Many people visit the USA to tour the country and because they were invited by family or friends. These visitors typically stay for a few months so they can spend time with their family and visit tourist attractions, which can take quite a long time as the US is such a vast and diverse country. Before visitors come to the US, some may wonder whether they should purchase a combined visitors insurance plan for everyone traveling or if it's better to purchase separate policies for each individual, the answer to this varies based on the guests coming to visit.
This article is about the visitors insurance available from US based companies and may not apply to all the companies in the world.
Whether you purchase a combined or a separate policy:
- The premium is per person.
- The deductible is per person.
- The policy maximum is per person.
- All benefits are per person.
When you get a quote for a combined visitors insurance policy, the prices for each person are simply added up. There is no concept of a family policy, therefore, there is no discount to put every person visiting on the same policy. In addition, the policy maximum, deductible and coverage dates must be the same for everyone on the combined insurance policy.
When Separate Policies are Required
Under some circumstances you must purchase a separate policy for each person:
- Each person is traveling for a different duration or dates.
- You would like to choose a different deductible or policy maximum for each person.
- The specific insurance product you are interested in requires a different application for each person if one person is 70+ years and the other person is under 70 years.
- You choose to buy different products for each person.
Advantages of Separate Policies
Even though there is a bit more upfront work to complete separate applications for each person, there are many advantages:
- Even when both parents have planned their travel on the same dates, many times their plans change. For example, a person's visiting mother may like to stay longer, their father needs to go back early because an urgent situation arises with his business or he is bored sitting around, or another similar reason. In a situation like this, if you have separate policies, you can simply extend coverage for the parent staying longer, or cancel coverage for the person departing early without effecting the other person's policy.
- For some unexpected reason, one of the parents can not visit the USA but the other parent would still like to visit. In that case, making changes or cancellations to a separate policy is easy.
- If you have a claim for one person in a combined policy and would like to cancel the insurance coverage for another person on the combined policy, the other person who didn't have the claim would not receive a refund. By purchasing separate policies, this isn't a relevant issue.
Advantages of Combined Policies
Even though there are many advantages to purchasing a separate policy, there are a couple of advantages to choosing to purchase a combined policy:
- Some companies charge a $5 extension fee. If you have purchased separate policies, you would need to extend each of the policies and you would have to pay $5 for each separate policy instead of just once for a combined policy.
- If you decide to get a combined application for both parents, you will only need to complete all the application details one time.
- If you are traveling with minor children, the price for minor children when covered with an insured parent is typically lower than a child only policy. In that case, you can consider adding minor children along with a parent.
In general, when multiple adults are visiting USA without dependent children, it is advantageous to purchase separate policies for each person. When traveling with minor children, it is better to purchase to add minor children along with the adult's policy.