best travel insurance canada 2024>>> If you plan to travel outside Canada ‒ even for a day in the United States – you should buy travel health insurance before you leave.
If you’re flying, make sure you get insurance for trip interruption, lost luggage and document replacement. If you’re driving, make sure you have driver and vehicle coverage in case you have an accident.
What is travel insurance?
Whether you’re headed outside your home province or to the other side of the world, traveling can be stressful.
Travel insurance can help protect you from the difficulties that come from unexpected medical expenses.
If you’re traveling soon and looking for coverage, a Sun Life advisor can talk to you about your options.
Why you should buy travel health insurance
- Your Canadian health insurance may not pay your medical bills while you’re outside Canada
- Your provincial or territorial health plan may cover none, or only a small part, of the costs of your medical care abroad. It will never pay your bills up front
- Foreign hospitals can be very expensive and may require immediate cash payment
- In some countries hospitals and clinics will not treat you if you do not have enough insurance or money to pay your bills
- The Government of Canada will not pay your medical bills
Where you can get travel insurance
You can buy travel insurance through your:
- travel agent
- insurance broker
- employer’s insurance provider
- credit card company
What your travel health insurance should cover
No matter where you’re travelling, your travel health insurance policy should always cover the following 3 things:
1. Medical evacuation
Make sure your policy covers medical evacuation to Canada or to the nearest place with appropriate medical care. The policy should also cover the costs of a medical escort to travel with you to your final destination.
2. Pre-existing medical conditions
Ask the company to explain the definition of, and the limitations and restrictions on, any pre-existing conditions and tests and treatments you may have had.
- Make sure you get a written agreement that your insurance covers your pre-existing medical condition, or you could find your claim “null and void” under a pre-existing condition clause.
- The agreement must also include a stability clause that says that if you’re to be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions for a specific period of time (stability period):
- you must have no changes to your medical condition
- you must have no new medical conditions, symptoms or medications during the stability period before your trip.
- The agreement should include:
- a compassion clause saying that an inaccurate statement may not invalidate the entire policy, and
- a change of health clause.
3. Repatriation in case of death
Make sure that your plan includes everything necessary to help your loved ones if you die outside Canada as the result of an accident or a sudden and unexpected illness. Make sure your insurance covers:
- The preparation and return of your remains
- Local cremation or burial outside Canada
- Reasonable additional expenses if someone needs to travel to identify your body
For more information, see our Death abroad page.
Why do I need travel insurance?
If you’re planning to travel, there are many reasons why travel insurance may be right for you:
- For the peace of mind. You’ll know you’re protected in case of an accident or sudden illness.
- To cover unexpectedly high bills. The cost of medical care can be much higher abroad than in Canada,
- To be supported by a team of professionals. They’ll make sure that you have access to medical care and arrange for you to come home if needed.
- For unexpected hospital visits. Some hospitals require that uninsured patients pay a deposit of several thousands of dollars before providing the necessary care. With travel insurance, you’ll save money on any potential hospital charges.
Know what you’re buying
Carefully research your needs. Verify the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of your insurance policy before you leave Canada.
When assessing a travel health insurance plan, you should ask a lot of questions.
- Is there a deductible, and how much is it? Plans with 100% coverage are more expensive but may save money in the long run.
- Does the plan offer continuous coverage for the length of your stay outside Canada and after your return?
- Does the plan exclude or greatly limit coverage for certain regions or countries you may visit?
- Does it offer coverage that is renewable from abroad and for the maximum period of stay?
- Does the company have an in-house, worldwide, 24-hour/7-day emergency contact number in English and/or translation services for health care providers in your destination country?
- Does it pay for hospitalization for illness or injury and related medical costs at your destination?
- Does it pay your bills or cash advances up front, so you don’t have to pay them?
Meet the terms of your policy
It’s your responsibility to know and understand the terms of your insurance policy. Read the fine print carefully and ask for help if you need it.
The information you provide must be accurate and complete. If you have any questions, contact the insurance company. Ask them to send you a written explanation.
Carry your insurance information with you while you’re travelling and leave a copy with a friend or relative at home.
Understand potential exclusions
Get approval from your insurer before you undergo medical treatment. Travel health insurance rarely covers routine health checkups, non-emergency care and cosmetic surgery. It may not cover mental health disorders, drug- or alcohol-related incidents, or extreme sports such as bungee jumping and rock climbing.
If you need to make a claim
Get a detailed report and invoice from your doctor or hospital before leaving the country where you received medical treatment. Trying to get the proper paperwork from thousands of kilometres away can be frustrating. Always submit the original receipts for medical services or prescriptions you received abroad. Keep a copy of the documents for your files.
Check for Travel Advisories
Check the Travel Advice and Advisories for your destination twice: once when you are planning your trip and again just before you go.
Your insurance company may not pay your medical claim if the Government of Canada has issued a Travel Advisory for your destination.
If you live or work outside Canada
Travel insurance is not intended for use when you are living for an extended period, or permanently, outside Canada. If you live abroad, or you’re planning to move to a different country, you should consider your insurance needs carefully. Local law may require you to have medical insurance, and you may have to include proof of medical insurance with your visa application.
If you study outside Canada
If you study outside Canada or are planning to go to a different country to study, contact your educational institution or program administrator for advice on the coverage you need.
Travel Guard provides travel insurance products for every travel need – whether you are a student, young business traveller, family with kids, senior seeking medical coverage when abroad or a tourist visiting Canada.
Choose from our popular Trip Cancellation travel insurance if you are not looking for Emergency Medical coverage, or our All Inclusive insurance if you are looking for comprehensive coverage including Emergency Medical. We have many fine travel insurance product options. See which one is right for you.
New to Medipac? Or this is your first time buying travel medical insurance?
Many Canadians are simply looking for travel insurance that provides “peace of mind” at the lowest cost. While this may be important things to consider, understand that your true goal when buying travel medical insurance is to ensure that you are properly covered and have a trusted company beside you with the necessary medical resources and expertise to help manage your medical emergency. A company that is both reliable and reputable, on a grand scale, and has a proven track record of excellence.
best travel insurance canada
That company is Medipac.
*Medipac Travel Insurance is endorsed by the Canadian Snowbird Association and the Royal Canadian Legion.
Medipac provides comprehensive coverage, up to $5 million USD, including coverage for COVID-19. And, together with Medipac Assist, Medipac has the necessary medical resources to properly support our clients during a medical emergency.
Medipac Assist provides dedicated emergency assistance lines, staffed with in-house medical professionals who are there for you, from application to assistance
In terms of cost, Medipac rates often are lower than those of other plans, almost certainly in the long-run, when it’s more important. With our Claim-free, Loyalty and other discounts many clients save upwards of 20%, every year.
Now that you have made the right choice, be sure to visit our “How to Save” section. Most new clients can save 3-5% in their first year, with our Claim-free Advantage discount. You may need to call to qualify. (1-888-633-4722)
For your reference, and to help you make an informed choice, be sure to download the Medipac Travel Insurance Guide, which includes helpful tips and a complete copy of the Medipac Travel Insurance Policy.
What is the best travel insurance company in Canada?
#1 in Travel Insurance
For millions of Canadians, comprehensive emergency travel coverage offered by Blue Cross has become an essential part of their holiday plans.
Which visitor insurance is best in Canada?
The 10 best travel insurance companies for visitors to Canada in 2023 are:
Best travel insurance for comprehensive coverage: Manulife.
Best travel insurance for pre-existing conditions: Tugo.
Best travel insurance for international students: Allianz.
Best travel insurance for super visa: GMS.
What travel insurance do I need for Canada?
worldwide travel insurance
To visit Canada, you need worldwide travel insurance to cover you for loss, damage and theft of your belongings, cancellation or curtailment of your trip, and public liability if you should cause accidental damage or injury. You’ll need to choose worldwide travel insurance including Canada, USA and the Caribbean.
What is the average cost of travel insurance in Canada?
Travel insurance costs an average of: $22.20 for a 10-year-old traveller. $41.16 for a 35-year-old couple. $42.24 for a family of four.
Why is travel insurance to Canada so expensive?
Lack of National Healthcare System. In an international travel insurance policy, medical expenses for sudden illness, accidents, evacuation or repatriation are among the essential components. Unlike many other nations, these nations often lack a national healthcare system.
What insurance is free in Canada?
The Canadian public healthcare system, known as Medicare, is funded by taxes. It covers all care deemed “medically necessary,” including hospital and doctor visits, but generally does not provide prescription, dental, or vision coverage.