Best travel insurance USA
Did somebody say HA-WA-iiiii? Quick, pass me a tall glass of pineapple juice with an umbrella in it! Whether it’s your first time to the USA or Hawaii or your fifth time, you still need to make careful consideration which overseas travel insurance you purchase. Not every provider insures you for the same things, so you need to weigh up what’s more important for you.
Let’s get something straight from the start: The USA is one of the most expensive countries in the world when it comes to receiving medical treatment. Don’t let your guard down for a moment and think that just because you’re travelling to another first world country that you’ll be ok if something goes wrong. Medical bills can run into the thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands so don’t leave Australia without USA travel insurance.
Why should I buy travel insurance to the USA?
From natural disasters, lost or stolen baggage to medical treatment, purchasing travel insurance for North America means that you’re prepared for any unexpected emergency while buying you peace of mind but also. There’s no telling when disaster will strike, so why take the risk?
Let’s just say that the difference between paying for your travel insurance excess and covering the cost to replace your lost luggage will be potentially saving you hundreds of dollars. The difference of you paying for your excess compared to footing a medical bill in the USA means that you’ll potentially be saving tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. An extraordinary amount that's not worth the nightmare.
Comprehensive VS Basic cover
The difference between comprehensive and basic cover is pretty enormous. When they call it basic, they really mean just that. The good thing with basic is that it usually covers unlimited medical treatment, as long as you qualify for it - so always read the fine print! The best comprehensive cover, however, offers you much more, so you really need to think about what cover will suit your US holidaying plans best, and not make any hasty decisions.
Just to give you some insight: Some basic cover offers no reimbursement for loss of luggage, and other basic covers will offer a small amount. Comprehensive on the other hand will provide a larger amount which would be incredibly handy if this unfortunate occurrence should happen to you. Just a quick run-down on what comprehensive cover is likely to cover you for:
- medical and hospital
- personal liability
- rental car excess cover
- cancellation fees
- luggage and personal effects
- travel documents
- permanent disability
- accidental death.
Did you hear?
...about the bride-to-be whose wedding dress was lost or stolen in transit on a trip overseas? Via social media, a burst of desperation and quick thinking this lucky traveller arrived at her wedding in borrowed wedding attire from locals and so her special day worked out well in the end. But had she taken out comprehensive travel insurance, she could have purchased a new last-minute outfit which would have been fully refundable upon her return home.
Insurance cost for a 2 week trip to the USA
Lucky for you, Mozo has cut your time in half when it comes to searching for the best travel insurance for your trip to Hawaii or the USA. All you have to do is pop your details in our insurance comparison calculator and away you go!
Here are some samples of what it may cost you for a 14 day trip to Hawaii or the USA:
|Single trip||Basic Cover||Comprehensive Cover||Including Extras like outdoor activities, sport|
Fast Cover Basics
Fast Cover Comprehensive
RACV Extra Travel Care
Ages 38, 39, 3, 9
Budget Direct Last Minute
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Budget Direct Comprehensive with Snow
Fast Cover Basics
1Cover Comprehensive with cruise cover
What exactly does ‘extras’ cover?
Did you ever think that bungee jumping off the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado or climbing El Capitan at Yosemite, California would be covered in your overseas insurance policy? Depending on the company and premium you choose, and you could be saying boing in now time. But if you purchase a basic or standard comprehensive and get injured or die while bungee jumping, chances are your cover will give you and your family zero compensation.
So the moral of the story is, if you’re into extreme sports or outdoor adventures, it’s a good idea to invest in the right travel insurance for you, or you won’t be protected should something go wrong.
Some of the activities that ‘extras’ may include: bungee jumping, conservation work, mountain biking, mountaineering, rock climbing, scuba diving, sky diving, surfing, trekking, snow sports, and ocean cruising.
If you going to the USA for a skiing or snowboarding adventure, be sure to select “snow sports cover” when you are using Mozo’s travel insurance comparison USA tool. You can also click through to the policy detail page from the results listing to find out which activities will be covered as part of the standard policy and the sports you’ll need to pay extra for.
As a final check, if you’re uncertain, and you have a specific passion for a specific sport or activity, call your overseas insurance provider before finalising your purchase.
What does my travel insurance actually cover me for?
Every insurer will have medical cover listed for trips to the US. With some policies they will pay up to a maximum amount but you can get basic and comprehensive that will cover you for unlimited medical requirements, from minor to major, saving you thousands of thousands of dollars in the long run. But make sure you read the small print to make sure you qualify for your cover. Here are two out of many different scenarios you need to be wary of:
- Pre-existing medical condition - If you are currently receiving treatment for anything, even diabetes, you will need to reveal that to your provider.
- Alcohol - If you’re injured or cause injury to someone while travelling in the USA while alcohol is present in your body, you may not be covered for travel insurance, which means you will have to foot the bill. It won’t be cheap either.
Most comprehensive cover will pay for emergency dental needs while travelling but always double-check with your provider first.
Luggage and personal belongings
A comprehensive travel insurance cover loves to look after you if you lose or have your luggage stolen. But if it’s lost or stolen because you weren’t keeping your eyes on it and walked away from your belongings while checking out the baseball scores at the airport sports bar, then you miss out on a successful claim.
Cancellation and delays
Some basic travel insurance may cover you from US flight cancellation and delays of flights. But it’s usually a pittance or nothing at all. If you’ve ever experienced the disaster of delays or cancellations you’ll know first-hand how invaluable it is to have a policy that covers you for this.
Accidental death and injury
This is the yucky part of your policy but one you need to consider. If the unfortunate happens, is there enough cover to pay for essentials for the first few years while your family gets back on track without you? By peace of mind and purchase the right travel insurance that you and your family will benefit. Always check the small print on this too.
Accidents can happen, and sometimes by our own very selves, so it’s a good idea to buy as much personal liability as you can. After all, suing people in the USA is a popular sport!
Your travel insurance provider won’t usually cover stolen cash. For travel policies that do, you may only be covered up to $200.
If you have an international driver’s license, then guess what - you can hire a car and drive all you want in the US. If you don’t, then walk away from the car and hop into a cab. There. Potential problem solved.
If you’ve taken out a comprehensive travel insurance policy you are also likely to have rental car excess cover. This means that you don’t need to sign up for that expensive over the counter insurance at the rental car company that takes your car rental from $20 to over $50 a day.
Airline and holiday default
Mozo would be foolish to say that it doesn't happen often because the fact is - it does happen. Sometimes airlines can fold overnight. Sometimes holiday companies go bankrupt and won’t tell you. Best to make sure you’re covered in case this unfortunate thing happens to you.
When your overseas travel insurance is void
Sadly, if you don’t read the small print, then you may miss out on the wonderful benefits travel insurance has to offer. Let’s take a real example of an Australian couple who were pregnant and travelled to Hawaii for a vacation before their baby arrived. They certainly did purchase pregnancy travel insurance, but there’s the small print they didn’t read:
- The couple decided to travel past the recommended weeks of pregnancy. Most providers won’t insure a pregnant woman beyond 20 weeks, roughly five months pregnant. In this instance, the couple’s provider stipulated that they would cover her beyond 26 weeks of pregnancy, but the mother only.
- The couple were snorkelling in Hawaii when contractions began. The hospital in Hawaii was too small to cater for a premature birth and the couple was then flown to Honolulu.
- When their baby had a dramatic premature delivery to the world at 26 weeks, the overseas travel insurance the couple purchased covered the mother’s medical bill but did not cover their premature baby’s medical needs.
- The medical bill amounted far beyond anticipation that included their emergency flight, the birth of premature baby and treatment in an incubator for 3 months while the baby comes to full term. The cost is in excess of one million Australian dollars. Not to mention the added cost in accommodation and future return tickets to Australia.
Bottom line is, the couple assumed that their medical bills would be covered if something went wrong while travelling beyond the recommended time of pregnancy. The mother’s medical bill was covered but what the small print stipulated that the baby’s medical bill would not be covered. That’s why reading and understanding the fine print is most important.
Am I covered?
Question is - did you read the fine print? Mozo can’t stress to you enough how important it is that you read every tiny detail. Not just the bulk of the insurance policy you read on your provider’s website, but the tiny annoying minuscule small print, that often so small it seems annoying to read. But there in the sea of tiny letters and words hold the key to your insurance policy. It will stipulate when the how and the why of your cover. So read it, or you may miss out on full cover or any cover at all.
USA Travel Must knows
Tragically, Americans seem to be more pro-gun than not. This means, that nearly anyone in America has the right to own a gun, and when in the wrong hands, tragedy on random civilians can unfold. It is a matter of bad timing and somewhat the wrong place and the wrong time. As scary as this probability sounds, it shouldn’t stop you from seizing the day and enjoying this enormous country with so much to discover. But Mozo does advise to double-check with your travel insurance provider if they will cover you should you come into the cross-fire.
There are no vaccinations needed to fly to the USA, however, Mozzo recommends visiting your GP about basic and almost essential jabs against the flu, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B.
Even as an Australian, you will need to qualify to enter the country. You can check for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the official ESTA website. See also Entry and exit. Alternatively, check with your travel agent.
I need to make a travel insurance claim
Receipts receipts receipts. We can’t harp on about this enough. Did we mention reports? You absolutely must ask for a police or medical report should the unfortunate situation arise. These are paramount to processing your claim. For more details read our Travel Insurance Claims guide.
Most travel insurance policies will have an excess fee. Take note when purchasing your insurance how much it will cost should you need to make a claim. If it’s hefty, to begin with, consider a provider excess costs less.
Travel insurance reviews
It's a good idea to read other people’s reviews of overseas travel insurance policies. Bear in mind that their individual circumstance, age and destination may be different to yours.