Canada Travel Insurance Review

Update! I’ve verified all of the prices and policies as of 2018.

Travel insurance can kill a travel budget for anyone. We feel the pinch especially hard, since we’re buying travel insurance for a family of four.

When I searched high and low for travel insurance comparisons and reviews for our upcoming trip, I found absolutely nothing (other then the awesome Kanetix that would help me compare prices and insurance. So I had to do hours of legwork to get the best prices and policies, and I’ve shared them in this review.

For six months of travel, for a family of four, we got quotes ranging from $418.51 to a whopping $2,461.92 for worldwide travel medical insurance, including the USA.

Prices and policies can change almost overnight, so do your own research. This travel insurance review should give a great starting point, though. All prices are in Canadian dollars, although some of the companies (especially World Nomads) will cover people all around the world.

A quick explanation before I name names and point fingers in the review. Travel insurance almost always means medical travel insurance, which includes set amount of coverage (usually one to five million dollars per person for travel accidents and illness). Many travel insurance packages include coverage for baggage, trip cancellation, trip interruption and even emergency dental. Only buy what you need, and you’ll save a lot of money.

Tip! Read the terms and conditions of policy wording and description of coverage to decide if the policy you choose is right for you. Insurance policy wordings are subject to change at any time, without prior notice.

World Nomads

World Nomads travel insurance, available through Lonely Planet, was one of the cheapest policies we found, that also happens to include a lot of extras like trip cancellation and coverage for sports.

World Nomads travel insurance is underwritten by Travel Guard AIG Insurance Company of Canada.

  • $814.90 for six months, for a family of four.
  • $5 million travel medical insurance.
  • World-wide, including USA.
  • No deductible.
  • Extensions are allowed during a trip, even if you’re not in our country of residence.
  • You can buy this insurance after you’ve started you trip, even if you’re not in your country of residence.  This is a huge bonus, especially if you’ve somehow forgotten to get insurance before you leave.
  • Valid provincial health insurance required for the entire duration of our trip.
  • No coverage for anyone over 60.
  • Not available to Quebec residents at this time.
  • Refund available within a short period (10 or 14 days, depending where I looked on their website) after the issue of a Confirmation Letter and of the policy wording, if the trip hasn’t started, and no claim has been made.
  • Trip Cancellation: $1,000 per insured.
  • Trip Interruption: $5,000 per insured.
  • $2,500 luggage and personal effects
  • $2,500 sporting equipment coverage
  • World Nomads offers baggage and personal effects insurance, and also covers cameras and computers, which is very rare (most policies exclude cell phones, computers, and most electronics).  Policy covers prescription eyeglasses. However, there are exclusions to the coverage, for example if your belongings are left unattended in public place or if unattended in car.
  • They cover adventure activities like snorkeling or scuba diving.
  • World Nomads offers 24 Hour World Wide Emergency Assistance.
  • You may extend your policy while on your trip, but NOT if your policy has expired, if you have a finalized Luggage and Personal Effects claim of CAD$2,500 or more.  Coverage can be extended  up to a maximum trip length of 365 days provided you have obtained an extension of your provincial health insurance plan.

World Escapade/April International

When we took our trip, I didn’t know about World Escapade insurance. However, I’ve included them in this 2014 update, as they offer one of the cheapest plans available, and they would have definitly made our short list.

  • $741.60 for six months, for a family of four, including the USA.
  • $5 million emergency medical insurance.
  • $0 deductible.
  • You must be under 60 years of age to get coverage longer than 23 days.
  • 365 day trip maximum, if you’ve been granted an extension by your government health insurance plan.
  • 24 hour emergency medical assistance.
  • They’ll give a full refund if you make the request in writing before the effective date of coverage. You can get a partial refund after leaving on your trip, if you haven’t made a claim, and you make the request within 90 days of the expiry date.
  • Adding $6,000 trip cancellation and unlimited trip interruption coverage added $452.00 to the cost.
  • No baggage or personal effect coverage.
  • Unlike many insurance companies, they cover most sports activities (except motorized sports and participation as a professional athletes), which is a great perk if you plan on hiking, scuba diving, or para sailing.
  • World Escapade insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

TuGo Travel Insurance

TuGo (formerly called Travel Underwriters) is one of Canada’s biggest travel insurance companies, and they surprised us with one of the best rates.

  • $532.80 for six months, for a family of four. The plan will cover only up to five days in the USA.
  • $5 million emergency medical insurance.
  • $300 USD deductible (dropping the deductible to 0 brought the cost up to $612.72 total).
  • You can add on trip cancellation and interruption for $284.00. Coverage is up to sum insured for trip cancellation or up to $25,000 for trip interruption.
  • You can get add-on optional sports coverage. Coverage is based on risk level; from contact sports to adventure sports to extreme sports.
  • Get a quote with TuGo.

TD Meloche Monnex

We signed up with TD Meloche Monnex: Wide Horizons Solution on our last six month trip though Costa Rica, Mexico, Florida and Texas. Although we didn’t have to make a claim, their customer service was extremely professional and patient when answering all of my questions about the quote.

  • $448.51 for six months, for a family of four. Since we have tenants’ insurance with Meloche, we get a good discount on the premium.
  • This is a great deal, as it includes a 60 day multi-trip plan that will let us take unlimited trips (of up to 60 days) anywhere in the world for $160 per year. The additional four months top up coverage cost us $291.51 (for a total of $418.51).
  • If we didn’t have home, tenants’ insurance, or auto insurance with Meloche , the cost for our initial 60 day multi-trip plan would $397.00 plus $301.51 for the additional days for a total of $698.51.
  • You can get an initial quote online, but their online quote system is very limited. You’ll need to call Meloche to buy your policy. Meloche’s number is 1-866-566-1464.
  • $5 million emergency medical insurance, per person.
  • $100 deductible (most deductibles with other companies are 0). It was worth the higher deductible, given that the premium is so low. You can also choose a $250, $500 or $1,000 deductible.
  • Free international assistance, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Full refund available anytime during our trip, less a $20 fee.
  • Extensions are available while on our trip, but if there’s a claim on file, the extension must be verified by risk manager.  You must also have valid provincial health coverage.
  • World-wide, including USA, but excludes countries with Government of Alberta or Canada travel warnings.
  • Trip cancellation up to $2,500 per person,  maximum $5,000 per family for each annual period of coverage.
  • Trip interruption up to $5,000 per person, per covered trip.
  • No baggage or personal effects insurance.
  • Brochure of coverage.
  • If we purchase additional tickets/flights after leaving on trip, these are not eligible for trip cancellation/baggage insurance.
  • Adventure activities like scuba diving are covered.  There were some exceptions, including ultralight flights and paid sports activities, I believe, but they didn’t apply to us.
  • Like all the other policies we looked at, we were required to have valid provincial health insurance for the entire duration of our trip.

Travelcuts Worldwide Travel Insurance

We used travelcuts Globetrotter insurance for our last trips to Asia and the Philippines. We ended up claiming a few days in a hospital in Thailand, and travelcuts was great to us.

If we’d been a single traveller on this trip, then travelcuts would probably have been our first choice for insurance. With a whopping 547 days for a maximum policy length, travelcuts is a well worth looking at if you’re planning a longer trip.

travelcuts has several plans, but we were interested only in the Emergency Medical Plan D. This plan does not include trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance.

  • $1,080.00 for six months, for a family of four. This has increased only slightly from when I first got a quote in 2012, when the quote was $916.00.
  • 1 million emergency medical insurance per person.
  • You can be covered up to a maximum of 547 days , but you must have valid government health insurance plan for the entire duration of your trip.
  • travelcuts insurance only covers travellers under age 50, and over 15 days old.
  • You can get an extension on your trip, but you must call travelcuts to apply for the extension, and have a provincial health plan is in effect for the full length of your travel period.
  • You are covered for high-risk activities like adventure and/or extreme sports activities such as abseiling, white-water rafting, bungee jumping, caving, diving, jet-skiing, parachuting, paragliding, parasailing, para-motoring, rock-climbing, shark cage diving, trekking, skiing off-piste, or scuba diving.
  • You can get a full refund if you cancel within 10 days of buying your policy, or if you can prove your trip was cancelled before you leave on your trip. See your specific policy for details.
  • Costs and benefits may be different for residents of Quebec.
  • travelcuts worldwide insurance was formerly known as Travel CUTS Bon Voyage insurance.
  • Always check your individual policy – coverage and limits can change without notice.
  • Get a quote with travelcuts here.


itravel2000 is one of my favorite sites to search for cheap all-inclusive last minute getaways and hotel rooms, so I thought I’d check out their travel insurance.  Wow. Pretty darn expensive.

  • A gulp-inducing $3,075.00 for six months for an all inclusive plan for family of four, including trip cancellation and interruption.
  • $1,573.20 for a global under age 60 plan, with $5 million in emergency medical benefits only, with no trip cancellation or interruption.


BMO travel insurance is one of Canada’s biggest names in travel insurance, so I thought I’d try them out.

  • $1,690.26 for six months insurance for a family of four.
  • $2,000,000 medical liability.
  • A refund is available 10 days after purchase, but not after leaving on a trip.
  • Trip home assist and medical assist and consult available.
  • Coverage can be extended after leaving, but there cannot be an open claim.
  • Trip cancellation $2500 per person, or $5000 per card.
  • Trip interruption $2000 per person.
  • Includes auto rental collision/loss damage coverage.
  • Baggage coverage of $750 per person. Coverage excludes exclude baggage or theft on computers, cell phones, contact lenses and glasses (pretty much the only expensive things we have).
  • Tickets need to be purchased on credit card to get trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

Sunova Visa Gold (Based on the Desjardins Travel Gold Visa card)

Sunova Credit Union with purchase of Sunova Gold credit card with $65 annual fee. The Sunova credit card issued by a small credit union in Manitoba, Canada, but based Desjardins credit card. If a Sunova card isn’t an option, a Desjardins card is very similar. The fees and details for the Desjardins card may vary a bit.

  • $981.62 for six months.
  • Word-wide, including USA.
  • $5,000,000 medical liability.
  • $2,000 trip cancellation.
  • $500 baggage.
  • Refund available anytime for unused portion.
  • Tip home assist.
  • Medical assist and consultation.
  • Can extend coverage after leaving, but cannot have an open claim.
  • The Desjardins Visa is available at numerous Credit Unions and Caisse Populaires across the country as well as Desjardins itself. The prices can vary depending on which bank you go through to get it.


Kanetix is on online insurance quote consolidator. I’m a big fan. They’ll let you compare a number of quotes side by side, and they’re usually a fairly good deal.  They do all sorts of insurance, including home, auto, and tenant’s insurance.

The best deals on Kanetix were:

  • Travel Underwriters $684.00 for six months for a family of four for $2 million in emergency medical insurance and no trip cancellation or interruption insurance, with a $250 deductible.
  • World Escapade $714 for six months for a family of four for $5 million  in emergency medical insurance and no trip cancellation or interruption insurance, with a $0 deductible.
  • Travel underwriters $809.00 for six months for a family of four for $2 million in emergency medical insurance and no trip cancellation or interruption insurance, with a $0 deductible.
  • TIC travel insurance $918.00 for six months for a family of four for $10 million in emergency medical insurance and no trip cancellation or interruption insurance, with a zero deductible.
  • RSA insurance $$968.40 for six months for a family of four for $5 million in emergency medical insurance and no trip cancellation or interruption insurance, with a zero deductible.
  • PC insurance was the cheapest all inclusive insurance at $1,124.00 for a family of four. For travelers rage 59 and under, emergency medical coverage was unlimited, but there was a $10 million limit for travellers ag3 60 and over. The policy included trip interruption, trip cancellation and baggage insurance.

Compare travel insurance quotes.

What if you’re taking a short trip?

For trips of 60 days or less, consider getting a credit card with medical travel insurance. These often offer trip cancellation and interruption, along with baggage insurance. For Canada travel insurance, the cards we looked at were Sunova’s (Desjardins Travel Visa) Gold card ($65 annual fee, which included travel insurance), and BMO’s Air Miles Mosaic Gold Card (which charged $99 for travel insurance on top of the annual credit card fee).

Note: If you decide to use only your credit cards built in travel insurance, make sure that you’re covered for the duration of your trip (you can often extend coverage for an additional fee) and that you qualify since some cards that include travel insurance have specific riders that might not cover you if you fall outside of their policies parameters.

Baggage coverage and personal effects coverage

Baggage coverage insures your bags while in transit (in airplanes, though this may extend to buses and taxis).

Personal effects coverage covers your belongings anywhere, on any portion of your trip. This sounds nice in theory, but I found that most policies had some serious exclusions.  They would only cover losses with a police report (makes sense, but a police report can be pretty damn hard to get in a lot of countries).  On top of that, most policies would not insure belongings that were unattended. That means that if your wallet is stolen from your beach chair while you’re body surfing, you’re out of luck. No coverage.

Even more important, most policies wouldn’t cover loss or theft of computers, cameras, or cell phones, or jewelery. Seriously. The only expensive things most people travel with aren’t covered.

Here’s a little trick, though. If you have insurance on your home or tenant’s insurance, then your belongings might be covered on your trip. Usually there’s a limit (around 10% of the total coverage on your original policy), and your deductible applies to any claims while travelling. World Nomads had pretty good coverage for personal effects, including computers and camera equipment.

Trip cancellation and interruption generally only cover the portion of your trip that you buy before you leave. Not especially useful for us, since we’re only buying a one-way ticket to Mexico before we leave, and the rest of our tickets will be bought once out of Canada. Not having a set itinerary means that we’ll buy onward legs (by plane, train, car, taxi, water taxi, ferry, cruise liner, or bus) as we need them. I couldn’t find a single travel insurance policy that would cover purchase of additional legs once we left home. Trust me, I tried. And tried.

A lot of Canada travel insurance reviews don’t mention this, but it’s important: If you’re gone for more than six months, ensure you get a written extension from your provincial health care plan (this applies only to Canadians).

Checklist for a travel insurance quote:

  • What is the amount of liability you cover?
  • Is trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance covered?
  • Is there a refund available for unused amount?
  • What is the deductible?
  • Do you offer a medical service assist, e.g., can you help me find a doctor or hospital?
  • Is the policy good worldwide, including the USA?
  • Can I top up my insurance once I’ve left on my trip?
  • Can I buy my initial insurance after I’ve left on my trip?

Compare travel insurance quotes.

Check out our new website!

We’ve had so many great responses to this article that we realized that other travellers were having the exact same problem we had: There are no good websites that do a good job of reviewing and comparing Canadian travel insurance.

Are you already overseas? Check out this post to learn how to get travel insurance if you’re already abroad!

We’ve started a new website called Canadian Travel Insurance Review that we hope will help all the travellers out there looking for reviews and comparisons of Canadian travel insurance. Check it out!

48 Responses

  1. Wanda Redwood

    After hours of research and banging my head against a wall, I found your website and your Travel Insurance Review.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Based on the information you provided (very thorough!!) we have booked our travel insurance with TD Meloche Monnex Wide Horizons. Great company to deal with and very patient in answering any and all my questions.

    I can’t tell how much I appreciate the detail and effort you afforded your readers!! The weight off my mind, in knowing, that we have great coverage for the time we will be away, is tremendous.

    I only wish I would have found your site earlier!!

    Australia here we come!!

    • Micki

      Wanda, Thanks so much for the pat on the back. Hope you’re loving Oz. We were there for six months in 2004, and had a great time.

    • lorin

      Thanks much! Used your link to and decided on Tugo. Much appreciate your efforts in this site!

  2. Sydney

    Very helpful! Thank you for the detail in your post especially the “questions to ask” portion.
    Thanks again!

  3. Asigurare locuinta

    I plan to keep in mind the list of questions you have mentioned. I find it helpful!

  4. Sandra Pickett

    My husband and I are going on a Caribbean cruise next February 2013 going out of Miami Florida.We are from Ontario Canada. We are interested in all inclusive travel insurance and of course want good medical coverage.In the event of a serious medical problem we need coverage to include an airlift off the ship or by boat.We have gone on other cruises thinking that this was part of the medical coverage only to recently discover that not all plans cover this.Hopefully this would never happen but I have heard that this could happen if the ship couldn’t treat you if you were seriously ill or injured.Do you know which insurance companies cover this?

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Sandra,

      The Government of Canada has an informative article called Advice for Cruise Travellers. They say that you should “Purchase travel health insurance that includes at least $500,000 in coverage for accidental injury, hospitalization abroad, and medical evacuation at sea (the cost of medically evacuating a patient from a cruise ship by helicopter can easily reach $150,000).”

      I looked a bit into specific policies to get you started, but keep in mind that I’m just a fellow traveller, not an insurance agent. Make sure you read your policy and chat with your insurance company for any clarification. You’ll need to call the companies directly to specifically ask if your specific policy covers emergency transport by helicopter while at sea.

      I did a comparison quote search on, and came up with a couple of all inclusive policies that look like they cover an air ambulance. Click on the View sample policy link at the bottom of the quote to see policy details for yourself. Travel Guard Chartis Gold Deluxe’s policy notes that if you get “if Your attending Physician recommends Your return after Your Emergency Medical Treatment, and if approved in advance by Us, We cover, via the most cost-effective itinerary, one (1) or more of: … the cost of air ambulance transportation, pre-approved and arranged by Us”.

      Just to note, the Group Medical Services TravelStar All Inclusive policy quoted at Kanetix does NOT cover a helicopter transport.

      If you’re under age 60, World Nomads is a really good option. Their policy says “Once You have received Emergency Medical Care and Our consulting Physician determines You are able to and recommends that You return Home, We will arrange and pay for the following services and expenses to return You to Your province or territory of residence: … the cost of air ambulance transportation to the most appropriate facility in Your province or territory of residence, if the use of an air ambulance is required and Medically Necessary.” There’s a detailed review of World Nomads here.

      Another option is RBC insurance. They have a great reputation, but you need to be an existing RBC client, spouse or child of the client. They’re the only company I’m aware of that offers unlimited emergency medical insurance (most companies cap at $1 million or $5 million).

      The exact policy you get with RBC depends a lot on your age. I looked at an RBC policy quoted for people under 60, and the policy said they would pay for return to your departure point, “when pre-authorized and arranged by Assured Assistance Inc., when medically essential: the cost of air ambulance transportation if it is medically essential.” You can get an online quote with RBC at this link: Just be aware that you may need to buy a trip cancellation insurance add-on with them.

      I think you should be able to get emergency air evacuation at sea included with one of these Canadian companies. However, if that fails, there are a couple of international companies (that cover Canadians) that specialize in medical evacuation insurance. They’re MedjetAssist and International SOS.

      There’s a checklist that you can use for asking questions when getting a quote at Canadian Travel Insurance Review.

      Hope that helps a bit!

      Happy travels!


  5. TV

    Excellent site. Plenty of helpful info here. I’m sending it to some buddies and additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your sweat!

  6. Ray B

    Can you suggest an insurance provider for ON resident, aged 63. Planning a 9 month trip through USA & Bahamas.

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Ray! Recommending a specific provider is pretty tough – it depends on so many things – preexisting conditions, what kind of coverage you want (basic medical, cancellation, interruption, baggage, or some mix), and how much you want.

      I always suggest to start with Kanetix to get a comparison quote, which will at least give you a baseline price you should pay, as their quotes tend to be pretty competitive. Squaremouth also gives quotes (there’s a review of Squaremouth here), and they have some really cool filters.

      Sounds like a great vacation, by the way!

  7. Rodney M

    My bank (royal bank) tells me that our royal bank avion infinite visa has travel/medical insurance for when we travel. They said if I purchased a travel/medical insurance policy from the bank, it is a mirrored one of the one our visa offers us. Assured Assistance is the company that takes care of the insurance.
    Any info or advice would be appreciated

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Rodney,

      Thanks so much for checking out our review. The RBC Avion Infinite Visa has a fairly comprehensive travel insurance package, which includes medical, cancellation, flight delay, trip interruption (but not cancellation!) insurance and travel accident insurance.

      There are a few potential differences between the Avion credit card insurance and the bank insurance policy:
      -The RBC Avion credit card insurance is multi-trip insurance, meaning it insures you for multiple trips, but each trip is only 15 days in length, if you’re 64 or under (and 3 days per trip if you’re over 65). You can purchase additional insurance for an individual trip.
      – You must charge the full cost of your trip, including flights, accomodation, and hotel to the credit card for the RBC Avion credit card insurance to be valid
      – RBC Avion insurance provides Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance, which I don’t think is included in RBC’s bank travel insurance policies

      We’ve written a review of RBC’s travel insurance plans on our Canadian Travel Insurance Review site (which we started when we saw how much need there was for an independent look at travel insurance in Canada). There’s also a checklist of questions to ask when you get a travel insurance quote.

      Hope that helps. Really, I know it’s about as much fun as watching paint dry, but you should sit down with both insurance policies certificates of insurance (and a really strong pot of coffee) and compare them to make sure they meet your needs. You can get a copy of the RBC Insurance and Protection Booklet through the insurance and protection tab on the RBC Visa Infinite Avion web page, and view the RBC bank insurance policies through the RBC Travel insurance site.

      Have a wonderful trip!

  8. Linda

    wow.. what a blog…it tells me about travel insurance and i am also looking for that kind of information…this blog helps me… thnx for the post… i like it..

  9. Sadiq

    Little confused about travel insurance and health insurance. I’m an American and need health insurance for 3 months.I will be in Toronto for next 3 months.
    Can someone help me to find a link or web site to buy only health insurance for 3 months ? Does Credit card provide health insurance only ?

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Sadiq,

      Thanks for visiting. You can buy insurance for only three months from almost any company – that shouldn’t be a problem. The insurance provided by a credit card really depends on the card – all cards are different, so you’ll have to look at the travel insurance terms carefully. As an American, you’ll need to get a American credit card. I’m not overly familiar with American credit cards, but American Express may be a decent place to start, as I know they offer travel insurance on some of their cards.

  10. Bob J.

    I see on some credit union websites that included with their Gold and Platinum Mastercard credit cards is free travel medical insurance up to age 75 and up to 31 days travel with no deductible and preconditions! By comparison bank premium credit cards offer similar coverage but only to age 65.

    I did talk to the people there who confirmed the above info. However to get more than 31 day coverage they referred me to their insurance partner who could do the top-up coverage. I did talk to them as well but found the top-up coverage more expensive than my existing insurer TD Monnex Meloche.

    In any case the base coverage through the Cuets credit card is particularly good for retirees over 65 up to age 75. The Cuets people also told me that I was not obligated to purchase the top-up insurance from their partner so I could shop around for the best price.

    Have you any more info on purchasing a credit card through a credit union and getting their travel insurance package?

  11. Bernice

    I am 67 years and thankfully in great health, however while looking for travel insurance, I can only get a quote for anyone 60 and under – all others must call in and speak to an agent. I have answered 3 pages of medical questions – all No, No, No, and it seems that they don’t believe me. I am still asked to call a 1-800 number. I think this is age discrimination. Why do they think that everyone over 60 is on medication or had operations? I do not even take headache medicine!!!

    • Charles Kosman

      It’s definitely age stereotyping Bernice. Just like car rental companies charge more for under 25 drivers regardless of their history. The simple fact is that most people over a certain age are more likely to have had complications in their past and are more likely to have some on their trip. It sucks they make you jump through more hoops however consider yourself fortunate Bernice that you’re in great shape and your premiums will be a lot less than others who aren’t as lucky.

      Insurance is just a math game based on likely odds that at the end of the day the company is making more money than they’re paying out. We buy insurance on the principle that if the odds aren’t in our favor that we don’t lose everything we have paying sometimes exorbitant health costs. It really is just like gambling. If on a much more serious level.

      Have fun on your trip!

  12. Bill

    I’ve been using Kanetix to find better insurance rates for everything and it seems to work fine–fast too, and saves you the trouble of entering all your info. multiple times. Reputable companies come up in the quotes and the site normally gives you about 5 options in the final quotation which you can easily revise and compare for different options.

    Once you get older, the insurance provided on a credit card may no longer be available (I believe it cuts off at age 60 or 65 for most credit cards). Also, rates from most of the banks are too expensive, except for car and house insurance which I obtained excellent rates from TD Insurance (don’t know if they also provide travel insurance since I did not ask, but I guess they probably do as they are in the credit card business too).

  13. kiki


    This is great! I’m looking into the medical insurance required for the youth mobility visa to Spain and its been a headache! Its for a year and requires hospitalisation and repatriation for over 3 million canadian dollars. I wanted to ask you about the written extension from the provincial health care plan. What is this about?


  14. John C

    Your detailed info on travel insurance was fantastic.
    It just saved me over $200 and we got better coverage (comprehensive) via TD Meloche Monnex as we have home and auto coverage with them.

    Thanks so much

  15. susan

    It would be helpful to make it clear that World Nomads will not cover anyone over age 59. Took 10 minutes of searching their website and a phone call to be told they don’t insure seniors by not offering any policy options at all. Haven’t worked my way through the other options yet

  16. wes

    I’m interested to know if you found any that didn’t require you to have Canadian provincial coverage? My trip will be too long.

    • Charles Kosman

      Hi Wes, what you need to look into is Canadian Expat Insurance. Expat insurance will cover you even though you don’t have Canadian provincial health care coverage. That’s especially important if you plan to be out of the country longer than your province will allow.

      Most people don’t realize that nearly every Canadian travel insurance policy offered requires continual provincial health care.

      Some provinces allow you to leave for extended amounts of time so it’s worth looking into that first. Check out this article. It has links to every provincial health care site and some good information about Expat Insurance.

      Hope that helps!

  17. Adnan

    Incredibly helpful article. You seem to have quite a lot of information about Canada travel insurance and that’s great that i came to learn about it.

  18. Tony

    Thanks, this was very helpful, especially pointing me to Kanetix. I dive and snorkel, so it’s important I don’t have exclusions because of that. If you are ever in Penticton, let me by you a beer!

  19. Brandon @ TheYogaNomads

    Came here to throw my support behind World Nomads. They have been easy to use for me (2 years straight) and I really appreciate being able to extend my travel insurance on the road. As far as I know, WN is the only travel insurance that allows that!

  20. Bill

    Thanks for the comprehensive comparison of travel insurance providers. For those of us over 65 years of age, finding travel insurance can be very pricey if they will even insure us.

    Next question: do you have a similar listing of ex-pat insurance?

    • Charles Kosman

      Hi Bill. The truth is there isn’t that many Canadian expat insurance providers out there and pretty much none online. The vast majority of travel insurance companies in Canada require you to maintain your provincial medical plan and, as you probably know, most only give you 3 to 6 months to be away without written authorization.

      We’re actually in the process of writing a post just for Canadian Expats and we’ll make sure we update this post with the link once it’s up.

  21. Jam

    Very good article.

    I just have one confusion.

    What if during my date of return say April 1st and for some reason no planes are flying for whatever reason. My medical insurance is only up to April 1st. On April 2nd, I got sick or have an accident, will I be covered?


    • Charles Kosman

      It really depends on your plan. Some policies will automatically be extended if there are issues and others end on their allotted day regardless of the reason.

      I would definitely recommend contacting your insurance provider if your trip gets extended for whatever reason and do it before your policy is over. When it comes to insurance, it’s better to err on the side of caution than to risk not being covered.

  22. Darby Johnston

    Hi there! Thanks for this. First time buying travel insurance and there’s a lot to learn. I’m travelling to India so I’m primarily worried about my belongings (camera, laptop, phone, dive gear) and hospital bills if I get sick. Seems WorldNomads is my best option. Quick question.. Could you elaborate on what you mean when you say:
    A lot of Canada travel insurance reviews don’t mention this, but it’s important: If you’re gone for more than six months, ensure you get a written extension from your provincial health care plan (this applies only to Canadians).

    What is a ‘written extension’? What is the issue if one hasn’t gotten it?

    Thanks in advance for any information!

  23. Kevin Ghiglione

    Hi there Charles and Micki,

    Any suggestions on which company would offer an extension after the 1 year is up? I like the World Nomads so that it would cover my gear – but they only do 1 year at a time and I would have to return to Canada to get another year. Thank you for your time.

    • Charles Kosman

      Hi Kevin, that’s the million dollar question these days since the vast majority of Canadian travel insurance policies require 2 things. The first is that you maintain your provincial healthcare and the second is that the trip commences in Canada.

      In that sense, World Nomads is great. Though they still require you to maintain your Canadian healthcare, you can actually purchase their travel insurance after you’ve left Canada. I’m not 100% positive but I do believe they only allow 1 year trips so I’m guessing that’s the quandary you’re in.

      If you haven’t left Canada yet, you should look into Travelcuts. They’re about the only company I can think of that offers travel insurance for Canadians for trips longer than a year. We actually used them for our first year long RTW way back in the day and they were good to deal with.

      If you’re already travelling, my only suggestion is to return to Canada for a quick visit and then get another year of coverage with World Nomads or another insurance company. If that’s not possible, you’re last option (besides going without, which I don’t suggest doing) is you need to look into Expat insurance.

      The nice thing about Canadian Expatriate travel insurance is you don’t need to maintain your provincial healthcare while you’re gone so if you live in one of the provinces where you have to pay monthly premiums, you can at least save on that. The funny part is that it can actually be cheaper than normal travel insurance and you don’t even need to buy it from a Canadian company.

      That said, there are only a few that we know of in Canada at this moment. You can check out this post regarding Expat insurance and the companies that cover it. Unfortunately, you can’t buy any of them online easily so you might need to contact them to see what they can do for you.

      Good luck and safe travels.

  24. Gowri

    Very wealthy information. And those key points in which you had mentioned is very useful and also some valid points too. Really nice thank you so much

  25. Kevin L

    Excellent Article. I ended up using TUGO as a direct result of this article and saved $160 over using my regular RBC travel insurance, so thank you very much. TUGO worked best for us as we only needed the travel medical. All else such as travel accident, travel cancellation is covered because I purchased my tickets with my RBC credit card. If I needed everything, I think I would have gone with Nomads

  26. Rafael

    Great article. It is always good to know what are the options available. However, TIC travel insurance (mentioned in the article) has been overtaken by Allianz Global Assistance what is one of the insurance giants worldwide. The website remained the same though. I was able to find cheap premiums for Medical Policies for a month or even for annual plans for frequent fliers like me that is always onboard a plane going somewhere because of my job.

  27. Monalisa

    We went onto website and received a quote for Ingle International. Has anyone used this company and experienced a positive or negative situation? I went to the website and this company was not listed. They gave us a great rate $442 for 5 months and family of 4 for travel medical top-up insurance for 90 days and I am sceptical. We are also traveling to Egypt where there is a travel advisory for non-essential travel and this has been the only company that has told us we would be covered if we traveled there in the travel advisory zones. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!

  28. Mark

    This is amazingly helpful! I’m a bit surprised TravelCuts (Also known as Merit Travel, they are backed by Allianz) was buried down the list a bit as their coverage and premiums are incredibly reasonable. You can get budget plan B which is basically just medical with some trip cancellation and it is MUCH cheaper (I’m talking nearly half price) of most of the other leading insurance places. I had never heard of them and was just going to go with World Nomads again which is fine, but WN seems to builds in a ton of other stuff in their policies which I can never use or wouldn’t bother. Personal effects and trip cancellation just has too many loopholes it seems. TravelCuts doesn’t even have a deductible either! I phoned to confirm. This is now my go-to. Thanks for this great info I wouldn’t have found them without this site!

  29. Brittany

    Here is a real doozy for you! World Nomads no longer offers Canadians coverage past 365 days. I have been aboard 360 days and need to buy new insurance. I have looked at most of the sites here, however most of them do not 1) include on option to list multiple destinations (I will be in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia and Laos) and 2) do not offer an option for residents of the Northwest Territories!
    I am completely stumped. Losing World Nomads was devestating, especially as they used to allow to extend past 365 days. Any ideas of companies that will cover multiple countries AND NT residents?!?! And as a backpacker i am trying to stay on the budget savvy side so the big banks are not really an options.

    Thanks for all the info on this, there is a lot out there for UK and USA residents, not as much for Canadians!

    • Charles Kosman

      Brittany, if you’re out of Canada for that amount of time chances are that your provincial healthcare is no longer valid however that depends on which province you live in and if you’re a student outside of Canada. I believe that only Alberta (and perhaps NWT) allows you to be outside Canada for a year just backpacking around and maintain your healthcare.

      That would be the first thing I would look at and, then following that line, I would look into Expat Insurance. There are only a few Canadian companies that offer it however, since it doesn’t require them to deal with your provincial healthcare if they need to make a claim, you can look into expatriate insurance providers from any country.

      You’ll definitely be paying a little more for Canadian Expat Insurance however you can rest easier knowing that you’ll actually be covered. Some provinces cancel your provincial healthcare after only a month abroad if you don’t contact them and pretty much every Canadian travel insurance provider requires you maintain your provincial healthcare while you’re gone.

      You can check out this post which talks a bit about it and has the relevant links to every provinces regulations. Good luck!

    • Charles Kosman

      Brittany, if you’re out of Canada for that amount of time chances are that your provincial healthcare is no longer valid however that depends on which province you live in and if you’re a student outside of Canada. I believe that only Alberta (and perhaps NWT) allows you to be outside Canada for a year just backpacking around and maintain your healthcare.

      That would be the first thing I would look at and, then following that line, I would look into Expat Insurance. There are only a few Canadian companies that offer it however, since it doesn’t require them to deal with your provincial healthcare if they need to make a claim, you can look into expatriate insurance providers from any country.

      You’ll definitely be paying a little more for Canadian Expat Insurance however you can rest easier knowing that you’ll actually be covered. Some provinces cancel your provincial healthcare after only a month abroad if you don’t contact them and pretty much every Canadian travel insurance provider requires you maintain your provincial healthcare while you’re gone.

      You can check out this post which talks a bit about it and has the relevant links to every provinces regulations. Good luck!


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