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This article is sponsored by Allianz Travel Insurance*

The United States is an exciting destination, and almost everyone on the planet can name something they would love to see and do; whether that be the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Florida’s tropical beaches and Everglades, or tackling the mighty Colorado River in a raft through the Grand Canyon.

This is a country which is so diverse that there is enough to fill the itinerary for many trips. Though whether you’re heading to the States for the achingly beautiful landscapes or a mesmerizing metropolis, one thing will always ring true: it’s essential to consider obtaining travel insurance for your trip.

For those who travel without it, you’ll hear things like “I don’t worry about things which haven’t happened yet”, or “it doesn’t matter if you lose your bags, just travel with things you can afford to replace”, or my favourite, “it’s totally fine – I never get sick”.

And thankfully in most cases, yes, travel goes off without a hitch. Hopefully you’ll never have to understand the value of taking out travel insurance. But, if you have to, you don’t want to regret having brushed off its importance. For that alone, travel insurance is worth considering.

The following are 5 reasons you should consider travel insurance for a trip to the US.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Travel Insurance in the USA

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Reason 1: Healthcare!

If you find yourself in a life threatening situation, or wind up in an accident abroad, it’s often likely that you’re not going to be able to afford medical expenses on your own. And the cost of health care in the United States is notoriously high.

It’s estimated that a day in hospital in the States can cost anywhere from US$1,500-$12,500. When compared to other countries, that’s astronomically high. Data recently released by the World Health Organization and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development puts the average cost of a routine appendix removal in the US at $8,156, in comparison to $3,408 in the UK, $2,245 in Spain and $953 in Argentina.

And it’s important to note that you don’t have to be on an adventurous trip for something to go terribly wrong. You could trip on a street corner, get hit by a car, or even eat something that just didn’t sit well with you. That’s not to dissuade you from traveling to the US, but to make the point that there are many things which are out of your control.

Pro Tip: Always read the fine print of your travel insurance policy and make sure you’re aware of any exclusions. If you’re participating in an excluded activity, you can often purchase additional coverage just for that. For instance Allianz Travel Insurance offers added cruise, adventure, and snow packs to cover specific activities^.

Reason 2: To Recover Loss of Deposits or Prepayments

The US has an amazing range of cruises and tours, and whether you’re joining a hiking trip through the Colorado Rockies, a cross country bus tour, or jumping on a cruise of the Caribbean, most companies require payment in full when you book. Depending on their cancellation policy, you may lose a lot of cash if you have to cancel your trip. This can often apply to vacation rentals and hotel bookings too.

Depending on the type of travel insurance policy you have, and its terms and conditions, you could have cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits. Because there are always environmental factors beyond what you can take responsibility for.

So for instance if your journey is cancelled or shortened due to circumstances outside your control, (sickness, accidents, strikes, collisions, natural disasters), your travel insurance will reimburse for non-recoverable deposits and cancellation fees in accordance with their Product Disclosure Statement.

Rain

Reason 3: Personal Liability

There’s no such thing as the ‘typical American’, and for the most part they’re very welcoming and warm. But if you’re responsible for an accident, it’s very much part of the American culture to sue. The US is one of the most litigious countries in the world. With an estimated 1,116,967 lawyers currently practicing, the American Bar Association reports a ratio of about one lawyer for every 300 people.

So it’s important that your travel insurance includes personal liability. This applies when you are found legally liable to pay compensation for death or bodily injury or physical loss or damage to someone else’s property as a result of an accident. This includes legal expenses, and the cost of bodily injuries or damage to the property of another person/s, as a result of a claim made against you.

The US was made for iconic roadtrips, so one of the best ways to get around is to rent a car. And this is an extremely popular thing for travellers to do. Basic car rental insurance doesn’t always cover personal liability, so if you’re involved in an accident and are at fault, it may be worth considering to have personal liability which covers you as well.

The US was made for iconic roadtrips. Anyone with a car can go anywhere, and the nice thing about this mode of transportation is that the journey is the destination in itself – a road trip is an adventure!

Reason 4: To Reimburse For Baggage & Personal Belongings

Loss and damage to personal belongings is a big reason why people purchase travel insurance, and it’s super handy to have your luggage and personal effects covered in the event that anything is stolen, lost or accidentally damaged while you’re abroad.

Depending on the policy conditions, this may cover luggage, personal effects, personal computers, and cameras. Most comprehensive policies will also provide what’s called a “luggage and personal effects delay expense”, which lets you buy essential items of clothing and other personal items if your luggage is delayed, misdirected or misplaced for a set period of time.

Reason 5: Extra Expenses From Travel Delays

Flight delays often occur throughout the States, and sometimes this means you’re in for more than a couple of hours being stuck at the gate. If there’s a natural disaster or terrorism threat, the airports will likely close. So based on the situation and policy terms and conditions, reasonable additional meals and accommodation expenses may be covered when your journey is delayed due to circumstances beyond your control.

Airport

This is especially important for those heading to the snow. The US is home to some of the best ski destinations in the world, and whether it’s alpine, cross-country or heliskiing, you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone at most ski resorts – even for children and non-skiers. But icy winds and heavy snowfall also mean that flight cancellations and delays are common.

If you’re looking for a fabulous snow vacation in the US, check out Jackson Hole (Wyoming), Alta (Utah), Avon (Coloardo), Ludlow (Vermont), or Tannersville (Pennsylvania).

Snow season in the US generally runs from October to March & April. Check if your insurance covers snow activities – Allianz Travel Insurance do have special packages which can be purchased at additional costs to cover everything from emergency rescue on the slopes to snow sport equipment hire and bad weather or avalanche closure^.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

^ Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Please see the Product Disclosure Statement for more information.

*Travel insurance is issued and managed by AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL 245631 (AGA) as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 800 AFSL 234708 (Allianz). We do not provide any advice on travel insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions, terms, limits and exclusions apply. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement available at allianz.com.au before buying travel insurance to decide if the product is right for you. If you purchase travel insurance, AGA receives a commission which is a percentage of the premium – ask us for more information before we provide you with any services on this product.

    28 Comments

  1. Travel insurance is a very sensible idea, and not just for US, but everywhere, don’t you agree? Just a little extra care can go a long in making our travels stress-free.

    • Absolutely – I highly recommend everyone organize insurance before leaving home no matter where they’re headed. It’s one of those things you never want to regret not having paid the hundred odd dollars to travel without.

      Safe travels Punita :)

  2. Travel insurance is the reason why I decided to leave my country. Cutting costs. My insurance at home was ridiculous expensive. Now I travel indefinitely, with an insurance that cost a fraction of what I paid at home, plus I have much better benefits. Win win!

    • I need to write a post to that effect – I think so many people would be surprised to realize it’s actually cheaper to have insurance as a long term traveler than it is living in most parts of the Western World!

  3. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting a little older or just that I’ve been travelling for 20 years but I would never travel overseas without travel insurance, especially to the USA. A friend of our who lives in LA got hit by a car and it cost $40,000 in hospital bills. Thankfully she had health insurance. It’s just not worth taking the risk, right? I very timely post as people are heading on their annual holidays!

    • Absolutely not worth taking the risk – I was in the US for two years and just prayed that we wouldn’t get involved in an accident. Medical bills really can ruin you if you’re not insured.

      Glad to hear it’s something you don’t leave home without!

  4. I have written a post on Travel Insurance as well. This is something many people tend to ignore. All need to take travel insurance irrespective of the location. I have already taken for my upcoming Thailand solo trip and it covers a lot of options which is a relief.

    • Glad to hear you’re all set for your upcoming trip to Thailand Gokul. It’s never something you want to take the risk with, and I’m so amazed at the sheer number of people who travel without.

      Yes, agreed that everyone should organize insurance before leaving home no matter where they’re headed. It’s one of those things you never want to regret not having paid the hundred odd dollars to travel without.

  5. I agree. Get travel insurance. I’ve never even had a major issue where travel insurance came into play, but I still think it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    • And I think it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when nothing happens over the course of many travels. But that one time something does happen, the costs you’ve paid to insurance in the past would pale in comparison to the medical bills you’re insurance has to pay.

  6. As the world becomes more and more unpredictable having travel insurance has become a necessity. Some good points on why it is essential. Thanks

    • Absolutely – there’s no telling what could happen or where, and it could be something as silly as tripping on a cobblestone street and breaking your nose! It’s a essential to be prepared :)

  7. I’m starting to see the wisdom in getting travel insurance, and it seems like Allianz is a great option. When I took my 9-month trip around the world, I used a different organization and it ended up being extremely expensive!

    • We can highly recommend Allianz – insurance shouldn’t end up being a huge expense, even on a 9 month trip.

  8. I have always taken travel insurance before I travel.I don’t believe in taking chance n these matters. I didn’t know Insurance companies give extra coverage for events too. The details very well explained.

    • Glad to hear that Indrani! It’s not worth the risk. Absolutely, you can take out optional extras for activities which might not normally be covered, or for specific countries or events.

      Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Glad we could help :)

  9. Great article on a subject that many do not give enough thought to. It is important to make sure that you fully understand the T’s & C’s. On our recent trip to the USA we spent 9 months on the road and drove from Florida to Alaska and back. An amazing trip, but one that many insurance companies would not cover due to its duration. Working through a broker we got a great deal through one of the US banks here in Australia. At less than $5/day it was comforting to know we were covered if we needed it.

    • Hi Pete, Wow, Florida to Alaska sounds like an epic trip! We did San Diego to Alaska in 2014 and loved exploring the coast. Less than $5/day for being covered is nothing compared to the cost of a potential health crisis or accident while on the road. And that’s worthwhile just for the peace of mind.

      Absolutely on fully understanding the T’s & C’s – always, always read the fine print so you’re not caught out by any exclusions. Nothing worse than going to lodge a claim when you think you’re covered but aren’t.

      Happy travels!

  10. These are great reasonings. Especially healthy wise because it does cost a great deal here unlike many other places.

    • Thanks Holly – yes, America is one of the most expensive countries for healthcare in the world. I would not want to end up in a hospital there for the sake of my savings!!

  11. Travel insurance is quite important if not crucial while traveling, anywhere in the world. It is always better to be prepared for eventualities beforehand. Health insurance is the one that is of prime importance here.

  12. I really need to look into travel insurance for my next trip and will definitely check out Allianz. Your 5 reasons are all great but you’ve got me convinced at #1, especially in the US. Healthcare is SUPER expensive there and even a minor illness or injury can be catastrophic to your bank account.

    • Yes, Allianz are great :) And absolutely, healthcare is probably the biggest one. America is one of the most expensive countries for healthcare in the world, and I would not want to end up in a hospital there for the sake of my savings account!!

  13. Even though my European health coverage extends to the US, I ALWAYS get short-term insurance when I’m home. You never know when you may need it!

    • Happy to hear that Cat – exactly – you never know! Safe travels X

  14. When I was younger, I always thought travel insurance was for older travellers (ha). And now I never travel anywhere without travel insurance. More so in the USA! Many years ago I was in the US and my body went into shock with all the rich food (and massive servings) . Fortunately it wasn’t so bad as to be needing hospital care but yes, that was a close call.

    • Haha nope, it’s definitely useful for all ages! Glad to hear you don’t leave home without being covered.

      Sorry to hear about your experience in the US … so much can go wrong with trying new foods that you’re not used to!

      Safe travels Jean XX

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