Travel insurance for Canada (2024)

Key points

  • Travel insurance can cover injuries or illnesses while you’re traveling in Canada, as your domestic health insurance may not travel with you across the border.
  • The best travel insurance for Canada will also cover costs associated with trip cancellation, delay and interruption.
  • If you plan to travel with high-value items like a laptop, smartphone or camera, ensure the travel insurance you buy has enough per-item coverage for lost, damaged or stolen belongings.

Many U.S. travelers flock to our northern neighbor to take in Canada’s cultural experiences and stunning remote landscapes. While travel insurance isn’t a requirement to enter Canada, it may be worth purchasing for the benefits, like medical insurance, trip cancellation and baggage coverage.

“Even if Canada doesn’t feel too far from the U.S., being out of the country can be stressful, and any unexpected costs that get in your way, from lost baggage to getting sick or injured, can make any mishaps even more upsetting,” said Daniel Durazo, spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance. “With the right travel insurance policy, you can ease your mind from unexpected travel scenarios or outrageous out-of-pocket bills.”

Here’s what you should consider when buying travel insurance for Canada.

Understanding travel insurance for Canada

Understanding Canada travel insurance can make choosing a policy easier. Compare plans to see which policies meet your travel needs. For example, some plans have exclusions for adventure activities, such as rock climbing without equipment, but may offer an adventure sports bundle as an upgrade.

There are also various limitations on medical coverages, trip delay, trip interruption and trip cancellation benefits that could make one policy better than another for your Canada trip.

It’s best to buy travel insurance soon after making your first trip deposit. This way you’re covered for a longer period, at no additional cost.

“Travel insurance policies typically only cover unknown and unforeseen situations, from unexpected injuries or illness to flight cancellations and weather-related events,” said Durazo. “If you wait until you have a problem, you likely won’t be covered.”

Buying travel insurance coverage within 14 days of your first trip deposit ensures you get the most benefits. Depending on the plan, buying early could also make you eligible for a pre-existing condition waiver. This means the insurance provider won’t look back at your medical records if you file a claim for a medical condition you already had before buying the policy.

But if you have a trip coming up soon, don’t worry — you can buy a travel insurance policy up to 24 hours before your departure date.

Key coverage considerations for travel insurance in Canada

The best travel insurance plans bundle together several types of insurance, from trip cancellation insurance to travel medical insurance. No matter what your plans are once you enter Canada, consider these key coverages when researching travel insurance to Canada.

Trip cancellation insurance

Sometimes, things happen that require you to cancel your trip. Maybe a family member was going to watch your kids while you’re gone, and they’re now too sick to take care of them. Or severe weather impacts the airline, grounding your flight for the days you planned to be in Canada.

Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse up to 100% of prepaid, nonrefundable expenses, like a flightseeing tour in the Yukon or a Johnston Canyon tour in Banff, if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. Other reasons you might have to cancel include family emergency, job loss, severe injury or sickness, terrorism or military deployment.

However, you can’t cancel for any reason — like a falling out with your travel companion — and get reimbursed, unless you upgrade your travel insurance plan to “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage. Although CFAR can add around 50% to your travel insurance costs, the ability to cancel for any reason and receive up to 75% of your nonrefundable expenses can make the extra expense worth it. Just make sure you cancel at least 48 hours before your departure date and time to get this benefit.

Delays in your Canada trip

If you’re headed to Canada during winter, severe weather could shut down the airport or cause flight delays. If you’re flying from Baltimore to Whistler with a connection in Chicago, but a winter storm causes delays in Baltimore, you might miss your connecting flight to Vancouver.

Most travel insurance plans will reimburse for meals and hotel accommodation expenses you incur from a travel delay. But to be eligible, the delay usually has to be at least six hours, with some policies requiring 12 consecutive hours before trip delay coverage kicks in. Seven Corners, for instance, will reimburse up to $250 per day per person to a maximum of $2,000 for a delay of at least six hours.

Trip insurance with delay benefits will also reimburse for prepaid expenses you miss out on because of a covered delay. So, if you miss out on your first two days at the ski lodge and can’t transfer or exchange prepaid snowboarding lessons, you can file a claim.

Tackling trip interruption

The last thing you’d expect while taking in the Halifax, Nova Scotia sites is to have a family emergency back home. If you get a call that your mom fell down the stairs and is in the hospital with a broken leg, you’ll probably be ready to catch the next flight home to be with her.

Luckily, travel insurance includes trip interruption benefits, which can help you get there without a large out-of-pocket expense. Trip interruption coverage will pay for your one-way ticket back home and cover any prepaid accommodations and tours you’ll miss from having to shorten your trip.

Dealing with lost bags and belongings

Travel insurance will also cover baggage loss and personal items that get damaged, stolen or lost while you’re traveling. So if you check your hiking poles and boots and they get damaged or lost during the flight, your travel insurance will reimburse you for the depreciated cost of those items.

You’ll also have coverage if someone steals your backpack while you’re sightseeing in Toronto. If you’re traveling with high-value items, make sure you have enough coverage. Many travel insurance plans have a $500 to $1,000 cap on certain items like cameras, watches and computers. Some policies also exclude coverage for smartphones.

Making plans for medical bills in Canada

Don’t be surprised if your health insurance provides little to no coverage in Canada or requires you to pay a large out-of-pocket deductible, said Carol Mueller, spokesperson for Berkshire Hathaway. Canada doesn’t accept Medicare from the U.S., and your health insurance won’t cover you unless you have global coverage. The Government of Canada will also not cover hospital and medical expenses for visitors, including American tourists.

Whether you’re planning to hit the slopes, go hiking or just take advantage of what the swanky resort you splurged on has to offer, you never know when you might fall ill or get hurt. This is where travel medical insurance can help.

Allianz’s OneTrip Prime single-trip plan will pay up to $50,000 for your medical expenses, such as X-rays, prescriptions, doctor’s visits or a hospital stay. Other plans, such as as some in our rating of the best travel insurance for seniors cover up to $500,000.

Even if you’re up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines, you might still want to consider a travel insurance plan that covers COVID-related medical treatment, like those in our rating of the best COVID-19 travel insurance.

Evacuation for serious medical issues

Travel health insurance with medical evacuation coverage is critical if you plan to travel to remote areas of Canada. The nearest trauma facility equipped to treat your medical emergency might be hundreds of miles away, requiring a medevac to get you there.

If you don’t have medical plan coverage, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical costs and private medical transportation. Travel insurance provides emergency medical evacuation coverage.

The Allianz OneTrip Prime and Berkshire Hathaway’s ExactCare travel plans will cover up to $500,000 for emergency medical transportation and repatriation of remains. Travel Guard and Seven Corners plans will each provide up to $1 million.

What is the cost of Canada travel insurance?

There are several factors insurers use to determine the cost of a travel insurance policy, including age, trip cost, destination and length of the trip. In general, you can expect travel insurance to cost about 5% to 6% of your total trip cost.

When calculating the trip expenses to insure, only include those that are nonrefundable. If your prepaid, nonrefundable flights, accommodations and tours total $5,000, you can expect to pay around $275 for travel insurance. You may pay more if you choose a plan with higher coverage limits and upgrades.

Companies use different criteria and weigh factors differently than other providers, so comparing travel insurance policy quotes can help you find the most comprehensive plan for the best price. You can use travel insurance comparison sites like Squaremouth to compare coverage limits and add-on coverage such as rental car, “cancel for any reason” and adventure sports.

Key benefits of having travel insurance for your Canada trip

Even though you’re not flying across an ocean, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a travel insurance plan. Some of the key benefits of having travel insurance for your Canada trip include:

  • Not stressing or worrying about not having government health insurance plan coverage since you’re not a Canadian resident.
  • Not losing out on your nonrefundable, prepaid trip costs if something unforeseen occurs and you have to cancel your trip or head home early.
  • Knowing that if your trip is delayed or canceled, or you lose a bag or get something stolen, you have coverage to recoup at least some of your out-of-pocket costs.

The right travel plan can provide peace of mind, and many policies will pay for themselves if you need to make a claim for a covered reason.

Tips for choosing the best travel insurance provider for your Canada trip

Comparing travel insurance companies can help you make the right choice when choosing a travel insurance product. Check customer reviews and complaints on websites like Trustpilot. Travel insurance comparison sites like Squaremouth and InsureMyTrip can also help you identify the best travel insurance company and most generous policy.

Don’t be afraid to call an insurance company to ask them “what if?” questions to ensure you’re getting the right policy. “You should feel confident in the coverage you purchase and trust you will receive the level of claims service you deserve if you need to file a claim,” said Mueller.

You should always read the fine print to know your policy’s limitations and exclusions. This includes restrictions on trip delay, cancellation and interruption benefits, and understanding what you’ll need to file a claim for baggage damage, loss, or medical care.

Tip: Most travel insurance companies offer a 10 to 15 free look period, which allows you to review the policy and cancel it for a full refund if you decide it’s not the best choice.

Other insurance considerations for Canada

If you’re planning to participate in adventure activities, like dogsledding in the Yukon, kayaking the Johnstone Strait to see orcas or surfing and hiking in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, you want to make sure you’re covered.

World Nomads Explorer travel insurance plan covers more than 200 adventure activities. You can also get extreme sports coverage, license fees and equipment delay coverage with Berkshire Hathaway’s AdrenalineCare travel plan. Travel Guard offers an Adventure Sports Bundle optional upgrade, which waives benefit exclusions for adventure and extreme activities.

We mentioned CFAR coverage above, but some policies also offer optional “interruption for any reason” (IFAR) coverage. It works like CFAR, allowing you to end your trip early for any reason, not just those listed in your policy. Seven Corners offers a CFAR and IFAR upgrade for up to 75% of nonrefundable trip costs as long as you purchase it within 20 days of your first trip payment.

Road trips are also a popular way to see Canada’s beauty. If you plan to rent a car, it may be worth getting rental vehicle coverage if your credit card doesn’t offer it. World Nomads will cover up to $35,000 in collision damage waiver, while Travel Guard’s rental vehicle damage coverage will pay up to $50,000 in damage to your rental vehicle. Note that this coverage does not include liability insurance, if you are at fault for an accident that results in injuries or damage to others’ property. Check with your car insurance company to make sure your U.S. auto insurance coverage extends to driving in Canada.

Travel insurance for Canada FAQs

Travel insurance is not a requirement to travel to Canada. However, travel insurance will provide travel medical insurance and emergency medical evacuation coverage, as well as benefits for lost or delayed baggage, trip delay, cancellation or interruption and sometimes missed connections.

The average cost of travel insurance is around 5% to 6% of your travel costs to Canada. Your age, trip cost and other factors determine how much you’ll pay for travel insurance.

To find the best travel insurance for Canada, fill out a brief online form on an insurer’s website with your name, age, address and details about your trip, like the total cost and number of travelers. A travel insurance comparison site like Squaremouth allows you to fill out one application and get multiple quotes at the same time.

The best travel insurance in Canada depends on where you’re going, what activities you’re doing and the types of coverage you need. After comparing dozens of providers, we found WorldTrips, Travel Insured and TravelSafe are among the best travel insurance companies.

Travel insurance for Canada (2024)


What travel insurance do I need for Canada? ›

To visit Canada, you need worldwide travel insurance to cover you for loss, damage and theft of your belongings, cancellation or curtailment of your trip, and public liability if you should cause accidental damage or injury. You'll need to choose worldwide travel insurance including Canada, USA and the Caribbean.

Should I get travel insurance to go to Canada? ›

While travel insurance isn't a requirement to enter Canada, it may be worth purchasing for the benefits, like medical insurance, trip cancellation and baggage coverage.

How much does travel insurance for Canada cost? ›

The cost of travel insurance Canada is around 5% of the trip cost , even for a cruise and easily provides value worth more than its cost.

Can you use US health insurance in Canada? ›

Does US health insurance work in Canada? US government health plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program will not pay for health care while in Canada. This includes treatment such as hospital visits and the supply of prescription drugs.

Why is travel insurance to Canada so expensive? ›

Unlike India and other European countries, the countries such as the US and Canada do not have a nationally regulated medical body. They do not have a government hospital in each city. Thus, private hospitalisation, consultation, and care procedures in US and Canada are costly.

Who provides the best travel insurance in Canada? ›

Top 10 travel insurance Canada plans
  • Blue Cross Travel Insurance Canada: Flexible plans for every need.
  • CAA travel insurance: Best for CAA members.
  • RBC travel insurance: Coverage from a reputed bank.
  • TD travel insurance: High coverage limits.
  • BCAA travel insurance: Budget-friendly options.

What happens if an American goes to the hospital in Canada? ›

If during your visit to Canada you get sick or injured, the Canadian government won't pay for any hospitalization or emergency medical services for visitors. Also, if you don't have proper medical insurance coverage, you will be liable to pay for any medical service out of your own pocket.

Do credit cards provide travel insurance? ›

Credit card travel insurance is a benefit included with certain travel credit cards. You'll often see this perk with travel rewards credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Does Canada accept American Medicare? ›

Healthcare services received beyond U.S. borders are not covered. Medicare may cover inpatient hospital costs, ambulance services or dialysis for the following circ*mstances: You are in the U.S. when emergency treatment is needed and the closest hospital is in a foreign country (e.g., Canada or Mexico).

Do US citizens need medical insurance in Canada? ›

Any visitor traveling to Canada should purchase visitors health insurance. Most domestic policies will only cover you in your home country and have little to no coverage once you are traveling abroad.

Which visitor insurance is best? ›

Best Travel Health Insurance for Visitors to the U.S.
  • Seven Corners Travel Medical Basic: Our pick for group travelers.
  • WorldTrips Atlas America: Our pick for high coverage limits.
  • IMG Patriot Lite: Our pick for budget coverage.
  • IMG Patriot America Plus: Our pick for continuous coverage.
Mar 27, 2024

Is Allianz travel insurance good? ›

We at the MarketWatch Guides team awarded Allianz Travel Insurance 4.1 out of 5 stars based on our provider review methodology. Named our pick for concierge services, Allianz offers 24/7 travel assistance through a multilingual team, which can help policyholders with travel and coverage issues while abroad.

Does an American get free healthcare in Canada? ›

Non-citizens such as temporary legal visitors and undocumented immigrants are not entitled to Medicare but provinces and territories may provide limited emergency services to these populations since medical care can't be refused in an emergency.

Does Medicare cover me if I travel to Canada? ›

In most situations, Medicare won't pay for health care or supplies you get outside the U.S. The term “outside the U.S.” means anywhere other than the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

What does travel insurance not cover? ›

Most travel insurance policies won't pay out if you're negligent while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and have an accident or have property stolen.

How much medical insurance cover do I need for Canada? ›

Medical care fees

Hospital and medical centre rates vary per location. Insured residents pay less for medical attention than foreign visitors to Canada do. Unless you're able to put $50,000 down - right out of your pocket - you should get travel health insurance to cover any medical costs while visiting Canada.

Is travel insurance the same as health insurance Canada? ›

Both of these types of insurance are important, but they serve different purposes. While there may be some health coverage included as part of travel insurance, it's designed to be used in emergencies only. Typically, travel insurance is recommended only for a maximum of 6 months.

Do I need special car insurance to go to Canada? ›

Canadian law requires U.S. citizens driving into Canada to provide proper proof of motor vehicle insurance. The good news is that both your IMT Insurance Policy includes Canada as part of your coverage territory.

Do I need international coverage for Canada? ›

There are a few places very close to the border where you will be able to pick up American cell phone towers but beware as you will be bounced from tower to tower in this area. For the most part you will need to contact your service provider and add an international plan on for the length of your stay.

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