15+ Best Travel Insurance Plans For Parents Visiting USA

Ever since I moved to the USA, I always wanted to bring my parents to this country. Imagine the feeling seeing your mom and dad enjoy like kids traveling in US and you overlooking them, just like how they would, when you played in your childhood! Amazing, isn’t it? Well I decided to bring my parents to US on a visitors visa. Based on my experience, here’s what I learned.

(Note: Even though this article talks from an Indian perspective (me being an Indian), it is true for anyone traveling to US on visit visa. Scroll down to the bottom of this article to learn more insights.)

Medical cost in US is alarmingly expensive compared to that of India. Don’t make the mistake of not getting a visitor’s insurance and ending up spending thousands of Dollars for a small medical issue. Get a good plan and protect you and your parents from all hassles!

Now bringing your parents is not easy (at least for the first time). I’ve heard from my friends that they have spent days and nights filling up the Visa application online, sorting between passport, documents etc. It was a painful experience going through all the process and finally getting a visitor’s visa.

If your parents are visiting USA or if you’re coming to USA on a student or travel visa (or any other legal ways you are entering USA) you will need a traveler’s medical insurance. It’s not a must but very recommended. In this article, I’ll discuss about which travel insurance plans you need to buy for your parents when visiting USA. (Also read: Tips to buy the best travel insurance)

List of best travel insurance for parents

Here is a list of best travel insurance for parents visiting USA…

  1. CoverAmerica Gold New
  2. Visitor Secure Best Seller
  3. ChoiceAmerica
  4. Liaison Continent Discontinued
  5. Atlas America Popular
  6. Inbound USA Economical
  7. Inbound Guest Economical
  8. Visitors Care
  9. Patriot America Plus Excellent
  10. Liaison Travel Economy Economical
  11. Liaison Travel Choice
  12. Liaison Travel Elite Good Choice

Compare All

Detailed review of each plan is given below. Please review each plan, their features and comparisons before making a decision.

To help others bringing their parents to USA, I have written in-depth articles on the entire process. Here are a few that I strongly recommend you check out.

1. Cover America Gold

This plan was recently launched on December 5th 2017 and has easily become a favorite. The reason? It’s gotten rid of all the unnecessary frills that comes with most travel insurance plans and offers just the right features needed for elderly folks. It comes with a great coverage (100% payment after deductible), emergency and urgent care, cheaper co-pay, extensive PPO network, dental and eye urgent care, up to 79 years coverage, acute on-set of pre-existing conditions coverage, amusement park/cruise cover etc.


  • Coverage from 5 days to 364 days
  • Urgent care consultation co-pay only $30
  • Up to $125,000 coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions
  • Most extensive PPO network
  • Renew or cancel anytime online
  • Covers during international travel
  • Offers free Rx discount card
  • Offers unique features and benefits (Amusement park, cruise coverage etc)

Read in-depth review of Cover America Gold here.

2. Visitor Secure

VisitorSecure is a economical plan for visitors to USA for short time. It offers basic coverage, is low cost and offers less benefits compared to the comprehensive plans. With no PPO network, you can visit any Doctor of your choice under this plan. There are some limits to it, as in people from certain states and countries are not eligible for this plan. Check details here. However, this remains as one of the most popular plans (in terms of number of policies sold) among travelers to USA.

3. ChoiceAmerica Travel Insurance

I’ve heard about this plan from my friend who recently brought her elderly parents to USA on a short visit. She chose this plan because it was a short term plan and didn’t come with unnecessary features that she wouldn’t use. ChoiceAmerica is a limited coverage travel insurance plan that is primarily built for parents visiting USA (mainly from the Indian sub-continent).

It has features like coverage for common pre-existing conditions even for occurrence during visit (not acute on-set). Also it covers against injury from amusement parks and adventure trips. Looks like a lot of thought has gone into making this insurance policy and it just works best for elderly parents traveling to USA. Read my in-depth review of ChoiceAmerica travel insurance here.


  • Limited coverage plan, that offers just the features needed for a short trip.
  • Covers pre-existing conditions (selected few common ones) normal occurrence (not just acute on-set)
  • Low cost.
  • Covers injuries from adventure treks, amusement parks etc.
  • Elaborate PPO network.
  • Good travel insurance plan for parents visiting USA.


  • Insurer’s maximum age requirement is 74 years.

More details here.

4. Liaison Continent International

Provides an extensive network of providers and 24 hours travel assistance. This is a comprehensive coverage travel insurance plan, but low-cost in premiums. It covers pre-existing conditions (acute on-set), loss due to terrorism and natural disasters.


  • Comprehensive coverage plan. (See difference between comprehensive & limited coverage)
  • Affordable low-cost premiums.
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered (acute onset, selected conditions).
  • Offers access to PPO network.
  • Can renew, cancel or refund online.


  • Maximum coverage is only for up to 187 days.

More details here.

5. Atlas America Traveler’s Insurance

I have heard a lot about this company and recently my friend had opted for Atlas America’s medical coverage plan for her parents who were visiting them. New immigrants, business travelers, students, short visits – whatever is the reason for your travel, they have an insurance plan for you. Atlas Travel helps  protect  you from most potential disasters and even offers emergency  medical evacuation, coverage for lost of baggage and a bunch of packages! Choose from the list wisely, what you need.

Details here.

6. Inbound USA

Inbound USA is a basic coverage, low cost, less benefits plan administered by Lloyd’s of London. It offers coverage from 5 days to 364 days. With no PPO network, you can visit any Doctor of your choice under this plan. There are some limits to it, as in people from certain states and countries are not eligible for this plan. Check details here.

7. Inbound Guest

Inbound USA Guest too is a basic coverage, low cost, less benefits plan administered by Lloyd’s of London that offers coverage from 5 days to 180 days (for shorter visits, this is a good plan). With no PPO network, you can visit any Doctor of your choice under this plan. There are some limits to it, as in people from certain states and countries are not eligible for this plan. Check details here.

8. Visitors Care

Visitors Care from Sirius International is a decent travel insurance for parents over 80 years old. It’s a basic coverage, low cost, less benefits plan that offers coverage from 5 days to 12 months. With no PPO network, you can visit any Doctor of your choice under this plan. There are some limits to it, as in people from certain states and countries are not eligible for this plan. Check details here.

9. Patriot America Plus Traveler’s Insurance

This plan from International Medical Group is a comprehensive travel medical insurance plan for non-U.S. citizens who are traveling abroad. The plan is intended to offer a complete package of international benefits available 24 hours a day to every individuals, families or groups of five or more travelers.


  • Offers comprehensive coverage. (See difference between comprehensive & limited coverage)
  • Premium is affordable.
  • Pre-existing condition coverage available up to selected policy maximum.
  • Offers access to PPO network.
  • Deductible should be satisfied only once per policy period.
  • Can renew, cancel or refund online.


  • For travelers over 80 years of age, there’s a max limit of $10,000.
  • Can renew only if bought for minimum 1 month coverage.
  • There’s a $50 cancellation fee.
  • Pre-certification for certain medical treatments is required or else, there’s a 50% reduction in benefits.

More Details Here.

Also read: In-depth review of Patriot America Plus Travel Insurance

10. Liaison Travel Economy

Liaison Travel Economy is a visitor insurance plan that provides medical insurance coverage and emergency services to individuals visiting USA. It’s comprehensive travel plan and offers coverage from 5 to 364 days. It uses a PPO network, so you can’t go about visiting any network but only the ones it suggests. It’s not as cheap as some of the limited coverage plans mentioned above.

11. Liaison Travel Choice

Another not-so-cheap comprehensive travel plan that offers coverage from 5 to 364 days. The difference from Liaison Travel Economy is that it offers up to $30,000 coverage. It too uses a PPO network, so you can’t visit any network but only the ones it covers.

12. Liaison Travel Elite

Liaison Travel Elite is a comprehensive travel insurance plan that offers coverage up to $50,000 for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. It too uses a PPO network, so you can’t visit any network but only the ones it covers. This plan pays 100% up to the policy maximum for covered situations (under PPO).

13. Tata AIG – Travel Guard Travel Insurance

Travel guard offers a plethora of plans starting from basic plan to the most comprehensive coverage called Platinum. PS: Any travel insurance plan can cost you between 4-8% of the total trip cost. My research is done under an assumption that the trip cost is between $4000-$4500.

More details here.

14. Geico Travel Insurance

GEICO’s travel insurance plans are divided into two categories: ExactCare and AirCare

Features of ExactCare traveler insurance:

– Trip cancellation or interruption
– Emergency medical/dental coverage
– Baggage loss/delay
– Travel delay
– Missed connections
– Emergency medical transportation

Features of AirCare  includes

– Flight cancellation for domestic or international flights
– Missed connections for domestic flights
– Flight or tarmac delays
– Lost or delayed luggage

Official website and details here.


Advantages of choosing HDFC ERGO travel insurance:

– You can avail your insurance online and if you are a HDFC account holder, then the process even simpler with netbanking. There is no need for medical checkups or complicated documentation.
– You can avail travel insurance for a trip as short as 1-4 days.

In-depth review hereOfficial website and details here.

16. ICICI Lombard Travel Insurance

Key benefits of this policy is that no medical test is  required up to 85 years of age and cashless hospitalization facility is available worldwide. You may avail your insurance for 180 days but you can sure extend for another 180 days. ICICI Lombard’s travel insurance can give you coverage for total loss of checked in baggage including handbags.

In-depth review hereOfficial website and details here.

Most of the airline industry also provides their own independent travel insurance coverage Most recently when my parents were travelling within India, the Jet Airways offered them their travel insurance coverage called Jet Protect for insuring their belongings and the domestic flight journey. Tata AIG’s Travel Guard is the plan through which Qatar and Emirates insure their traveler’s flight journey.

It is easy to list a number of companies that offer travel insurance, but the choice is always yours. You have to decide what makes you buy a particular plan and what are reasons to justify it. For this, you need to know what are the various factors that determines the travel insurance rates.

– Age of the traveler really matters
– Number of traveler
– Length of travel
– Type of coverage

Best Travel Insurance for Parents

Insurance Tips for parents traveling to the USA from India

It is always overwhelming with joy for our parents when their son or daughter working abroad plans a foreign visit for themselves. And having your parents visit you in the USA is definitely a rewarding experience. The one thing that strikes your mind when we have our parents geared up for the long flight is their safety and health. Any sort of medical emergencies or travel chaos can disrupt the entire trip and moreover, it makes the situation difficult to handle. Health and accident risks can happen anywhere, what we can do is to take necessary precautions to overcome the stress, limit the financial burden and make sure vital care is taken. That is when a right travel insurance plan comes into picture. Before you read ahead, please also check this article on different types of travel insurance is available. (Also read: Best travel insurance for senior citizens)

How did I come up with this list? (Research Methodology)

You will notice that most of the products mentioned here are online products. Which means that you can buy them online easily and don’t necessarily have to go through a travel agent. I researched about all kinds of travel insurance products online and found that the cheap ones are mostly online. When you go through a travel agent, there’s not many options you can choose from. But when you go through someone like Visitor’s coverage, you’ll notice that there are so many options to choose from and you aren’t restricted by expensive options.

I recommend you to check prices on a comparison site like this and check the prices offline with a travel agent. If you can get a cheaper rate, that’d be great. But my experience is that travel agents cannot give better rates. Do your research and find out.

Criteria I looked at

  • Plan pricing options – Whether or not there are options to choose from. For example, from basic coverage to complete coverage.
  • Insurance agency reputation – How reputed is the company? Is it trustworthy? How are the online reviews?
  • Ease of getting approved – How easy is it to buy insurance?
  • Network coverage – How big is their network and supported hospitals in the US.
  • Feedback from actual customers – I take a lot of feedback from people who bought travel insurance plans.

Should you buy travel insurance while visiting USA?

In my opinion, travel insurance is a must have to all the visitors from India to USA be it be a tourist, work visa holder or a student (Read this article on how to choose a good travel insurance). This insurance is intended to cover medical expenses while you are in a foreign land, trip cancellations, losing your luggage while the transit, flight accidents and other aspects like any sort of medical exigencies while traveling.

Having said that, it is not mandatory by law. Whether or not you need Travel insurance is your choice for safety and protection.

In my experience, it is good to buy travel & medical insurance because..

  • It protects you against medical issues while in USA and covers the expenses.
  • It protects you against flight cancellation, lost baggage like situations.
  • Get emergency assistance during your flight/stay in USA.
  • It gives you confidence and peace of mind when traveling to unknown places.

Travel insurance rightly falls into two categories: Comprehensive and Limited – Read this article to understand each.

Traveler’s insurance that covers trip cancellation

Now let’s see what does trip cancellation plan cover.  In case you need to cancel your trip for valid reasons prior to your departure,  this plan will help you with the reimbursement of  your pre- paid nonrefundable  portion of  your trip cost. Additionally it covers many more aspects like

Trip interruptions – This is a situation wherein the traveler is constrained to return home from the trip early due to covered reasons like home is on fire or flood, or relatives passed away etc.

Emergency medical expenses & medical evacuation – This is the coverage given to the traveler if he/she falls sick while on travel and this is helpful in a way to reduce your expenses as your domestic medical insurance might end up making you pay a higher deductible or coinsurance. Why risk it?

Repatriation of remains – If you were to pass away while on your trip, this benefits will pay for sending the remains back to the homeland.  Let such incidents never happen to any of us.

Baggage – There are policies which may cover things such as loss of checked luggage, baggage delay up to a maximum amount etc. Some may just pay you the additional expenses incurred due to the fact that you lost your luggage and ask the traveler to collect the payment from the travel providers which will be the airline because they are responsible for the loss.

Travel insurance that covers medical insurance in USA

The travel medical insurance is ideally a short term medical coverage that would generally be covering the illness or injuries occurred after purchasing the medical plan or while the visitor is outside the homeland. Some of the eligible medical expenses are doctor’s visit, hospital charges, surgery, lab works, prescription drugs etc. An important thing to note here is that such plans do not cover the already existing illness known as pre-existing conditions and it is only eligible for the new ones that occur while you are in the US. The medical insurance plans are highly important to any type of visitors because generally the medical cost in the USA is considerably higher.

Of course, medical plan is of utmost value but do not assume that all types of situations/ conditions are covered.  There are some exclusions that are applicable to the travel insurance such as pre- existing conditions, HIV, suicide cases and illegal acts.

Let’s delve into details of various categories of visitors flowing into the USA:

– International Students ( F1/F2 Visa holders)

– Exchange Program Students ( J1 / J2 Visa holders): These are students who are travelling to the USA on an exchange program from their parent country for few business days.

Visitors to US or tourists: Now this type can be your parents, siblings, cousins or friends who are visiting the USA as part of the leisure trip.

– Long term work visa holders: These are professional who migrate to the USA on H1 / H4 ( spouses or dependents of H1 visa holders).

– Short term work visa holders: Professional who migrate to the US for a shorter duration in L1/L2 ( spouse or dependents of L1 visa holders).

Another question that props up in our minds is if it is mandatory for all the travelers to buy an insurance before their travel or not. Like for instance, if a person is travelling on H1/H4 visa or L1/L2 visa they typically need not buy a travel insurance as the employer sponsoring the visa would provide coverage while on travel. But the following traveler should undoubtedly buy a travel insurance coverage while the travel and stay outside the homeland.

– Student travel cover: They provides coverage to students relocating to a new country for studying.

– Business travel cover: It covers business traveler who are visiting the USA for a conference/ onsite work.

– Holiday or leisure travel: This includes people traveling to the USA as part of the leisure trip.

Taking the visitors who are travelling as part of the leisure trip or if you are having your parents over, personally, I would  recommend purchasing the most comprehensive medical coverage plan for your parents because it keeps you at ease. Also, it is important to bring in a right balance between coverage Vs premium cost.

Most frequently asked questions is “should each parent separately be included in the single application or it can be made one. I would opine that it is ideal to buy medical insurance for both the parents separately rather than combining them as a single policy. This will purely be a better option so that it creates a better control if either of them wants to return home early due to domestic exigencies.

How to claim travel/medical insurance while in USA?

Claiming your medical insurance is a fairly straight forward process in the USA. Make sure you call the provider immediately or within the 24 hours of emergency. Follow the instructions they provide. Details.

What if your claim gets denied based on a pre- existing condition?

This was a situation which my friend’s mother faced. She landed in the US with a medical condition which was actually cured earlier and was never supposed to relapse. The climatic conditions triggered her illness and unfortunately it was not accounted as a new illness. The solution to this situation was to make an appeal on the matter by providing reinforcing evidence to contest the denial of the claim. The evidence can consist of a written statement from your family physician stating that the medical condition was cured and did not exist before the travel date or start date of the current insurance.  There are high chances that the claim will be paid and ironically it totally depends on the credibility of the evidence. Hope to hear from my friend soon on this claim.

Also read: Best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

Getting deeper into this topic.

Where can you buy travel insurance plans for USA?

Can the host buy the insurance coverage for their parents? Can a student or a tourist buy them? The answer is “Yes”.

Related: Where to buy travel insurance online?

If you are having your parents over, definitely you can purchase the plan from the USA on their behalf and make payments using your credit card or they themselves can purchase it through the travel agent or other companies that offer the best travel insurance plans. Similar is the case with the tourist or students. Below are some of the best plans available in the USA which you can refer to while making a decision:

I know, this is a never ending topic. My only suggestion with regards to the travel insurance is that it should not be the plan that you are buying but it should be the coverage that matters. Never blindly buy a plan thinking it is a costly plan and it should have all that you need or a low budget which will not even suffice your needs. You might be wrong! Thoroughly read through the plan and ask yourself this simple question – “Do we really need this plan?”. This will ensure you are finding the right travel insurance plan for your dear ones trip. Here are some tips on buying travel insurance for visitors.

Recommended Travel Insurance for Parents

Travel insurance for parents with pre-existing conditions

So, what about parents who are travelling with pre-existing conditions? Should they just buy any travel insurance or are there any special ones that cover their pre-existing conditions as well?

The answer is that yes, usual medical/travel insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions and you’ll need to ensure that whichever policy you buy covers your specific pre-existing condition. While some policies like these, cover most conditions, it’s always a good idea to check with the company, whether they cover all expenses or not.

I have listed here some of the best travel medical insurance plans that cover pre-existing conditions. Check them out too. Also read : Best travel insurance for aged parents.

Also read: Visa interview questions for parents visiting USA

Travel Tips for seniors & aged parents traveling to USA

  • Take an inventory of the medications they take before leaving and ensure they have more than enough to last the duration of their stay.  Finding the correct prescriptions in a different country could be difficult and expensive.
  • While traveling, seniors should avoid consuming alcohol and heavy foods to decrease the risk of food-borne illness and indigestion.
  • Senior travelers should do some research on their destination before arriving to adequately prepare for the climate, culture and time zone.
  • Make a quick visit to the doctor before traveling, make sure the traveler is in good enough health to travel. This can also help determine how much coverage a traveler requires
  • If the senior traveler is planning to participate in any activity that could be considered strenuous, it is a good idea to search for a policy with more coverage.
  • There is a higher chance of illness or injury for someone who is traveling for six months versus someone who is taking a weeklong trip, so the longer the stay, the more coverage a senior should have while traveling.

Here are more tips for parents traveling to USA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about bringing your Indian parents to the USA.

1. How can I bring my Indian parents to USA for settling permanently?

Answer: You can bring your Indian parents to USA for settling permanently, if you are a U.S. citizen and is at least 21 years old. (Source)

2. Is it necessary to get medical insurance for parents visiting USA?

Answer: No, it’s not. However it is recommended that you get medical insurance for them, as it will be a help more than anything. Here are some of the reasons why your parents visiting USA should get medical insurance.

3. Where should I buy visitor’s insurance from?

There are many online portals available online where you can find a good plan by choosing between different filters. Here’s a guide on where to buy visitors insurance from.

4. Can I buy visitors insurance if my parents are older than 60 years?

Yes, there are a few insurance providers which provide specialized insurance plans to elder folks. They also cover pre-existing conditions. Here’s a guide on insurance plans for elder folks.

5. Can both your parents schedule an interview at the consulate together?

Yes, while applying for visa with the DS160 form, make sure you check the option where you can request an interview time slot together with another person.

6. When should I apply for my parent’s visitor visa?

This totally depends on what and when is a convenient time for you and your parents. But keep in mind that generally visitor visa processing take a few weeks, so please take that into account when scheduling your visit.

7. Should I buy return air-tickets before scheduling interview?

It is not necessary to buy return air-tickets for your parents when scheduling visa interview, however it is recommended that you get return air tickets so that the officers feel confident about your parents returning to India (which is a big factor for getting a travel visa). From my experience, if you have a return air-ticket ready, it’s always a plus.

8. Should I have an itinerary ready for my parents visit before the visa interview?

Not necessary but if you have one, it is always good. However, the risk is that if your parents don’t get a visitor visa stamped, you’ll need to reschedule your arrangement, which might prove costly.

9. What are the chances for getting my parent’s visitor visa rejected?

Nobody can guarantee a visa. It all depends on how strong and genuine your case is. But if the interview doesn’t go well and particularly, if the officer thinks that it is risky to offer a visa, then your chances of rejection are higher.

10. Can I enter USA without travel insurance?

Yes, you can. At the moment (as of 2017 October) travel/visitor insurance for parents isn’t mandatory by US laws, however it is recommended that you get one in order to protect yourself.

11. Is it mandatory to have travel insurance for USA?

No. It is not mandatory to have travel insurance when entering USA. However, since the medical costs are high, it is recommended that you get a medical insurance if you are in US for a short time. For H1 and J1 visas, it is recommended that you get temporary medical insurance until you get one from your employer/sponsor.

12. Which is the best travel insurance plan for aged parents (say 70+ years old)?

When buying travel insurance for aged parents, make sure that pre-existing conditions are covered and their age is considered. There are only a few plans that cover parents aged 70+ and their sum assured will be lesser than other plans. I have a list of best travel insurance plans for aged parents here – check it out!

13. Which is the best travel insurance plan for 80+ years old?

Two travel insurance plans that fit travelers who are 80+ are, Safe Travels USA Comprehensive (provides up to $25,000 in acute onset coverage) and Liaison Travel Elite (provides up to $20,000 in acute onset coverage).

14. Which Doctors can you visit with travel insurance?

It depends on which type of plan you have. Comprehensive plans and limited plans both have very different approaches and allow visit to Doctors differently. Here is more information on figuring out how Doctor visits and treatments work with travel medical insurance.

15. Where should you buy travel insurance from?

You can either buy plans directly from the providers from their websites. I’d suggest you compare plans before zeroing in on one. That means it’s wiser to use a comparison tool like VisitorsCoverage, before making the purchase. They also have good customer support where you can get your queries answered via telephone before making the purchase.

16. Is it better to buy medical/travel insurance from USA or India?

There are plenty of insurance options in India which are cheaper than the ones in USA. But being cheap doesn’t mean good. You need to understand that insurance is useful only when you use it. My experience is that insurance from India is very limited or not useful at all in USA. Don’t take my word for it. Just reach out to the insurance/claim department in a hospital nearby in USA and check if they accept the Indian insurance company. Chances are that they won’t. Not trying to say that just getting any American insurance is better but when comparing buying insurance from USA or India, American insurance companies offer more useful and practical insurance coverage than Indian ones, which remain cheap and looks good on paper.

17. When should you buy travel/medical insurance? Before arriving in USA or after?

It is recommended you buy a good insurance plan before the travel, with the coverage starting from the date of journey. You’ll find it very difficult to get an insurance plan after arriving in USA (not impossible but there will be lot of questions asked).

18. Should you buy insurance policies for each parent or have it combined?

Either way is fine, as long as the coverage is taken care of (with respect to right dates etc). But you will get a lot more flexibility if the plans are separate (two individual plans), like being able to cancel extend etc, especially of the journey dates are different.

19. Which is the best travel insurance for USA?

It is tough and unfair to suggest any one plan, because each plan is intended for a different context. The most popular travel insurance for USA are Choice America, Cover America and Patriot America Plus. But I suggest you find a plan that fits your requirements. (See table above)

20. Can a foreigner buy travel insurance in USA?

Yes and no. If you are a visitor and have a valid visitor visa, it is recommended that you buy the plan on or before the day of travel. Because once you reach US soil, it is difficult to get a plan that works for you.

21. Do I need health insurance to travel to USA?

No. It is not mandatory but it is highly recommended that you get one because health care costs in USA is very steep. Better be protected than worry later.

22. What is acute onset of pre existing conditions coverage?

Any sudden and/or unexpected outbreak or recurrence of a Pre-Existing Condition (as listed by the insurance company) which occurs spontaneously and without advance warning is defined as acute on-set of a pre-existing condition. It usually in short duration, is rapidly progressive, and requires immediate care.

23. Should you buy travel insurance from India or USA?

You can buy travel insurance from USA or India, but I would recommend buying it from USA if you’re traveling to USA. The reason is that, most insurance companies that sell their insurance in India, is just good only on paper. When you travel to USA, you need an insurance plan that can be used in US in case of emergencies. What I’d recommend is that you enquire with a hospital in your area (if you’re in US) whether or not they accept the insurance plan from India. Chances are that they won’t. So then, just getting a cheaper plan is not going to cut it.

If you have any questions, please ask in comments and I’ll be happy to answer.

Full disclosure: Details mentioned above might have changed since the publication date. Please check with the company for current rates and specifications. I am not a certified insurance policy seller or expert and the above information is only for research purposes and could have inaccuracies. Please use your judgement. Certain links posted in this article might contain affiliate links, which will earn the author revenue from purchases generated.

About the author

Mani Karthik

Having lived in the USA, India & Middle East for over a decade, and having worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life through this blog. Come join my pursuit of happiness! WhatsApp me at +001-408-489-4785


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  • Hi Mani,
    Thank you so much for your time and effort in compiling this information for us all! It is very much appreciated! This is such a complex topic, and there is no answer that fits everyone. Yet you have tried to provide information that can be used by so many people. All best wishes to you!

  • Hi Mani
    You are doing absolutely amazing work!
    Thankyou so much!

    I see great questions by everynoe as well about insurance plans in India
    I understand that its better to get coverage here

    However, do you have a post about folks who may have purchased insurance from India( ICICI, New India etc) in the last 2-3 years – just want to get perspective – thank you so much

    Best Regards

      • Are you referring to a group who are part of a forum or everyone who has moved back 🙂
        I have immense respect for people who have moved back and running cool startups and contributing to the Indian ecosystem!

        What I meant was, in my first note, the travel insurance purchased from India, how are they compared to the ones purchased in US?

  • My mother-in-law is visiting the US from Pakistan and is 84. She does not have any pre-existing conditions and will be visiting for 4 months. Last year she visited and we used Safe Travels USA Comprehensive, but I don’t see that on your list anymore. Which plan would you recommend?

  • Hi Karthik,

    Useful article. I’m curious if you know who took one of the above plans (ex: Atlas America) and actually visited a physician here. For new and/or pre-existing conditions. Bcz, I see that everyone is taking the plans but not sure how effective these plans are.

  • hi Mani,

    Firstly, thanks a lot for this information.
    I have some confusion between travel insurance and medical insurance. Is one a subset of other?

    My parents are planning at visit in May. My mother has no pre-existing conditions, but my father is a diabetic. But both are relatively healthy (they are aged 58 and 60 respectively). I am not sure which one provides a good coverage. Do you mind providing your suggestion here.


    • Hi Uday, This article (https://indiausatravel.com/travel-insurance-vs-medical-insurance/best-usa-travel-insurance/) should give you a good idea about the difference between travel and medical insurance.

  • Dear Reader, cover america-gold have the undesired process of pre-Certification for inpatient treatment also (the main purpose of insurance is expense during a situation of being an inpatient).

    Coveramerica-gold is advertised highly in many review pages and the pre-certification for inpatient is not mentioned as disadvantage (even in this page, not even a single disadvantage for Coveramerica-gold). Beware !!

    In an emergency where you need an inpatient treatment would you wish to think about the recovery or the following list of activity as mentioned in the Coveramerica-gold insurance brochure ( https://www.visitorscoverage.com/brochure/coveramerica-gold-insurance-brochure.pdf ).

    Check 3rd point, will you ask a Doctor about recovery or will you ask a Doctor to FULLY cooperate with the insurance company at the emergency moment. According to insurance what does FULLY means, this one word is enough to reject your claim.

    To comply with the pre-certification requirements, you must do the following:
    1. Contact Seven Corners Assist at the telephone number on your ID card as soon as possible before the expense is incurred;
    2. Comply with Seven Corners Assist’s instructions and submit any information or documents they require;
    3. Notify all physicians, hospitals and other providers that this insurance contains pre-certification requirements and ask them to fully cooperate with Seven Corners Assist.

  • Hi Mani,
    What about coverage for new immigrants. My parents are traveling soon on an immigrant visa. Their green card is approved. What plans/options would you recommend for an extended coverage (~3-5 months) on their upcoming visit?

    • There is a separate post I’ve made on it here https://news.manikarthik.com/health-insurance-options-green-card-holders/india/nri/

  • I saw the details. It provides information but could not find what I am looking for. Please suggest a plan for senior citizen age group 75-79 years with Pre existing condition covered. The coverage for pre existing condition should be sufficient for US condition.

    The plan premium should be economical.

    • Please call up VisitorsCoverage (or similar) insurance agent. They can help you with the details.

  • These are Visitors Insurance NOT Travel Insurance. Although many use this term interchangebly I think there is a clear distinction. You should consider renaming this title – “Which Is The Best Travel Insurance For Parents Visiting USA?”

  • Hi karthik,

    My mother is visiting Calgary Canada for 6 months and we have plan to visit USA for a week or two.

    What would you suggest which insurance company based out of USA or Canada ?? Or any insurance company from india??
    I’m really confused, my mother is pretty healthy age 55 and don’t have any current issues or medication also did not had any major surgeries or illnesses

    Appreciate your response and help


    • I would suggest getting an insurance that covers Canada as well. I would avoid one from India as the chances of them not being accepted there is higher.

  • Hi Mani,

    My name is Sandeep. My parents are visiting this week. Dad is 70 and mom is 59. Dad had a surgery in his leg 4 months back and he is now recovering. Currently, he is under physiotherapy but can walk slowly. Dad also had diabetes. Mom does not have any preexisting conditions. They are here in US for 6 months. Which insurance would you suggest?

    • Sandeep, in this case, I’d be very careful about what I choose. If I were you, I’d call up the customer care number to get a confirmation from the provider on whether or not his conditions will be covered. “Pre-existing conditions” is a grey area and I wouldn’t make any assumptions.

  • Hi Mani,

    I have a question my Mother-in-law had breast cancer in 2013 She is fine now but are you aware of any insurance which will cover it along with it my Father-in-law had put the stent in the chest so I want one insurance company which cover there pre-existing condition.


    • Prashant, I suggest you dire4ctly call up the provider to double check it. Reading any amount of documents online will not give you the accurate information. This is my experience.

    • Hi Prashant,

      My parents are planning to visit USA on june 2019.My father had also put stent on his chest,so i just wanted to know which insurance plan you had taken for them and is there any issue on plane during travelling.


  • Atlas America has 1 star on yelp reviews (and people would have given it 0 stars if that was an option). What’s going on? You list them as a bestseller and those who purchased the plan had terrible experience. Any thoughts on this?

    • Lukan, Atlas America is still popular although there are mixed reviews about it. I think one of the factors that goes into this is that people buy insurance for different purposes and individual choices are many. It’s a good plan that caters to many situations and hence the popularity. However, I agree that there are mixed reviews. I think it is up to the buyer to figure out if it is suited for his personal choice and requirements. Unfortunately, you cannot have a one suit fits all kind of a solution in this space.

  • Hi Mani,
    I came across your blog and it gives a very good description about travel insurance for USA. But finally I am confused after reading so many plans and benefits.
    Myself aged 58 years and my husband aged 65 will be travelling to Florida this December. We may be doing many road trips in Florida. Please suggest us a good travel insurance which is not very expensive at the same time covering emergency doctor visit and accident emergency . We do not have any pre existing medical problems. We will be staying there for 5 months.
    Please clarify.

    • Hi Ansu,

      CoverAmerica Gold and Choice America are good options. If you are confused, call up an insurance agent like Visitors Coverage at 1-866-384-9104 and the experts there can help you find a plan that fits your requirements.

  • What would you suggest for parents aged 62 and 71; both in normal health, just want to buy something that takes care of emergency visits or a doctor’s visit if something comes up?

  • Hello Mr Mani,

    I am very happy to find your website with all the details pertaining to Visitor visa inquiries, which every child looking for their parents visiting them in US. Even my parents visiting US in November (during winters for 3 months) with mom aged 57 & dad 65. My mother is diabetic father as leg injury. As per your reference for the previous questions and based on the article, choice america is best option for aged parents with pre existing medical condition. I did read some article about about choice america but it indicates limited coverage of pre existing medical medical conditions. I dont want opt for the comprehensive plans coz only mom as high diabetic issue, I might/might not use the medical insurance. Considering winters (California) I am worried about her diabetic issues. Now I am totally confused, any suggestions from you is welcome

    • Rachana, I would recommend you to take a look at policies that cover pre-existing conditions. (https://news.manikarthik.com/best-visitors-insurance-for-pre-existing-conditions/india/nri/). At the same time, make sure that the conditions you want covered are indeed covered by the policy. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that all conditions are covered by pre-existing conditions. They are not and only the ones that are listed is covered. Let me know.

  • Hi Mani,
    First of all thank you for such a great article. My parents are 64, 65 and planning to visit U.S for 4 months from India. They both have preexisting conditions. Can you please suggest comprehensive insurance for them .


    • Hi Harish, I’d recommend one of these https://news.manikarthik.com/best-visitors-insurance-for-pre-existing-conditions/india/nri/

  • More I am seeing and more confusing I am getting into as my parents are diabetic in there 58 and 53 and I don’t want to take a chance ,Could you suggest which coverage is best ?

  • This is so great. Thank you!
    I don’t suppose you could do a piece on health insurance options for parents while they are in India?

  • Hi Mani,

    First of all Kudos to you for writing such a brilliant piece that encourages discussion and provides such valuable information on various insurance plans for visitors coming to USA. Its so hard for someone who has never had to shop around for insurance to know what is good or not.
    I have been researching for good insurance plans for two of my aunts who are looking to travel to USA soon; one of them is 79 yrs old and the other is 81 yrs old.
    I read your blog and had done some of my preliminary research as well. What I am struggling with is getting a good comprehensive travellers insurance for my aunt who is 81 yrs old. They have pre-existing condition of diabetes mainly and touchwood they are in good health, however for my senior most aunt, I was looking for insurance that would pay the maximum should there be any issue and I am realizing that Safe Travels USA Comprehensive also just covers upto $25000 even if I would get a $100,000 worth of policy where pre-existing conditions were concerned. Now that wasnt making sense to me as if I am getting an insurance and paying a higher premium for getting a policy with pre-existing conditions, then is there a policy that you have come across that does better justice in terms of coverage for those over 80 with pre existing conditions. I know and have heard from my friends that Emergency Care in USA for visitors with just $25000 is barely anything.
    Any guidance and help from you will be appreciated. Thanks

    • Hi Deepika, Thanks and glad you found the article useful. You already pinged me on WhatsApp so I guess I’ll continue the discussion there and help you out.

  • I got patriot america two times when my parents visited us both the times they had medical emergencies here and both times Patriot America gave a very hard time for claim so much so that eventually I just gave up. Has anyone had a good experience with them? I would not recommend them to anyone

    • That is sad to hear Rajiv. For clarity, can you tell me what exactly was the medical emergency? (If you don’t mind that is). It’ll be useful for others who are interested in taking Patriot America what is covered and not. Also, what exactly did you mean by hard time for claim? Is it that they didn’t acknowledge your claim at all or did they take too much time? Finally, what happened?

  • Hi MK,

    Which would you say is the best travel insurance to cover (hassle free claim) a short term (~1 month) visit from USA to India. Traveler is an Indian citizen working in USA?

  • Hi! I just read very useful information about traveler’s insurance on your blog. My many relatives gets insurance from India before they come here. Does it work here? Please let me know.

    • Hi Rupa,

      Yes you can buy it but I won’t recommend you get it from India. The support and features are useless when in US. It’s better to get it from a US provider. More on it here – https://news.manikarthik.com/buy-medical-insurance-india-usa-visiting-usa/money/immigration/

  • Hi Mani,

    My mother will be traveling from India to USA, staying here for 6 months. She doesn’t have any pre-existing diseases. However, I don’t want to take any risk and want to take full coverage insurance which covers everything with a minimum deductible possible. Please suggest few companies or insurance plans which I opt for .


    • Hi Mahesh,

      Have you checked out the ones I listed here? I don’t think it’s fair to suggest any one plan as each have their own benefits. Check out CoverAmerica Gold, Atlas America, Patriot America and ChoiceAmerica.

  • Hi Karthik
    Fantastic work on the article! We have family visiting in the U.S with pre-existing asthma and mild hearing loss and plan to get specialist doctors advice in San Francisco bay area. Any recommendation on visitor insurance with comprehensive network and coverage within the U.S?


    • Hi Sri,

      I suggest you check out comprehensive plans with pre-existing conditions coverage. Like CoverAmerica Gold, Atlas America, Patriot America etc. It’s tricky when it comes to pre-existing conditions, I usually recommend my friends to check with the provider first hand and not trust any other source.

  • Hi Karthik.
    My in-laws will be visiting the US in June. My father-in-law is 83 and has pre-existing conditions. Can you please recommend a plan which has good coverage for seniors over 80?

  • Thanks karthik , any guess how much could be premium under coverAmerica gold plan for one person? Knowing the range it varies would also help. They are planning to visit for a month



    • Hi Nitin,

      That would depend on various factors. You could try and use the online calculator tool to get an estimate. It’d be unfair for me to quote an estimate without knowing the details. 🙂

      Hope your parents have a good time staying in the US.

      Here are some helpful articles they might like.

      1. Tips for Indian parents visiting US
      2. Checklist for Indian parents visiting US.


  • Dear Kartik
    Myself and my wife will be visiting SFO for 90days in first week of April We will be staying with our son and daughter who are Citizens
    I am 80 and my wife is 75
    We don’t have any prexiting problem No Heart Kidney Neuro Diabetes problems
    1 Which Insurance plan we should have 2 What proof we can we give If Companies say these were prexiting ??
    3 If apply and get Green card Will Obama care we can buy Premium for that and Advantage etc
    I am Internal Medicine Doctor MD from India

    • Hello Sir,

      1. I’d recommend Cover America Gold.
      2. Different companies work differently but previous health record would suffice. Although you might not need it at the time of buying the insurance.
      3. Yes, you can but it will take some time for you to get it. Meanwhile, I suggest you get temporary medical insurance.

      Please feel free to call up the corresponding insurance companies toll free number. Most of them are very well answered and will clear your doubts (with little nuances even).

      Wish you safe travels. Enjoy your stay! Feel free to ask if you have any doubts.

  • Hi Karthik

    First of all, truly outstanding effort on your web site. It is impressive & extremely useful. My mother-in-law, who is already 75 years old is visiting from India. I am looking at Patriot America Plus Traveler’s Insurance and Liaison Continent International. Patriot America looks better in terms of coverage, but their benefit details document has pages & pages filled with legal hoops and legal protection. Cumbersome process to appeal a claim, legal matters has to be in Indiana, etc. None of this matters if they have a good track record of settling claims without subjecting claimants to undue hardship. Have you heard anything from people who had to submit claims due to medical issues? Any idea what it is like to deal with Patriot America?

    The Liaison Continent benefits document on the other hand has a lot less legal verbiage and disclaimers. Downside is that it seems to have a lot less, maybe non-existent coverage regarding pre-existing conditions for people over 70. Reading their benefits documents, it sounds like they may be easier to deal with in case of a claim.



  • hi Karhik,

    I live in LA too. Thanks for your Blog. Lots of useful information. My mother-in-law is visiting us in Jan 2018, her trip is for 5 months. She is diabetic, which insurance is likely good for her. Last time when she visited we took ICICI lombard, but we don’t have much knowledge that how to visit a doctor when she had problem with her sugar levels. Is all insurance cover the LA hospitals like PPO plans? is there any idea>
    Of the note, if she is visiting canada, is there any insurance plan that covers US and Canada trips?!


    • Hi Maruthi,

      I suggest you take insurance from US companies since they are much easier to work with and offer better services. Yes, ChoiceAmerica and Liaison Continent are good plans suitable for elders with pre-existing conditions and cover US and Canada. I would suggest both of these plans.

      All the best, wishing them a safe trip! Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

  • My parents are traveling from India to USA for 3 months. Which is the best insurance for them?
    Also, how reliable is Visitorscoverage v/s Insubuy? Which site is better?

    • Hi Anand,

      It would be very unfair for me to say which one plan is best for you. You have to find the right one that suits you, but I can help. The thing is, there are several plans available to pick from, based on your requirements. Like how long the stay is, what kind of coverage you need, the age of your parents etc.

      And as you rightly mentioned, there are these third part websites that lets you choose a good plan filtering from the big list. Both Visitorscoverage and Insubuy are good websites that gives a lot of insights on which plan to choose from. Visitorscoverage is more popular but Insubuy has been around for a longer time. Some plans are common between the two as well. I’ll let you make the choice.

  • MK, This is useful blog with good information! But the answer for the FAQ 2 is to b reviewed, as far as I know for a Permanent Resident/Green Card holder is NOT repeat NOT eligible to apply for any visa which will facilitate the parents to live permanently in US. Below is the extract from your link…..

    Bringing Parents to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents

    To petition for your parents (mother or father) to live in the United States as green card holders, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Green card holders (permanent residents) may not petition to bring parents to live permanently in the United States.

    • Hi Prasad,

      You just need your parents details like passport number etc. On the websites I mentioned, you can pretty much select and choose what insurance plan to buy and get it online, all in one go. You can then send the soft copies to your parents, who can carry it with them, taking a print out.

      All the best!

  • A very useful blog,especially for first time travellers to US.
    I appreciate the fund of information compiled by the blogger Mr.ManiKarthik
    with valuable inputs by Sruthi Menon.