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Do You Need Travel Insurance for Canada?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Canada?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Canada?
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Canada's natural landscape is one of the most beautiful in the world. As the second-largest country by area, Canada has a diverse mix of places and experiences to explore. Each of the country's ten provinces has a distinct culture and exciting things to see.

Canada is the perfect trip for anyone looking to traverse nature, take a peek into the past or explore a new city.

Travel Requirements for Canada

Generally, if you're planning on visiting Canada for tourism purposes, you won't need travel insurance. But it's still a good idea. Some Americans may assume that their domestic healthcare may cover them in Canada but, unfortunately, that's not the case. While Canada may have free national healthcare, that coverage does not extend to visitors. If you're trying to qualify for a visa or planning on staying past 90 days, you may need to purchase travel insurance as part of the requirements for the visa.

However, even though it's not mandatory, purchasing travel insurance for Canada is a smart way to ensure that you're protected for any unexpected illness or injury that could happen while you're abroad.

COVID-19 in Canada

For the most up-to-date information on travel entry requirements for Canada, please visit this tourism page. If you're traveling to Canada, here are some Covid safety precautions to take. For the most up-to-date information on Covid restrictions for traveling, please follow CDC guidelines.

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Covid information for your trip

Do you know the Covid situation for your destination? Keep up with country-specific advisories and notifications.

Health & safety

Canada is a particularly safe country in which to travel. In big cities, it is still a good idea to lock your car or bike and to not leave valuables unattended. However, crime is quite low compared to other countries of similar size.

Most safety risks in Canada come from nature. It is important to pack seasonally-appropriate clothing. Conditions can be especially hazardous in winter, when temperatures routinely dip below 0F(-20C).

If you plan on exploring some of the many natural spaces in Canada, make sure that you are prepared. Bug spray, hiking boots, sunscreen, first-aid kits, weather-appropriate clothing and a knowledge of local wildlife are all important to take with you if you are wandering to places without a lot of people.

If you do not spend a lot of time in the wilderness, it's also a good idea to hire a guide or explore as part of a tour group. Purchasing travel medical insurance with emergency evacuation coverage is also important, especially if you will be venturing far from large cities, where health care may be harder to find.

Necessary vaccinations

Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before your trip. Here are some common vaccination recommendations for Canada.

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Shingles
  • Rabies
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pneumonia
  • COVID-19

For the most up-to-date information on required vaccinations and other health requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Visas & documentation

Canadian and U.S. citizens only need their passports to enter Canada. All others entering Canada will fall into one of two groups, visa-exempt and visa-required depending on their country of citizenship. If you're visa-exempt, you only need your passport to enter the country by land or sea (i.e. car, bus, cruise ship, sailboat, etc.). But if you're traveling by air, you'll also need an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

There are limited exceptions to this requirement so you'll want to check with Canadian officials before you make travel arrangements. If you fall into the visa-required category, you need a visa to enter Canada, no matter how you choose to enter the country.

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