Are you heading across the Atlantic to the United States soon, to visit New York City or another American city? Do you wish to travel with peace of mind? Well, there’s nothing for it: for your stay in this country where health costs are very high, you will need travel insurance for the USA.
Why is it important to buy travel insurance for the USA? What benefits are necessary? How much does travel insurance cost and what are the best deals? You can find the answers to all these questions in this article 😁
Is travel insurance required to go to the United States?
There is actually no legal requirement to have travel insurance for a trip to the USA – just like there is none for any other country in the world. But just because it isn’t mandatory certainly does not mean that travelling to the US without cover is a good idea… quite the opposite, in truth.
The UK Social Security System does have some reciprocal social security agreements with some countries and the European Economic Area, so you could think that it has something of the like with the US. And it does... but only for people who work or have worked in both countries 🥲 If you’re simply going to visit the US on a holiday trip, you obviously won’t be covered. This means that you will have to cover all your health expenses yourself, for one… which can be really expensive, to say the least! The United States is clearly one of the countries where the costs of care and hospitalisation can get so high it may actually end up hurting you more than whatever you went to the hospital for… financially, at least 😅
In the US, seeing a doctor can cost several hundred dollars – and it is not uncommon for the bill to exceed a thousand dollars for a basic examination in a hospital. It gets even more expensive should you require hospitalisation or surgery.
The best example I can give is that an ambulance ride can cost up to 1,200 dollars… 🤐
The US is the most expensive country in the world when it comes to healthcare costs (which were 18% of GDP in 2019). According to WHO figures, average prices are twice as expensive as in the UK, but can be multiplied by 10 in some cases.
Considering all I’ve just explained, you’ll agree that good quality cover is needed to travel to the USA – for your medical and hospitalisation costs, as well as any physical damage or material damage you may accidentally cause to other people and their property.
Of course, I and everyone else hope nothing befall us, but accidents do happen and having the insurance company backing you up in case of a problem is a huge weight off your shoulders 😌
The best travel insurance plan 🏷
If you are taking out travel insurance, it is best to buy the most comprehensive insurance possible at the best price. You’re in luck – I have an excellent recommendation🤩 If you are going to the US for less than 3 months, I highly recommend Chapka Direct Cap Assistance 24/7. The insurance covers medical and hospital costs up to €1,000,000 (all prices on Chapka are indicated in euros, but you can ask to see the quote in the currency of your choice). You will also benefit from a lot of advantages 👍
The bonus? My Chapka promo code! You can activate it by clicking on the button below. Once on the Chapka Direct website, click on "Get my quote" or "Subscribe" and complete the form. Then click on "Get a quote". On the right-side banner, you will see a message with the words "You get 5% discount".
Comparison table of travel insurance for the USA
Perfect for long stays
Name of insurance
Chapka Cap Assistance
Chapka Cap Adventure
Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing
Medical expenses covered (USA)
Physical damage liability
Property damage liability
Duration of the trip
90 days max
3 to 24 months
60 days max.
28 days, renewable
12 months max
*Lowered to 49 years old for trips of more than 60 days.
Best travel insurance for the USA
Chapka Cap Assistance 24/7, complete and affordable
Chapka Direct offers some of the most popular travel insurance packages available, and they are comprehensive and suitable for all types of travellers. Cap Assistance 24/7 is a comprehensive insurance plan ideal for tourist trips of less than 90 days.
The very high cover limits are suitable for travel to the USA and the cancellation option allows for reimbursement in case of early return. In addition, it is possible to benefit from a 5% discount by using a promo code – and you can even enjoy a 15% discount if you subscribe for 3 or more people.
Chapka Cap Adventure, multi-risk insurance for long trips
This other Chapka Direct insurance plan is aimed at travellers who are leaving for a longer period – between 3 and 24 months.
Covid-19 guarantees, coverage of health expenses from the first euro and up to one million euros for the United States and Canada, early return, search and rescue expenses, daily indemnity, legal fees… Chapka Cap Adventure's insurance and assistance guarantees are numerous and very complete.
Here too, you can benefit from a 5% discount on the amount of your insurance contract if you are travelling with your family of 3 or more.
Heymondo Top, a full and efficient travel insurance
Heymondo offers different kinds of travel insurance, depending on your trip (single trip, annual multrip for those who travel multiple times a year, and long stay for trips of more than 90 days).
With annual multrip, you’re covered for a whole year and in the whole world, and each of your trips can be of up to 60 days max. This insurance plan is pretty good: cover of €10,000,000 for emergency medical expenses, medical transport and repatriation are included, cover of €2,500 for Theft and material damage to luggage, personal liability covered up to €2,000,000… Actually, the biggest problem with this insurance plan is that you have to be 49 years old or under to purchase it. That does limit who can take out this insurance policy, but if you’re under 49 and plan to do a few trips this year, this is an excellent travel insurance!
Long stays are actually pretty similar with the insurances offered for single trips, though with lower ceilings. On the other hand, it is less expensive than they are as soon as you hit the 90 days limit.
For single trips, 3 insurances plans exist: Heymondo Top, Heymondo Premium and Heymondo Medical. Medical purely covers medical expenses of up to €10,000,000 and repatriation, nothing else, while the other two have lower medical expenses ceilings but also other covers. Age limit is 69 years old and under.
Nomad Insurance by SafetyWing, perfect for travel lovers
Nomad Insurance covers you for 4 weeks minimum, renewable as many times as you want. The insurance is more expensive with travel to the US included, and offers different prices depending on your age group (which you can select on their website before taking out your own travel insurance). This insurance is not for anyone over 69 years old, though.
In my case (10 - 39 years old), the insurance would cost about $83, with $250 deductibles. It includes reasonable medical, personal liability, trip interruption and lost checked luggage coverages, as well as a few others coverages, and can prove interesting to those who like to travel a lot, but especially for those who work digitally and want to enjoy the world while they’re at it.
Trawick International insurances, highly flexible
Trawick International is an insurance company that offers many travel insurance plans, and gives a large flexibility to the insurer. You can choose the maximum medical coverage of your choice, for example, going from $50,000 to $1,000,000. The choices you make define the price you’ll have to pay, but total price stays reasonable and can be quite interesting for your trip, especially if you need insurance for New York City.
Price of travel insurance for the USA
The price of an USA travel insurance depends on several factors:
- Your age: insurance prices generally vary according to the age of the insured. Most insurers even impose an age limit on their coverage.
- The number of people on the policy: family or group policies are often more attractive financially.
- The level of cover offered. Of course, the more cover there is, the lower the exclusions and the higher the ceilings, the higher the price.
- The type of trip. The insurance plans (and therefore the prices) are not the same for a tourist trip, for an internship or for work, for studies or for expatriation.
- The length of stay: generally, the longer you travel, the lower the price per day of your insurance.
Which guarantees are needed for a trip to the United States?
In order to choose your travel insurance for the USA, you should check that it offers all the important guarantees, with sufficient compensation limits:
- Coverage for medical and hospitalisation expenses. If you are injured or fall ill, your travel insurance must at least reimburse you for the costs incurred (or pay them directly, in the case of a hospitalisation). Health costs being very high in the US, the limit should be adjusted accordingly. A limit of £130,000 may be sufficient in most foreign countries, but for the USA it is better to opt for a plan with a limit of £265,000 or more.
- Repatriation insurance, which will allow you to return home at the insurer's expense in case of medical need.
- Civil liability abroad, which should also have a high limit, as it will cover you in the event of physical and/or material damage to a third party.
- Luggage insurance, which provides compensation in the event of loss, delay, theft or destruction of your luggage.
- Cancellation insurance, which provides for reimbursement of air tickets and possibly accommodation in the event of illness, death or any other justified cause. There may also be guarantees for early returns.
- Legal assistance, which provides advice and financial assistance in case of need.
- Court bail advance – which can be a great help in the US, where bail is often granted pending trial.
- Covid-19 coverage (contraction, quarantine, cancellation or early return...).
- Coverage of search and rescue costs in case of need.
All these insurance and assistance guarantees can be very useful to all travellers. Other coverages are intended for certain specific cases. For example, if you wish to take part in risky activities during your stay (parachuting, diving, etc.) it is important to check that these are covered by your travel insurance, or to take out the corresponding option if they aren’t.
Deductibles, exclusions and effective date of a travel insurance contract
It is also important to keep an eye on three other points:
- Deductibles are the amount you will have to pay out of your own pocket after your insurer covers what he has to. They should be taken into account in order to effectively compare the cover offered by different travel insurance packages.
- Exclusions limit the conditions of compensation. It is very important to take the time to check them before signing an insurance contract. In the case of travel insurance, exclusions may concern, in particular, accidents linked to the practice of a risky sport or participation in a competition, or the reimbursement of valuable objects in the event of luggage theft.
- The effective date of the contract is not always immediate after it is signed. There is often a waiting period if you take out the policy after your departure, during which time you will not be covered. This waiting period usually lasts from 2 days to 2 weeks – which is why it is necessary to take out your policy before you leave for the United States. Please note that some insurers provide for waiting periods in all cases, and others only for contracts signed when the insured is already abroad.
Are bank card insurances interesting?
As you perhaps know, some credit cards do provide travel insurance – American Express being the only credit card provider in the UK to do it for free. But even then, credit cards don’t offer full travel insurance – because they don’t cover your medical expenses the way a travel insurance would.
In all, credit card insurance can sometimes be enough should you travel within the UK, but if you’re going abroad – and especially to New York City – purchasing a travel insurance will really give you peace of mind. They offer more insurance cover with adapted ceilings (if possible without deductibles), and more comprehensive assistance cover (remote consultation, paying for a relative coming to see you in the hospital, etc.).
In any case, I strongly recommend that you include a substantial insurance budget when planning your trip to New York City 😄