You absolutely, categorically, must get travel insurance before you travel to the US.
It does not matter if you do not normally bother. There is no reciprocal health care arrangement in place between the UK and the US. Everyone will be charged for treatment at point of care. There are no discounts for children and the elderly and being foreign will not prevent a bill. We are mercifully protected from the size of medical bills as we rarely see one here, but they can get very big, very, very fast. Medical bills can very quickly run into tens of thousands of dollars. In order to get someone else to pay for any necessary medical treatment, you will need travel insurance. You can buy cover for the US for the duration of your trip. If you know you are going to travel several times over the next twelve months a worldwide annual policy may be more economic .
There are many providers in the UK, but please note, cover varies enormously from company to company. Unlike car insurance, there is no legislation stipulating what insurance companies should cover so you do need to actually look at what you are buying rather than taking the cheapest option thrown up by one of the comparison sites. It is well worth paying a bit extra to get a good policy as this will seem like the most trivial of sums should you need to claim against it.
Independent travellers need to be particularly careful when buying insurance as many items that are covered under a package policy by their ATOL/ABTA cover, such as an airline going bust, are not covered as standard by a great many travel insurance policies.
We have written some tips on how to buy travel insurance and what to look for in a policy in the next sections. In general you want look for a policy from a reputable provider that will cover independent travel.
Good places to look for travel insurance…
Endsleigh Insurance offers a specific policy for independent travellers and in my view is well worth looking at.
Columbus Direct provide a range of policies with scheduled airline failure as standard and ash cloud cover as an optional extra.
The AA Travel Insurance covers financial failure of pre-booked flights, hotels etc. for independent travellers as standard, with an optional extension for travel disruption caused by strikes, adverse weather, natural disasters and some other hazards.
Hi, we know a lot about insurance but we don’t know much about you! To make sure you get the right cover, it is important that you check any policy carefully and if you have any questions you should talk to an insurance advisor. Louise