We follow high standards of editorial integrity on this website to help you make informed decisions. This article may include links to services and products from our partners. We may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. It does not change our unbiased reviews, evaluations or advice. Please take a look at our disclosure.

How To Find The Perfect Travel Insurance: Guide For Canadians


Reading Time: 8 Min

Travel insurance protects travellers against financial loss due to unforeseen circumstances. You can buy travel insurance for anything from medical emergencies to flight cancellations and baggage loss. If you’re used to trips going smoothly, travel insurance may seem like a waste of money for an already expensive trip.  However, travel can be unpredictable. The last thing you want is to be stranded with no options but to pay out of pocket for an unavoidable cancellation or loss. 

Unlike travelling, finding travel insurance doesn’t have to be stressful. In this guide, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about travel insurance, including how it works, how to pick the best insurance, and how to avoid common travel insurance mistakes.If you’re ready to learn how travel insurance can make your journey as stress-free as possible, read on!

Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?

There are various reasons you might need travel insurance. In some cases, it’s a requirement for travel. For example, countries like Nepal, Bermuda, Thailand, Singapore and Jamaica may require travel insurance for visa approval. Most of the time, however, travel insurance offers peace of mind and additional protection. 

Travel insurance can be well worth the cost, especially if you travel frequently, foresee specific issues in your travel plans, or spend months abroad travelling as a digital nomad. Regardless of your reasons, travel insurance can cover various incidents, from illness to trip cancellations and property damage and loss.

How Does Travel Insurance Work?

You might be wondering how travel insurance covers you during an emergency. Most of the time, if an emergency occurs, you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket and then file for reimbursement. If your flight is cancelled, your travel insurance will reimburse you for how much you paid to book your travel and accommodation. The turnaround time will vary based on the insurance agency. Some may offer faster help than others. 

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

In Canada, travel insurance will differ based on the insurance type. Travel insurance costs between 30 to 150 CAD. This usually amounts to about 6-15% of your total travel cost. 

Of course, this price will differ based on your trip duration, location, and any additional coverage for specific circumstances.

What Are The Different Types Of Travel Insurance?

There’s a wide range of specific travel insurance out there. Whether you’re only concerned about your baggage, want something cheap and comprehensive, or have a specific trip in mind – there’s a perfect insurance policy waiting for you. 

Main Travel Insurance Types:

  • Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption Insurance: This covers nonrefundable financial penalties or losses you might incur when a trip is cancelled or cut short under circumstances like illness, death, or company failures. Trip interruption insurance will cover an interrupted journey and reimburse you for the part of the trip you don’t go on. Trip cancellation insurance will cover you for the entire (missed) journey.
  • Travel Medical Insurance: Medical insurance covers you for health emergencies during your trip up to a limit set by your insurer.
  • Medical Evacuation Insurance: Provides for your transport to a medical facility in a medical emergency. However, you’ll need extra coverage for the medical treatment itself.
  • Baggage Insurance: Offers compensation for lost, delayed, or damaged luggage. However, there is usually a cap on reimbursements for valuables such as jewellery and electronics.
  • Flight Insurance: Flight insurance, also known as “Crash Cover”, covers any incidents while on the plane. Keep in mind that flights are statistically very safe, and you might be better off purchasing a different form of insurance.
  • Comprehensive Insurance: Combines all of the above and usually acts as primary coverage. It pays first, disregarding other forms of insurance you might have.

Most of these insurance types can be bought separately, but it usually comes as part of a package deal. This makes it easier to get a wide range of coverage without seeking out specific insurance coverage little by little. 

Other Travel Insurance:

  • ancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Policies: These allow you to cancel your trip for any reason, potentially reimbursing up to 50% to 75% of prepaid, non-refundable trip costs. Keep in mind that CFAR policies are about 50-60% more expensive than the base insurance cost.
  • Travel Medical and Major Medical Plans: These focus specifically on medical issues that arise while travelling outside of your home country. They are ideal for travellers with long-term travel in mind. This includes anything from 1 month upwards. 

Specialty Travel Coverage Plans:

These may include coverage for hazardous sports, missionary travel, or political evacuation, addressing more specific concerns that standard policies do not cover. Some examples are listed below. 

  • Annual (Multi-trip) Travel Insurance: Annual travel insurance, or multi-trip insurance, covers you for a whole year and several trips within that year. If you’re a frequent traveller, this economical insurance type can save you money in the long run.
  • Hazardous Sports Travel Insurance: If you’re travelling and plan on engaging in risky sports, such as kite surfing or mountain biking, you’ll most likely need to get extra insurance coverage in case something goes wrong.
  • Student and senior travel insurance: Some types of insurance are catered to seniors and students. If you fall into one of these categories, consider looking into this type of insurance for tailored benefits and potential discounts.
  • Dangerous areas: If you’re travelling somewhere with an active war zone or a high likelihood of natural disasters, you might need to get High-Risk Area Travel insurance. This type of cover is generally suggested for journalists, charity workers, photographers, and anyone else travelling to a place deemed unsafe.

If you’re not planning on putting yourself in danger or don’t fall into any of the listed demographics, you’ll most likely manage with a standard travel insurance policy. Below, we cover how to evaluate your travel insurance needs and priorities to pick cover that’s right for you.

How To Pick The Perfect Travel Insurance

The best travel insurance finds a balance between value for money and coverage that suits your preferences. First, you need to determine what you want to cover, then, you can choose an insurance that meets your requirements. 

How to Evaluate Your Travel Insurance Needs

Below are some guidelines to help you evaluable what type of travel insurance is ideal for your situation. 

  • How expensive is the trip? How much of it is non-refundable?: If you’ve made most of the travel arrangements, including flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals, and realized that a significant portion of your booking is non-refundable, it’s advisable to get some form of trip cancellation insurance.
  • Health and Medical Considerations: If you’re travelling with pre-existing medical conditions or tend to get sick easily, consider getting travel medical insurance. Not all policies cover pre-existing conditions, so be sure to find one that does. Another thing to consider is the healthcare cost of the country you’re travelling to. Do a little research and see how much you’ll need in case you end up in the hospital.
  • Length of stay: The longer you stay somewhere, the more likely it is that something goes wrong. If you’re planning on long-term travel, finding comprehensive travel insurance will help you prepare for anything.
  • Hazards: If you’re travelling somewhere dangerous, or plan risky activities, you’ll need to go out of your way to find insurance for these circumstances.
  • Expensive items: If you’re travelling with expensive items, such as your work laptop or a special camera, consider getting Baggage Insurance in case your valuables go missing or end up damaged during transit.
  • Existing coverage: In some cases, your current health insurance may cover travel medical emergencies. Before applying for travel medical insurance, review your policy to see if it’s really necessary.

In the end, what you choose to cover comes down to what you value. If you’re likely to lose out on a lot of money if your trip gets cancelled or your luggage gets stolen, then prepare accordingly. You can’t predict the future but you can prepare for any eventualities. 

How to Find the Right Travel Insurance Policy

Once you know what you want to cover, you need to find the right insurance plan. Below are some tips to help you find the right travel insurance for you. 

  1. 1. Research and Compare Policies:
  •     Use Comparison Sites: Leverage tools on sites like to compare different policies  
  •     from top-rated providers. 

  •     Check Customer Reviews and Financial Stability: Research the insurer’s 
  •     reputation and financial stability to ensure they can support claims. If an insurer 
  •     has an unreliable claims history and seems financially unstable, it may be best to 
  •     look elsewhere. 

  •     Fine Print and Exclusions: Read the policy details carefully to understand 
  •     limitations, exclusions, and the claims process. This includes checking coverage for 
  •     pre-existing conditions and specific exclusions for activities or destinations. 

  1. 2. Consider Additional Factors:

  •     Existing Coverage: Assess any existing coverage you may have through health 
  •     insurance, homeowners insurance, or credit cards, which may influence the extent 
  •     of additional travel insurance needed. 

  •     Early Purchase Benefits: Some benefits, such as pre-trip cancellation cover, are 
  •     only available if the policy is purchased soon after making the initial trip bookings. 
  •     If you book everything ahead of time but leave the insurance for later, this might 
  •     limit your coverage options.

  • Research is important when picking any insurance policy. Luckily, there’s a wealth of resources out there to make the search for insurance policies easier. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Travel Insurance

Now that you know how to find and compare travel insurance policies, let’s take a look at what not to do. 

  • Not reading the policy carefully: Insurers can be very specific with their coverage, so be sure that you know exactly what is and isn’t covered under their policies. Even a comprehensive plan doesn’t cover everything.
  • Ignoring pre-existing conditions: If you know you or one of your companions has a pre-existing medical condition, you need to consider it before booking travel insurance. If something goes wrong and your insurer is not informed of the condition, they won’t cover the associated medical expenses.
  • Procrastinating the purchase: The best time to book travel insurance is right after you’ve finalized your other bookings. If it’s not a last-minute trip, then ensure you book your travel insurance at least 15 days before your journey, or it may cost more.
  • Assuming credit card coverage is enough: Some credit cards include travel insurance. However, this insurance is usually limited and may not help with serious medical issues or trip cancellations.
  • Skipping a policy consultation: Before choosing a policy, speaking to customer service can be a good way to determine if a policy can help you meet your travel needs. You can ask questions about coverage and get a feel for how the insurer generally deals with customers.
  • Purchasing directly from airlines or travel agencies: If you’re booking a flight and they offer travel insurance, don’t purchase it just because it’s convenient. You may be missing out on better deals with lower costs and higher coverage.
  • Not holding onto your documents: Always keep receipts and documents for expenses and communications related to your trip. If you need to file a claim these will be necessary.

You don’t necessarily have to use all of these tips, for example, not everyone has time for a customer service consultation. What’s important is that you know what you’re getting and how to file a claim. Having travel insurance can only help you if you know how to utilize it and get the correct coverage for your travel plans, so be thorough! 

Final Thoughts

You might think travel insurance is only for people who can comfortably afford it, but in the end, it could save you thousands of dollars in losses, medical expenses, and trip cancellations. While none of us want to dwell on the possibility of things going wrong, it’s always better to be prepared than sorry. Hopefully, this article has cleared up some misconceptions about travel insurance and offered helpful guidelines to pick the best coverage for your needs. 

If you still have unresolved questions, check out the frequently asked questions below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Who is the leading travel insurance provider in Canada?

A: We can’t say! Some insurance providers focus specifically on older adults, others are great for long-term travellers. The best insurance will be the one that works for you.

  • Q: What is the recommended amount of coverage for travel insurance?

A: When opting for travel insurance, it’s crucial to check for any exclusions that might affect you, such as those related to age, health, or pre-existing conditions. Adding a deductible to your plan can reduce your premium. For travel, especially to places like the United States, a minimum coverage of $1 million or more is generally recommended.

  • Q: What is included in comprehensive travel insurance?

A: Comprehensive travel insurance offers the highest level of coverage. It typically includes protection for trip cancellations, medical emergencies available 24/7, reimbursement for lost or damaged luggage, personal liability, and family emergencies, as well as additional coverage for travel delays and alternative transportation costs.

  • Q: How should one select travel insurance in Canada?

A: When choosing travel insurance in Canada, it’s important to thoroughly understand what the policy includes and what it excludes. Review the reimbursement amounts and deductibles—the sums you’ll need to pay from your own pocket in the event of a claim. Ensure you are fully aware of all coverage details before making a decision.

Travel Insurance for Canadians

Get A Comprehensive and Affordable Travel Insurance Plans To Protect Your Trip with Travelex Insurance

Travelex Logo Website 120dpi 020823

Author Bio

Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook.