The Ultimate Insurance Guide for International Students in Canada

Are you an international student in Canada on a student visa? Every year, hundreds of students like you will move temporarily to Canada for school. The area is diverse and welcoming with a highly-ranked education system. While you are here, there are a few tips that can help you navigate the types of insurance plans you might.

This article explores what international students need to know about:

  • Health Insurance: International students may not have access to a provincial health care plan.
  • Car Insurance Requirements: Auto insurance is required for all drivers.
  • Apartment Renters Insurance: This is if you live in an apartment or rent a room in a home.
  • Travel Insurance: This covers flight issues when you travel back home -  flight cancellations or delays can cost you money.
  • Employment Insurance: Work and School-Related Tips

Health Insurance

In Canada, the government provides insurance through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Eligibility is limited to permanent residents, those on work permits and citizens. International students do not have access to this provincial health care plan.

If you need to see a doctor here, there are three ways to do so:

Sign up for Your Own Private Insurance Healthcare Plan

Compare insurance quotes to secure the cheapest rate with the best coverage.

Use Private Funds to Pay for a Physician

If your parents are covering your medical expenses, let the physician or clinic know if you schedule an appointment when you pay by credit card.

Sign up for Health Insurance Through your School

These plans can vary and may not cover all services. In Ontario, international students have mandatory coverage. It's called University Health Insurance Program The coverage offered is similar to OHIP for residents. Hence, you might want to sign up for supplemental coverage. You can select an international student travel insurance policy.

Why Sign up for a Supplemental Plan?

Plans typically cover emergency room visits and doctor's appointments. They also cover in-patient hospital stays and medications while in-patient.

OHIP and UHIP don’t cover:

  • Prescription medications, prescription eye care and eyeglasses
  • Ambulatory services
  • Physiotherapy related services
  • Dental care

Car Insurance

Auto insurance and a driver’s license are required for all drivers in Canada

Driving in Canada

If you plan to drive in Canada...

  • And you want to get your driver’s license, it should be issued by the government in the territory or province where you are staying. Keep it with you whenever you drive in Canada. You’ll need to take a written exam about the road rules. You’ll also need to pass either one or two tests. You can take driving lessons (optional)  and you can find driving school information online.
  • And you have a license from your home country, you can use this for a short time. Check in your territory or province for details.
  • And you want to use a foreign driving license, apply for an International Driving Permit in the country you live in.

Auto Insurance in Canada

It's illegal to drive anywhere in Canada without insurance.

  • If you drive a friend or relative's car, they have to add you to their policy.
  • If you start driving your own car, you have to obtain an insurance policy.

How to Sign up for Auto Insurance

When you’re ready to shop for insurance, compare quotes to find the cheapest rates with the best coverage.

Find the Best Car Insurance Rates

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Apartment Renters Insurance

If you’re living in an apartment or you rent a room in a home, you might want to start an apartment renters insurance policy. Your landlord's policy only covers the building. It doesn't cover your belongings. An apartment renters or tenants policy can cover you if there’s a fire, damage or theft of your personal property.

Tenants insurance can cover you for:

  • Belongings in your home, vehicle or when you travel
  • Living expenses if you're displaced and need to stay at a hotel
  • Liability if someone visits you and gets injured. Or, if a fire damages another unit

How to Sign up for Tenant Insurance

Shop for the cheapest rates to cover you while in Canada. You can compare quotes from over 30 of the best insurers.

Travel Insurance

Planning on taking a trip to the U.S. while you’re in Canada? Or, are you getting ready to head back home?

If You’re Heading Back Home

Travel insurance can protect you if there are flight cancellations or delays. These can sometimes be very expensive especially if you’re travelling over the holiday season during your break. Some students only budget enough money for their flight. While the airline might rebook the flight if there's bad weather you could be stuck sleeping at the airport if you don't have money for a hotel. And, if there's bad weather, it could be a day or two or longer.

If You’re Planning on Visiting the US

Travel insurance is protection if you get sick and if you're visiting the US, healthcare is very expensive there. In Australia, an MRI is about $215. In the US, it can cost as much as $3,031. In the UK, a drug Avastin costs $470. In the US, it costs about $3,930. Healthcare in Canada might cost $4,753 or $4,129 in the UK. But, in the U.S., it might cost $10,348. An ambulance in Canada might cost $240 to $500 but in the U.S. it might cost up to $2,700.

Find the Best Car Insurance Rates

Compare car insurance quotes from 50+ providers in a single search. Start saving money today on the premiums you pay.

How to Sign up for Travel Insurance

To sign up for travel insurance, use the link for international students travel insurance.

Travel insurance can cover:

  • Medical care during your trip
  • Luggage damage and loss of luggage
  • Flight delays and cancellations
  • Travel accidents and flight accidents

Employment Insurance and School-Related Tips

Canada welcomes a few hundred thousand international students every year. While most choose Ontario, some select other areas to live while in school.

For students in Canada who are finding it hard to find work in their field of study, here are a few tips:

  • Network with classmates and professors who might know about job opportunities. Make friends with Canadians who can show you around new areas.
  • Consider moving to a different province or territory for job openings. Moving to an area further out might not be your ideal choice, but remember, you’re getting work experience in your future profession.
  • Apply for jobs in other territories and provinces in the summer and in the fall and spring. When everyone is back in school, you might find more openings.
  • Try to get work experience in your field before graduation (especially in your third year). Even if you take a free internship, see it as work experience with a reputable company. Get a letter of recommendation.
  • When you start a new job, see if they offer employee benefits like health insurance. If they don’t, shop for discounted health insurance coverage.

Ready to Shop for the Best Insurance Rates?

Studying in Canada can be an exciting time but no one wants a surprise bill they can't afford. Make sure you have insurance to cover you for the unexpected. That way you won't stress, you can study hard and maybe land your dream job! To sign up for insurance or if you have questions, contact

With, you can compare insurance rates from over 30 of Canada's best insurers. Get a quote today!