What you need to know about travel insurance for visitors to Canada

There are a variety of plans available to cover the cost emergency medical needs of visitors to Canada. We offer different plans, with a variety of sum insured options and deductibles. You can request a no-obligation quote through this website.

Do you need a travel insurance?

As you should know, medical care is not free for visitors to Canada, neither for international students. Medical care is very expensive in Canada. A simple family doctor visit cost you around $60-90 per session. An specialist fee will be more than $200 per visit. A broken leg will cost you more that $2000. Here is a sample of hospital fees. Unless you are planning to pay all these expenses from you own pocket, ruin your trip and put a lot of stress on yourself and your family members, it is crucial to have proper travel insurance.

Where to buy travel insurance

You can buy travel insurance from an insurance company in your home country or from a Canadian insurance company. Although it might be easier to buy your insurance in your home country, it is harder to claim an get your money back, if you bought it there. Simply because the insurance company in your country will have hard time to verify your claim, bill payments, medical record, etc. which all are very important factors at the time of reimbursement.

But insurance companies that are active in Canada have access to all the required information and consequently they will reimburse your money faster. For higher claims that need hospital stay such as surgery, Canadian insurance companies can connect to the hospital and directly pay your bill, while the insurance company in your home country most probably wants you to pay the bills out of your pocket, and request a reimbursement when you got back home. How could you pay a $10000 bill on your trip? who will you ask for help? These are the main factors you should consider first, as the insurance premium might be different in few dollars but it might save you much more at the time of claim.

 

How to buy travel insurance?

You can buy from many active insurance companies in Canada through online services or their agents. there are many websites that offer you several options, however, as I check many of them, their quotation system is not accurate, and the real price is different when you actually request to buy. Anyway, it is a good practice to shop around and compare your options.

Buying insurance online seems a very simple task, until you want to claim and actually need to use you insurance. Assuming that you didn’t bought you insurance from frauds, there are several factors affecting the insurance price as well as exclusion and limitations, which you might not be aware of. I strongly recommend you watch this video in this regard to have a better idea about this matter.

 

When should you buy travel insurance?

The best time to buy your travel insurance is before departure from your country, because then you will be covered during your flight as well. Not all companies offer this coverage, but those companies that I represent definitely cover your trip from the departure point.

If you are still in your home country and you might cancel your trip for any reason, you can buy your insurance until the last day. Although most insurance companies will return your money if you won't come to Canada, but they might charge you a cancellation fee.

 

What if you are already in Canada?

There will be a waiting period for your insurance coverage which depends on how long ago you came to Canada. This waiting period can range from 24 hours to a week related to the cause of medical condition. In some cases the waiting period can be waived. Check my other article to learn more about it.

Remember that, travel insurance is calculated per day, so you are actually paying for your insurance during this waiting period, but can't use the coverage. It is highly recommended to avoid it!

What factors affect the insurance premium?

Aside from exclusions, limitations and details of coverage which might be different for each company and extremely affect whether your claim could be qualified for reimbursement of not, the following factors determines how much you should pay for your insurance:

  • Your health condition

  • Your age

  • Length of coverage

  • Total amount of coverage

  • Deductible

  • Pre-existing condition coverage

You might not be eligible to buy travel insurance duo to your health condition. Make sure you checked the eligibility criteria and feel free to ask your doctor or insurance adviser about any term or condition that you are not sure about.

Usually the older you get, the higher the cost of insurance would be, however, in travel insurance, the premium is not necessary increase with your age. But as you pass certain age, you will lose your coverage options, or force to accept a deductible, or become ineligible to buy insurance.

The insurance premium is calculated per day, so the more days you spend it Canada, your payment will be more. Simply, two month insurance is twice the cost of one month.

Your insurance premium will increase when you choose a higher coverage, but not at the same rate. For example, the premium for $50000 coverage is almost %15 more than the premium for $25000 coverage.

Deductible is the amount that you pay and the remaining , if there is any, will be reimbursed by insurance company. Basically it is the money that you won’t get back. An out of packet expense!

In some policies you have to pay deductible once, but in most policies, this amount will be deducted from your reimbursement for every claim. The amount of the Deductible for which You are responsible, if any, is shown on Your Policy Confirmation.

Obviously, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium is. Meaning that you will get cheaper insurance when you select higher deductible. However, the question is, is it worth it? In most cases, not at all.

You can see some examples here to understand why I recommend you to get a $0 deductible policy whenever it is possible.

Pre-existing Condition exclusions apply to medical conditions and/or symptoms that existed before your insurance coverage begins. Insurance policies that cover your pre-existing health conditions are more expensive than others, and it might not be useful for many healthy people. However, if you experience any medical issue, such as high blood pressure, diabetics, etc. it is highly recommended to purchase an insurance plan with pre-existing condition coverage. As for example, you may think that many health issues is not related to your blood pressure, but if the doctor see them related, the insurance company won't cover expenses for that issue.

More things to consider:

  • Does your insurance cover illness or just accident?

  • Is the coverage enough for you?

  • Do you qualify for family coverage saving?

Anyway, just make sure that you know your policy deductibles and limitations, before it is too late! To learn about each term and how they will affect your insurance coverage, you can visit my website, read my other articles or watch my videos.

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