Hello, young travelers! Are you planning a trip to Canada? Canada is a wonderful country with many exciting things to see and do, from exploring our beautiful national parks to trying our famous poutine. However, staying safe and protected in unforeseen circumstances is crucial while you’re here. Did you know that healthcare costs in Canada can be expensive for visitors? That’s why it’s essential to have travel insurance. In this blog, we’ll explain how to buy travel insurance for visitors in Canada.
Travel Insurance Requirements for Entering Canada
Canada’s medical care can be costly if you get sick or hurt while visiting. For example, if you need an ambulance to take you to the hospital, it can cost a lot of money. A regular ambulance can cost up to $848! And if you need to be taken by helicopter, it can cost even more – up to $4,394 for just one hour. It can be very costly if you need to go to the hospital.
In one hospital in Toronto, it can cost up to $800 to visit the emergency room. And if you need special tests like an MRI or CT scan, it can be even more expensive. That is why having visitors to Canada medical travel insurance is important. This insurance can help you pay for these high costs, so you don’t have to worry about it.
Steps to Get Travel Insurance in Canada
Here are some major steps you can take to get travel insurance in Canada:
1- Check your existing coverage
If you have group health insurance through your employer, union, or professional association, it may already cover out-of-country hospital and medical expenses. Check with your insurer to see if this applies to you and if the coverage has any limitations.
2- Shop around for individual travel insurance
You can purchase individual travel insurance from insurance companies or travel agencies, auto clubs, banks, and more. You can buy it online, through your broker, or by calling a central contact center.
3- Consider credit card coverage
Some credit cards may provide some travel insurance protection, but be sure to check the details and any specific restrictions that may apply. For example, you may need to use that credit card to purchase your travel arrangements, and there may be limits on the length of coverage.
4- Learn about any coverage gaps
If you have group benefits coverage, but there are gaps, or it doesn’t fully meet your needs, you can purchase an individual travel insurance policy to fill those gaps.
5- Purchase your policy
Once you have found the right coverage for your needs, you can purchase your policy online, over the phone, or through your broker.
Cost of Travel Insurance in Canada
The cost of travel insurance in Canada depends on several factors. Insurance companies look at your age, health, destination, trip cost, trip duration, and coverage type to calculate the cost of your travel insurance. Older people are statistically more likely to make a medical claim, so their travel insurance rates are higher.
Not all travel insurance plans cover pre-existing medical conditions, so you may need to pay a higher premium for specialized coverage. If you visit high-risk areas, your travel insurance quote will also be higher.
The more expensive your trip, the more expensive your insurance will be. Extended coverage means higher premiums if you go away for longer. Different types of coverage have different costs, so you can choose a basic policy that suits your needs and budget.
Buying Travel Insurance After Booking a Flight to Canada
If you forgot to buy travel insurance after booking a flight to Canada, don’t worry, you can still purchase it. However, buying travel insurance as early as possible is always best to avoid missing certain benefits. Here are some reasons why it’s wise to buy travel insurance immediately after booking:
1- Longer coverage window for trip cancellation benefits
If you purchase trip cancellation insurance after booking your trip, you’ll be protected in case of cancellations due to covered reasons from your effective date until you depart. So it’s best to buy trip cancellation insurance as soon as possible.
2- Unable to cancel a trip for a foreseeable reason
Travel insurance protects a traveler from certain unforeseeable events—not foreseeable events. If the National Weather Service warns about a storm, they know it will happen. If you wait to purchase travel insurance until after they warn you, you won’t be covered if something happens because of the storm.
3- Pre-existing medical conditions
If you already have a health problem before you buy travel insurance, you need to get the insurance within 14 days of paying for your trip. This way, the insurance will cover your pre-existing condition.
Purchasing Travel Insurance After Arriving in Canada
You could buy travel insurance in Canada even if you forgot to buy it before you arrived. But, the coverage will only start from the day you purchase it. Before buying, compare different options and choose the right policy for you.
Also, ensure the policy covers any activities you plan to do in Canada. Read the policy carefully and understand what is covered and what is not. Some policies may not cover certain medical conditions or extreme sports. Buying travel insurance after arrival might be more expensive, so buying it before you travel is better to save money.
Buying Insurance in Canada as a Foreigner
There are several private insurance providers if you are a foreigner living in Canada and need medical coverage. Some options are GeoBlue Xplorer, IMG Global Medical, and Cigna Global. These providers offer different coverage plans at different rates, so it’s important to research and compare before deciding.
A team of insurance brokers can help you understand the benefits of each plan and choose the one that best fits your needs. International students enrolled in Canadian colleges and universities can also choose from plans designed specifically for them. Choosing a plan that provides comprehensive coverage for medical conditions and activities you plan on participating in while in Canada is essential.
The Bottom Line
Buying travel insurance is vital before embarking on a short domestic or longer international trip. By purchasing travel insurance, you can protect yourself from unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies or trip cancellations.
When buying travel insurance, you must understand the coverage options available, compare plans from different providers, and select the one that suits your needs and budget. With the suited travel insurance plan, you can travel with peace of mind, knowing that you’re protected in case anything unexpected happens during your trip.
FAQs about How to Buy Travel Insurance in Canada
Yes, most travel insurance policies have a 10-14 day “free look” period during which you can cancel the policy for a full refund. After that, it may be possible to cancel the policy, but there may be cancellation fees.
Travel insurance coverage can vary depending on the policy. It typically includes medical expenses, trip cancellation, accidental death, and baggage loss or delay. Also, some policies may include coverage for adventure sports or rental car damage.
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