by Aidan Kang, CFA
Senior Writer
UPDATED: October 10, 2021

Traveling to the United States requires quite a number of documents. The US State Department defines the specific requirements for submission to be qualified. Amongst these requirements is travel insurance, especially if you’re a parent. Why is American visitor insurance or travel insurance needed, particularly for parents?

There are three main reasons to procure travel insurance, according to this website:

  1. Protect the cost of your trip if you have a travel delay or need cancellation. This is a common issue when traveling overseas, as the reasons for delay may range from mechanical issues to weather or disaster conditions. Extending costs need to be hedged against the insurance premiums.
  2. Offset added expenses due to a travel delay or lost, delayed, or damaged luggage.  While the first concerns itself with the cost of the travel (plane fare etc), this part concerns itself with the accommodations, transport and transfers, and food during delays. As a budget traveler, the best way to save on this is by getting insurance coverage.
  3. Protect from expensive medical bills in case you are injured or become ill while traveling abroad. This is the common idea for travel insurance, having a well for medical coverage during travel and stay in the United States.

With the above reasons, there is no justification for why travel insurance is not a necessity when traveling to the US.

The Two Types of Visitor Insurance for Parents Visiting the US

If your parents are visiting the US, there are two types of insurance coverage that they should consider.

  1. Fixed-coverage health insurance

It only covers a certain amount of the medical cost. You’ll have to pay for the remaining amount from your own pocket.

  1. Comprehensive-coverage health insurance

It covers a percentage of your eligible medical expenses for a certain amount and then it will cover the entire amount until the policy maximum.  

What Is Covered in the Insurance Policy for Visiting Parents?

Insurance companies cover a set of medical procedures at varying degrees based on the plan on offer. The following medical procedures are generally covered by insurance plans.

  • Hospitalization
  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital room
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgical operation
  • Emergency or urgent care services
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Physical therapy

What Are the Criteria to Consider When Choosing the Best Insurance For Parents Visiting USA?

There are specific qualities that are needed to find the best travel insurance coverage for loved ones traveling to the US.  This is most especially needed for the special circumstances that parents would have that can make travel a bit more difficult than it already is. 

Under our scale, there are three top qualities needed in finding the best travel insurance for parents visiting the US. These are as follows:

  1. Access

This means that the payouts when claimed would be easily processed and released even when the insured is in another country. This means the accessibility of the company would be easy, either through a representative office or call or website processing.

  1. Capability

This means the premium is within your budget and the process of claim is clear. They must also have the financial resources to pay out when the claim is made.

  1. Coverage

This involves a bit of study depending on the circumstances of the traveler. If the parent has difficulty walking, then coverage has to include proximity to bathrooms and wheelchair assistance. This would involve extra coverage, especially for medical emergency services should any health issue arise during travel.

Compare Insurance Policy Providers

Insurance NameAccessCapabilityCoverage
John HancockThis company is one of the most accessible insurance companies in the world.  Their customer service number is easily reached from any point in the world. Their representatives are able to quickly respond to concerns and clarifications.The company is financially able to support its investments, with $12.2 Billion available according to its own factbook. This alone makes its financial capacity beyond question.The only coverage prohibited for this company is for extreme activities. Aside from such, the coverage is pretty straightforward especially for those with special needs like the elderly. Bronze plan – rates start at $24Silver plan – rates start at $31Gold plan – rates start at $54 
Allianz TravelThis company is also one of the most recognizable brands in the world. At Allianz, the extended coverage for their insurance is the cornerstone of their business.  This extended coverage is further expanded to allow for multiple trip coverage. Their CSRs are amongst the best in providing assistance, allowing for a higher rate of company satisfaction. The access is 24/7 cancellation or interruption.Allianz provides the best emergency medical care coverage, which includes medical evacuation and repatriation.  Their coverage also includes trip cancellation or interruption for any kind of flight. Finally, there is also baggage loss/delay coverage which is pretty much the standard for the market.One of the items that need to be wary about with this insurer is the pre-existing medical condition exclusion.  Aside from this, medical care, evacuation, and repatriation are available worldwide.Plans Start at $23One Trip Cancelation PlusOne Trip BasicOne Trip PrimeOne Trip PremierOne Trip Emergency Medical
Safety WingThis insurer is also accessible but a bit for trip cancellation coverage.  What it allows though is the free inclusion of children under 10 years old.  Access is also allowed for an extended period of up to 364 days.The premiums cost depending on the age of the traveler.  Also included in the premium are emergency services such as medical and dental, evacuation, repatriation of remains,  accidental death, and dismemberment among others. Payouts are easily done as the max amount is stated at $250,000.This is ideal for insured parties with small children. Long-term travel plans can also be done by parceling the coverage to open-ended four-month periods.Nomad Insurance  – price starts at $42; price varies according to age groupRemote Health – price starts at $42; price varies according to age group
Atlas Travel InsuranceThere are two different plans available that can be fitted for your medical travel plan coverage. These are Atlas Travel and Atlas Premium. The only limitation would be coverage for seniors aged 80 years old whose policy maximum coverage is $20,000.Atlas provides emergency medical treatment and its related expenditures such as hospital stay, medicine, and ambulance services. Max amount is $1,000,000 which also covers accidental death and dismemberment, personal liability and repatriation as well as medical evacuation.Atlas offers a comprehensive coverage plan with a policy maximum limit of $2,000,000. Aside from medical expenses, there are also payouts for travel delay, baggage loss, and trip interruptions but not a cancellation. Mainly, Atlas focuses on visitor medical insurance coverage for travelers. Atlas Travel – $181.50/monthAtlas Premium – $274.80/month
AXA Travel InsuranceThis is one of the most comprehensive plans available for individual travelers. There are different plans, namely, the Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans essentially for protection purposes. Each plan would have a different premium altogether.The company is able to pay for the myriad of services offered in its insurance.  The plan coverage is clear and their 24/7 worldwide coverage for client concerns is top-notch.The coverages between the plans are almost the same but their claim amounts differ. The coverages include trip protection, medical coverage benefits for accidental death or dismemberment, emergency medical evacuation as well as property protection. A new coverage introduced is identity theft coverage.Four types of plans are:Silver Gold PlatinumAdventure Product The price depends on various factors:agestate of residencecost of triplength of trip
Insure My TripThis insurer is different as it does not issue its own policy but utilizes local insurers on the itinerary of the traveler. Here, they have a network of 21 other insurers with the best price guarantee.Because it works through a local insurer, what the capability of the local insurer would transfer to the insured.Same as above. The coverage of the local insurer under the best price guarantee would be the one utilized for the insured.Insurance plans include comprehensive, medical, evacuation, accidental death, vacation rental, and Schengen visa plan. The costs of the insurance plan depend on various factors including your destination, residence, departure and return date, age, and total trip costs.
American ExpressThis traveler’s insurance is for AMEX cardholders or those that procure over the counter. The focus though is for AMEX travelers.There are four packages available with differing coverages and amounts. The benefits are for a trip interruption, trip cancellation, trip delay, and lost baggage. The downside is the low end of medical coverage in the policy for all types of fixed coverage plans.The coverage is worldwide using the network of the credit card facility of American Express.
IMGThis insurer offers multiple plans for the budget traveler. Depending on the itinerary, the coverages available fit the budget of the traveler.The insurance has three types, namely Travel Lite Insurance, Travel SE Insurance, and Travel LX Insurance. It is called travel medical insurance, with basic coverage and the increasing coverage means higher cost.This insurer covers up to $25,000 for trip cancellation and 125% of the cost for trip interruptions. The budget plan starts at $100,000 for accident and illness covered medical expenses. Special comprehensive coverage is called the Patriot Medical Insurance allowing for coverage between $50,000 to $1,000,000 and with deductibles from $0 to $2,500.Plans:iTravelInsured SEiTravelInsured LXThe price of the plan depends on the travel dates, primary destination, number of travelers, trip cost, and trip protection.
All Clear Travel InsuranceThis insurer is based in the UK. It is a medical insurer and its focus is on pre-existing medical conditions. The insurer covers over 1,300 pre-existing conditions as well as travelers of any age to any destination.Because of the higher risk, this insurer has a higher premium compared to other travel insurance companies. There are different costs for a single trip or multi-trip coverage. The plans are Gold (the entry-level plan), Gold Plus(higher level of coverage), and Platinum (Includes cruise protection).Depending on the plan, the emergency medical expenses maximum amount is £15,000,000 while the trip cancellation and trip curtailment are up to £5,000 while baggage and personal loss are up to £3,000.Annual Travel Insurance from £31.96Single Travel Insurance from £9.84
Seven CornersSeven Corners offers travel insurance underwritten by Liaison Travel alongside other travel insurance plans. In essence, Seven Corners offers a number of insurers for the specific needs of the insured. This allows for customizing the coverage for each. This in turn is coordinated through Seven Corners.There are three specific plans available for periods from 5 days to 364 days. The plans are the Liaison Economy, Choice, and Elite.  The plans are available but a bit of coordination is needed.Medical maximums and deductibles can be customized as previously stated. The age coverage is until 69 and worldwide coverage is from $50,000 to $50,000,000. For those from 70 to 79 years of age, max coverage is at $50,000.00 and for 80+ at $15,000.The RoundTrip Basic plan ($197)The RoundTrip Choice plan ($280) 

What Are the Other Important Considerations Before Purchasing Insurance For Parents Visiting USA?

Before you purchase a visitors insurance policy, there are other things you need to consider.

  • Choose what type of insurance policy your parents need to purchase. Don’t forget to take into account important factors such as your parents’ age and current physical condition and other pre-existing conditions.
  • Talk to your parents visiting USA. Take note of important details such as their name, date of birth, address, and preferred duration of the insurance plan.
  • Check if your parents have pre-existing conditions so you can choose the best visitor insurance plan appropriately.
  • Submit the details to the medical insurance company.

Can You Purchase the Insurance Coverage In Behalf of Your Parents and what Policy Maximum Should You Choose?

Yes. You can purchase health insurance plans on behalf of your parents. Additionally, the ideal policy maximum is $100,000. However, more restrictions are imposed on the insurance option as people become older, especially on the cost of the coverage.

What are the Steps To Purchase Insurance Policy for Visiting Parents?

  1. Submit your parents’ details to your chosen insurance policy provider and ask for quotes.
  2. Check the prices and choose a plan that will cover all your parents’ needs.
  3. Check plans that cover pre-existing conditions and COVID-19.
  4. Talk to your parents about the shortlisted insurance providers.
  5. Choose a plan that brings the most value to your parents’ money.

Do Your Parents Need Different Insurance Policies?

If both your parents are visiting the US, it’s better if they have different visitor insurance plans rather than sharing a single policy. There’s no difference in the price but they’ll have more options to choose from based on each of your parent’s needs and unique circumstances.

The Final Verdict

The aforementioned are but a review of existing insurers offering specific coverages for travel insurance. The question to determine which one is best for your parents traveling to the United States clearly is dependent on the existing health condition of your parents and the current budget available. In doing that, bear in mind the accessibility, the capability to pay and the coverage available should also be considered. This insurance is a requisite so compliance is a must.