YOU ASK:

When travelling to the US from the UK what is the difference between travel and health insurance?

WE ANSWER:

There is indeed a difference between travel insurance and health insurance, particularly if you are traveling to the USA from the UK.

To start with, please note that travel insurance is insurance that aims to protect your financial investment (towards your trip) up to specified limits - this may include payment for cancelled or delayed trips, as well as lost baggage or lost tickets. Travel insurance is also aimed to provide protection for those who are traveling for a limited period of time.

Travel Medical Insurance, on the other hand, provides you with financial protection in case you get sick or are injured while you are traveling and out of the country. This is commonly called as "emergency" health coverage, as this is not usually comprehensive when compared to a health insurance policy.

If you live in the UK and are planning to travel to the United States (or any country, for that matter), you may need to buy international travel medical insurance that fits your needs. Whereas insurance for personal liability, medical expenses and personal accident are part of a standard travel insurance package in the US, most UK travel insurance plans are more basic. Medical expenses are commonly not covered.

You see, travel insurance in the UK does not normally cover hospital expenses. This is because in the UK, citizens are more or less assured of medical expense coverage provided by the National Health Service or NHS. Thus, in the UK, travel insurance companies will not pay for private healthcare. This also includes transport using a private ambulance, hospitalization in a private hospital or medical clinic, as well as repatriation to the UK when this is recommended by a private clinic.

With respect to flights and accommodations, UK travel insurance policies usually only cover pre-booked plane trips and hotel accommodations.

There are also additional conditions with respect to the purpose of the trip. For most UK travel insurance providers, the main purpose of the trip should be pleasure and not business.

Also, UK travel insurance providers may not cover trips that are made within the UK. If they do, there are usually conditions that states that the destination should be at least so many miles away from the insured person's place of residence.

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