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Welcome to Rates.ca, Canada's premier destination for finding the best travel insurance rates. We are your one-stop site for finding the best deal on the coverage you need for your travels. You can quickly and easily compare travel insurance quotes, policies and providers to find the coverage that fits your budget and gives you the peace of mind knowing you're protected while travelling.

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Frequently asked questions about travel insurance and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus is an unprecedented international pandemic. Here’s how it might affect your travel plans, and your travel insurance coverage.

Does travel insurance cover coronavirus?

On March 14, the Government of Canada announced a global travel advisory advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice, including cruise ship travel.

Travel insurance covers unexpected and unforeseen events. If you purchased emergency medical travel insurance and travelled to a destination before a COVID-19 travel advisory was issued for either your specific destination or the blanket global advisory, you would likely still be covered under your travel insurance if you were to contract COVID-19 abroad. At the time of booking, contracting the virus at a destination that was not included under the travel advisory may have been considered an unforeseen event.

Travel insurance coverage often excludes issues related to travel advisories. If you are embarking on travel plans now and travelling to a destination where the Canadian government has issued a travel advisory related to coronavirus prior to your departure, your travel medical insurance might not cover you for COVID-19 specifically because it might be considered a foreseen outcome.

If you’re planning to travel out of country, consult your travel insurance provider to find out if your coverage still extends to COVID-19 related outbreaks. If you were to contract novel coronavirus, the medical bills could be astronomical given the cost of hospitalization abroad and the quarantining that has been happening across the globe. Be sure to read your policy carefully so you fully understand your coverage.

Can I cancel my trip because of coronavirus?

If you purchased trip cancellation insurance, you might be covered if you decide to cancel your trip depending on when you purchased your policy. Many travel insurance providers are now excluding COVID-19 related cancellations for coverage purchased after a certain date. Each provider is different, so check your policy to find out if you can cancel your trip for this reason. It might not be too late.

If you’re worried about coronavirus and you’re currently making travel plans, consider purchasing trip cancellation coverage, but read the exclusions carefully. If covered, the extra cost could be well worth it should you decide to change your plans.

Also, be sure to check with your airline or tour company to see if they are offering any opportunities to reschedule your trip or get your money back. Many companies, though not all, are now making exceptions to their rules due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Does my credit card travel insurance cover me if I contract coronavirus abroad?

Many credit cards offer travel insurance, but not all credit card travel insurance is created equally. You’re going to want to ask a couple of questions first:

  • Does the policy include emergency medical travel insurance?
  • Does your policy cover just you, or your whole family?
  • Did you book the trip on that credit card?

Credit cards require you to have booked the trip on that card for the travel insurance to be valid. Depending on the credit card, coverage might only apply to you or it may extend to your family, so read the fine print to find out for sure. If it only includes you, you will likely want to purchase additional travel insurance for your family.

Credit cards rarely cover trip interruption or trip cancellation insurance, so you will likely have to purchase that coverage separately.

Do my employer benefits cover me for coronavirus?

If you have emergency medical travel insurance under your employee benefits, you might be covered.

Similar to credit cards, double check your policy to see if coverage applies to just you, or if it extends to your entire family. Many people opt to purchase additional travel insurance coverage when their employee benefits aren’t enough. As with credit card coverage, it’s unlikely trip cancellation is covered. If you want that type of coverage, you will have to purchase it separately.

Which travel destinations might not be covered by travel insurance?

In regard to coronavirus specifically, any destinations that the Canadian government has issued a travel advisory for might not be covered under emergency medical insurance if the advisory was posted prior to your departure.

As of March 16, 2020 at 10:00 am EST, the Canadian government's global travel advisory remains in effect. The Government of Canada has advised Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice, as well as all cruise ship travel.

Advisories are updated daily. For the most up to date and accurate information on Canadian travel advisories related to coronavirus, please visit the official Government of Canada website..

Travel Insurance 101

Travel Insurance 101

Whether you're an occasional traveller going on a well-deserved vacation, frequent flyer, or a snowbird going away for the winter, all it takes is a few minutes to get travel insurance quotes from many of Canada's leading travel insurance companies and purchase your policy.

Compare travel insurance quotes today

Travel insurance is the easiest thing to pack and also the most important. It's there to protect you while on vacation. Imagine not having travel insurance and falling ill or breaking a bone while on your dream vacation. Throw in the costly medical bills and you have yourself a traveller's worst nightmare. The best way to prevent this nightmare from occurring, is to pack travel insurance.

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How to get your travel insurance quotes on Rates.ca

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1. Tell us about your trip!

Answer a few basic questions about your trip and destination.

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2. Compare your quotes

See quotes from 30+ insurance companies side by side.

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3. Choose the right coverage

Find the best rate and travel coverage for your trip.

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4. Secure your rate

Connect with the provider and secure your rate.

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Who Needs Travel Insurance?

Who Needs Travel Insurance?

Short answer: All travellers need travel insurance

Whether you're travelling by plane, train or automobile, whether it's a day trip, weekend getaway or week-long vacation, travel insurance is a must. The length of your trip does not decrease the chance of something going wrong and neither does the destination. If you're going somewhere tropical, on a European excursion, or cross-border shopping for the day, travel insurance should be going with you. Even if you're travelling out of province but within Canada it's worth it because your provincial health insurance plan coverage may be limited. Things like ambulance services and prescription drugs may not be covered and you could end up paying out of pocket for some of the services you need.

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Snowbird travel insurance

Snowbird travel insurance

Snowbirds who like to escape the cold wintery weather for a few months will find that comparing snowbird travel insurance with Rates.ca can really save them a bundle.

Travel insurance for snowbirds doesn't have to be expensive, and Rates.ca will help you get the coverage you need. Whether it's emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation or an all-inclusive policy, you can use Rates.ca to easily help you find competitively priced travel insurance for snowbirds.

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Types of Travel Insurance Plans

  • Single trip emergency medical travel insurance covers emergency medical expenses that may arise during your vacation.
  • Annual emergency medical travel insurance provides emergency medical coverage for trips taken over the course of a year. This is ideal for frequent travellers and may be more cost effective if you take several trips in a year.
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance is designed to cover you in case your trip gets cancelled, delayed or interrupted for reasons outside of your control.
  • Top-up travel insurance is for travellers who already have coverage, often through work or a credit card, but who are not covered for the entire length of the trip. Top-up travel insurance ensures you are covered the full duration of your trip.
  • All-inclusive travel insurance bundles all of the most popular travel coverages including emergency medical, loss (or delay) of baggage, and trip cancellation insurance into one policy.
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What's great about travel insurance is that it's not one plan fits all. Travel insurance policies come with different coverage options and benefits. This means you're able to purchase only the coverage you need.
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