Skiing and adventure sports in epic mountain ranges and huge expanses of wilderness to explore are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amazing experiences you can have in Canada. Visitors are drawn to its cosmopolitan cities and fascinating history. There are really endless possibilities in the world’s second largest country. And whether you are off piste skiing in Whistler, hunting down grizzly bears and moose in the wilderness or just simply enjoying a croissant in Montreal, there is a travel insurance policy designed for you.
Travel Insurance in Canada
Healthcare in Canada varies from province to province. There are 14 different health care systems in Canada all of which are publicly funded and locally known as “medicare.” Only 30% of healthcare in Canada is privately funded.
Unlike our NHS there are certain things which aren’t publicly funded in Canada such as prescription drugs, home care, long term care, dental and mental health. As a result, the majority of Canadians, two thirds, have their own top up insurance.
If you have to attend hospital in Canada you will find that the level of care is very similar to the UK.
Canada has been ranked 30th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world’s health systems. You will find that the hospitals in Canada are fresh, clean and built for purpose and that the doctors are well trained. Additionally, nurses tend to be better trained and given more responsibility than in the UK.
Without travel insurance it can be easy to run up costs in Canada with a doctor's visit during the day costing between $100 and $500 dollars and an evening visit sometimes double. Just one night in hospital bed can cost between $3000 and $4000 in a Canadian hospital. It’s not as expensive as the U.S.A but you certainly don’t want to be caught out short.
Things you should look for when buying travel insurance for Canada
Valid in Canada: The plan you purchase must be valid in Canada. Although it may seem strange, “worldwide coverage” doesn’t always include Canada and the U.S.A so it’s vital to check that they are included in your plan.
Cancellation coverage: Flights from the UK and hotels in Canada are an expensive affair, so it’s important to make sure that the policy will cover cancelled hotel reservations and plane tickets should any unforeseen events arise.
Full medical coverage and evacuation coverage: The plan should cover all potential medical expenses, including ambulance transportation and emergency evacuation. This is especially important if you plan to go to remote areas in Canada or want to do any extreme sports or activities.
Lost, stolen or damaged gear or luggage: In comparison to its southern neighbours the states, Canada is very safe. Incidents of violent crime and break ins are very low but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to protect yourself. Especially in ski resorts the abundance of expensive gear and clothing is too tempting for some. Skis, boards, boots and jackets are all easy to lift, so don‘t be too trusting or careless with yours and make sure they are covered in case of theft.
Dangerous activity coverage or exclusion: Adventure sports are one of the main reasons that people travel to Canada and you need to make sure that you have the right level of winter sports cover to keep you and all your sports equipment safe.
Travel Insurance Ski Cover for Canada
Canada is all about the great outdoors. Sprawling world class outdoor and ski destinations such as Banff and Whistler are a huge draw for tourists looking for a bit of adventure.
In summer Canada is a mecca for hikers, mountain bikers and water sports enthusiasts and in winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to the slopes to enjoy pristine white powder and fantastic off piste experiences.
However, skiing holidays bring their own dangers which you need to make sure are covered by your insurance. Even the most experienced on the slopes can have a fall. The most common skiing injuries are breaks, dislocations and ligament damage and the remote locations of many ski resorts can mean that costs quickly sky rocket.
Although there are some specialist ski holiday providers such as World Nomads, the vast majority of providers, including Cover For You, don’t include skiing as an included activity and you must add a bolt on to your policy.
Depending on the kind of skiing you are planning on doing you may need special cover. Find out the level of cover you need and the insurance traps you should be careful not to fall into in our Guide to Buying Ski Insurance.
The best travel Insurance Policies for Canada
Although there isn’t a particular supplier we would recommend for Canada we have included a selection of some of the suppliers who provide the best cover for winter sports and activities.
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However, there are some features which we would recommend your policy has before you buy.
Firstly, a policy to Canada should include a high level of medical coverage. Like the U.S.A it is all too easy to run up an eye watering bill that will be impossible to pay.
Secondly, look out for insurers who include rescue and evacuation as part of their plan - especially if you are going to head out into the wilderness.
Finally, whatever you do don’t forget your ski insurance if you are going to be hitting the slopes at some of Canada’s world famous slopes!
Insurance Case Study
According to The Telegraph Mr Shepherd from Berks went on a skiing holiday but unfortunately his hire skis were damaged beyond repair and he had to pay €177 in order to replace them. He made a claim with his insurance Aviva but it was declined because “winter sports equipment that is damaged while it is being used” was not covered. Unfortunately, Mr Shepherd had just assumed that the use of the item would be covered while in use but he hadn’t seen a clause in the policy documents invalidating the claim if this were the case.
Although the “damaged while in use” clause is now under review, it’s a lesson to read all the clauses in your policy documents carefully so that you don’t get caught out while you are away. If you have any questions contact your insurer before you buy a policy.