Travel Insurance for the USA

Up to three kids go free, (per insured adult, subject to medical screening, when you buy direct from us)  with our Triple Gold Moneynet Award for Best Provider on Travel Insurance*

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14 Mar 2024

Buy travel insurance to the USA 


Taking a trip to the USA is on many people’s bucket lists, and with so much to offer, it’s not hard to see why. From visiting Walt Disney World in Florida to sailing past the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry, and from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the stunning scenery of New England, the US has something for everyone to enjoy.


Investing in quality travel insurance when travelling in the USA can help give you peace of mind when you’re on holiday. You can enjoy yourself in the knowledge that you are covered for unexpected mishaps while you are away.


Do I need travel insurance for the USA?


Legally, you don’t need to have travel insurance for a trip to America, but it can be a good idea.


All healthcare in America is private and is amongst some of the most expensive in the world[1]. If you need medical care when you’re in the States, you’ll have to pay for it yourself. And that could easily cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars and more. If you have travel insurance that includes health insurance, those costs can be covered by your policy.


Travel insurance for the USA will also cover you for other unexpected events, such as flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage and theft. Travel insurance can be a cost-effective way to protect yourself.


Can I enter the US without travel insurance?


Yes, you can enter the USA without travel insurance as it is not a legal requirement for tourists. But travel insurance is worth considering as it will protect you against unforeseen incidents, like expensive medical charges and lost luggage.


It’s important to note that although you don’t need USA travel insurance to enter the US if you have a British passport, you must apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) waiver. This will allow you to visit the country for 90 days without a visa[2].

How much is travel insurance to the USA?


The cost of USA travel insurance from the UK will vary depending on your unique circumstances and will depend on factors like:

  • Your age – the cost of travel insurance tends to go up as you get older
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions you may have
  • The length of your stay in the USA
  • The activities you plan on doing
  • The specific level of cover you may need, as well as any add-ons


Asda Money offers a range of options for cheap travel insurance and health insurance while travelling in the USA. If this will be your only holiday this year, our single-trip travel insurance may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you are planning multiple trips, taking out annual multi-trip cover could work out cheaper.

If you are travelling as a family, Asda’s family cover will insure up to three kids for free. *

No matter which type of insurance policy you take out, Asda Money offers three levels of cover: Value, Premium and Superior. Each level provides different amounts you can claim for unforeseen events, such as lost luggage, cancellations, medical bills, legal expenses, personal money, and delayed departures.

For example, Asda’s Value cover will pay up to £20 million for medical expenses, £1,000 for lost luggage and up to £1,000 per person if you need to cancel or cut your trip short. **

With Asda’s Premium cover, you will be covered up to £25 million for medical expenses, £1,300 for lost or stolen personal belongings, and up to £2,000 per person if you need to cancel or cut your trip short. **

Alternatively, Asda’s Superior cover offers unlimited protection for medical costs, £2,000 for lost luggage and up to £5,000 for cancelling or cutting short your holiday. **

You may also need to take out additional cover for any extreme sports or adventure activities that are not included in your standard policy.

If you are going to the US on business or taking expensive personal belongings with you, it may be beneficial for you to consider taking out additional gadget cover or business travel insurance to make sure you have adequate protection in place for expensive items.

To check which policy is best for you, compare travel insurance options to the USA to make sure you get the level of cover that’s right for you.

* Up to three kids go free per insured adult, subject to medical screening when you buy direct with us.

** Exclusions and restrictions apply so check your policy documents for full details.


How much insurance do I need for the USA?


With single-trip policies, we’ll offer you a quote just for the USA. If you want an annual multi-trip policy, you’ll need to choose worldwide insurance that includes the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.


Each type of insurance policy will provide varying levels of cover for unexpected medical costs, delays and cancellations, and lost luggage and other property.


Some adventure activities will be included on a standard insurance policy, whereas others like winter sports will require additional cover. Make sure you know what sports and activities you want to do in America and ensure your travel insurance policy covers them. If not, you may need to buy additional insurance.


To work out the level of cover you need, calculate the total cost of your holiday (i.e. how much you’d need to be refunded if it’s cancelled) and the value of all the belongings you’ll be taking with you. You’ll also need to make sure your policy covers you for medical costs. Check that you have any necessary optional extras, like gadget cover and skiing and winter sports too.


Do I need a visa for the USA?


If you’re a tourist travelling with a British passport, in most cases you won’t need a visa to enter the States and to stay there for up to 90 days.


However, you will need to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver.  For trips longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a visa via the US Embassy.


ESTA application process


The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver programme allows people travelling from certain countries, including the UK, to visit the States for business or tourism for up to 90 days without needing a visa.


You use the ESTA system by applying and paying for it online, at the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. You’ll need to enter personal information about yourself, your passport, some details about your stay in the States, and several security questions. Every person travelling must have an ESTA, including children. Applying for an ESTA currently costs $21 per person, and can be paid by credit card, PayPal or Apple Pay.


You should apply to ESTA as early as possible before you book any flights. But in the case of emergencies, you can apply up to 72 hours before travelling.


Who can’t apply for an ESTA visa waiver?


Even if you have a British passport, you won’t be able to apply for an ESTA visa waiver if:


You’ve been in Cuba any time since 1 January 2021.


You’ve been in the following countries on or since March 2011:


  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen


If you have:


  • Previously been arrested (even if that arrest didn’t result in a criminal conviction)
  • A criminal record
  • Ever been refused entry into, or have been deported from, the USA
  • Previously overstayed the 90 day period allowed under an ESTA visa waiver


If you can’t apply for an ESTA visa waiver, you’ll have to apply for a US visa. Make sure you check the latest entry requirements for UK citizens visiting the US.  


What will USA travel insurance cover?


Most standard travel insurance and travel medical insurance policies for the USA will cover:


  • Cancelling your trip for any valid reason that is specified in your insurance policy, such as having to head home earlier for an emergency
  • Medical expenses or the costs of any other emergency treatment
  • Repatriation – the cost of bringing you back to the UK
  • Lost, stolen, damaged or delayed personal belongings and luggage
  • Personal accident cover
  • Delayed or cancelled flights
  • Cancelled accommodation
  • The cost of your trip being prolonged, including accommodation and additional living expenses
  • Lost passport – this can come in quite handy as ordering a replacement for a lost or stolen passport when abroad can be quite complicated and costly
  • Personal liability cover – this provides protection for you in case you cause injury or damage to another person or their possessions
  • Legal expenses


All insurance policies will be different, so make sure you read your policy documents thoroughly.


USA travel insurance exclusions


As with most other travel insurance policies, your USA travel insurance will come with some exclusions, including:


  • Some pre-existing medical conditions are unlikely to be covered by your standard travel insurance policy, so you may have to take out additional cover for this
  • Any pre-existing medical conditions that you did not disclose to your insurer when you took out your policy
  • Cover for unexpected incidents that may occur whilst you are abroad that impact your holiday. This includes civil unrest, war, earthquakes and/or any other natural disasters unless you’ve taken out additional cover for this
  • Cover for injuries or accidents that take place whilst you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Cover for accidents or injuries that take place when taking part in any dangerous activities or extreme sports that are not covered in your policy


When organising travel insurance to the US, it’s important to read your policy documents to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you travel.


Healthcare in the USA


The US offers some of the most advanced healthcare in the world, but all healthcare in the States is private, and it’s notoriously expensive. Even simple procedures can cost hundreds of dollars, whilst more extensive medical care can run up bills in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is why travel insurance can be so important when visiting the US. If you do need medical care, insurance can make sure you aren’t left with an enormous bill. 


If you do need healthcare while on holiday, you might be asked to pay a certain amount up-front. If this does happen, contact your travel insurer to find out whether this is a charge they’ll cover. To be on the safe side, try to have both travel insurance and some funds available on the side for emergencies.


The emergency service number in the States is 911.


Read the FCDO’s advice on health in the USA in full.


Does a GHIC card cover health insurance in the USA?


No, it won’t. The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaces the old European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that helps UK citizens access medical care abroad for free or for reduced rates.


Even though it has global in the name, the GHIC currently only works in EU countries, plus Montenegro, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Australia.


Tips for travelling to the USA


Make sure your stay in the States goes as smoothly as possible with these US travel tips:

Organise your travel documents


As well as ensuring you have the right travel and health insurance for the USA, make sure your passport will be valid for the entirety of your stay in America. And apply for your ESTA visa waiver as early as possible. Print out copies of your travel insurance policy before you leave in case you need medical care in the US and you have to show them before you’re treated.


Exchange your dollars


Whilst you’ll likely be able to use your bank cards everywhere in the States (although check with your bank first that they can be used abroad) it makes sense to have cash to hand, especially for tipping.


You can order US dollars online with Asda Money for easy home delivery or in-store collection. We also offer an Asda Travel Money Card that lets you make contactless payments anywhere Mastercard Prepaid is accepted, without any fees for spending abroad.




Tipping is generally seen as compulsory in the US, forming an important part of many workers’ earnings. With different amounts customarily given for different services, it can be difficult for tourists to understand how much to tip. Use the following as a general guide:


  • In bars and restaurants - 15 to 20% of the value of the total bill, or $1 per drink ($2 for more complicated drinks like cocktails)[3].
  • Taxi drivers - 15 to 20%[4].
  • Car valets - minimum of $2 to $4[5].
  • Hotel porters - $5 per trolley or $2 per bag[6].
  • Maid service - 2 to $5 per night[7]




Whilst no specific vaccinations are required to go to the States, it could be a good idea to visit your GP six to eight weeks before you travel to make sure you’re up to date with all your routine vaccinations and boosters.


Driving in the USA


Whilst there’s plenty of public transport available in the States, the car is still very much king in America. Hiring a car can help you see the most you possibly can during a stay in the USA.


Be aware that driving laws vary by state in America, and whilst some states will accept a UK driving licence others will require an International Driving Permit (IDP). You should check which is required in the state(s) you want to drive in before you leave. To be on the safe side, you can always apply for an IDP whilst still in the UK.


You should research the other driving laws of the state(s) you’ll be visiting, so you’re clear on all aspects of driving, like speed limits.


Your USA travel insurance likely won’t cover you for all aspects of hiring a car, so you’ll need to make sure you buy suitable car hire insurance from the car hire company.









Spain Travel Insurance FAQs

What insurance do I need when travelling to Spain?

You’ll need a travel insurance policy that covers Europe, either for a single trip or multiple trips. This means you’re covered for travelling anywhere in the EU, including Spain.

Is it worth getting travel insurance for Spain?

Travel insurance for Spain can a sensible option to protect against the cost of holiday mishaps like cancellations, lost or stolen items, and medical emergencies.

Is the EHIC card still valid in Spain?

If you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) that is still in date, it’s valid in Spain, as is the more recent GHIC card. It’s recommended to have both an EHIC/GHIC card and travel insurance for trips to Spain to make sure a range of medical eventualities are covered.

Can I go to Spain without travel insurance?

Yes, you can visit Spain from the UK without travel insurance. Travel insurance is worth considering to you’re covered for unexpected problems like the loss of valuables, cancellations, and medical costs.

Is healthcare free in Spain for UK citizens?

As a British tourist visiting Spain, you’ll generally have to pay for any healthcare services you use. You will be entitled to some healthcare for free, or at a discount, with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), whilst travel insurance could cover you for more major medical costs.

Can I take paracetamol to Spain?

Yes, you can take paracetamol with you to Spain. You can also buy paracetamol in Spanish pharmacies.

Can I bring prescription medication to Spain?

In most cases, you can. But to make sure airport security goes smoothly, keep all your prescription medicines in their original packaging, bring your prescriptions with you, and ideally a note from your doctor that explains why you’re taking them.

Do I need special insurance to drive in Spain?

Spain recognises UK car insurance, but you may only be valid for third party cover. Speak to your car insurance provider if you’d like to extend your car insurance to fully comprehensive while you’re visiting Spain.


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