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Travel insurance – Travel.gc.ca

Travel insurance – Travel.gc.ca

Travel insurance – Travel.gc.ca

If you plan to travel outside of Canada, even for a single day in the United States, you should purchase travel health insurance before leaving the country.

If you are taking a flight, make sure you have insurance that covers trip interruptions, lost luggage and replacement of documents. If you drive, make sure you have coverage for the driver and the vehicle in case you have an accident.

On this page

Why should you buy travel health insurance?

  • Your Canadian health insurance is generally not valid outside the country.
  • Your provincial or territorial health care plan may not cover any costs or, at best, only reimburse a small portion of the cost of medical treatment received abroad, and never right away.
  • Hospitalization abroad can be very expensive and require immediate cash payments.
  • In some countries, hospitals and clinics refuse to treat patients who do not have sufficient insurance or enough money to pay for their care.
  • The Government of Canada will not pay your medical expenses.

Where can you get travel insurance?

You can purchase travel insurance from your:

  • travel agent;
  • insurance broker;
  • your employer’s insurer;
  • credit card companies.

What should your travel health insurance cover?

Regardless of the country visited, your travel health insurance should always cover the following three eventualities:

1. Medical evacuation

Your insurance policy should cover medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest medical facility offering appropriate medical care, and the use of a medical escort to accompany you from your point of departure to your destination.

2. Pre-existing medical condition

Ask the insurer to explain the definition of a pre-existing medical condition under the insurance policy, and the limitations and restrictions that may apply depending on the tests and treatments you have had.

  • Be sure to obtain a written agreement certifying that your pre-existing medical condition is covered, failing which your request for reimbursement may be refused and considered to be “null and without effect”, pursuant to a clause on the pre-existing conditions.
  • Note that the agreement must also include a clause relating to the stability of your condition according to which to benefit from the coverage of a pre-existing medical condition for a given period (period of stability):
    • there should be no change in your condition;
    • you should have no new medical conditions, symptoms or medications during the stability period prior to your trip.

  • The agreement must also include:
    • a “compassion clause” stating that an inaccurate statement does not necessarily invalidate the policy as a whole;
    • a clause relating to a change in your state of health.

3. Repatriation in the event of death

Make sure your plan includes everything needed to help your loved ones if you die outside of Canada following an accident or sudden and unexpected illness. Make sure your insurance covers the following:

  • Preparation and repatriation of your remains.
  • Local cremation or burial outside of Canada.
  • Reasonable additional costs if someone has to come to identify your body.

For more information, see our page Death abroad

Be well aware of what you are buying

Carefully assess your needs. Check the conditions, restrictions and requirements of your insurance policy before you leave Canada.

When evaluating a travel health insurance plan, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.

  • Is there a deductible and if so how much? Plans that offer full coverage are more expensive, but can save you money in the long run.
  • Does the plan offer continued protection for the duration of your stay abroad and after your return?
  • Does the plan exclude certain countries or regions that may be part of your itinerary or include limitations on services in those regions?
  • Can you renew your policy from abroad and will it cover the maximum duration of your stay?
  • Does the plan include an emergency number allowing you to reach from anywhere and at any time, in French or in English (or through interpretation services), health care providers in the country you are visiting?
  • Does the plan cover hospitalization costs abroad in the event of illness or injury as well as related medical costs?
  • Does the plan provide direct and immediate bill payment, or does it offer cash advances so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket?

COVID-19 and travel insurance

If you must travel outside of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, check with your travel insurance provider (whether you have group, individual or credit card-type insurance) that you are covered. for :

  • medical expenses related to COVID-19
  • other expenses related to an emergency unrelated to COVID-19
  • trip cancellation and interruption

Comply with the terms of your policy

You are responsible for knowing your travel health insurance policy and understanding its terms. Read the fine print carefully and ask for help if needed.

The information you provide must be accurate and complete. If you have any questions, contact your insurer and ask them to send you a written explanation.

Have all the details of your insurance with you. Also tell a friend or relative in Canada how to reach your insurer.

Make sure you understand the potential exclusions

Obtain approval from your insurer before beginning medical treatment. Travel health insurance rarely covers routine health exams, non-emergency care, and cosmetic surgery. Exclusions provided by insurance companies may also apply to psychiatric disorders, incidents involving the use of alcohol or drugs, or the practice of extreme sports, such as bungee jumping and rock climbing. rock.

If you need to make a complaint

Before returning to Canada, ask the doctor or hospital to give you an itemized bill for the medical treatment in the country where you received it. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to gather the necessary documents from thousands of miles away. Remember that you must always present original receipts for prescription drugs or medical services provided to you abroad. Keep a copy of the documents you presented to the insurance company on file.

Check the travel advisory broadcast

Double check the page Travel advice and warnings if your destination is subject to a warning: once when planning your trip and another one just before you leave.

Your insurance company may refuse to reimburse your medical expenses if the Government of Canada has issued a warning for the country you are visiting.

If you live or work outside of Canada

Travel insurance is not intended for use when you live for an extended period, or permanently, outside of Canada. If you live abroad, or are planning to move to another country, you should determine your insurance needs carefully. Depending on local laws, you may be required to purchase medical insurance, and you may need to attach proof of medical insurance to your visa application.

If you are studying outside of Canada

If you are studying outside of Canada or planning to study in another country, contact your educational institution or program administrator for advice on the coverage you need.

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