Travel Insurance for the USA

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Updated 25/06/2024
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Updated activities and benefits of Travel Insurance, including information on COVID-19, premiums and exclusions
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Updated 25/06/2024

What changed?

Updated activities and benefits of Travel Insurance, including information on COVID-19, premiums and exclusions
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

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Do I need Travel Insurance for the USA?
What activities in the USA could my Travel Insurance cover?
Will I be covered for COVID-19?
How much does Travel Insurance cost for the USA?
What won’t Travel Insurance cover in the USA?
Where can I find and compare Travel Insurance?

Do I need Travel Insurance for the USA?

If you’re looking to visit The States, you aren’t legally required to have Travel Insurance. However, you aren’t legally required to spread the myth about drop bears either but plenty of Australians happily do so regardless. In fact, the Australian Government even recommends it — getting Travel Insurance that is. 

This is because there’s a lot that can happen in America to put a spanner in your trip. For instance, they have their fair share of wild weather, including tornadoes and winter storms. These could affect your flights and even impact other types of travel. 

America also has varying crime rates across the country, but the cities and urban areas get more than their fair share. This can include pickpocketing in crowded areas or on public transport. So, while you’re looking up at Times Square, someone could be making away with your passport or wallet. 

Further, America has a rather infamous healthcare system. While the quality of it may be on par with Australia’s, it doesn’t function quite the same. There’s no Medicare-equivalent or a reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and the US. As a result, their medical costs are quite a bit higher than ours — and if you become unwell or injured on your holiday, you could find yourself with a seriously big bill. 

For example, if you fracture your lower leg in Australia, you could opt to go through the public system with bulkbilling for no out-of-pocket costs. Alternatively, you could use your Private Health Insurance and, if you are bulk billed, expect an average out-of-pocket cost of $85 (if you had one at all).1Medical Costs Finder – MBS item 47561,2This is the amount patients typically paid for these services, rounded to the nearest dollar. They do not include hospital payments such as excesses, co-payments or other payments. These fees may vary depending on your situation. Not all patients had out-of-pocket costs; those who didn’t aren’t included in these figures. (However, GPs and specialists can set a fee for the service that is higher than the Medicare benefit. In this case you may have out-of-pocket costs.) But, in America, you could be paying as much as $7,500 for the same treatment.3HealthCare.gov – Why health insurance is important You could probably spend that money in far more exciting ways on your trip. 

What activities in the USA could my Travel Insurance cover? 

Depending on your Travel Insurance Policy and your itinerary, you could look for cover that applies to a range of popular tourist activities and attractions in the USA. 

Trekking through nature

Whether you’re a casual stroller or a serious hiker, America has more than 52 million acres of National Parks to explore with stunning sights to make any hill worth it.4National Park Service – Quarterly Acreage Report: March 31 2024

However, many of these acres are home to insects, including mosquitos and ticks, which can leave you worse for wear. You could find yourself walking away with Lyme disease, West Nile virus or Rocky Mountain spotted fever along with the ultimate Instagram shot. Thankfully, your Travel Insurance could help cover the costs of getting you well again. 

Seeing America’s favourite sports 

For fans of Field of Dreams or those just curious to try a true chilli dog, it might be time to take yourself out to the ball game while you’re visiting America. Of course, there’s plenty of ball games to choose from, including baseball, football and basketball.  

At any of these events, you’ll get to enjoy being swept up with and lost in the roar of the crowd. However, you could also find you’ve lost a bit more with pickpockets or just sheer bad luck. But Travel Insurance may help you replace lost cash or important travel documents, like passports. 

Taking to the slopes

America is home to plenty of quality ski resorts, including possibly the most famous: Aspen. If you’re an experienced skier or are still battling with bunny slopes, the USA could be where you have a winter wonderland holiday.  

Of course, we all know someone who’s taken a tumble on the ski slopes and needed to visit the emergency department. However, you may be able to get winter sport coverage on your Travel Insurance so you can ski and snowboard with peace of mind.

Exploring America’s history

From participating in Civil War battle re-enactments to taking a midnight ghost tour in New Orleans, the USA’s history doesn’t need to stay bound up in books.  

But what if you need to cancel or delay your trip to the past? Depending on your reasons, your Travel Insurance may cover you if the vendor won’t provide a refund or alternative date. 

Driving and road tripping

Whether you want to skip the packed tour buses or have always dreamed of travelling Route 66 from start to finish, driving is a great way to explore the United States. Create your ultimate road trip playlist, stock up on snacks and hire a car to start your adventure. 

But before you hit the road, you might want to check if your Travel Insurance includes rental vehicle excess. If you were to get in an accident or damage your hire car, your Travel Insurance could soak up the excess you’d otherwise have to pay. 

Will I be covered for COVID-19? 

COVID-19 has become less of a headline in the years since 2020. As a result, you may be able to find a policy that offers some coverage for it. This could include needing to cancel your trip before you go or having it interrupted because you became unwell. You could see what you’re covered for by looking at the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). 

However, even if you do have COVID-19 coverage, it might be a good idea to be a bit more vigilant in the weeks coming up to your trip as well as while you’re in The States. After all, a holiday sounds far better than a week or two coughing in bed. 

How much does Travel Insurance cost for the USA? 

Your Travel Insurance premium depends on a range of factors, like: 

  • The insurer and level of cover you choose 
  • How long you’re away for 
  • Your age and health, including any pre-existing conditions 
  • What you’ll be taking with you and how much those valuables are worth
  • Any extreme sports you wish to add to your cover 
  • Your excess 

Where you’re travelling to also plays a part in determining your premium. In the case of America, while it may only be Level 1 when it comes to the government’s travel advice, it’s that hectic healthcare system that pushes premiums up. If you do happen to need to make a medical claim on your Travel Insurance, it could cost your insurer a lot. So, to balance it out, your premiums are likely to be a bit higher. 

What won’t Travel Insurance cover in the USA? 

Each policy is different so some may have some limits or restrictions around popular American tourist activities. You might want to double check your PDS if there’s something you really want to do while you’re in The States.  

Otherwise, you’re likely to see the kinds of exclusions that are common to most Travel Insurance Policies, like: 

  • Compensation for lost or stolen baggage or valuables that were left unattended 
  • Illegal activities, even those you think aren’t a big deal, like drinking in America if you’re under 21  
  • If you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol 
  • Pre-existing conditions you didn’t mention or include on your policy 

Where can I find and compare Travel Insurance? 

If America is calling your name, it could be worthwhile purchasing Travel Insurance alongside those flights. Luckily, iSelect makes it easy to compare a range of policies from different providers. You can compare Travel Insurance online and get it all done and dusted in a matter of minutes. 

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Save time and effort by comparing a range of travel insurance policies with iSelect

iSelect does not compare all travel insurers or policies in the market. Travel insurance is only available through our website and not all policies are available at all times or in all areas. Not all policies available from our partners are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements and customer circumstances not all policies compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.

iSelect General Pty Limited ABN 90 131 798 126, AFS Licence Number: 334115. Any advice provided by iSelect is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice iSelect gives you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on iSelect’s advice or purchasing any policy. You should consider iSelect’s Financial Services Guide which provides information about our services and your rights as a client of iSelect. iSelect receives commission for each policy sold.

  • 1.
    Medical Costs Finder – MBS item 47561
  • 2.
    This is the amount patients typically paid for these services, rounded to the nearest dollar. They do not include hospital payments such as excesses, co-payments or other payments. These fees may vary depending on your situation. Not all patients had out-of-pocket costs; those who didn’t aren’t included in these figures.
  • 3.
  • 4.
    National Park Service – Quarterly Acreage Report: March 31 2024