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 If you’re considering travelling to Canada from the United Kingdom, it’s important to understand your Canadian travel insurance needs. 

Canada and the United Kingdom have always enjoyed a close relationship — after all, they’re both commonwealth countries. British citizens have been coming to Canada for centuries, and the drive to explore our beautiful country remains strong. An average of 724,000 British nationals visit Canada every year.

As a UK resident planning travel to Canada, you should take the time to consider your Canadian travel insurance and health insurance plans in advance. Today, we’ll help you determine which types of travel insurance for Canada are ideal for your next trip.

Why Do British Citizens Need Travel Insurance for Canada?

Whether you’re planning to move, looking for a new job, or just booking your next vacation, you should always ensure that you have health and travel insurance before you arrive in Canada. Even though both Canada and the United Kingdom enjoy similar types of publicly funded universal healthcare, the two systems do not overlap.

Regardless of whether you have private insurance in addition to your regular NHS coverage, this typically won’t cover you in a foreign country. It’s up to you to arrange for the necessary insurance to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.

Many Brits who are tempted to take a trip to Canada without Canadian travel insurance can easily find themselves out thousands of dollars or even more if they miss their flight, or if they find themselves sick or injured with no way to pay for treatment.

To help protect yourself against these unexpected expenses, make sure you purchase insurance before you leave the United Kingdom. Moving2Canada’s partner Cigna offers fast and affordable travel insurance plans. Find out if Cigna could be an option for you by getting a free quote — it only takes a minute!

As a traveller from the United Kingdom, what should my Canadian travel insurance cover?

As a traveller from the United Kingdom, when you’re buying Canadian travel insurance, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. However, learning more about the coverage options can help you make the right decision.

Here are some types of coverage you should know about before purchasing traveller’s insurance for 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 extremely 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: Unlike the United Kingdom, Canada is huge! If you’re away from medical facilities and get ill or injured, you may need to be airlifted to the nearest or most appropriate medical facility. A great travel health insurance plan should offer some coverage for medical evacuation.
  • Pre-existing conditions: Anyone with a pre-existing condition should make sure that any travel insurance they purchase offers pre-existing condition coverage. When in doubt, call the insurance provider and ask whether your specific condition is covered.
  • Repatriation: If you were to die while in Canada, bringing your remains home is an incredible expense. This coverage offers a set amount of money towards the repatriation of your remains if the worst were to occur while you were away from the UK.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption: No one wants to pay out of pocket if their trip was cancelled, delayed, or interrupted. Purchasing trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance helps to offset these sometimes unavoidable costs.
  • Baggage Loss/Delay: Hate dealing with lost or delayed luggage? This type of coverage makes it simple. If your baggage is lost or delayed on your flight, you’ll get a set amount of money to cover the cost of new clothes and other necessary items.

Canadian Travel Insurance Considerations for Different Types of British Travellers

When you travel to Canada from the United Kingdom, your insurance needs will change depending on the length of your visit and your immigration status in Canada. Here are some considerations you should keep in mind depending on your situation.


If you enter Canada from the UK as a tourist or visitor, typically you are eligible to stay for a maximum of 6 months. Regardless of whether your visit will last for months or just days, you should plan to be protected by travel and health insurance for the duration.

Travel insurance protects against loss, delays, and other unavoidable situations that can occur when you’re dealing with things like car rentals, airlines, and more. Travel or international health insurance can reimburse you for unexpected medical expenses that may come up during your trip.

Even though the premiums are minimal, the reassurance they offer is priceless. Start exploring your travel insurance and health insurance options by getting a free quote from Cigna!


Depending on where you’re studying, some provinces (like British Columbia and Alberta) will cover international students under their provincial healthcare plans. Generally, you must intend to be in the province for at least six months and must apply for coverage as soon as you arrive.

However, most of the time applications for provincial health insurance take weeks to process, at which time you are not covered. It’s always recommended that students purchase private health insurance that can cover them in the interim. Oftentimes, your college or university will offer some type of insurance plan for international students, so it’s best to check with your school first!

IEC Working Holiday Participants

Going on an International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday is a great opportunity for young British citizens aged 18 to 30 to explore Canada while gaining valuable employment experience. Thousands of Brits travel to Canada each year through this popular program.

These short-term Working Holiday visas are easy to apply for, but require any participants coming into Canada to have travel insurance that covers them for their entire stay. This insurance must cover medical care, hospitalization, and repatriation.

Moving2Canada’s partner BestQuote helps to compare different IEC travel insurance options available on the market so you can make the best decision for your needs. Check out BestQuote’s travel insurance comparison tool here.

Temporary Workers

If you’re entering Canada on a work permit, you may be eligible for provincial health care depending on the length of your contract. In most provinces, workers present in Canada for 6 months or more are eligible — but the exact requirements vary by province.

However, depending on your province of residence, there may be a wait time of 3 months where you will be without health insurance. During this time, it’s wise to have a private alternative that can cover you until you receive your health card. We recommend getting started with a free quote from Cigna to explore their Canadian travel insurance options.

Permanent Residents

In every province, legal permanent residents of Canada are eligible to receive health coverage under their new province’s healthcare system. However, it can still take anywhere from a week up to a few months to collect all the documentation you need to fill out your application.

Before you arrive in Canada, we always recommend that newcomers to Canada from the United Kingdom purchase private health insurance that can cover them while they’re settling in and completing their provincial healthcare application. You can start exploring your insurance options by getting a free quote from Cigna.

Finding the Best Travel Insurance in Canada as a British Traveller

Whether you arrive in Canada as a visitor, student, or temporary or permanent resident, there are lots of things to see and do during your trip. Worrying about trip cancellations, illness, or injuries shouldn’t be on your list.

To protect yourself, we always recommend purchasing both health and travel insurance that’s valid for the entire length of your trip.

Looking for an easy, responsive, and convenient insurance provider? Check out Cigna, a trusted partner of Moving2Canada, who provides simple, fast estimates in just a few moments. Get started with a free quote today!

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