Canada Travel Insurance

Canada Travel Insurance | What You Need to Know in 2021

Endowed with unique urban cities, miles of picturesque nature-scapes, and super-friendly residents, Canada is undoubtedly a stunning destination.  Although Canada is generally a very safe place to visit, getting travel insurance for Canada offers peace of mind and protection from the unexpected (especially crucial with everything going on these days).

I’m a former corporate insurance lawyer who left my career behind to travel the world and found this blog in 2017. I often get asked by readers about travel insurance, and so I decided to write up this article to explain the reasons I personally choose to get Canada travel insurance when I visit.

Table of Contents:

Disclosure: I am not a licensed broker and cannot choose insurance for you. Be sure to read policy terms and conditions closely before making a purchase. Also please note that this is a reader-supported travel blog, so by purchasing through my affiliate links you help support our site.

My Top Choice
World Nomads
4.5

I personally use World Nomads (here's proof) and have for more than 50 countries.

Pros: Simple and flexible, balances price and quality, upfront transparency about covid

Cons: Not available to seniors 70+ in USA (65+ elsewhere)

Get Quote
Best Comparison Site
Travel Insurance.com
4.0

A search engine that fetches quotes from hundreds of companies. Great for comparison shoppers!

Pros: Compare hundreds of insurers, see customer reviews

Cons: Not as simple as World Nomads (detail gets overwhelming)

Get Quotes
Best for Seniors 70+
Insure My Trip
4.0

A good site for finding coverage if you can't get a quote elsewhere due to age or pre-existing conditions.

Pros: Usually finds quotes for seniors

Cons: No clearly displayed info about Covid coverages

Get Quote

Is Travel Insurance Required to Visit Canada?

Proof of travel insurance or Canadian insurance is not mandatory for international tourists. However, healthcare for foreigners can be pretty expensive. Since you never know what will happen, many travelers choose to get travel health insurance coverage or emergency medical coverage for Canada.  

Why Get Canada Travel Insurance

Hiker looking over a lake in the Canadian Rockies

Even though travel medical coverage is not an international prerequisite to enter Canada, it’s a wise idea for you and your family to get a travel insurance policy because:

The Covid-19 Pandemic

Canada may be coping better with the Covid-19 pandemic than the U.S., but that doesn’t mean they’re Covid-19 free. They have been reporting an average of 4,000 cases daily. Securing travel health insurance benefits you because it’ll protect you from the various unseen risks Covid-19 poses while you’re visiting Canada. 

Travel Insurance Coverages

Traveling is fun but not all sunshine and rainbows. Besides the Covid-19 virus disrupting your plans, there are other ways things could go south. Here is how the purchase of international travel and health insurance for visitors to Canada can sometimes benefit travelers (again, ALWAYS check your specific policy to see what’s covered):

  • 💉 Emergency Medical Insurance Coverage: The last thing you want is to fall sick in a foreign land, but this does happen. Travel medical insurance for visitors to Canada can make things a tad easier. If you suffer a covered loss, emergency medical insurance coverage can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This is especially vital for those with pre-existing medical conditions, though you’ll need to make sure to read the policy closely to ensure it covers you. 
  • 🚗 Rental Car Coverage: Canada has an expansive uninhabited land awaiting exploration. If you plan on enjoying its vast but fabulous outdoors through road trips in a rental car, a travel insurance policy with rental car coverage may come in handy. See our full guide to driving in Canada for more info on rules, regulations, and license requirements.
  • 💻 Gear Theft Coverage: While Canada is generally one of the safest countries globally, and Canadian residents are friendly, Canada still has its fair share of sticky fingers. As a person who has been burglarized several times while traveling, I know firsthand that having your cameras, laptops, smartphones, and other gear covered through sufficient gear theft coverage is the best decision you’ll ever make. It offers maximum peace of mind and allows you to explore what this beautiful nation has to offer without constantly looking over your shoulder.  
  • 📞 Emergency Assistance: There are so many ways international travel could go sideways. Having a travel insurer with an emergency contact could be the best thing that’ll ever happen to you. 
  • ✈ Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation Cover:  Trip cancelation is a benefit that can reimburse you for covered pre-paid non- refundable trip costs when you have to cancel because of a reason covered under your plan. The past year taught me to expect the unexpected. You never know what could come up and cancel your holiday in Canada.

Now, the above are just a few common examples of insurance policies a reputable Canadian travel and health insurance firm may offer.  What exactly your travel health insurance covers varies based on the policy. Carefully read through your insurance policy’s terms and conditions menu to see if it offers the coverage you need BEFORE you purchase.

Best Sites for Canada Travel Insurance 

As an enthusiastic, full-time globetrotter for over five years, I’ve come across and used plenty of travel insurers, but here are my personal favorites:

World Nomads (What I Use)

My Top Choice
World Nomads
4.5

I personally use World Nomads (here's proof) and have for more than 50 countries.

Pros: Simple and flexible, balances price and quality, upfront transparency about covid

Cons: Not available to seniors 70+ in USA (65+ elsewhere)

Get Quote

World Nomads is one of the biggest names in travel insurance, and it’s what I personally used on my last visit to Canada. It’s a travel health insurance company I love and use for coverage during my 365 days globe-trotting adventures. 

Here’s why I love World Nomads:

  • 😁 Solid Flexibility: As a full-time globe trotter, I change my plans occasionally.  I love how any coverage plan I use from them is flexible and makes it easy for me to extend when I decide to add a few more days to my stay. I also love how easy it is to extend coverage on the road.
  • 💊 Emergency Medical Insurance: Emergency medical expenses can add up, especially while in the middle of a global health crisis. Having coverage for certain emergencies can give a lot of peace of mind.
  • ☎ Emergency Assistance Line Services: It’s reassuring to know someone will always be on the other end of the line in the event of a travel accident.
  • 🚵 Adventure Activities Coverage on Some Plans (Explorer Plan):  One of Canada’s most significant selling points is its rich range of extreme outdoor activities. If you go with the slightly more expensive Explorer Plan when selecting your quote, World Nomads will likely offer you some coverage of outdoor and adventure activities.

I like World Nomads, but as with everything else, they also have flaws, the most noticeable one being that they don’t offer any coverage to individuals over 65 years old (or over 70 for World Nomads USA).  They can also cost a tad more than other options, though I don’t mind. Note also that total travel insurance cost for Canada always varies based on your age and your trip’s length.

TravelInsurance.com (Best Search Site)

Best Comparison Site
Travel Insurance.com
4.0

A search engine that fetches quotes from hundreds of companies. Great for comparison shoppers!

Pros: Compare hundreds of insurers, see customer reviews

Cons: Not as simple as World Nomads (detail gets overwhelming)

Get Quotes

TravelInsurance.com is an excellent site if you’d like to compare insurers offering travel insurance coverage or life insurance for visitors to Canada. The site allows you to compare quotes from hundreds of insurers both inside and outside Canada. You can even check out what other customers have to say.

The various companies you’ll find there even offer life insurance for seniors over 70 and coverage for American residents with pre-existing medical conditions. On the downside, the many options available can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’ve never secured travel insurance policies before.  

Insure My Trip (Best for Seniors)

Best for Seniors 70+
Insure My Trip
4.0

A good site for finding coverage if you can't get a quote elsewhere due to age or pre-existing conditions.

Pros: Usually finds quotes for seniors

Cons: No clearly displayed info about Covid coverages

Get Quote

Like TravelInsurance.com, Insure My Trip isnt so much an insurance provider as it is a search site where you can shop travel insurance for visitors to Canada from multiple providers. You get a representative assigned to you through their “Anytime Advocates program” if the risk you’re insured against occurs, and you need help filing a claim. Insure My Trip is a good search site if you’re looking to insure residents over 70 or individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Travel Safety in Canada

Man walking on the beach in Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island has so many things to do!

Canada is generally very safe. This North American country was ranked as the second safest country globally. Although you’ll probably encounter no problems while touring its beautiful provincial attractions, it pays to be vigilant at all times and to research the latest US State Department travel advisories.

Crime in Canada

Canadians are famed for their friendly, welcoming, and polite nature, and Canada’s crime rates are generally very low. Violent crimes against tourists are quite rare, and you shouldn’t over worry about someone breaking into your Winnipeg hotel room.

But just because Canada is among the safest countries abroad doesn’t mean it’s completely crime-free. Petty theft, such as pick-pocketing and snatch and grab theft, is common in the country’s provincial urban areas.

Here are some tips for staying safe in Canada (or anywhere else you visit!):

  • 👀 Always be aware of your surroundings
  • 👜 Keep your belongings close
  • 🚗 Drive safely and buckle up on your road trip through Alberta, Vancouver Island, or wherever else you’re visiting!
  • 💳 Have a backup credit card or cash 
  • 💻 Have a plan to protect your gear, and always back up laptops and cameras

Healthcare in Canada

Canada has a free universal, publicly funded national healthcare services system known as the Canadian Medicare.   Although the Canadian national healthcare system offers services to foreigners, whether it covers your treatment expenses or any health-related expenses like prescription drugs depends on your status in the country.

Generally, tourists are expected to purchase their own healthcare in Canada. That is why it’s essential to have travel medical emergency coverage to cover unexpected costs and expenses.  

Covid-19 in Canada

Canada has one of the best healthcare systems universally. The country had one of the best responses to the first wave of Covid-19. However, they’re currently struggling to contain new variants, and for the first time since Covid-19 began to spread, Canadian Covid-19 infection rates are edging closer to the USA’s infection rates.

This makes it paramount for you to practice Covid-19 safety measures while visiting Canada. Visit the CDC for news updates on Covid-19 in Canada and my article on travel insurance and Covid-19. Also, check out our frequently asked questions sections for more information on travel and health insurance for visitors to Canada. 

Canada Travel Tips and Info

Where to Go in Canada

Canada is filled with popular destinations. Some of the best places to go in Canada, both popular and emerging, include:

Check out our full article on the best places to visit in Canada for more travel-planning inspiration.

When to Visit Canada

In general, the best time of year to visit Canada is between June and October, when the weather is relatively warm. However, when you choose to go to Canada depends upon a lot of factors, so you should check out our full guide to when to visit Canada for more detailed information about climate, weather, and festivals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cable car against mountainscape in Whistler Mountain in British Columbia
Whistler Mountain in British Columbia

Here are quick, short answers to commonly asked questions about the purchase of Canada travel insurance: 

What is the best travel insurance in Canada?

The best travel insurance for Canada depends upon your situation. I use and love World Nomads because they are flexible, and they offer a wide range of coverage options. But only you (or a licensed broker, which I am not) can determine which policy is best for your trip.

How much is visitor insurance in Canada?

The quotes I’ve found for Canada trip insurance usually average about $10/day, but your visitor insurance cost in Canada varies depending on factors such as the insurance company, your age, visit duration, and even on whether you have existing medical conditions. Generally, the longer your trip is, and the more you spend on your visit, that is, flights, hotels, and pre-booked activities, the more you’ll spend on Canada travel insurance. 

What travel insurance do I need in Canada?

Canada does not require travel insurance to enter the country (see the section above for sure details). Although it depends on your situation, many visitors purchase travel insurance for Canada for benefits such as emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation and interruption protection, gear coverage, and emergency assistance. 

Do I need emergency medical insurance to travel to Canada? 

Canada does not require any form of insurance to enter the country. However, as mentioned earlier, the benefits of travel insurance for Canada are great. So, it’s always a good idea to get insurance before visiting the country.

***

This is it, folks. Hopefully, this guide to travel insurance for Canada helps you make an informed insurance travel decision. Remember to review the terms and conditions of any coverage plan before you purchase it. And to cut costs further, maximize 365 days coverage plans as insurers often offer excellent discounts to customers who purchase such a plan. 

Enjoy visiting Canada, and while on your trips, be sure to check out all our Canada travel guides for handy travel tips and tricks before you head out to your Canadian destination.

Other travel insurance articles:

Have a safe trip to Canada!

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