It’s highly recommended to purchase travel insurance when moving abroad. Travel insurance can protect you when you lose your luggage, miss a flight, have your passport stolen, get injured and more.
There are several different types of travel insurance, including single trip, multi-trip, business insurance, backpacker insurance and more. You can purchase insurance as an individual, as a couple or as a family. It’s important to shop around for the best deal when buying insurance.
Purchasing Insurance in your Home Country
For many people, especially those on temporary visas, this is an easier and usually cheaper option than purchasing insurance in Canada. Many insurance companies in your own country will be happy to insure you while you are on your travels and often have very good deals. However, it’s important to be aware that many companies will only renew or extend your policy if you are in the country. This can prove awkward if you are unable to return to your home country to do this.
Sometimes, people can find that their private health insurance policy covers them for illness and injury sustained abroad. Check your health insurance policy to ensure you are not paying for cover you already have. However, health insurance will not cover lost luggage, passport etc.
Purchasing Insurance in Canada
There are many insurance companies in Canada that provide travel cover, often these policies can have limitations, such as only covering people for short periods of time. In addition, many insurance providers do not cover those who are not permanent residents or Canadian citizens. In some cases, the companies that will insure non-residents usually offer expensive policies.
Some travel agents, tour operators and visa specialists offer travel insurance as part of a deal (along with a visa, bank account etc.). While this can sometimes work out as good value, it is still important to shop around. You may be able to get a much better insurance deal with another provider.
- Read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully. There is often small print in policies that many people are not aware of; for example if you return to your home country before your policy is up your insurance will be null and void.
- Consider what you will be doing when abroad. For many people travelling to Canada, they plan to backpack, hike, ski etc. On many standard travel insurance policies, these types of activities are not covered. Most insurers will offer extra cover for ‘high risk’ adventure activities, but at a high cost.
- Keep a copy of your policy with you while travelling. This will be extremely important if you need to make a claim. Most insurers have 24 hour claim help lines that you can call if necessary.