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Travel insurance USA

Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

The United States of America is a land of pop culture and modern-day mythology that attracts people from all over the world. From its sightseeing and historic landmarks, to its breathtaking natural beauty, the USA is a colourful and character-filled country.

Whether you’re embarking on a road trip along the historic Route 66, strolling down Hollywood Boulevard, or sitting on the beach in Miami, the USA has plenty on offer to complement nearly anyone’s idea of the perfect American vacation. 

But when something goes wrong on your holiday, as it sometimes does, it can put a real downer on your whole trip. That’s why it’s important to secure a travel insurance policy when you’re travelling overseas, especially when travelling through countries which don’t have a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, or even free public health care.

Knowing that your expenses are covered if your flights are cancelled, if you end up in hospital due to an accident, or if your luggage goes missing, could make the difference between feeling like you’re living the American dream, or living an American nightmare.

What should my travel insurance policy for the USA include?

When choosing travel insurance for the USA, consider what kinds of cover you might need. You should look at things like how long your trip will be, if you’ll need cover for delays and cancellations, and if there are any optional-extras you want to add to tailor your cover to you. 

If you’re heading to the USA for a ski or snowboarding trip in Aspen, then find a policy that offers snow travel insurance on top of their international travel insurance policies. 

And if you’re travelling with a pre-existing medical condition, make sure that your insurance provider covers your condition. You don’t want to foot the bill in a notoriously expensive USA  hospital if your health acts up while travelling. 

If you’re going on a classic American road-trip, then finding a policy which offers a rental vehicle excess waiver might be a good idea. If you’re involved in an accident and the rental vehicle is damaged, then you might be required to pay for the repair costs by the rental company. Finding a policy that includes rental vehicle excess insurance might save you from dipping into your Philly cheesesteak budget. 

Many travel insurance providers will offer different tiers of cover on their international policies. These often range from basic or essential policies, to premium or comprehensive policies. 

Generally, a basic policy will cover benefits like overseas emergency medical and hospital expenses, and personal liability. However, cover for things like flight delays, cancellations, loss of travel documents or cash, might only be available if you pay a higher premium.

Do Australians need a visa to travel to the USA?

Australians travelling to the USA for less than 90 days may be eligible for the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). If you’re not eligible for ESTA, then you’ll need to apply for a visa.

Travel insurance tips for the USA

  • Excess fees. When you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy, you may be required to pay a certain part of the total value of your claim. The rest would be paid by the insurance provider. This amount that you need to pay yourself is called an excess. This excess fee can vary according to your policy. Generally, the cheaper the cover, the more likely your excess fee will be higher.
  • Pre-existing conditions. Travel insurance providers ask you to declare any pre-existing conditions at the time of purchasing the policy. If you fail to do so, the insurance company can reject a claim you later make regarding that condition. Also, remember that pregnancies are considered as a pre-existing condition.
  • Unattended baggage. Remember that if your bags go missing while you’ve left them unattended, your insurance provider may reject your claim. In fact, even when you leave your bags with the hotel concierge after you’ve checked out, that’s often considered ‘unattended’ in the provider’s eyes.
  • Report incidents ASAP. Whether you’ve injured yourself while skiing in Aspen, or had your purse stolen on a New York subway, you must report any incident as soon as possible. Again, if you’ve read your policy’s PDS carefully, you’ll know the exact documentation that you will be required to submit with your claim. Generally, these will be doctors reports, hospital bills, police reports, or receipts, depending on the nature of your claim. So, make sure you hold onto these when it comes to contacting your travel insurance provider.
  • Driving in the USA. First of all, don’t drive a vehicle you aren’t licensed to drive. To drive in the USA, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). Make sure you get your IDP before you leave Australia. Also, remember that unlike Australia, Americans drive on the right-hand side of the road, which can be a bit confusing to begin with. So take extra care when pulling out of your parking spots, or turning at an intersection. And like in any part of the world, don’t drink and drive – your insurance will not cover you for any accidents while under the influence.
  • Drink responsibly. Always remember to be responsible with your drinks. If you face a medical emergency or injury while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your insurance company could refuse to reimburse you for those expenses. The worst type of hangover doesn’t come from Kentucky bourbon – it’s induced by bills.

Mozo Experts Choice Award-winning Travel Insurance

If you are looking for a travel insurance provider, it is important to find one that suits you and your individual needs for your trip. It can be hard to pick one because there are so many options. This is where the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards can help you.

To read more about the winners and compare plans to find the best insurance plan for you, check out our best travel insurance page.

Compare travel insurance policies - last updated 21 June 2024

Search promoted travel insurance below. Advertiser disclosure Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Travel Insurance
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    $5,000 limit per policy with option to increase limit

    Get protection in a few simple steps with Freely travel insurance all in the palm of your hand. Freely Travel offers 24/7 emergency and medical support, 24/7 customer service. Plus, you can tailor your policy so you only pay for what you need, and adapt your cover in near real time. Add-ons such as car rental excess, snow sports or other activities also available. Receive 10% off your travel insurance policy with promo code: MOZO10. T&Cs apply, go to site for full detail.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    No
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    Enjoy unlimited medical cover and 24/7 emergency assistance services when you travel. Get unlimited cover for cancellation fees and prepaid travel expenses. Cover for luggage and travel documents. $5,000,000 personal liability cover.

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  • International Travel Insurance
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Optional Extra - up to $40,000

    Be prepared for the unexpected on your adventures with Butter Travel Insurance. Emergency medical and hospital cover. COVID-19, accident and personal liability cover. Optional trip cancellation & interruption cover. Customise your cover with added extras like Motorcycle and ski cover (T&Cs apply).

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Choose $10,000 to Unlimited

    Backed by the NIB, one of Australia’s largest travel insurance providers, Travel Insurance Saver brings you peace of mind on your travels. Compare three tiers of insurance cover, featuring benefits like 24 hour emergency assistance, emergency medical cover, luggage cover, cancellation cover and more.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Comprehensive Single
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Choose $2,500 to Unlimited

    Enjoy the security of single trip cover on your next holiday with Southern Cross Travel Insurance. Get 24 hour emergency assistance, cover for cancelling or changing your journey before you leave, protection for lost, stolen or damaged goods as well as cover to replace lost or stolen cash, banks or travel documents. Be in to win 1 of 5 $1,000 cash prizes! T&Cs Apply. Offer ends 30 September 2023.

    Details
  • Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    If you are overseas, this insurance provides access to 24-hour emergency assistance and unlimited cover for emergency medical and hospital expenses. It also includes 38 automatically included pre-existing medical conditions, plus river cruising, motorbikes and mopeds included at no extra cost (T&Cs apply). RACV Members receive 15% off RACV Travel Insurance. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice 2024 Exceptional Quality Travel Insurance Award^

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Top
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    Be covered for international overseas and medical expenses. Emergency medical assistance 24 hours/365 days a year. Cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits. Cover for luggage and personal money. Dependents covered free of charge (conditions apply). Limited COVID cover available. Cancellation cover for COVID claims limited to $3,500.

    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Standard
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    No
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    $25,000

    Get the security of unlimited medical cover and 24/7 emergency assistance services when you travel. Get cover for cancellation fees and prepaid travel expenses. Cover for luggage and travel documents. $2,500,000 personal liability cover.

    Details
Jack Dona
Jack Dona
RG146
Money writer

Jack is degree-qualified in communications and creative writing, with a talent for simplifying financial jargon. His approach helps consumers make better decisions. Jack is RG146 certified in generic knowledge and uses flair to make finance interesting.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

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