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Travel insurance for the USA

The USA is a hugely popular destination offering a vast choice of different types of holiday. But there are a few more things to consider compared to a UK and European trip. We can help you with the main things you need to know about USA travel insurance and documentation before you set off, so you can have a safe and stress-free trip.

Getting covered for your trip to the USA only takes a few minutes. Select ‘get a quote’ if you’re ready to get covered, or read on to find out more about types of cover and how to get covered for travel in the USA.

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Do I need travel insurance for USA?

Although it's not a legal or travel requirement to enter the USA, having travel insurance is essential to be covered for anything that goes wrong during your trip.

Healthcare is notoriously expensive in the States, and you could be landed with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars if you need medical care. Also, if you miss your flight due to being ill or injured you’ll have to pay and arrange for more accommodation and a different flight.

Travel insurance is designed to cover all this.

What should my travel insurance include?

All travel insurance policies bought through Confused.com have emergency medical expenses and return travel included. That's so long as you’re travelling in line with FCDO advice.

As standard your USA travel policy should cover:

Emergency medical treatment. If you or anyone covered under the policy falls ill on holiday and needs medical assistance, your medical expenses are covered.

Cancellation cover. This covers your costs if your flight or accommodation is cancelled. It's advised to get a policy with enough cover to pay for the entire cost of your trip. If you're going on a package holiday and your provider goes out of business, ATOL protection means you should be able to organise a refund. If not, it should arrange to get you back home if you're already on your holiday.

Possessions and baggage cover. This usually covers theft, accidental damage or loss of any personal possessions or baggage on your trip. The amount of protection you get varies depending on the policy you choose. The amount of cash that's covered also varies between insurers, so it's best to check beforehand and make sure you have the cover you need.

What won’t be covered?

There might be some exclusions for your USA travel policy, but it depends on the insurer. Some examples of what standard travel insurance policies exclude include:

  • Travelling against FCDO advice. When travelling, always follow the latest government advice
  • Failure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions. If you have a medical condition, you should get a pre-existing conditions insurance quote to make sure you're covered on your trip.
  • Activities or sports, unless you've included them as extras. Let your insurer know if you're doing anything such as skiing or adventure sports.
  • Incidents involving alcohol or drugs.
  • Waiting too long to report an incident. You need to declare any lost or stolen personal possessions usually within 24 hours. But this should be detailed in the policy.

This is why it's so important to be clear and honest with insurers when getting a quote or making a claim. If you don’t, your claim could be void or your policy cancelled. This would leave you without protection, facing a big bill and possible difficulties getting home.

Read the terms and conditions and if in doubt always contact the insurer directly to check what is and isn't covered.

How much is travel insurance to USA?

Your own quote will be unique to your trip, so the best way to get a price is to compare quotes. Here's some prices for travel policies bought for the USA.

Traveller type Price for a 1 week policy*

The price you pay depends on lots of factors including:

  • Your age
  • The length of your trip
  • The time of year

*Cheapest price for a family of 4 with no previous medical conditions. Single adult and couple based on 30 year old travellers with no previous medical condidtions. All prices given based on 1 week travel in August 2023

Can I get cover with pre-existing medical conditions

Yes you can compare quotes for pre-existing medical conditions. But you might find the choice is more limited and the prices are higher. Examples of these conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Terminal illnesses

If you can’t find a suitable company through our site, then the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can find their directory of insurers on the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) website or you can phone them on 0800 138 7777 for free impartial advice.

What our travel insurance expert says

"It’s crucial to get travel insurance for the USA. Along with healthcare costs, you'll want to have peace of mind that your holiday will be covered for losses out of your control such as flight cancellations and unexpected accommodation changes. This is especially important considering how much more expensive these can be compared to a trip closer to home.

"There’s also the risk of your personal belongings, travel documents to consider."

Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at Confused.com
Home & lifestyle insurance expert Confused.com logo

What type of travel insurance do I need for USA?

There are several types of cover to choose from, each designed to suit a different type of trip. They include:

Single trip travel insurance

Covers you for 1 trip to a single destination, depending on the insurer this could be for a month or longer. If you're planning on visiting other states in the USA, you should still be covered as the USA is classed as 1 destination. Always check with your insurer if you're planning on travelling around the States just to be sure.

Annual travel insurance

Sometimes known as multi-trip, is for people who make multiple trips in a 12-month period. It usually covers you for an unlimited number of trips in a year, but each trip is usually limited to 31 days. Some travel insurance providers offer policies that cater for longer individual trips.

Business travel insurance

Is an extra bit of cover that you add to a standard USA travel insurance policy. It provides cover for your laptop and other business equipment while abroad, as well as any company money that’s lost or stolen.

Backpacker travel insurance

Could be useful if you're visiting the USA as part of a wider trip including multiple other countries. These policies cover you for between 1 and 18 months and may be ideal for gap year travel or sabbaticals from work.

Does the GHIC cover me for the USA?

No, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is a free card that gives UK citizens access to state-supplied healthcare but only in Europe. It replaces its predecessor, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

But this card doesn’t cover any countries outside of Europe, which makes getting travel insurance to the USA so much more essential.

Do I need a visa to travel to the USA?

If you’re travelling from the UK, you need to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This isn’t regarded as a visa but is essentially an application to enter the USA.

The UK is on a list of 40 countries that don’t need an official visa, because they’re on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) which grants you up to 90 days for business or tourism without a visa. In return, those 40 countries permit U.S. citizens and nationals to travel to their countries for a similar length of time without a visa for business or tourism purposes.

You can find out all about ESTA and how to apply in our guide.

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