Compare Medical Travel Insurance to Canada

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What is travel insurance for visitors to Canada?

Travel insurance is not a legal requirement for entering Canada, for most visitors. Though some travel visas require proof of medical insurance coverage, many other travelers will be permitted entry without it.

Nevertheless, visitors to Canada should be aware that the universal health care coverage available to Canadian residents is not extended to them.

This means that visitors should seriously consider purchasing travel insurance in order to avoid expensive costs for medical care during a trip to Canada.

While visiting a walk-in clinic will cost about $2,000, emergency treatment at a hospital can be many thousands of dollars. According to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the average cost of a standard hospital stay in Canada is $7,619.

Travel health insurance will protect visitors from unexpected costs due to sudden illness, accidents or other health and medical emergencies, including those treated at a hospital.

At RATESDOTCA, compare health insurance quotes and purchase a policy from a Canadian insurance provider that will cover you while you’re here.

Canadian insurance companies have a thorough understanding of the medical expenses you might face while in the country and can help coordinate coverage for care.

A Canadian insurance company will also be easier to reach and deal with as compared to a provider in your home country.

Visitor to Canada policies are designed for:

  • Tourists planning to come to Canada for up to a year
  • Foreign nationals coming to stay with their family or friends for up to a year
  • Recent immigrants who have moved to Canada and are awaiting coverage under a provincial health insurance plan
  • Foreign nationals who will be working in Canada on a temporary basis

Whether you will be in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or anywhere else in Canada, hospital bills, prescription drugs, and other medical expenses can add up quickly. Don't be stranded without protection in Canada, compare quotes and save on travel medical insurance today.

Different types of travel insurance for visitors to Canada

  • Emergency medical coverage – Most travel insurance plans include it, protects against the cost of hospital treatment for an unexpected medical event.
  • Trip cancellation protection – Covers you for some, or all, of the cost of a trip that’s cancelled before the scheduled departure.
  • Trip interruption – Covers you for costs such as food and accommodation if your trip is delayed or altered after you leave. Some insurance companies will also include protection if your tour operator goes bankrupt while you’re on your trip.
  • Covid protection – Is included in many travel insurance policies now that many providers consider the virus a known event.
  • Some policies combine different aspects of traditional travel insurance coverage with newer coverage for covid protection.
  • For example, you can find policies that offer protection of $1-5 million coverage if you require hospital treatment for COVID-19 while abroad while also offering trip interruption coverage if you’re forced to quarantine for 10 days while visiting Canada.
  • Sports activities – Most travel medical insurance policies have exclusions for high-risk activities. We recommend that you check your policy and buy extra coverage depending on what you plan to do during your trip.

    Activities not usually covered by standard policies include:
  • Bungee jumping
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Mounting climbing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snowmobiling
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Windsurfing
  • Zip lining

If your trip to Canada includes boating, make sure that you don’t inadvertently venture into international waters where your coverage may not be applicable.

  • Accidental death and dismemberment – Protects you financially if you’re in an accident that results in death or dismemberment. Similar to a life insurance policy, a lump sum is paid out to the beneficiary of the policyholder’s estate.

What is covered in a visitors to Canada medical insurance policy?

Policies vary from provider to provider, but standard coverage for medical emergencies includes:

  • Emergency hospital accommodation and medical services
  • Diagnostic services such as X-rays
  • Emergency transportation
  • Emergency dental work
  • Prescription drugs needed as a result of a covered emergency

Visitors to Canada insurance plans available through our partners include:

  • Up to $1-million coverage of the eligible emergency medical expenses that you incur while visiting Canada
  • Coverage for trips lasting up to 365 days
  • Extended Health Care Coverage for; Physician Fee's, X-rays, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Prescription Drugs, and more
  • Dental Accidents Coverage, Emergency Hospital Services, Travel Accident Coverage, and more
  • Coverage for trips outside of Canada
  • Available as an individual, couple or family policy

Protection for Covid-related treatment is included in many travel insurance policies or can be purchased as additional coverage. However, before you leave your home country, we encourage you to review your policy and ensure that you understand the details, including what protection it offers if you require treatment for Covid-19 while visiting Canada.

Who needs travel insurance when visiting Canada?

Some travel visas require proof of medical insurance coverage.

Without it, entry will be denied. The universal health care that’s available to Canadian residents is not extended to visitors.

If you fall into any of the following categories, you’ll need travel medical insurance to enter Canada:

  • Tourists planning to come to Canada for up to a year
  • Foreign nationals coming to stay with their family or friends for up to a year
  • Recent immigrants who have moved to Canada and are awaiting coverage under a provincial health insurance plan
  • Foreign nationals who will be working in Canada on a temporary basis

While many visa visitors to Canada can remain in the country for no longer than six months, visitors arriving under the super visa program, such as for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, are not subject to the same limit. They may be allowed multiple entries for up to ten years.

One of the requirements for getting a super visa is that you have emergency medical insurance.

How much does a medical travel insurance cost for visitor to Canada?

As with all travel insurance, your policy costs depend on many factors, including your age, gender, any pre-existing medical conditions, the coverage limits you select, how long you plan to be insured for, and which provider you choose to become insured with.

On average, a 30-year-old woman with no pre-existing conditions, travelling to Canada on her own can expect to the following travel insurance costs:

  • Travelling for 7 days, you can get $50,000 in coverage starting as low as $10 CAD
  • Travelling for a month, you can get the same coverage for as low as $43 CAD
  • Travelling for 6 months, you can get the same coverage for as low as $272 CAD

At RATESDOTCA, we show you quotes from several companies offering travel medical insurance for visitors to Canada, so you can determine which policy best suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions about visitors to Canada travel insurance

What is the best travel insurance to Canada?

The best travel insurance policy in Canada is the one that’s tailored to your specific needs. Cost is determined by several factors – which vary between visitors – including: the coverage you seek, the coverage limits you select, the length of time for which you need protection, your age, gender, whether you have any pre-existing conditions and the provider you choose to purchase a policy from.

To get the best visitor to Canada insurance coverage, use our free online tool to compare costs from the most-trusted insurance providers in Canada.

How much does a doctor's visit cost in Canada?

Without travel medical insurance, medical treatment in Canada can set you back hundreds or thousands of dollars.

While specific costs vary depending on what province you’re in, you can expect to pay $100-200 to visit a walk-in clinic. You’ll also have to pay the full cost for any prescription.

If you require medical care in a Canadian hospital, expect to pay significantly more, including any costs associated with transport there. Again, those costs vary by province.

Emergency medical care, including ambulatory care can cost thousands of dollars.

According to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the average cost of a standard hospital stay in Canada is $7,619.

It’s an expense you can avoid if you’re adequately protected by a travel insurance policy for visitors to Canada.

Where can I get the best coverage for COVID-19 related emergency medical conditions?

Treatment for emergency medical conditions, including COVID-19 is covered by most medical insurance policies that Canadian insurance providers offer.

At an earlier stage of the pandemic, providers who offered such protection did so as an add-on. Protection is now more widely available because COVID-19 is considered a known event.

Getting the best policy is a matter of deciding what provider will offer you the protection you want for the best available price.

Can I enter Canada if I test positive for COVID-19?

As of June 2022, foreign nationals with symptoms or with a positive result from less than 10 calendar days before arriving to Canada will be denied entry.

To board a public flight entering Canada, you must you present a valid pre-entry test result or a medical certificate confirming that any medical symptoms you’re experiencing are not related to COVID-19.

Entry requirements may vary for unvaccinated travelers or those who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated.

Does travel insurance to Canada cover COVID-19 quarantine?

If you purchased travel insurance when there was no travel advisory against travel issued by the government of Canada, it’s likely that a trip interruption policy will cover costs associated with quarantine, should you test positive for COVID-19 while you’re away.

Depending on the travel insurance provider, the cost of a COVID-19 test may not be covered.

Do I need to be quarantined in Canada if I tested positive for COVID-19 when I entered Canada?

Yes, the government of Canada requires anyone in Canada who is COVID-19 positive to quarantine for 10 days. This also means that you’re not allowed to use any public transportation, including aircraft, bus, train, subway, taxi or ride-sharing service to get to your place of isolation. Isolation ends after the 10th day from the day on which you entered Canada.

Whether or not your travel insurance will cover the cost associated with Canadian government-mandated isolation depends on your policy.

Many travel insurance providers now offer quarantine coverage which hedges quarantine costs, to a limit. For example, you may be able to find a policy that offers up to $200 for costs for each of 10 days of quarantine. In some instances, quarantine protection will also cover costs associated with changing or having to rebook airfare.

Any visitor to Canada who is not fully vaccinated must isolate for 14 days.

Before leaving home, carefully review your travel insurance policy to make sure you understand what’s covered. Many insurance providers now consider COVID-19 a known event. If you’re unvaccinated and must isolate for 14 days upon entering Canada, it’s unlikely that a policy will cover associated costs.

Are there other types of insurance for foreigners in Canada?

There are different types of insurance available to different types of travelers to Canada:

If you are planning to stay in Canada for up to one year either for work or a vacation, visitors to Canada insurance is your best bet.

If you are a recent immigrant but not yet eligible for a health card in your province, you should also get visitors to Canada insurance until your coverage kicks in.

If you are a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen and staying for longer than six months, you should look into Super Visa insurance.

If you coming to Canada to study, consider International Student insurance instead.

Why should newcomers to Canada get emergency travel health insurance?

If you are immigrating to Canada, or are a recent immigrant, you will find that most provinces have a waiting period before you are eligible for public health insurance.

The length of time you must wait will vary by province. To protect yourself, newcomers to Canada should get emergency medical health insurance coverage, to ensure you’re covered as you wait for your provincial coverage to kick in.

A visit to the hospital, even for a minor injury, could set you back thousands of dollars. Don’t gamble on your financial future in Canada. Compare visitors to Canada quotes today.

Resources from the Government of Canada

Looking for more information about trip insurance for visitors to Canada? The Government of Canada has many resources to help:

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