From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park, the USA is brimming with travel possibilities. With 50 states and spanning nine time zones, the staggering size of the country and the sheer number of bucket list attractions means that no American holiday ever feels long enough.
However, travelling to the United States can also pose a number of risks, including violent crime, pickpocketing and costly medical care.
Comprehensive insurance is essential to protect yourself on holiday, and understanding what your policy covers is the best way to avoid unexpected costs.
What will my insurance policy cover in the USA?
Our TravelCare policy provides comprehensive and affordable travel insurance for your trip to the USA. It also includes access to our worldwide emergency assistance team, who are ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our comprehensive TravelCare insurance offers cover for:
- Unlimited medical and evacuation expenses that arise due to unexpected events while on your journey
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits – increase your cover depending on the cost of your journey
- Damaged or lost baggage
- Personal items if they are stolen or damaged
- Rental car excess should you have an accident
- Emergency dental treatment
- Funeral costs
Does my policy cover medical emergencies and hospital bills?
Healthcare in the USA is generally of an excellent standard, but it’s also notoriously expensive. Thankfully, our TravelCare policy insures you for unlimited medical expenses and evacuation from the United States if required. We’ve paid countless medical claims from some unlucky travellers in the USA, some costing as much as $374,000.
If you find yourself in a medical emergency, it’s a good idea to present your TravelCare policy certificate to the hospital when you are admitted. In some cases, American hospitals are faster to treat travellers that can prove they’re insured - some have even been known to refuse minor treatment for uninsured travellers.
We understand how disruptive and upsetting a medical emergency can be on holiday, which is why we offer ongoing advice on where to seek medical care in the USA. We can also arrange a payment guarantee, which means that if you’re required to pay an upfront deposit prior to treatment, you can be confident knowing that those funds will be covered by us.
Does my insurance cover rental car excess?
One of the best ways to explore the endless plains of the USA is by hitting the road. Cruising down the iconic Route 66 in a rental car is a true bucket list adventure, but one that requires careful planning.
In some states, travellers can legally drive on an Australian full driver’s license in the USA for up to 12 months after their arrival. In others, an International Driving Permit is required. If, as a result of an unexpected event, the rental vehicle you have hired is stolen or damaged, you’re covered for rental car excess of up to $5,000 under your TravelCare policy. If you’re planning on renting a car for a great American road trip, remember to:
- Obey local driving laws
- Hire your vehicle from a licensed rental agency
- Comply with the terms of the rental vehicle agreement
- Only drive on formed or paved roads
- Don’t drink and drive under any circumstances
Am I covered for stolen or damaged valuables, like my phone, camera and laptop?
Losing your luggage can easily turn into a traveller’s nightmare, especially when passports and travel cards are involved. We know how frustrating and costly a travel mishap like this can be, which is why our TravelCare policy covers you for personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged as a result of an unexpected event.
Travellers to the USA, especially those visiting the bigger cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, should be on the lookout for pickpockets. Petty theft is common in America and unsuspecting tourists are the prime target. Take constant care of your possessions and be sure you never leave valuables unattended.
Does my policy cover terrorism?
Recent global events have made terrorism a concern for travellers to the USA. If you’re unsure about the current threat level in the country, the Smartraveller website provides detailed information on terrorism in America and update their travel advisory warnings accordingly.
Under your TravelCare policy, you are covered for medical and evacuation claims resulting from terrorism up to $100,000 per policy. However, it is important to be aware that you are not covered for terrorism under any other sections of the policy.
How to stay safe in the USA
Staying safe in the USA should be a priority for all visitors, whether you’re travelling to one of the country’s many national parks, or to its famous cities like New York and Los Angeles. Travellers should remember to:
- Research their holiday carefully to become familiar with common risks of their destination
- Avoid dangerous neighbourhoods in cities like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Detroit
- Pack carefully for any nature adventures, including appropriate first aid gear and hiking attire
- Avoid carrying more cash and valuables than you need and using hotel safes whenever possible
- Avoid political rallies and protests, or situations where the police are involved
What you need to know
This page provides a summary of the key terms only. As with all insurance policies, terms and conditions apply. For our terms and conditions (including information about exclusions, excesses and sub limits) we recommend you read the Combined FSG and PDS.