Why use travel insurance?
If you’re gearing up for a trip to the United States on travel visa, you may want to think about purchasing travel insurance. While not necessary for immigration purposes, it can still offer you and your loved ones much needed financial security.
What kind of financial security? As you’ll see, many companies cover expenses related to delays, interruptions, cancellations, medical services, and baggage-related issues. That being said, it’s always a good idea to read the fine print of your travel insurance agreement to better understand the scope of your particular plan.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the top 5 travel insurance companies for your journey to the United States.
5 Top Travel Insurance Plans
This company provides travel insurance products to people around the globe. You can use their “Get a Quote” form to see which plans are available for your particular circumstances. Let’s say you’re coming to the United States from Japan with two children (ages 6 and 16), and your trip will last from March 1 to March 8. In this case, you’ll have access to two plans: the Standard (for $219) and the Explorer (for $246).
Whereas the Standard plan covers emergency medical expenses up to $5,000,000, the Explorer plan provides unlimited coverage. Both of these plans cover cancellation-related costs, but only in certain cases. If, for instance, a loved one dies or falls ill prior to departure, any non-reimbursable travel expenses – including lodgings, transportation, and visa fees – will be covered (up to $5,000 for the Standard and $10,000 for the Explorer). Each plan also covers:
- Trip interruptions (up to $3,500 for the Standard, and $5,000 for the Explorer)
- Lost or damaged baggage
- Travel delays lasting at least 12 hours
- Counseling services
IMG Global has two primary travel insurance options: the iTravelInsured Travel SE (which they recommend) and the iTravelInsured Travel LX (which is their most popular). They each provide:
- 100% coverage for trip cancellations
- 150% for interruptions
- Financial protection for medical evacuations (up to $1,000,000 for LX and $500,000 for SE)
- Limited coverage for trip delays (up to $2,500 for LX and $2,000 for SE)
- Coverage for unforeseen illnesses and accidents, including COVID-related issues (up to $500,000 for LX and $250,000 for SE)
If you need any assistance, IMG offers round the clock customer support for emergency situations – such as if you need prescription information or if you have to make last minute travel plans.
If, after you purchase the LX or SE travel insurance, you decide you don’t need the coverage after all, you can cancel the plan for no additional fee, as long as you request the cancellation prior to your departure and within 10 days of the insurance start date. IMG offers 3 other plans as well, such as the iTravelInsurance Travel Lite plan, which covers 100% of cancellation-related costs and 125% for interruptions.
Travel Guard, which is owned by AIG, provides options for non-U.S. residents from the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
Travel Guard’s Ireland branch offers a variety of different products, including plans for single trips, annual multi-trip vacations, and family holidays. With the Premium Plus Single Trip Plan, policyholders can expect unlimited coverage for medical expenses, 100% of cancellation-related costs, €2,500 for baggage-related issues, and even €500 for insufficient lodgings.
The branch in Canada offers a trip cancellation plan, emergency medical plan, and annual holiday plan. They also have an All Inclusive Package, which includes coverage for:
- Trip cancellations
- Trip delays
- Trip interruptions
- Medical evacuations
- Baggage-related issues
- Emergency medical costs
- Round the clock emergency support
With the All Inclusive Package, policyholders can choose to add upgrades, such as protection for golf clubs and rental cars.
Trawick International offers three plans specifically designed for non-U.S citizens looking to visit the United States. The Safe Travels USA Comprehensive plan, for instance, covers medical accidents and illnesses – including COVID-related issues – up to the policy maximum (which can be as high as $1,000,000). And although it covers trip interruptions (up to $5,000) and lost baggage (up to $1,000), it does not cover cancellations. The USA Comprehensive plan also covers:
- Fatal accidents and dismemberment (up to $25,000)
- Dental services (up to $250)
- Mental health issues (up to $2,500)
- Medical evacuation (up to $2,000,000)
- Pre-existing conditions (up to policy maximum)
Note that when you first request a quote, the policy maximum will be set to $50,000, but you can change that number manually if you so wish. Similarly, while the deductible starts at $250, you can change it to anywhere between $0 and $5,000.
Last on our list is the travel insurance offered by VisitorsCoverage. Though there are a number of plans to choose from, the most popular (and bestselling) option is the CoverAmerica-Gold plan.
This plan, like those offered by Trawick, provides coverage for a variety of medical expenses, and even though it covers trip delays (up to $100) and interruptions (up to $10,000), it does not cover trip cancellations. Compared to other plans, it provides a number of added benefits, including coverage for flu shots, COVID-19 screening and quarantine, and lost or stolen passports.
The amount of medical coverage depends on whether the provider is in- or out-of-network, and following the U.S. model, the coverage only kicks in after the deductible. If the doctor is in-network, you’ll get 100% coverage up to the policy maximum, but if they’re out-of-network, you’ll only get 80%. Let’s say you need to stay the night in an out-of-network hospital. In this case, you can expect 80% of the initial $5,000 and 100% coverage for additional expenditures – up to a maximum of $250,000, $100,000, or $50,000, depending on your circumstances. Deductibles, in this case, can range from $100 to $5,000.
Choosing the Right Travel Insurance for Your Needs
While prices may vary, you can get a decent travel insurance plan, covering a 1-week trip, for a couple hundred dollars. That’s a small price to pay when you consider everything that can go wrong on a short trip abroad. The plans summarized above provide a mix of options, and in many cases, you can customize your plan to suit your specific needs.
If, for instance, you’re traveling with an elderly loved one, you may want to purchase a plan with a lot of medical coverage (such as those provided by Trawick International or VisitorsCoverage). But if you’re more concerned about the prospect of trip cancellations or baggage issues, the plans offered by World Nomads or IMG Global might be a better fit. Of course, it’s never fun to think about worst-case scenarios, but in this case, it may prove useful.