Travelling To Canada: Are You Insured?

By: Farid Jan

Before travelling to Canada, you should always check whether your existing health insurance provider will cover you. If you are from the US, it is unlikely that you will be covered. From any other country, unless you have worldwide health insurance coverage you are unlikely to be covered. So what's the best way to cover yourself if you have an accident or injury while travelling in Canada?

Travel Insurance
Before you travel to Canada you should always take out a travel insurance policy. This will cover you in a range of scenarios besides healthcare such as cancelled flights, lost luggage and even life insurance. The last thing you want is to have hefty hospital bills rack up during your holiday. Having travel insurance will let you stop worrying about the bills and focus on getting the help you need if you have an accident.

How Long Are You Staying?
Travel insurance policies are available for a whole range of purposes; anything from a short holiday to a longer visit. Contacting a broker to assist you will be the quickest way to find a good policy for your needs.

How To Choose Between Policies?
A decent independent broker will be able to offer you policies from a range of providers. How do you choose between each one? You need to consider the deductable first; this is the amount you have to pay on your own before insurance will cover the costs. The higher the deductable, the cheaper the premium will be.

Which Policy Offers The Best Value?
To decide which policy is the best value, you'll need to look at the sum insured. For example, the top cause of hospitalization for tourists visiting Canada is car accidents. It's unpleasant to think about but if you should be injured, how much will it cost to repatriate you? If you are seriously injured you can't just fly back economy; the insurance company will have to pay for a nurse to accompany you, possibly business class and they'll have to pay the airline more to accept the risk of carrying an injured person. A cheap policy might only cover $3,000 whereas a slightly costlier one might cover $10,000 the cheapest policy might not be the best value.

What's The Refund Policy?
Canada has Medicare so if you plan on being a longer-term visitor, if you visit your adult children living in Canada for example, you'll need traveler's health insurance. Unforeseen circumstances might cut your trip short so buying a long-term policy might leave you out of pocket. It's useful to see which policies have a partial refund restriction; policies with no restriction could prove cheaper if you don't use the full period of cover.

Do You Need Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions?
If you do, then another factor that will help you choose between policies is the age up to which you are covered for pre-existing conditions. If you are stuck deciding between two policies, check the age limit one policy might only cover you to 69, and the other to 79. This is crucial if you are in this age-bracket as you could find potential medical expenses aren't covered.

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