Why you should get the right insurance when heading to the United States
Holidaymakers are urged to buy travel insurance before any big trips – especially to the US, where medical claims average £15,000 and can easily swell to £90,000.
The peak booking season for holidays is from December to February, according to ATOL.
However, if the holidaymaker is unlucky enough to need medical assistance abroad, some destinations are much more expensive than others.
Travel insurance broker Multitrip.com said the average medical treatment claim made by visitors to the US last year was £14,690 – more than twelve times the average European medical claims of £1,201.
Snow joke: One in nine Britons heading off on a winter sports holiday never buy a travel cover
The highest US claim seen by Multitrip.com in 2022 was a broken femur, costing £87,629.
But even a claim for a broken toe costs £8,000 to fix, as does treating a dizzy spell.
“Unfortunately, things can go wrong when people are away from home, and travel insurance is very important,” said Christian Bennett, Head of Travel and Mobility at Multitrip.
He adds: “Some people don’t think they need travel insurance when traveling, but they do, especially since we have seen the cost of medical expenses abroad rise significantly in recent years.
“For example, a trip to a hospital in the United States can cost thousands per day even before adding additional treatment or surgery.”
Meanwhile, insurer Aviva said 1.5 million Britons will have made a winter sports trip this season.
Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowboarding carry a higher risk of injury than your typical holiday activity.
When looking at the most common winter sports claims, Aviva said a broken leg ranks as the most expensive injury, costing an average of £7,500.
This is almost double the claims for other common winter sports, including dislocations, broken collarbones or broken wrists, which each cost an average of £4,000 to treat.
|Average cost of treatment
|4000 pounds sterling
|4000 pounds sterling
|7500 pounds sterling
|4000 pounds sterling
|Source: Aviva data
Costs also vary widely from country to country, with Aviva data revealing that the US is the most expensive country for winter sports injury treatment, with an average claim of £6,877.
Although the average claim during the winter sports season is £2,200, Aviva research shows that one in nine holidaymakers never buy travel insurance.
This type of insurance usually covers not only medical expenses abroad, but also the risk of trip cancellation.
With the average planned spend on a winter sports holiday this year being £1,837, travelers could risk losing hundreds of pounds if they have to cancel their holiday.
Travel insurance is sold through several channels. They can be purchased directly from insurance companies, or through brokers and price comparison sites.
Some customers have difficulty purchasing travel insurance at an affordable price, such as the elderly or those with certain medical conditions.
People in this situation may still be able to get good coverage using Find a broker tool It is managed by the trade body of the Association of British Insurance Brokers.
Aviva Travel Director, Kelly Whittington, claims: “Snow sports holidays – and the après-ski environment – can be a lot of fun, but they can also be a little more risky than your usual beach holiday.”
“That’s why it’s really important to check your policy documents and make sure you have the right level of cover for where you’re going and the types of activities you have planned. In some cases, you may need to take out ‘winter sports cover’ which provides extra protection against Things like theft, piste closures, avalanche delays, as well as medical treatment.
What cover do I need for a trip to the US?
First, make sure the travel insurance you purchase specifically covers the United States.
Gary Nelson, head of corporate affairs at travel insurance company AllClear, said: “Many providers, including us, have two variations of our multi-trip annual policies around the world with the USA being a potential destination.”
‘they; Worldwide including the USA (also Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico) and worldwide except the USA (also Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico).’
The reason insurance companies have two versions is because of the high medical bills charged in the United States.
Nelson added:For UK residents who are accustomed to the free NHS, it is essential when traveling to the US that they take out a comprehensive level of travel insurance cover.
“With an overnight stay in a private facility likely to cost around $10,000 a night, longer stays can run bills into the hundreds of thousands of pounds and sometimes more than £1 million.
“We encourage people visiting North America to ensure they have a generous limit for emergency medical expenses if the trip takes people to the USA, Canada, the Caribbean or Mexico.”
Travelers to the United States must also declare all medical conditions.
This is because if you don’t declare something you later need to claim during your trip, the insurance company may deny some or all of the claim, leaving you with the bill.
Nelson added:People visiting the United States should also ensure that their policy provides adequate levels of cancellation and curtailment costs, especially if they are going on a high-value trip such as a cruise.
‘These benefit levels can vary from as little as £1,000 to £25,000 per passenger, and some policies even exclude cancellation cover altogether. So make sure you check your cancellation cover levels to make sure your trip can be covered, should the worst happen.’
Helen Phipps, director of Compare the Market, said: “When traveling to the US, you will need to take out global travel cover.
“A standard policy will usually provide cover for emergency treatment, tests and hospital stay, plus the cost of repatriation if you need to return to the UK for further medical care.
‘A standard policy will also not usually cover you against injuries caused by winter or extreme sports, such as skiing or surfing. In addition, GHIC holders will not be covered for the costs of their visit, so it is advisable to take out travel insurance.’
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