Your government health insurance is a homebody. It simply doesn’t like to travel. Should you fall ill or be injured while travelling outside of the country, your provincial medical plan will likely only cover a small percentage of the costs you incur, if any, for emergency medical services you require. Insufficient coverage is one of the main reasons the federal government warns travellers the health care benefits enjoyed at home don’t travel well beyond the country’s borders and encourages Canadians to purchase travel insurance.
10 countries that require travel insurance upon entry
In some countries, travel insurance isn’t an option. It’s an entry requirement to the country, much like your passport (and visa, if needed). According to the Travel Advice and Advisories listing maintained by the Government of Canada, the following countries expect you to be able to show that you have health insurance coverage for your stay.
- Belarus (documents must be translated to Belarussian or Russian)
- Falkland Islands
However, this is not necessarily an exhaustive list. There may be other countries that require you to obtain travel or health insurance before entering. To confirm the requirements for your destination, you can search your country in the Government of Canada’s list linked above.
The Travel Advice and Advisories by destination list also notifies you of the risk level your travel destination poses to your health, safety, and security. Paying attention to the risk level assigned to your country of choice may help you decide whether now is a good time to book your trip.
Finding the right travel insurance
Like most insurance policies, travel insurance can offer different levels of coverage, depending on your needs. From travel health insurance, trip cancellation, and trip interruption coverage to flight delay, lost baggage, and snowbird travel insurance, you can ensure you’re prepared for any worst-case scenario and avoid costly medical bills while abroad.
And remember, it’s still possible to contract COVID-19 while travelling. Medical costs incurred from COVID-19 are covered under COVID-19 travel insurance both domestically and internationally. All you need is a valid provincial health card to qualify. So, it may be a good idea to opt for this coverage, too.
Is travel insurance affordable?
Whether it’s required by the country you’re visiting or not, if you’re going on holiday, travel insurance is a must. Whether it’s a day trip to the U.S. or a longer trip overseas, travelling with emergency medical travel insurance is essential. Short-length policies (around 10 days) for travellers with no pre-existing health conditions can easily fall under $50 for $2 million in coverage with no deductible.
Chances are you may not need to rely on your travel insurance coverage. But for a couple of dollars each day you’re away, why risk travelling without it? Before you head out on holiday, get the travel insurance coverage you need at the best available price.
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