Are ready to explore the amazing and beautiful feast for the senses that our country has to offer? Whether it’s visiting our magnificent national parks, a do-it-yourself tour of one of our lively cities, dipping toes in the ocean, climbing a mountain or enjoying a charming town, Canada has so much to offer.
If your travels are going to take you outside of your home province, it’s time to get travel insurance.
You may think: “I don’t need travel insurance in my own country. I’m Canadian and covered under my provincial health plan.” While you may be aware of how important insurance can be for trips outside the country, you’d be surprised at how risky it can be for your budget to travel without insurance in Canada.
Yes, that’s right. It is true that your provincial health insurance does travel with you from province to province. But, in the event of an unforeseen sickness or injury during your trip, showing your provincial health card will only let you visit a physician or hospital. What if you or your travelling companions need other medical help?
Your provincial coverage will only pay for some—not all—of the unexpected medical expenses you incur outside your province. Check your province’s website. You will find that your provincial government health plan recommends additional travel insurance for out-of-province expenses they don’t cover.
Remember, fees that aren’t covered in your province won’t be covered when you’re travelling outside the province, either. And the amount of coverage you’d get in your home province may not be enough to cover the same medical service that you need while in another province or territory. If that’s the case (and you don’t have travel insurance), you’ll be stuck paying the difference.
Here are just of few of the fees you may need to pay out of pocket:
Medical transportation to a hospital located in your home province is not fully covered by your provincial health plan. And in provinces like Ontario, where ambulance costs are subsidized within the province, that subsidy does not apply out of province.
Air evacuations are not covered, and neither is the cost of bringing you back home by ground or air. That means that if you need to go home to take advantage of a service or drug that is not available in the province you are visiting, flying home via air ambulance could cost you thousands of dollars.
If you land in the hospital while in another province, you will have to pay out of pocket for private or semi-private hospital room costs, X-rays or other medical imaging services, rental of crutches or TV in your hospital room. This may not be a major issue if your medical bill is a couple hundred dollars. But what happens if it comes to a total you can’t afford?
Prescription Drug and Accidental Dental Care Costs
Not all provinces and territories cover the same prescription medications, and some rare drugs may not even be available in certain provinces. While the former could mean needing to dip into your savings, the latter could be life or death.
Services provided by a healthcare professional other than a doctor are not covered. Something as simple as a dental emergency can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in costs you will have to pay.
Non-Medical Travel Expenses
What if your pre-booked, non-refundable, expensive trip across the country is called off unexpectedly? Are you willing to chalk up those lost dollars to bad luck?
Travel insurance can provide emergency medical coverage up to $10 million for:
- Hospital and physician services
- Paramedical services
- Ambulance transportation
- Emergency dental treatment
- Preparation and return of remains
- Emergency air transportation home
- Visit to bedside if travelling alone
- Return of children in the care of the insured
- Return of travel companion
- Additional meals and hotel
- Vehicle return
- Hospital allowance
- Child care
- Return of excess baggage
- Phone call expenses
- Pet return
With all-inclusive coverage, you are covered for the above and:
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption for unexpected medical emergency or death of the insured or the insured’s travel companion, or immediate family member.
- Baggage loss, damage, and delay, including replacement of a lost or stolen passport or driver’s license
- Flight Accident and Travel Accident causing death or dismemberment.
Travel insurance also helps by coordinating payment directly with a medical facility—and you won’t have to worry about weeks (or months!) of financial stress before being reimbursed by your provincial government.
With travel insurance, you have 24/7 emergency assistance. When you’re away from home and something unexpected happens, your comforting, friendly emergency assistance team is available to answer your call for help.
Read the fine print if you are depending on your employer or credit card travel coverage
Watch the fine print in your group benefits and credit card insurance plans. If you have health coverage through your employer or credit card, you might be OK—but you should check the fine print on those plans prior to travel to make sure that’s really the case.
Call your group insurance provider before a trip to ensure you have all the coverage you are going to need. When it comes to credit cards, the first thing you should check is that they actually cover out-of-province domestic trips, as some may only apply to international travel.
Whether you drive or fly, if you travel within Canada, there are no federal travel requirements but there may be provincial or territorial rules and restrictions.
Go to the province or territory website of your final destination for restrictions and requirements.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Make sure you always travel safely out-of-province and protect yourself from unexpected health expenses. Travel insurance is affordable and SBIS offers affordable plans specifically for travel within Canada. And if you travel out of province often, there are some multi-trip plans that automatically include coverage for unlimited travel (during a one-year period) throughout Canada. Go online or give us a call today to find out more.