Travel Insurance Canada

A Canadian flag waves in the breeze against a mountain backdrop.
Photo by Igor Kyryliuk.

Oh, Canada. Shining lakes, sweeping mountains, and vibrant cities: the neighbour to the north has it all.

Backpack the rugged wilderness or shred powder on the slopes. Practice your French in Montreal, or *squee* over adorable sea otters at the Vancouver Aquarium. With six time zones, stunning vistas, and a colourful culture (not to mention that iconic accent), there’s plenty to experience in this beautiful country.

But before you jet-set on your ultimate Canadian adventure, make sure that you’re covered for all those unwelcome holiday vibes-killers. We’re talking surprise cancellations, medical emergencies – even luggage that decides to wander off on its own. After all, you don’t wanna be that Aussie who swears in front of all the polite Canadians, eh? 

Here’s all you need to know about choosing the best travel insurance for Canada.

What should my travel insurance policy for Canada include?

A snow hiker gazes out upon the mountains.
Photo by Alesso Soggeti.

Canada is a safe country with friendly people, but flight cancellations, delays, and accidents can happen anywhere in the world. The best travel insurance policy is tailored to your needs by considering where you’ll be going, what you’ll be doing, and how long you’ll be staying. Like all insurance, it’s about managing risk.

RELATED: What kind of traveller are you?

When comparing travel insurance policies, keep in mind that the cheapest offer might not adequately cover you. Many travel insurance providers offer different levels of protection, from basic/essential plans to comprehensive policies.

Basic policies will just cover medical emergencies and personal liability. For flight delays or cancellations, theft/loss/damage to your belongings, or even specific kinds of activities, comprehensive policies may be better suited to your needs.

For instance, if you’re planning on skiing in Whistler, you may want to consider snow sports insurance. If you’d rather hike through the Rockies, there are specific policies available for backpackers, too.

There’s even smartphone travel insurance if the city is more your style, or special coverage for pre-existing conditions (including pregnancy).

No matter what your needs, it's important to invest a little up front to save you big time later.

Do Australians need a visa to travel to Canada?

Photo by Eva Blue.

If you hold a valid Australian passport, you do not need a visa to enter Canada. Visitors can sometimes even stay for up to 6 months!

However, as part of their pandemic border restrictions, Canada requires Australian visitors who do not already have a valid visa to present an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) upon arrival.

Additionally, fully vaccinated travellers will need:

  • A valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing they’ve had at least two doses of vaccine approved in Canada (including Pfizer, Astrazeneca, and Moderna), with a second dose taken at least 14 days prior to arrival.
  • Upload proof of full vaccination to ArriveCAN at least 72 hours before arrival. Note: pre-entry testing is no longer required, though incoming travellers may still be randomly tested in the airport.
  • A plan to quarantine for 14 days if necessary.

If you do not meet these entry requirements, or if you show symptoms of COVID-19, you will be turned away by border personnel. 

You will still be required to follow public health measures such as wearing a mask in public spaces, maintaining a list of close contacts and locations, and monitoring for symptoms.

Can I get COVID-19 travel insurance for Canada?

According to Smartraveller, Canada is considered a level 2 advisory risk due to the prevalence of COVID-19 (which is similar to current Australian levels). However, Canada has eased their border restrictions for vaccinated travellers, so assuming you’re showing no symptoms and have your documents in order, you should be able enter the country and get travel insurance cover – if your provider offers it.

That last part is key, as not every travel insurance provider these days will reimburse pandemic-related claims, especially quarantine costs or government-mandated border closures. Most will still cover emergency medical expenses like contracting COVID, though. Given that Australia and Canada do not have a reciprocal healthcare agreement, at least having cover for this might still be a good idea.

Travel insurance tips for Canada

A blue glacial lake beneath the sweeping, cloud Canadian Rockies.
Photo by Chi Liu.
  • Excess fees. Generally, insurance providers will offer cheaper premiums if you’re willing to pay a larger part of the total value of your claim (called an excess). However, keep in mind you’ll have to pay these excess fees for every event you claim, which may end up being more expensive than the event itself. If you don’t want to pay an excess fee, you can get a policy that includes an excess waiver – but this will generally mean you’ll need to pay a higher premium. Trade offs, eh? 
  • Pre-existing conditions. Travel insurance providers will ask that you declare any and all pre-existing conditions up front (including disabilities, chronic illnesses, allergies, and even pregnancy). This can sometimes drive up your premium, but if you don't declare something up front and then try to claim it later, you’ll likely have your claim rejected.
  • Unattended baggage. This is a sticky one, as ‘unattended’ to an insurance provider can mean something as trivial as, “You were looking the other way at the concierge desk.” Remain vigilant with your belongings overseas, and if something does get swiped, lost, or damaged, always file an official report.
  • Report incidents ASAP. Even if you just left your sunnies by the pool, always file a report with the hotel, establishment, or law enforcement so that there is official documentation of the incident. Generally, these will be doctors reports, hospital bills, police reports, or receipts, depending on the nature of your claim. Keep these documents on hand when you prepare to file your claim, and file your claim within 30 days of coming home.
  • Driving in Canada. Australians can drive on their valid Australian licence in Canada if they also have an International Driving Permit (IDP). AN IDP will give you a translation of your driving licence into French and English and allow you to do things like hire a rental car. Make sure you have the right paperwork, and consider whether your travel insurance policy covers rental vehicle excess in case you have an accident in your hire car. Remember: don’t drink and drive, as your insurance will not cover any accidents you have under the influence.
  • Drink responsibly. If you get injured or suffer a medical emergency (or if a dependent, like your child, suffers the same) while you were intoxicated or under the influence, your insurance provider can reject your claim.

RELATED: Famous movie characters who’d get their travel insurance claims denied

Thinking of travelling to Canada? Browse international travel insurance options below.

Compare and save on travel insurance for your holiday! - last updated 18 August 2022

Search promoted travel insurance below. Advertiser disclosure Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

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