In the past, the majority of EU and even non-EU European citizens regularly took advantage of relaxed border restrictions to travel easily throughout Europe. The creation of the European Union was designed to facilitate free movement between member states, and even though not every European country is part of the EU, this attitude has permeated throughout the continent.

While travelling within Europe can be easy for Europeans, the truth is that international travel can also be this simple. Many Europeans regularly plan short or long-term trips to Canada, and roughly 3.2 million travellers from the region visit our beautiful country every year.

 While visiting Niagara Falls is one of the most popular activities, hiking in Banff National Park and visiting cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are also top attractions. In addition to planning for the activities you’ll do on your trip, European travellers must also ensure that they’re protected with insurance.

Today, we’ll talk about what types of travel insurance are necessary for Europeans travelling to Canada, and how to ensure you have everything you need for your next trip.

Why do European Citizens Need Travel Insurance for Canada?

Whether you’re coming on a short vacation or moving to Canada to attend school or take a new job, you should always ensure you have the right health and travel insurance before you arrive.

While Canada and the majority of European nations have some form of publicly funded healthcare, they are not interchangeable. European citizens entering Canada must provide their own health insurance or they will have to pay out of pocket if they use Canadian health services. 

Additionally, travelling (especially these days) can be fraught with delays and other potential issues. Travel insurance offers coverage that can alleviate some of these potential costs and provide you with peace of mind in an emergency.

Not sure where to begin your search for great travel and health insurance as a European citizen? Moving2Canada’s partner Cigna offers free and easy quotes for international health insurance that can help you get insured in minutes. 

Click here to get a free quote — it only takes a minute!

As a European traveller, what should my Canadian travel insurance cover?

Travel and health insurance can both be incredibly useful for any European citizen visiting Canada. However, it can be difficult to know which insurance plan works best for your needs.  

Let us break it down and explain the different types of insurance coverage available today. 

Emergency medical and hospitalization

While Canada’s healthcare system is wonderful, it can be expensive if you’re forced to pay for emergency medical treatment or hospitalization out of pocket. That’s why having coverage for emergency medical services and hospitalization is essential for any European travelling to Canada. 

This insurance typically covers medical bills related to things like ambulance services, emergency surgery, or other conditions requiring hospitalization.

Medical evacuation

Most Europeans are used to being very close to medical facilities like hospitals and doctors’ offices. In contrast, Canada is very large, and if you’re far from a city and get injured or ill, you may need to be medically evacuated to the nearest hospital or clinic. Any good health insurance plan for Canada should cover some form of medical evacuation.

Pre-existing conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition, you’ll need to ensure you purchase insurance that offers pre-existing condition coverage. Depending on your health needs, you may need to call your insurer to make sure you’re purchasing a plan that gives you the coverage you need.

Repatriation

If the worst were to happen and you were to pass away while in Canada, bringing your body home becomes the responsibility of your next-of-kin. This includes all fees associated with this expensive process. Repatriation coverage offers a set amount of money to help defray these costs.

Trip cancellation/interruption

International travel is always complex, and sometimes delays, interruptions, or cancellations happen. Trip cancellation or interruption coverage helps to make these expensive incidents less costly.   

Baggage loss or delay

Having your baggage lost or delayed can interrupt what would have otherwise been a simple trip. If you purchase baggage loss or delay coverage, you’ll receive a set amount of money that you can use to purchase new clothing, toiletries, or anything else you need for your trip.

Canadian Travel Insurance for Different Types of European Travellers

Whether you’re travelling to Canada for a holiday, work, or study, your insurance needs will change depending on the purpose and length of your visit. Here are some considerations to keep in mind before purchasing insurance for your trip.  

Tourists

Tourists from most European countries are permitted to enter Canada for up to 6 months at a time. If you’re visiting as a tourist, you should be covered by travel and health insurance for the duration of your visit. This can help defray unexpected expenses ranging from hospital bills to cancellation fees on car rentals, airline tickets, and more.

Typically, most types of travel and health insurance charge a small daily premium for each day of your trip. 

Want to know what international health insurance for your next trip will cost? Get a free and easy quote from Cigna today.   

Students

If you’re a European student entering Canada on a study permit, you may be able to receive health insurance through your province, if you apply immediately after you arrive and intend to be in Canada for at least 6 months. Provinces that cover international students include Alberta and British Columbia.

However, regardless of which province you’re studying in, you should always consult your school first. Many schools offer dedicated insurance for their international students or require a specific type of coverage.

Temporary Workers

If you’re in Canada on a work permit for 6 months or more, most provinces will let you enrol in their provincial health care. However, this may vary depending on the length and details of your contract. 

Even if you are eligible for provincial health insurance, there will likely be a period of time (usually around 3 months) when you first arrive before your coverage kicks in. During this time, you must pay out of pocket for your medical expenses unless you have private health insurance. We recommend getting started with a free quote from Cigna to explore your options for international health insurance.

Permanent Residents

If you’re moving to Canada from Europe, you’ll eventually be eligible for coverage under the provincial healthcare system in your new home province. However, many provinces require a 3 month waiting period, which is in addition to the time it takes to collect your documents and complete the application. 

It’s a good idea to have health insurance in place from your first day in the country that can cover you until you receive provincial healthcare coverage.

Finding the Best Travel Insurance for Canada as a European Traveller

There’s so much to enjoy in Canada, whether you’re arriving as a tourist, student, or new permanent resident. However, it’s hard to get out and see the country if you’re forced to deal with injuries, accidents, illnesses, or cancellations all on your own. That’s why we always recommend that travellers to Canada from Europe arrive with travel and health insurance that covers their whole visit.

One source of great travel and health insurance is our partner Cigna. Check out their international health insurance offerings by getting started with a free quote today.