You're not required to have travel insurance for your trip to the USA, but as flights, accommodation and healthcare, in particular, are so expensive, it'll cover you if the trip takes an unexpected turn.
Worldwide travel insurance (inclusive of the USA) will cover medical expenses if you're ill or injured, if you lose your luggage and possessions, if you’re a victim of crime, and if your trip is cancelled for any reason that’s not your fault.
Receiving treatment for an injury or illness can be extremely expensive in the USA, but the right travel insurance policy will account for the costs involved.
Before you travel, pack a printed copy of your travel insurance documents which contains the details of the medical cover - if you need to visit the hospital, you’ll have all the information you need to claim.
Find out more about how much medical cover you need in the USA and travel destinations outside of Europe.
If you’re taken seriously ill while you’re in America, medical expenses cover will pay for the cost of flights and transport back to a hospital in the UK. You can find out more about repatriation cover and travel insurance in our guide.
If you’ve booked a shopping trip to the states, your bags will be worth more on the way home. In any case, your luggage contains your possessions and possibly valuable cameras, tablets and laptops, passports and travel money.
You can claim on your travel insurance If your baggage is lost or damaged, but you may need a separate gadgets policy if you have numerous items of expensive tech and they exceed the single item limit cover in the policy.
Travel insurance protects your possessions for the entire trip, and during outbound and inbound flights. But the value varies - read more in our lost and delayed luggage cover guide.
Travel insurance will usually cover the cost of your expenses, like a night in a hotel, under travel disruption cover. It’s not covered under every policy, but if you’ve got to make numerous connecting flights once in the states, it’s worth checking what cover you have.
If you have a British passport, you’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States either through a visa, a Permanent Resident Card, or the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP).
Most passport holders can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the VWP, which clears somebody to travel in the US for up to 90 days.
If you’re hiring a car, some states accept a full UK licence, but others will ask you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Travel insurance doesn’t cover driving or damaging rental cars. Take out car insurance that’ll fully cover you on American roads. If you are involved in a traffic accident, you may have to pay a significant bill to make the repairs.