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.
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.
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.
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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^ 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.