USA travel insurance - AVI International
Travelling in North America: how to choose a USA travel insurance?
The United States is a major tourist destination with more than 60 million visitors each year. Medical issues are managed in a very different way from ours. Everyone decide whether or not to buy health insurance. The country does not conduct price supervision, that's why the rates are high:
A consultation costs about $ 100 (85 €) and a hospitalization, between $1000 and $3000 dollars (850 to 2500 €).
On a travel forum, a visitor told in August 2014 having received the invoice from the doctor who treated him for few minutes because he had opened his toe, walking on a piece of glass on a Miami beach. The doctor is claiming for $ 935, plus $ 304 from the hospital.
The AVI International claims service has recently covered the appendix operation of one of its customers: the invoice is $10 200 dollars (8500 €). You broke your ankle? It takes up to $20,000 dollars (17,000 euros). And for a stroke? From $30 000 to $40 000 (25 000 € 35 000).
Unfortunately, no one is immune to malaise, illness or an accident which would cause such expenses. To those who are still affiliated (that is to say who contribute less than one year), the French social security reimburses only a few dollars. It is not based on your expenses but on its own scales, very different from American standards.
USA Travel insurance
To avoid difficult situations, it is essential to leave with an adapted USA travel insurance and follow a few simple guidelines:
1. Always avoid emergencies:
This is a very expensive service: emergency hospitalization may be charged up to 60 000. It is impossible to avoid it in case of serious accident, but when possible, it is better to wait for an appointment. With such financial issues, better keep a sense of proportion with your worries.
Important: All person insured with AVI have an emergency number for USA and Canada. It is indicated on their insurance card. This is a multilingual service available 24 hours on 24 and 7 days 7.
2. Find alternatives to the doctor.
Their fees are prohibitive. To see a doctor, it is best to go to the hospital (but not emergency). There are also several stores (CVS, Walgreen, etc.) selling drugs. There, you will get advices from professionals.
3. Choose travel insurance with solid guarantees:
There is plenty of insurance on the market, but few actually offer coverage adapted to the American medical expenses in case of serious problem. Indeed, it requires a minimum coverage of € 250,000 to be well protected in the USA. This is far from the € 11,000 offered by a Classic Visa card and the € 155,000 offered by a Premier Visa card.
Do not hesitate to consult the different travel insurance offered by AVI International.
4. Choose locally based international travel insurance:
It is indeed essential that your insurer is established in the United States. It is him who will be the interlocutor of clinics and hospitals you go to in case of problems. It must be able to act quickly, have a good network and prevent you from advancing hospitalization. Often they will refuse to take care of you until they are sure you have enough money to pay the medical expenses, or that a USA travel insurance will do it. AVI International has an office in the United States that handles its customers on American soil and works closely with the board of our partner AIG, one of the largest local insurers according to Philippe Gojon, director of AVI International. This office is crucial for us and for our customers travelling to the United States. We always tried to improve our services in the United-State and we have now become a reference in the field of travel insurance in the United States.
5. Check that you have liability insurance:
Liability insurance is what covers you if you accidentally damage the property of others (you spill a shelf in a crystal shop) or if you hurt someone (by hitting him with a bike for example). It is usually included in your home insurance policy or mutual. But beware if you left your home or if you do not have a mutual. Travel assistance insurance systematically fill this gap. What AVI International offers, a coverage of € 750,000 for injury and € 450,000 for property damage is quite enough. Even if you are covered by your home insurance or mutual, this guarantee will complement the other contracts, if necessary.
6. Check that bail is provided in your travel insurance USA
In the US, a car accident can take you to jail, while the circumstances are being processed. To be released, a judge can asks you to pay a bail, which usually costs several thousand dollars. It is therefore important to choose an insurer that includes its payment in its coverage.
7. Claims management: choose the speed
AVI International manages its files internally. Its team responds to emails and calls. "When a customer comes back from the United States it is to our French services he sends invoices for expenses he had to advance. It takes a week to 10 days to file a full refund, explains the CEO of AVI International. With many insurers, it takes three months. We put 4 people, where most companies would put one and a half for the same number of claims. Most travelers are not aware of the high quality of service we offer, but those who have come to deal with us know that they can trust us and that's why they keep coming back since 1981 ".