Excited to climb Canada’s jaw-dropping mountains? Snowboard or ski down fresh powdery slopes?
Whether it’d be your first time or your 50th time participating in Canada’s outdoor activities, it’s important to make sure you’re covered in the chance of an accident. Even if you're not into these activities, unfortunate events like illness can hit the best of us with no warning.
While no one plans for accidents, these things happen and that’s why having travel insurance while you’re in Canada is heavily advised.
So let’s talk about travel insurance: common misconceptions, when or where you should buy it, and some frequently asked questions.
What exactly is travel insurance?
A lot of people get confused when they hear the term travel insurance, so let’s first clear this up. Travel insurance is something you buy to protect you from risks associated with unforeseeable events while travelling— lost bags at the airport, trip cancellation or disruption, natural disasters, and much more.
There are many things that travel insurance covers, but no travel insurance covers everything. That’s why choosing the right policy requires basic knowledge and taking inventory of your interests, needs, and travel plans. Doing so will put you in a better position to choose the best policy specifically tailored to you.
Travel insurance misconceptions
There are countless horror stories on the internet surrounding the topic of pricey medical bills as a result of misunderstanding insurance policies. We’re talking five-digit unexpected expenses ($10,000+). To avoid being on the bad end of these stories, read on to learn common misconceptions people have about travel insurance.
And now the big question...
Should I buy travel insurance before or after landing in Canada?
You should buy as close as possible to when you book the tickets. You’ll likely still have options if you shop after arriving at your destination, but it’s not guaranteed. If you do have options, they tend to be more costly. Plus, a big benefit of travel insurance is trip cancellation, and peace of mind that your baggage is insured in the worst case.
Even though it’s best advised to buy as close as possible to when you buy your ticket to Canada, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck choosing a company from home. Depending on your home country, you’ll likely want to determine if to buy from a home company or Canadian company.
The answer will depend on your home country. As an example, many people from India recommend buying from a Canadian insurance company because Canadian hospitals work more closely with Canadian insurance companies. This makes it easier to process a claim.
If you use a company from India, you risk paying the entire bill first and then waiting for reimbursement instead of just having the insurance company help you out upfront. Choosing a Canadian company may be more expensive than your options back home, but it comes with a smoother claims process.
There are many online comparison sites that you can find with a simple google search to compare different policies. The best comparison sites will differ from country to country. Additionally, you may want to join online groups (such as Facebook or travel forums) and either ask around or see what others in similar positions as you have gone with. Groups tend to share a few favorites.
Travel Insurance FAQ
What are some major terms and abbreviations to know?
Remember, no one actively plans for an unforeseeable circumstance or accident. Accidents happen to the best of us. Medical costs can be heavy enough to set you back for years to come if you’re left paying out of pocket.
Not getting travel insurance puts you at risk of being on the wrong end of horror stories. Enjoy the peace of mind of having travel insurance while ensuring your trip to Canada is full of only your best stories.