Travel Insurance in Canada
We're all looking forward to traveling again, or some of you might already be traveling now for work. We all know how important it is to get travel insurance, and especially now that we've been through a pandemic. If you are leaving the country then getting extra protection is smart, and some countries even require you to have travel insurance before entering.
Booking your vacation probably took some preparation; you probably took a lot of time looking up great flights, reviewing the best hotels, restaurants, and experiences. And now you want to find the best travel insurance for your trip! The right travel insurance can protect you at every point during your holiday. We specialize in providing Canadians with a fast and easy online process. We can help you find just the right fit for your situation through our multiple carriers, talk to a Surex Advisor today.
Travel insurance helps protect against the unexpected. A primary incentive to get travel insurance can be for emergency medical assistance. Without these benefits, you can easily spend over $5,000+ out-of-pocket for treatment and transportation expenses if something were to happen when you were out of the country.
Travel insurance can cover disruptions to your trip that may end up costing you a small fortune such as delayed flights, or an emergency trip home. You could lose the money you've already paid for the trip, and would have the added costs of paying for new bookings that having insurance could help with. It is even highly recommended if you go across the border for the weekend or even one day.
Travel insurance (typically) will not cover you if try to make a claim resulting from a sport or activity that isn't covered by your policy. This can apply to cover for injuries and illness (medical), as well as equipment loss/damage and any personal financial losses. Make sure you go over your policy especially if you plan on doing some excursions or other outdoor activities that you think the insurance coverage might be questionable on.
- Never buy from a travel agent, tour operator or airline speak to a licensed insurance advisor - like us!
- Decide on the cover you need before shopping around and we can help you determine what you need.
- Be sensible about the excess.
- Check what is already covered by your home insurance policy or bank.
- Choose annual cover if you travel more than three times a year, as this is typically less expensive.
Yes, it is always recommended to get extra travel insurance. Provincial government health plans recommend additional travel insurance for out-of-province expenses they don't cover. You might be covered for some of the same services, but most likely not all of them. And, as a precaution, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Canadian provinces and territories have an agreement where the "host" province foots the bill for any necessary medical health care services and then gets reimbursed by the home province later - except in Quebec. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't get your own extra travel insurance, because depending on where you are, some services are simply not covered at all. Such services as: ambulance, hospital transfer, prescription drugs, transportation back to your home province and procedures not approved by your healthcare plan at home may not be covered. So, to be safe, it is recommended that you buy extra travel insurance even traveling within Canada because you just never know!
There are four important factors that can contribute to increasing your travel insurance premium. They include your age and health, the destination and length of your trip.
Like home and auto insurance, every insurance policy is different and what's covered depends on the product and how much insurance you want to buy. Here is what medical services would typically be included:
- Emergency hospital and medical costs
- Ambulance and air ambulance costs
- Outpatient services
- Physician and laboratory costs
- Prescription drugs
- Direct payment to the hospitals, whenever possible
- Assistance with bringing a family member to your bedside
- Return of your vehicle if you are ill and have to come home
These additional benefits may be included, but its best to check with your provider first, otherwise, it could be extra and not included:
- Trip cancellation for non-refundable monetary losses
- Trip interruption/disruption
- Baggage loss, rental car damage, out-of-pocket expenses
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Car rental insurance
Everyone is different and each policy is too, which is why it's important to know what you have coverage for. This will help you to avoid large expenses such as hospitalization and medical treatments needed outside of Canada. Here are some things you can check to see if your coverage includes, or has provisions for:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Medical evacuation
- Repatriation in case of death
- Adventurous and Extreme Activities: this is a tricky one as you may need to get more comprehensive coverage if you plan on taking part in high-risk activities while on your trip. Many policies don't cover "risky" activities such as skydiving, scuba diving, whitewater rafting, mountaineering or rodeo activities. It's best to check with your insurance provider if you plan to do any of these things.
So, it all depends on what you are traveling for and what you plan to do that would determine the amount of coverage you need. Talk to a Surex insurance advisor who can help you choose what is right for you and make you sleep easier at night knowing you are covered while away from home.
There are many different insurance providers and some are better for certain things, such as CAA being a good choice for families, or Blue Cross is good for seniors and retirees. You can generally go to your bank, CAA, Blue Cross or your credit card may offer travel insurance. Contact a Surex insurance advisor, we also offer travel insurance, so if you are already a client we can look into bundling it with your other services to save you more money.
You can buy travel insurance through your:
- travel agent
- insurance broker
- employer’s insurance provider
- credit card company
It's always a good idea to carry a credit card in your wallet for emergencies and most credit cards in Canada have some form of basic travel insurance coverage but it most likely won't be enough if anything were to happen. Different credit cards vary in what they cover, so you'd have to inquire about what they offer. It may only be for trip cancelation/disruption or lost luggage. That being said, it's best to get separate insurance for all your travel insurance needs (mostly coverage that includes medical because again, it's highly unlikely that your credit card has any sort of medical travel insurance coverage) and keep your credit card insurance as extra bonus. It's advised to not rely solely on your credit card to take care of all your travel insurance needs. Talk to a Surex dedicated insurance advisor who can get you the right coverage for your next trip!
Some credit cards, for example, only offer coverage when you pay for your trip on your card, or charge a certain percentage of trip expenses to the card for them to take action and consider a claim. Always read the fine print to be sure what you are getting before you leave on your trip.
It is recommended that you check the trace advisories website at least twice - when you are planning your trip and just before you go. But, if you have booked a long way in advance, it is always good to check again in between for any changes! (for example, if you booked 12-months in advance check every few months as well). Your insurance company will not pay for any medical claims if the government has issued a travel advisory for your destination.
If you have to travel abroad during the pandemic, it is best to check with your insurance provider to go over your coverage as many rules and regulations have changed to reflect the Covid-19 situation that we are facing right now. Things will continuously change and be edited, so make sure to stay current with the travel regulations on an ongoing basis while you travel during this time. Here are some items you can go over and check off your list:
- Make sure you are covered for Covid-19 related medical expenses (as well as other non-covid-19 emergency-related expenses.
- Trip interruptions
- Find out if you are covered for the entire length of the trip, that there are no limitations after departure (could have extended costs)
- Find out if you are covered for any quarantine costs if you happen to get infected with the virus while on your trip
- Find out if you are covered for extended stays outside of Canada - if something were to happen and you couldn't leave at your original date
*And always be aware at this unstable time that there are limited flights should you need to return to Canada for medical care.