of our A&E, will cost you money for everything that they do, even if it is bandaging a bad cut or a broken finger. Most hospitals are privately run while local physicians can sometimes offer cheaper treatment for less serious conditions.

The Numbers

Medical bills in the US are the most expensive in the world with the average treatment being over £4,000. If you don’t have the right insurance cover in place, you will be liable to pay these costs yourself and just because you are ill or if someone passes away, these costs don’t vanish. There are horror stories of people selling their homes to pay US medical bills and unfortunately, these aren’t scare stories – they are real numbers and real situations.

People often complain that the cost of US travel insurance is more than anywhere else in the world but the cost of the medical cover is the reason for this. And while we always hope not to need it, if something does happen while in the US, your travel insurance can be a life saver.