Do I Need Insurance When Travelling Within Canada?

Do I Need Insurance when Travelling Within Canada
Canada is a pretty awesome place to visit, especially when you already live here! There are shorter lines for domestic flights, your local currency works everywhere, and you have the weather and your shared hatred of Toronto to talk about wherever you go. Unless you’re from Toronto, in which case you don’t care about the haters because you get to return to the centre of the universe when your vacation is over.

Perhaps best of all, every Canadian resident is eligible for government healthcare, so you don’t need to worry about travel insurance, right? Not so fast, adventurous traveller! Virtually every provincial health ministry recommends supplemental travel health insurance for travel to other provinces in Canada, for a lot of really important reasons.

Read on to learn how travel insurance for your next domestic voyage can mean the difference between a great time, and a whole lot of financial trouble!

Physician and Hospital Services Only

The odds are pretty good that if you are injured or fall ill while on vacation and need to seek medical attention, it’s for something more serious than a garden variety “feeling a little under the weather” condition. After all, who would take time away from a wonderful vacation to see a doctor unless it was for something relatively serious?

You’re right to seek treatment for a medical condition as soon as you are able, but when you’re in another province, things might work a little differently than when you’re back at home. For starters, coverage is generally limited to “Physician and Hospital Services Only” which means that anything that isn’t covered by provincial insurance (medical equipment, semi-private and private hospital rooms, home care, cosmetic procedures, ambulance rides, etc.) still isn’t covered in another province.

Because the illness or accident happened outside your province of residence, if you do not have extended health coverage and the doctor or hospital isn’t equipped to bill your province’s health insurance plan directly, you’re going to have to pay out of pocket for your treatment and file a claim for what you can get back from the province after you get home.

Have you ever waited in line to renew your driver’s license? Imagine how long you’ll be waiting for that reimbursement cheque!

Emergency Medical Procedures in Another Province

Most of us have heard stories of travellers falling prey to illness or injury in another country, and understand that it’s a risk to travel internationally without travel insurance. The risks of domestic travel without insurance seem less apparent, and catch a good number of Canadian travellers by surprise every year.

In case you’re wondering how expensive it could possibly be to experience a medical emergency in another province, learn what happened to an Alberta mother when she went into labour prematurely while on vacation in Ontario. The cost of transport to a hospital that could care for the new addition to her family was more than they bargained for!

To further complicate matters, even if the treatment you sought in another province is eligible for reimbursement when you return home, this will only be the case if it was at a public hospital or doctor’s office. If the closest facility to treat your illness or injury happens to be a private healthcare facility (such as the doctor at a resort first aid clinic), you are probably out of luck when you try to file for reimbursement from your provincial health plan.

With this in mind, it quickly becomes clear that when it comes to travel within Canada, you really need travel medical insurance.

Plan Ahead by Working with an Insurance Broker

When planning something fun like travel to another province for a hard-earned vacation, it’s hard to stop and think about the worst case scenario. Just think about how much more restful your holiday will be when you know you are covered medically for any unfortunate accidents!

If you have more than one trip planned, a multi-trip policy can take care of your travel health insurance needs for the rest of the year, just about anywhere in the world you are planning to travel in a single 12-month period. From global adventures to cross-border shopping trips and even short visits to a neighbouring province, multi-trip insurance policies can make sure your medical needs are covered while you travel.

Now that you have the kind of peace of mind that travel insurance can bring, there is no time like the present to start planning your next awesome vacation! Contact one of our customer service representatives today to get the right insurance, no matter where your adventures may take you.


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