Travel Insurance for Visitors to Canada

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Planning a trip to Canada? Wonderful!  But wait: Do you know that, as a visitor to this country, you are not covered by Canada’s National Health Care program?  Your domestic health insurance policy is not likely to offer adequate coverage for medical needs that may arise during your stay here either.

So what happens if you are involved in an accident or if you become ill during your visit?  Who will pay for your care?

Consider travel medical insurance.  It can save you hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of out-of-pocket medical expenses for a relatively small cost.  Most Canadian insurance companies offer international visitors travel medical insurance. And while you can probably buy a travel insurance policy in your home country, Canadian insurers are likely to be better qualified to provide you with the most appropriate policy because they know the ins and outs of the medical system here and can make knowledgeable recommendations that factor in common health risks as well as typical medical costs.

How do you go about insuring your health and well-being for your trip?  Start by checking your medical insurance policy coverage before you leave your country.  Find out what medical expenses it covers.  In particular, note whether your policy will pay for your return home in case of a medical emergency.  If you find that your policy offers adequate coverage, be sure to bring your insurance ID card with you on your trip.  If it does not, you can compare costs of policies from Canadian insurance providers online or by phone.

The financial limits of your policy will depend on your personal comfort level, but talking with a licensed insurance professional can certainly help you decide where to set those limits.  He or she can provide you with insights about the costs you are likely to incur should a medical emergency arise.  

Most travel insurance policies will offer you coverage for the following:

  •     Physician services

  •     Hospital expenses

  •     Diagnostic tests

  •     Prescription drugs

You can also request coverage for these potential needs:

  •     Emergency air transportation to a medical facility

  •     Your (or your traveling companion’s) return home in case of a medical emergency

  •     Childcare expenses if you are hospitalized

  •     Trip interruption

  •     Side trips (outside of Canada)

  •     Death or dismemberment

Travel insurance is available to individuals, families and individuals-plus-travel companion. You may also specify whether you would like a single-trip or multi-trip policy. If you travel to Canada frequently, the multi-trip option can save you money.

With your travel insurance policy in hand, you are free to explore all of the wonders of Canada, confident and worry-free. Enjoy your visit!