Travel insurance: US reminds travellers of new regulations

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Travel insurance customers planning to visit the US from now on will have to obtain approval to do so using an online system.

A reminder was issued today by the US department of homeland security, advising holidaymakers to remember this part of their arrangements.

The regulations apply to all passengers from Visa Waiver Programme countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain. They must now use the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (Esta) which will determine their eligibility before departure.

According to the department, 1.2 million applications have been received to date and decisions are usually made "within seconds".

Homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff commented: "In addition to building business and cultural ties with our partners overseas, this is a commonsense step into the 21st century that will improve our efficiency in screening and welcoming international travellers."

Those who are looking for cheap travel insurance online prior to their US trip might find this a good time to complete the Esta process.

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