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When searching for travel and health insurance for Canada, there are a lot of options available, especially for American travellers who are just a quick drive or flight away. Canada and the United States have always enjoyed a close relationship and if you’re planning a trip or a move, or recently arrived, then now is the time to explore your options.

While the Covid-19 pandemic hit the brakes on much Canada-bound travel from the US, Americans can now freely cross into Canada via air or land and indulge in their favourite Canadian activities. Whether you love to eat poutine in Montreal, enjoy an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, or hike through the stunning lakes and soaring mountains of British Columbia, there are tons of activities available to our American neighbours (that’s how we spell it up here) south of the border.

However, because Canada and the United States are so close together, many travellers coming from the US make the mistake of believing that they don’t need travel or health insurance for Canada. This can be a mistake that could have major financial and other consequences.

Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at Canadian travel and health insurance and why it’s important.

Why Do American Travellers Need Travel or Health Insurance for Canada?

One of Canada’s most well-known attributes is its publicly funded healthcare system. While this is available to new permanent residents of Canada, it does not cover services accessed by tourists or travellers who are only in the country temporarily. Even temporary foreign workers and international students might not have their healthcare needs covered by the publicly-funded healthcare system.

If you are injured or ill while visiting Canada, you can access healthcare but you will have to pay for it out-of-pocket. Even if you have health insurance that covers you at home, domestic health insurance or Medicare typically offers little to no coverage when you are outside the United States.

That’s why so many American travellers choose to obtain insurance for their trips to Canada. If you’d like to check out what options are available to you, we’ve partnered with Cigna, a leading provider of Canadian travel and health insurance, to offer free and fast quotes for coverage that are customized to your needs. Get your free quote today!

As an American travelling to Canada, what should my Canadian travel and health insurance cover?

When it comes to Canadian travel and health insurance, not every plan offers the same coverage. However, there are a few important elements that appear in most plans. Let’s break down the most important elements you should consider as an American travelling to Canada:

  • Emergency medical & hospitalization: Having coverage for unexpected medical expenses is one of the most important elements of any travel insurance plan. In order to avoid costly medical bills, ensure your Canadian travel insurance and/or international health insurance covers emergency medical expenses like ambulance services, medical bills, and hospitalization.
  • Medical evacuation: Canada is a large country, and if you get seriously ill or injured in a place without the appropriate facilities, you will need to be airlifted out to ensure you get the necessary treatment. A good travel and health insurance plan should offer some coverage for medical evacuation.
  • Pre-existing conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need to ensure that your travel insurance offers coverage for it. Otherwise, if you have a health complication, you may find yourself having to pay out of pocket.
  • Repatriation: No one wants to plan for the worst, but sometimes it’s a necessity. Repatriation is a type of coverage that ensures your remains can be returned to the States if you were to pass away while in Canada.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption: These two types of coverage offer some repayment if your trip has to be cancelled or is interrupted for any reason.
  • Baggage Loss/Delay: Ever been on a trip where your luggage has been lost, and you’re forced to wear the same clothes for days? This coverage will reimburse you a set amount of money towards new clothing if your baggage is lost or delayed on your trip.

Canadian Travel Insurance Considerations for Different Types of American Travellers

Not every American travelling to Canada has the same exact needs for their travel insurance. Depending on your immigration status, age, health, and length of stay, there may be special considerations you need to keep in mind.

Tourists and Visitors

Even if you’re only visiting Canada from the United States for a short time, the last thing you want is for your trip to be cancelled or delayed because of circumstances beyond your control. This can happen more often than we think.

If you’re going to be away from the United States for any period of time, you’ll want to obtain travel insurance (which covers you for cancellations, baggage loss, and other travel-related delays and interruptions) as well as international health insurance, which protects you from having to pay out of pocket for treatment when you’re outside of the United States.

Start exploring your travel insurance and health insurance options by getting a free quote from Cigna!


When you’re studying in Canada for months or years, considerations related to travel delays become less important. Instead, you should prioritize student health insurance plans that offer reliable and consistent coverage for illnesses and injuries.

Many schools have a mandatory insurance plan that all students must enrol in, or they may have a set of specifications for your insurance that must be followed to ensure admission. Always check with your school first to familiarize yourself with their policies before you make a purchase.

International Workers

Depending on your situation, international workers who have entered Canada on a valid work permit may be eligible for publicly-funded Canadian health insurance administered by the provincial government. Typically, you need to be a resident of your province for more than six months, although the exact requirements vary by province.

Do your research before you enter the country, and make sure to purchase adequate travel insurance and health insurance that will cover you during the time before you are eligible for provincial healthcare coverage. We recommend getting started with a free quote from Cigna to explore their Canadian travel and health insurance options.

Permanent Residents

Even if you’re entering Canada as a legal permanent resident, there may be some time when you are unable to access provincial health care due to a mandatory waiting period, typically three months in duration. Some provinces require this, and some do not. You can read more about Canadian provincial healthcare for newcomers here.

During your first weeks and months in Canada, it’s smart to ensure you have private health insurance that can cover you while you wait for provincial coverage. You can start exploring your insurance options by getting a free quote from Cigna.

Explore your options for travel insurance for Canada as an American traveller

Whether you intend to stay in Canada for two days or 10 years, travel insurance and international health insurance are valuable assets that can help you protect yourself and your family from unexpected issues and expenses.

Moving2Canada’s trusted partner Cigna offers free quotes for many different types of Canadian travel insurance that can help you protect your health and keep your trip on track. Fill out the form here for a fast, free quote in minutes.

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