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Why Visitors Need Travel Insurance Before Arriving in Canada

In 2024, Canada was ranked the world’s safest country for travel, and we couldn’t agree more. Depending on where you’re travelling from, international travel to Canada can be challenging due to travel requirements from your home country along with the Government of Canada’s travel restrictions. But not to worry—we’re here to help. This blog post will provide you with great resources, along with the benefits of TuGo’s Visitor to Canada travel insurance coverage. 

Canadian Visitor Visas & Permits

Whether you’re planning to visit Canada on a visitor visa (known as a “temporary resident visa”) or you’re a parent or grandparent looking into a Super Visa, you’ll need to make sure your paperwork is in order. Don’t leave your research until the last minute! Read about the criteria specific to your visitor needs.  . 

Tip: There are also resources for new immigrants to Canada who are waiting on their provincial healthcare to kick in. You might even be a Canadian expat who’s returning home to Canada, but aren’t eligible for provincial healthcare due to an extended leave.

Why Visitors Need Insurance

It’s important for visitors like you to know that your medical insurance from your home country may not cover you for unexpected emergencies.  

In fact, the Government of Canada highly recommends that you have a $100,000 minimum in travel insurance coverage since Canadian medical care can be costly if you aren’t a resident. You should arrive prepared for any unexpected mishaps or emergencies with travel insurance.  

How Visitors to Canada Emergency Insurance Works

TuGo’s Visitors to Canada Emergency Medical Insurance is a comprehensive option for all ages that includes coverage for emergency medical treatment and hospital care for sickness or injury, doctor, ambulance, x-ray and diagnostic lab services, prescription medication and more—including 24/7 emergency assistance. 

When it comes to qualifying for coverage, there are 3 important points to note: 

  1. Regardless of your age, the first step in the purchase process is ensuring you’re eligible for coverage. Review the “eligibility” section of the policy and/or contact your trusted insurance professional for assistance. 
  2. If you’re 59 years or younger, you won’t need to complete a Medical Questionnaire.  
  3. If you’re 60 years or older, you’ll need to complete a straight-forward 3-question Medical Questionnaire to determine the cost of your policy (also known as the “premium”).  

Enjoy these 11 benefits when you choose to protect yourself with TuGo’s Visitors to Canada Insurance:

1. COVID-19 coverage

You’ll be covered for COVID-19 related medical emergencies if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and test positive for and are diagnosed with COVID-19 while visiting Canada. But remember, mandatory COVID-19 tests (including any COVID-19 test taken to meet government requirements) aren’t covered, regardless of the test results. 

2. Competitive pre-existing medical condition coverage

Even if you already have a medical condition, we’ve got you covered, as long as you meet the policy’s stability requirements for pre-existing medical conditions. 

3. Coverage outside of Canada

You can enjoy coverage for worldwide travel, as long as the majority of your period of coverage is spent in Canada. To be covered for side-trips outside of the country, you must have travelled to Canada first. 

Note: Visiting your home country during your coverage period is allowed during the policy period, but expenses incurred in your home country won’t be covered. 

4. Follow-up post-medical emergency visits 

If you need to visit the doctor after an emergency medical treatment, you’re entitled to 5 follow-up visits, as long as they take place within 14 days of your initial emergency medical treatment.


5. 24-hour accident insurance

Coverage up to $25,000 for death or dismemberment as a result of an accident. 

6. Waiting period requirements 

If your travel insurance is purchased before arriving in Canada, there’s no waiting period for any claims related to sickness.  

However, if you didn’t buy coverage before arriving in Canada, you can still buy coverage once you get here, taking these waiting periods into account: 

  1. 48-hour waiting period on disease or illness if the policy is purchased within 60 days after arrival in Canada 
  2. 7-day waiting period on disease or illness if policy is purchased 61 days or more after arrival in Canada 
  3. The waiting period doesn’t apply to injuries. 

7. Professional medical services

Up to $600 for any one incident per licensed practitioner, including:

  • Physiotherapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Chiropodists
  • Osteopaths
  • Podiatrists
  • Optometrists
  • Acupuncturists

8. Maternity benefit

You can be covered up to $6,000 for pre-natal care and delivery, and/or complications from these within the 9 weeks before the expected date of delivery, provided the pregnancy began after the effective date of the policy. 

9. Family & Friends plan

This special rate is available for up to 2 adults 59 years of age and younger, travelling with up to 6 dependant children. ‘Dependent children’ is defined as unmarried children up to age 21 years of age who are residing with their parents/guardians, or unmarried children up to age 25 if they’re full-time students. No age limit applies for dependant children with cognitive, developmental or physical disabilities. 

10. Sports & Activities Coverage

Many sports and activities are covered under the Visitors to Canada Emergency Medical Insurance plan at no extra cost. But, if you’re a more daring traveller and want to backcountry ski or snowboard, mountaineer, or participate in white water sports (Class VI), you’ll need to add Optional Sports & Activities Coverage. 

11. MyFlyt™ service

With TuGo, you’ll get complimentary access to MyFlyt™! When your flight’s delayed 2+ hours, you can choose an airport lounge pass or a cash payout. 

One last tip…

If you’re looking for additional coverage as a visitor, you can always add non-medical options like Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance or Trip Interruption Insurance Only to emergency medical coverage to protect your travel investment. 

Safe travels ahead!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2022, and has been updated for freshness and/or accuracy.