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Travel insurance for Canada
Compare the best Canada travel insurance in 2021
Updated . What changed?
A trip to Canada offers stunning Rocky Mountain hikes, skiing the slopes of Whistler and traversing the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal. But while Canada boasts robust national health care, Americans are generally exempt. Travel insurance for Canada typically covers accidental, medical and travel emergencies during your stay in the Great White North.
What's changed in 2021?
The US government has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Canada as of February 2021. Read the fine print of your travel insurance policy to learn whether it covers emergencies, evacuations, interruptions or cancellations for your Canada trip during the pandemic. Learn more about restrictions and requirements for US travelers by country.
*Be aware that most travel insurance policies don’t offer COVID-19 coverage. To find one that does, have a look at travel insurance policies that cover the coronavirus.*
- Travel Accident Coverage : up to $50,000
- Pre-Existing Medical Condition : Available
- Concierge : Included
Our top pick: Allianz International Travel Insurance
Customizable coverage that can give you peace of mind when traveling to popular or remote destinations.
What's in this guide?
- How to compare travel insurance for Canada
- Compare travel insurance for Canada
- What does travel insurance cover?
- What isn't covered?
- Is travel insurance required for longer stays?
- How to stay safe while traveling in Canada
- Driving in Canada
- Who do I contact in an emergency?
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions
How to compare travel insurance for Canada
Which travel insurance plans suits you best depends on what your trip to Canada entails. Are you skiing in Banff, surfing off Vancouver Island or iceberg watching along Newfoundland’s coast? Consider each of the following policy aspects before you book your trip to the land of the North.
- Trip cancellation and luggage protection. The weather in Canada varies from coast to coast, and your flight could be canceled due to snowy conditions, icy runways or reduced visibility from fog.
- Medical. Without healthcare coverage, US citizens can be charged hefty bills to access Canada’s medical system.
- Multiple trips. Want to visit Canada in the summer and winter? Look into a multiple-trip policy that will cover all your yearly vacations north of the border.
- Group coverage. Every member of your travel party should consider travel insurance for Canada, and a group plan may be more cost-effective for all.
Winter sports travel insurance for Canada
Our northern neighbor is a top destination for skiing enthusiasts, offering a choice of marked runs, alpine bowls and glaciers in multiple provinces. But before you pack your snow gear and rush to carve down your favorite mountains, consider what you’d do if you wiped out on a slope.
A ski insurance policy could save you multiple headaches and your hard-earned savings with coverage for:
- Medical treatment.
- Emergency rescue.
- Luggage and ski equipment.
- Ski pack reimbursement.
- Piste closures.
- Bad weather and avalanche closures.
Compare travel insurance for Canada
Sort through travel insurance plans for Canada by selecting the up and down arrows next to the headers. Or choose the Go to site button for more information about each policy.
What does travel insurance cover?
Protections vary by how much you’re willing to pay, but common protections in your policy might include:
- Overseas emergency medical coverage.
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits if your trip is canceled or rescheduled.
- Luggage and personal items that are lost, damaged or stolen.
- Delayed luggage.
- Accommodations resulting from a travel delay.
- Accidental death.
- Personal liability and related legal expenses.
- 24/7 worldwide assistance so you’re never without help in an emergency.
What isn’t covered?
Comprehensive travel insurance is effectively worthless if your insurer ultimately rejects your claims. As with any insurance, look out for exclusions that include:
- Ignoring travel warning advisories from the US Department of State.
- Leaving your luggage without supervision in a public place.
- Taking drugs other than those prescribed to you by a medical practitioner.
- Forgetting to tell your insurer about preexisting medical conditions before starting your policy.
- Acting illegally or unlawfully.
- Participating in high-risk adventure sports or activities without making sure they’re covered.
Is travel insurance required for longer stays?
Not as long as you have health insurance. Health insurance is required for select Canadian visas, including those allowing longer stays or work permits. On entering Canada, you’re asked to show proof of your health insurance for the entire duration of your intended stay. If you intend to stay for two years but have only enough insurance for one year, you’ll receive a visa for 12 months only.
- Visas for tourists. Our friendly northern neighbor doesn’t require a visa with your American passport for trips of up to 180 days.
How to stay safe while traveling in Canada
Canada is a beautiful country. But its large size and countless sights to take in, it can feel a little overwhelming. Luckily, the locals are known for their friendliness and English is one of its official languages, which means that you are bound to have no trouble finding your way around the local gems.
Here are some tips to help get you started.
- Prepare for the weather. Isn’t always cold there. Temperatures and climate differ across Canada and throughout the year, so research the typical weather conditions for your destination and pack accordingly.
- Do you speak French? While major cities in Québec are predominantly bilingual, many rural areas speak French only. If you’re traveling in or through this province, bring a French-English dictionary or keep a translation app on your phone.
- Larger cities. While Canadians are known for their hospitality, large cities can be questionable no matter where you are. Know what areas to avoid before you set out on your trip.
- Dangerous animals. Rural areas and national parks in Canada are home to a menagerie of wildlife, and it’s not uncommon to cross paths with a bear, wolf or bobcat. If you’re staying in a park or wooded area, dispose of your garbage properly and seal all food in airtight containers.
Driving in Canada
The Canada-US border is the longest continuous land border in the world, and many Americans travel to Canada by vehicle. But as much as these two countries are alike, Americans driving on Canadian roadways should be aware of the following differences.
- Kilometers per hour. Canadian speed limits and distances are measured in kilometers, not miles. Most newer vehicles have a setting to switch over to metric, but consider memorizing a few quick conversions before your trip. For example, 100 kilometers an hour is about 62 miles per hour.
- Wildlife. Animals crossing highways is so common that the country has a Wildlife Collision Prevention Program in place. In general, pay attention to Wildlife Warning Signs and drive at reduced speeds in rural areas.
- Icy road conditions. Ice and snow on streets can be common for several months of the year. Again, pay attention to road signs, travel at reduced speeds and if you’ll be driving through Canada for an extended trip, consider adding winter tires to your car.
- Auto insurance. While most travel insurance plans will cover any medical bills your incur from a car accident, check with your auto insurance if your vehicle’s policy also extends north of the border.
- Fill up on gas. In some rural areas of Canada, gas stations can be few and far between. So even if you’re not running low, consider topping up your tank more often than usual.
Who do I contact in an emergency?
If you find yourself in an emergency in Canada, helpful contacts include:
- Your travel insurer. Your provider should support an 24/7 helpline for claims and medical emergencies.
- Police, fire, ambulance and mountain rescue. Reach emergency services by dialing 911.
- Embassies and consulates. Find the contact details of American embassies and consulates below.
Canada is a safe travel destination, and the majority of hospitals and medical clinics offer an excellent standard of care. But accidents can happen anywhere. A travel insurance policy can provide invaluable peace of mind for any adventure you take on in the land of the maple leaf.
Frequently asked questions
What vaccinations are required to enter Canada?
As of February 2021, there are no required vaccinations to enter Canada — though proof of a COVID-19 vaccination may become necessary in the future.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all routine vaccinations when traveling to Canada, including measles, chickenpox, polio and the yearly flu vaccine.
Can I visit any clinic or hospital in Canada?
In general, walk-in clinics and hospitals will welcome you regardless of your travel status. If you can, call your travel insurance provider to see if they have any restrictions or specific locations of service. In a life-threatening situation, go straight to the closest emergency room or dial 911.
Most specialists in Canada require a referral.
Does travel insurance for Canada cover international athletes?
It depends on your policy. If you’re traveling to Canada to compete in a sport or activity, contact travel insurance providers and request information on policies specific to your needs. For example, someone competing in figure skating may need different coverage than someone competing in snowboarding.Back to top
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