The USA is vast and has a landscape as diverse as its population and the cultures that reside within it. Whether you are looking for golden beaches, buzzing cities, national parks and everything in between, holidays to the USA can see you tick off nearly everything on your bucket list.
With 50 thrilling states to explore, no two trips to the USA will be the same - discover the irresistible atmosphere of New York City nightlife, phenomenal views of the Grand Canyon in Arizona or the chic sun-kissed glamour of California, we guarantee it won’t disappoint.
For something off the beaten track, see our handy regional guide to less common, but no less incredible, destinations in the US. Whether you have decided on just one location, or planning a road trip around the states, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your holiday insurance sorted, so check out our tips and advice before you head across the pond.
What’s different compared to a European City Break?
- Visa Waiver programme (VWP) - If you are planning to visit the United States for 90 days or less, for business, pleasure or transit, then you will need to have registered for the Visa Waiver Programme. You will generally qualify to enter the USA using the VWP if your British passport describes your nationality as British Citizen and you have received authorisation from the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). The UK government outlines the necessary entry requirements here.
- Medical care – Unlike in Europe, where you can use an EHIC card to receive medical treatment, in the USA you must rely on your holiday insurance to cover you for any circumstance unless you have very deep pockets! If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
- Worldwide insurance cover – it may seem obvious but European travel insurance doesn’t cover you. Make sure you select a worldwide policy, which includes travel to America, Canada and even South America. If spontaneity takes over and you end up extending your trip to another part of the world, you can be safe in the knowledge that we’ve got you covered.
Do I need travel insurance for the USA?
Absolutely. We all like to think that things will go without a hitch on holiday but unfortunately, even with all the preparation in the world things can still go wrong. In the US it is essential to be covered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Should things take a turn for the worse travel insurance covers you for theft, loss or medical problems while you are abroad. It could also protect you if there are unforeseen delays or cancellations in your travel arrangements.1
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Cover for travel arrangements
Airlines tend to be fairly reliable when it comes to jetting you off to your holiday destination on time, however delays in service and cancellations can sometimes be unavoidable. The majority of insurance providers will offer cover for cancellations or delays, but make sure you check the details before you take out a policy. Columbus Direct provides cover for missed departure, compensation if your holiday is expectedly cancelled or cut short and compensation for scheduled airline failure. Columbus Direct also offers its customers free airport lounge access if their flight is delayed for more than one hour. 2
Who diligently crams the bare necessities into their hand luggage in case their hold luggage goes missing? We don’t blame you… However, with most insurers like Columbus Direct, you are protected if you aren’t reunited with your luggage on the other side, so you don’t have to spend your hard-earned dollars to replace items. Check your policy covers before, as you don’t want to be stuck without luggage or compensation. 3GET A QUOTE
What are the risks of travelling to the USA?
The weather and its associated risks are a key consideration when visiting the USA and can vary depending on the geographical region. The Atlantic hurricane season normally runs from June to November and can affect US coastal regions. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Center website and follow instructions issued by the local authorities, including any evacuation orders.
Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington state and the US Virgin Islands are prone to earthquakes. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the Federal Emergency Management website.
Wild fires are also a danger in many dry areas such as canyons, hills and forests. Make sure to monitor local media reports and follow the advice given by local law enforcement officials.
Travel with confidence with Columbus Direct
With over 25 years of experience, we know what you need from your travel insurance. You can travel with peace of mind, knowing we’re here for you and your family with cover for everything from lost baggage and flight delays, to stolen items and medical bills while you are on holiday.
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Terms and Conditions apply
(1) Available with silver and gold policy only
(2) Policyholder needs to register their flight for free airport lounge access in the event of a delay of one hour or more. All accompanying members must be named on the policy to gain lounge access. View terms and conditions here.
(3) Available with silver and gold policy only