Updated: Jul 24, 2023
Travelling can be an exhilarating experience, offering an opportunity to explore diverse cultures, taste exotic cuisine, and create lifelong memories. However, the unpredictability of travel can also bring unforeseen risks that may potentially disrupt your plans. When planning a trip from Europe to the U.S., travel insurance becomes an essential safety net that can protect you from a multitude of travel-related complications.
Travel insurance is designed to cover a variety of unforeseen situations that could arise during a trip. Here are a few compelling reasons why it's crucial for European travellers heading to the U.S.
Healthcare costs in the U.S. are notoriously high, and for travellers without insurance, an unexpected medical emergency can result in astronomical bills. A comprehensive travel insurance plan will provide coverage for medical emergencies, allowing you to receive necessary care without devastating financial implications.
Unforeseen circumstances may force you to cancel or cut your trip short. Travel insurance usually offers coverage for trip cancellations or interruptions, reimbursing you for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses. For instance, if you fall ill right before your trip or need to return home early due to an emergency, insurance could help recover the costs. Some providers even cover the cost of visa or ESTA application fees.
The loss or damage of personal belongings during travel can be a significant setback. Travel insurance can provide coverage for your belongings, allowing you to replace lost or damaged items.
Travel insurance also covers legal liabilities in the event that you inadvertently cause injury to a person or damage property during your stay.
As a European traveller preparing for a trip to the U.S., you have a variety of travel insurance options.
If you're planning a one-time visit to the U.S., a single-trip policy might be the best choice. These plans offer comprehensive coverage for the duration of your trip and typically cover medical emergencies, trip cancellation or interruption, lost or damaged baggage, and personal liability.
For frequent travellers who make multiple trips to the U.S. in a year, multi-trip insurance could be more cost-effective. This insurance covers all trips made within a specified period, typically one year, with each trip's duration capped at a predetermined limit.
If you already have protection for trip cancellations, lost luggage, or personal liability through your credit card or other means, you might consider a health-only insurance plan. These plans focus solely on covering medical emergencies during your travel.
When it comes to travel insurance, the types of claims vary widely based on factors such as the nature of the trip, the activities undertaken during travel, and individual circumstances. However, several categories stand out as common reasons for filing a claim. Based on various sources, these are the most typical claims for travel insurance in the U.S:
Medical issues are among the most common claims for travel insurance. According to a report by the U.S Travel Insurance Association (USTIA), approximately 90% of travel insurance payouts were for medical care in 2018. This category includes medical treatment costs, medication costs, and emergency medical evacuations.
Source: U.S Travel Insurance Association
Unforeseen circumstances leading to trip cancellation is another common reason for claims. These can range from personal reasons (like illness or injury) to external factors (like adverse weather or natural disasters). In 2019, InsureMyTrip reported that trip cancellation was the top reason for travel insurance claims, making up 40% of all claims.
Sometimes, an unforeseen event may not cancel the entire trip but may cause significant disruptions, such as missing connecting flights due to delays or having to return home early due to an emergency. According to data from Allianz Global Assistance, trip interruption constituted a significant portion of travel insurance claims.
Source: Allianz Global Assistance
This category involves claims for compensation due to lost, stolen, or delayed luggage. A study by SITA, a leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, found that in 2019, 5.57 bags per thousand passengers were lost or temporarily misplaced.
Source: SITA's Baggage IT Insights 2020
These claims involve compensation for additional costs incurred due to delayed or missed flights, which might result in additional accommodation, meal, and transportation expenses.
Remember that claim statistics can change year by year and can be influenced by various factors such as global health crises, changes in travel trends, natural disasters, and more.
A variety of insurance companies offer travel insurance plans suitable for Europeans visiting the U.S. Here are a few notable options:
AXA provides a range of options, from single-trip to annual multi-trip policies. They offer plans that cover medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and personal liability. AXA also offers a "Schengen" plan, providing cover for travellers from Schengen countries.
Allianz offers a variety of travel insurance plans that can cater to diverse needs. Their coverage includes trip cancellation, interruption, emergency medical, and baggage loss. They also offer an annual plan for frequent travellers.
Europe Assistance offers comprehensive travel insurance solutions suitable for European travellers visiting the U.S. Their coverage includes medical and hospital expenses, trip cancellation, personal liability, and baggage loss.
World Nomads is popular among adventurous travellers, providing coverage for a host of outdoor activities. They offer medical emergency cover, trip cancellation, baggage loss, and even gear protection.
Travel insurance is a vital aspect of trip planning that provides a safety net against unpredictable travel risks. As a European traveller visiting the U.S., securing appropriate coverage can protect you from high healthcare costs, trip disruptions, lost belongings, and personal liability. With numerous options available from companies like AXA, Allianz, Europe Assistance, and World Nomads, you can find a plan that suits your needs and ensures peace of mind during your travels.