How much travel insurance cover do I need for the USA?

Posted on July 13, 2012 by Guest Writer
Coastal view in USA

If you’re planning a vacation to the USA you will probably be aware that an American jaunt is very different from merely popping over to Europe, in terms of distance as well as the amount of money and planning needed. The bigger nature of the trip is also reflected in the type of travel insurance you will need.

Go for comprehensive over basic

While you may feel comfortable travelling to European destinations like France and Spain on a Basic Insurance policy, a trip to the USA really does warrant more insurance, for a few reasons.

Firstly, any long haul trip needs more cover because repatriation can be much more expensive. If something does go wrong and you need to be flown back to the UK before your scheduled return date, a long-haul journey is going to cost much more than just coming back from the continent – especially when it’s a last minute ticket.

Furthermore, UK travellers heading to Europe have the handy European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). While this in no way replaces travel insurance, it does mean that you are entitled to state-provided medical treatment should a health issue flare up while overseas. Countries outside the Eurozone do not offer this, and if you should fall ill without insurance, it can be an extremely costly process to get help.

The cost of medical care in USA

This is particularly true in the US, where hospital stays are known to be extremely expensive. A few days in hospital and a couple of tests could end up breaking the bank, potentially costing you hundreds of thousands of pounds. If something does go wrong health-wise while you’re away, the last thing you want to be concerned about is financial strain. Travel insurance does not just provide a safety net should you fall ill; it gives you peace of mind throughout your holiday that you won’t be left out of pocket should things take a turn for the worse.

However, it is not just medical issues that you need more travel insurance for when travelling long distances. If you’re setting off on a long haul trip, it is likely that you will want to go for longer than usual in order to truly immerse yourself in a new culture, and get value for money too. A longer holiday means more baggage, and more baggage means a bigger problem if it should go missing. Upping your baggage cover with comprehensive cover is a sensible and necessary move when heading on a long haul trip.