Canada Travel Insurance Review
Canada is one of the most beautiful countries on earth. So, it is not surprising that Canada is one of the most popular destinations for US travelers. Having decided to head to Canada, travelers should consider our Canada Travel Insurance Review.
Travel Insurance to Canada – Introduction
Travel Insurance to Canada makes great sense for almost all travelers. Trip insurance is an affordable cover for unforeseen expenses on a vacation or business trip. Travel protection typically offers cover for medical emergencies. It covers trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage loss. It provides compensation for accidental death and dismemberment, or flight accident. Car rental insurance can be supplemented.
The most common claim is when a traveler needs to cancel a trip due to an unforeseen illness of the insured’s traveling companions or family members.
Medical Travel Insurance has a higher claim rate for illness or injury for children and seniors.
Canadian Travel Insurance – Top 20 Reasons to Purchase
- You need to cancel your trip and be refunded.
- Your flight is cancelled.
- You miss your flight connection.
- A terrorism event occurs at your destination.
- US Medicare does not provide cover overseas.
- Your family sponsor would be financially liable for any costs.
- If your bags are lost or stolen.
- Your bags are delayed.
- You get sick whilst on your vacation.
- If you get injured whilst on your trip.
- You prefer to choose your own hospital and be fully refunded.
- If you need to be medically evacuated home.
- You lost your passport.
- Your travel company goes bankrupt.
- You have a free-look period and can cancel anyway for a refund.
- If you want to Cancel for Any Reason and be partially refunded.
- You want Cancel for Work cover for a full refund.
- If you worry about being made redundant.
- You need an assistance service whilst abroad.
- Coverage costs are affordable.
Canadian Travel Insurance – US State Department Advice
US Medicare does not provide cover overseas. Canada is no exception. The State Department recommends that any health insurance plan provides cover overseas.
State strongly recommends supplemental insurance of the type found in a comprehensive travel insurance plan.
Is Travel Insurance Mandatory When Traveling to Canada?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada may require proof of emergency medical travel insurance prior to issuing a visitor's visa.
Family Sponsor is Financially Liable
If a Canadian resident invites a relative or friend to Canada the Canadian resident becomes liable for their travel medical expenses. This personal liability extends to hospitals and medical offices. These medical institutions have a legal right to collect unpaid medical bills from the Canadian sponsor.
Recommended Cover Levels in Canada
Our recommendation is that no less than $100k of Emergency Travel Medical Insurance is purchased. Canadian hospitals are world-class. But, costs can exceed $4k per day. The Canadian health care system is not free to visitors.
Is There Free Health Cover in Canada?
Canada has a public health care system, which is called Medicare. Do not confuse it with the US version. Essentially, it is a free health care service to all Canadian permanent residents and Canadian citizens. Note that travelers and Canadian non-residents do not qualify for this free service.
A non-resident will need to pay all out-of-pocket expenses unless they have purchased suitable Canadian travel health insurance.
Canadian Travel Insurance – Supplemental Insurance for Canadians
Canada’s Medicare system does not pay for what are deemed ‘non-essential’ items. The list of non-essential items is lengthy. It includes prescription drugs, dental care and ambulance services. Some provincial systems do not cover out-of-province. So, some Canadian residents are advised to look to supplement their Medicare with a private traveler insurance policy.
Purchasing Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing Canadian Medical Travel Insurance prior to arrival in Canada. It is possible to purchase an emergency travel medial insurance after arrival in Canada. However, there will be a waiting period. The waiting period will be at least two days, and may be as long as eight. The number of carriers who are prepared to insure travelers who have already arrived in Canada is reduced. Not all will offer such cover. It is much better to buy medical insurance prior to arrival. Travelers will get the best Canadian Travel Insurance this way.
Canada Trip Insurance – US Residents
US Travel Insurance Carriers are only interested in the state of residence of a policyholder, not nationality. The state of residence must be accurately stated during the insurance application process. In the event that a group of travelers are resident in different US states, then separate Canadian trip insurance applications must be made.
Traveler over 80
There seems to have developed a myth that when a traveler turns 80 he cannot be insured any more. This is not the case. We have multiple insurance policies available from our carriers for our senior travelers.
Baggage Loss and Delay
We know that airlines do their best to keep travelers and baggage together. Yet, every year, countless pieces of luggage go missing. Baggage cover is embedded into each comprehensive policy. It will go some way to compensating for a delay or loss of baggage.
However, if at all possible we would prefer not to lose our bags in the first place. So, follow our advice below to ensure you and your bags are kept together.
Never Lose Luggage in Canada
Carry valuables with you. Most airlines have a carry-on allowance. Even if you are checking a bag into the hold of the aircraft, it may make sense to use a carry-on as well. Many business travelers will ensure that they always have basic necessities with them in order to carry out their meetings. A suit, change of clothes, wash bag, and a set of shoes. These are small enough to be carried comfortably in a carry-on.
Make your case visible. Your case probably looks exactly the same as all the other cases out there. Canada has massive airports, with vast numbers of travelers arriving on each flight. Try to distinguish your bag from another, using tags, wraps or cords.
Pick your bag from the correct luggage carousel. Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver have large numbers of aircraft arriving from the USA every hour. Some of those aircraft are arriving from the same city. Do make sure that the baggage carousel where you are waiting for your bag is the correct one for your exact flight. Many times, a Canadian traveler has not lost a bag, but is standing in the wrong part of baggage claim.
Place identification inside and outside the bag. If a bag is lost, baggage control in any of the Canadian airports will try to register the lost bag when found. They need your name and address, and will hope to see it on the outside of the case. If the tag has been torn off, the bag will be opened. So, make sure that you have ID inside the case. We always leave a number of business cards in the inner pockets of our cases for this exact reason. This way, our telephone and email contacts are available to allow us to be contacted.
It is perfectly acceptable to purchase Canadian trip insurance as a family. Some policies include children under 18 at no additional cost. So, it can be much more cost-effective to purchase as a family group in this case. Just remember that a family does need to all reside in the same state. If not, the applications will need to be split up into those who reside in the same states.
It is quite normal that travelers have some form of Pre-Existing Medical Condition. This is a medical condition, sickness or injury:
- that existed prior to effective date of insurance cover
- where the insured exhibited signs or symptoms
- where the insured received or required treatment or consultation.
In other words, you were sick before you took out the insurance. Ordinarily, pre-existing conditions are excluded from travel medical insurance cover.
Pre-Existing Condition Waiver
Now we know what a pre-existing condition is. So, we can determine how to get a waiver, so that cover can be put back in place. We need to know if the traveler is ‘stable’ over a ‘look-back period’.
Stable means that the medical condition has not worsened. The look-back period is the length of time that we wish to see a stable condition.
So, imagine a policy with a look-back period of 180 days and a traveler with a heart condition. The traveler has not had any changes in medication. His symptoms have not worsened in the 180 days prior to the date of insurance cover. In this case, a waiver can be granted. Cover can be put in place for the pre-existing medical condition.
Sometimes when looking for cheap Canadian Travel Insurance it can be easy to overlook fundamentals. A low-cost policy that does not offer the cover you need is of little use. Some of our carriers have only 60 days look-back on their travel medical insurance plans. If this plan ends up being a little more expensive, but offers cover, it is of great value.
Pre-Existing Medical Condition – Time-Sensitive
We have identified what a pre-existing condition is. We have seen that the medical condition needs to be stable over a look-back period. But in order to ensure that this medical cover is in place when we book our Canadian Medical Travel Insurance, we must book the policy quickly.
All US travel insurers have a time-sensitive period after an initial trip deposit. During this period (from two to 21 days, depending on the policy) a traveler must have put his travel insurance policy in place. If not, additional benefits that would ordinarily be included in the policy will not be active.
A pre-existing medical condition waiver is a time-sensitive benefit in any policy. It is essential that travelers to Canada get their policy in place as soon after initial trip deposit as possible. So many travelers end up with less than ideal cover simply because they did not get their Canadian Travel Insurance in place soon enough.
Cancel for Work Reason – Time-Sensitive
Cancel for Work Reasons Travel Insurance is available for travelers to Canada. It is a more expensive form of cover. However, it does offer additional protections. Policies differ, but the best will protect if an employer cancels a vacation or makes an employee redundant. Most airline flight insurance policies have very weak Cancel for Work Reason cover. As such, it is strongly advised to check the policy document.
Cancel for Any Reason – Time-Sensitive
Some travelers to Canada wish to have the flexibility to cancel their travel plans without any reason at all, yet still receive compensation. This type of cover is called Cancel for Any Reason Trip Protection.
Carriers who offer this service include it in their most comprehensive travel plans. It is not a low-cost travel insurance option.
However, it can pay out up to 75% of non-refundable costs to a traveler in the event of a cancellation without reason. We think that this is a very strong benefit for those whose plans are likely to change.
Note that this is also a time-sensitive benefit. So, the policy needs to be put in place very soon after initial trip deposit.
Additionally, any cancellation needs to take place with at least 48 hours' notice in order for the cover to function.
Buy Canadian Travel Insurance – AARDY
AARDY is a Travel Insurance Marketplace. We offer a range of different Canadian Travel Insurance plans for customers traveling from the USA to Canada. We are licensed in all 50 states, and DC. Our trip insurance carriers are some of the most respected in the USA.
Travel Insurance Comparison – Will I Pay More Buying Travel Insurance from a Comparison Website?
The US has anti-discriminatory insurance pricing legislation. This means that we can guarantee that you will not find the same plan at a lower price. Even if you go direct to the insurer. We think that the best travel insurance to Canada is the one that covers your needs at the lowest cost.