Travel Insurance for The USA
Given its status in the global economy – and in popular culture – the United States of America is a very popular destination for Australians, either as tourists, or on a business trip. And being a highly developed nation, it is a fairly safe destination, albeit one where enhanced security measures can result in delays, detention, or even denied entry with little notice. Irrespective of where you are travelling to, travel insurance is always a wise investment, and when visiting the US you can expect it to come in handy for covering the costs of unexpected medical treatments, lost or delayed luggage, or even cancelled flights and accommodation due to inclement weather. And it is especially recommended if you intend participating in any high-risk activities such as skiing, skydiving, or hiking and mountaineering.
Is it safe to travel to the US at the moment?
The Smartraveller website, operated by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, should always be checked ahead of any foreign travel for the latest advice. In the absence of any major incidents or natural disasters, visitors to the USA are generally advised to exercise normal safety precautions. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida - also known as the Gulf States - along with portions of the East Coast, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico are sometimes severely affected by hurricanes, which can affect travel.
Taking out an appropriate level of travel cover is strongly recommended for travel to the US, if only to cover the usual risk of lost or delayed luggage, theft, and changes to travel plans due to severe weather.
Do I need a visa for the US from Australia?
Australian passport holders are eligible for a visa waiver for tourism and business stays up to 90 days. Australian residents need to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) well in advance of their departure date. If your ESTA application is denied, or if you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen since March 2011, you will need to apply for a visa. Australian passport holders with a criminal record should always get advice from a US Consulate or Embassy before travelling.
Do I need an international driver's license in the USA?
In addition to having a valid driver's license for your country of residence, some states in the US require foreign nationals to also have a valid International Driving Permit (IDP). If you intend renting a vehicle and driving during your trip to the US, it would be better to apply for an IDP anyway. An IDP can only be issued in your country of residence, and having one will save you from having to check the requirements for each state and/or car rental agencies. Although many travel insurance policies include cover for car rental excess, check the value of the benefit beforehand so you can decide whether or not you need additional car rental insurance. You should also check the travel insurance policy for any exclusions on medical treatment relating to driving accidents.
How to get medical treatment in the USA?
You are not immune to accidents and illness when travelling, and while some might be minor enough to treat yourself, others may require professional medical intervention. Healthcare in the US is usually of a very high standard, but it is also prohibitively expensive. If you require medical treatment while visiting the US as a tourist or on business, you will need to visit an emergency room or healthcare facility, and they will all generally require payment upfront. Visitors to the US can call 911 in the event of an emergency, but the cost of the ambulance, and any care that follows will also be for your own account. Without travel insurance, requiring medical treatment in the US is sure to spoil the rest of your trip.
How much is travel insurance to America?
The cost of travel insurance is always influenced by a number of risk factors, including your age, current health, your destination, and any high-risk activities you intend participating in. Using a service that allows you to compare travel insurance policies is often the easiest way to find the right cover for you, and at a price you find affordable.
We also offer insurance for other destinations such as New Zealand
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