Immigration

Is Travel Insurance Mandatory When Traveling to USA


Are you among the people who still wonder what all the fuss about travel insurance? Do you question why you should increase your expenses with such insurance for circumstances that might never occur?

The reality is that it is always better to be prepared for the worst. But, more importantly, if you are traveling to USA on a J1, F1 or H1 visa, it is mandatory to have travel insurance.

Of course, most people visit America on a B1/B2 visa, which does not require travel insurance to be awarded. But what if you fall ill and need hospitalization in America?

The cost of medical care could send you into bankruptcy! This can be well understood by the fact that Humira, a medication for multiple forms of arthritis, skin conditions and inflammatory bowel diseases, will cost you three times as much in the United States as in Switzerland, according to an article published by VOX in July 2016.

Every year, roughly 14 million Indians travel abroad. But what concerns me is that less than half of them buy travel insurance, according to a survey by ICICI Lombard General Insurance. Despite the increased awareness amongst travellers to keep themselves financially protected while in a foreign land, travellers are still unsure of the need for travel insurance.

Apart from the medical costs, with increasing instances of terrorist attacks, lost baggage, stolen luggage and identity papers, can you afford to leave yourself unprotected?

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Is Travel Insurance a Must for US?

The fact is that shit happens. And no, they don’t always happen to somebody else. The only certain thing in life is that you will have to face adversities at some time or the other.

So, while we all hope for the best, we should always prepare for the worst, giving ourselves and our loved ones a safety net. This is exactly what you are paying for when you choose to buy travel insurance.

So, now if you are stuck in a traffic jam and miss your flight, or your trip gets cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, or you meet with an accident during your travels and need medical evacuation, it will all get compensated for when you have the right travel plan.

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Travel insurance becomes a must when your pre-paid and non-refundable expenses become more than you are willing to lose.

If you are not insured, stay prepared to lose your hard earned money, which you could have otherwise spent on something meaningful.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Most travel plans are package plans that include various covers, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, lost or delayed baggage, medical coverage, medical evacuation, etc. Such coverage can help limit your out-of-pocket expenses.

Most plans also provide death and dismemberment cover, providing heirs a pay out, in case the traveller dies during their trip.

However, there is no need for you to take on every cover being offered. Assess your needs, what all you intend to do during your visit to the US and choose your cover accordingly.

And, to know more about this, read my article on why you should buy travel insurance in USA, rather than in India. Once convinced, visit this article to find the best visitor insurance for Indians travelling to the US.

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