Learn the Facts About Domestic Travel Insurance

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Across this great land of ours, there is no shortage of places to go or things to see. From the majestic mountains in the west to the Norse villages in the east, Canada truly is a place of wonder. One thing that we all share is access to healthcare in the province we live in. Since the principle of medical care was first championed by Tommy Douglas in the 1950s, universal healthcare has been a point of national pride.

Because healthcare is something all Canadian citizens enjoy, we often take it for granted that the same rules apply everywhere in the country. Before you head off on a great Canadian adventure, take the time to learn the facts about domestic travel insurance.

Not All Provincial Plans are Created Equally

It’s true that all Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have completed the waiting period are eligible for healthcare in their province of residence. That leads a lot of us to believe that we can travel anywhere in the country and expect the same healthcare treatment. That’s not necessarily the case!

When you are visiting a different province, it can be dangerous to assume that you will have the same benefits you do in your home province. For example, if you are in a remote part of your home province and need to be air-lifted to a facility to properly treat your illness or injury, the cost of that air ambulance will be covered.

However, these air ambulance rides are only paid for residents of the province. One Ontario man learned this lesson the hard way when an infected knee added $18,000 to the cost of a trip to visit family. That’s certainly one way to make a journey unforgettable!

Travel Insurance Another Province

In general, if something isn’t covered by your home province, it won’t be covered in the one you’re visiting, either. And, even if you are covered, the rates vary by location, and you will only be able to claim the amount that is covered at home.

To put that in simpler terms, each province has set rates for services. If the cost for x-rays and setting a broken bone is billable at $1200 at home, but it costs $1500 in the province you’re visiting, you will be on the hook for the difference.

Purchase Travel Insurance for Domestic Travel

There is good chance that if something isn’t covered in your home province, it isn’t covered in your destination province, either. As we’ve already learned, ambulance transportation isn’t covered, but neither are services like medical equipment and supplies, prescription drugs, and private or semi-private hospital accommodations. Generally, you will be covered for “Physician and Hospital Services Only” when you are in a different part of the country.

Those who are covered by a private health and dental insurance policy may think their insurance will protect them, but your insurance company operates under the reasonable assumption that you will be seeking treatment in your province of residence, so you may not have the same coverage in a different province. A call to your insurance company is in order if you are travelling out of province, especially if you already think you have travel insurance benefits under your existing policy. Like so many areas in life, this is one where it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The easiest way to make sure your expenses will be covered if you are sick or injured while far from home is to purchase travel insurance for every trip, be that an out-of-country adventure or a quick hop to a neighbouring province. It’s the fastest way to make sure you come home with nothing but good memories from your next trip.

Talk to an Insurance Broker

For many of us, travel is a luxury that requires lots of forethought and careful planning. The desire to save on expenses is easy to understand, but a momentary lapse in judgement, like choosing to go without travel insurance, can lead to very expensive consequences.

Working with an insurance broker can save you time and money. You may even be able to apply for travel insurance online, allowing you to compare and contrast rates from different providers. The answers to all your questions about domestic travel insurance are just a phone call away.


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