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Compare Travel Insurance Travel Insurance Tips Canadian Working Holiday Travel Insurance

Canadian Working Holiday Travel Insurance

08 June, 2017 By Natalie Smith

If you’re craving for all things Canada you’re not alone. Thousands of young Aussies head over to the world's second largest country to start their two year International Experience Canada (IEC) visa each year. 

Do you want to shoop shoop on the slopes of Whistler, work in Banff National Park, visit Niagra falls or learn French in Quebec? The possibilities are endless when you decide to do your working holiday visa in Canada.  A gap year overseas is a wonderful way to work, travel and experience a new culture.

Requirements For Your Stay In Canada

To be eligible for the Canadian working holiday visa you must:

- prove to officials on landing that you have travel/health insurance for your trip
- be an Australian citizen, with a valid passport for your trip duration
- be between the ages of 18 and 35
- ​have the equivalent of CAN$2,500 to cover your expenses
- have a round-trip ticket or the finances to buy a ticket home at the end of your stay
- not be accompanied by dependents
- be admissible to Canada
- and of course... pay the fees

Two year travel insurance can be tricky  

So you’re going to Canada for 24 months? Problem is, most Australian travel insurers only allow you to buy a policy for 12 months (or 18 months depending on the insurer). If you do some research, you’ll find some policies will cover for longer - up to 18 months to two years in duration. We've done the legwork for you, our table explains where you can find longer stay travel insurance.


General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Travel Insurance For Your Canadian Gap Year

Canadian immigration requires you to have and maintain insurance for the entire duration of your stay in Canada. Your insurance policy must cover you for health care, hospitalisation and repatriation. So, in order to be granted your visa for Canada, you need to have evidence of travel insurance for your trip.

Attention to detail is key
One size definitely doesn’t fit all in the world of travel insurance. The type of policy you buy can vary and it’s imperative that you take the time to research these differences. Take note that a cheaper, basic travel insurance policy will generally provide medical only coverage and comprehensive policies will cover travel delays, cancellation and a host of additional benefits. Falling ill or being injured while travelling can be very unpleasant, stressful AND costly. Medical fees overseas, especially in the USA and Canada can be exorbitant. You'd be crackers not to pack at least basic medical cover for your trip.

Comprehensive cover includes cover for family emergencies
What happens if you're overseas in Canada and a familty member falls sick back home? A comprehensive policy will cover you for unforeseen cancellations for events such as natural disasters, accidents, severe sickness or injury.

Make sure you’re covered to travel outside Canada
Will you be taking a trip to the big apple or viva las vegas? If you’re planning a vacation to the USofA while you’re in Canada (well it’d be rude not to hey!) then make sure your policy covers you not just for Canada, but all destinations you intend on visiting. It probably won’t make too much difference to the cost.

Get cover for adventure activities
Planning to get your heart racing this working-holiday? If you're intending to partake in some adventure sports, take note; not every high risk activity is covered automatically. Check your chosen policy covers you for your dose of thrills before you jump out of the plane!

Make sure you've got personal liability cover
People love to sue. If you injure someone or are held accountable for damaged property in Canada the consequences would be less than brilliant. In such an event, your policy will cover your liability costs to a degree.

Pre-existing conditions: Medical conditions  that exist before you travel are generally not covered, but it's a good idea to check. You can sometimes pay a bit extra to get some conditions covered. Check your policy wording to see what conditions are covered automatically, and which ones require a medical assessment first.

Booze can bust your cover
For some, holidays aren’t complete without a cool cocktail or two. While a mild buzz is acceptable, too much holiday spirit combined with reckless behaviour may jeopardize your cover. As a rule of thumb, if you’re too tipsy to make wise decisions, don't bank on travel insurance to save the day.

Out of sight, out of pocket
While your luggage and personal items may be covered for theft, damage and loss, it’s your responsibility to keep them protected as best you can. Your claim may be rejected for instance, if your belongings were ‘unattended’ or ‘unsupervised.’ Although each case will be closely examined, usually belongings left behind in taxis, restrooms and even conveyer belts wouldn’t be covered.

Not all jobs are covered
Standard travel insurance has its limitations. If you're planning on partaking in a particularly hazardous job such as working on a building site with dangerous equipment, you may not be insured to do so. Often there is no cover for personal liability when working overseas either as it is your employers responsibility to protect you in the work place. Jobs that should have no issues in terms of travel insurance coverage include: administration, hospitality, tourism, working on a cruise ship, retail, teaching, childcare or fitness instructor.

Pack peace of mind
It's perfectly understandable that some people pose the question "Why should I bother with travel insurance - nothing will happen to me?!". Put quite simply, unexpected events do occur...And could happen to anyone. Travel insurance gives you the freedom to focus on your holiday and provides loved ones back home the peace of mind that should anything happen, you're covered. Regardless of whether your planning a gap year in Canada or elsewhere, the unexpected can happen and being on the end of exposed risk could see your trip end in financial ruin.

How Much Does Travel Insurance For ONE Year To Canada Cost?

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The cost of travel insurance can vary enormously from brand to brand. But generally speaking a 12 month comprehensive policy will set the average traveller, aged 23 anywhere from $600 - $1200. We know that’s a big difference, so to give you a better idea of what you get for your money we’ve outlined a few examples below:

Single trip policy to Canada, valid for a year, aged 23 traveller:

Basic policies $500 - $700 
If you’re looking for low cost cover, Zoom's Medical Only Cover at $507 is the cheapest basic policy on our site. This policy includes unlimited medical and $1.5 million personal liability only. The excess you must pay towards a claim is $250.

Mid-level policies $700 - $900
Fastcovers standard saver at $689 is a good mid range all rounder. Including: unlimited medical cover, $15,000 cancellation, $2.5 million personal liability, $5,000 luggage, $2,000 for travel documents and $30,000 in unexpected travel expenses. The excess is $200.
Comprehensive policies $800- $3,000
Zoom’s standard cover at $766 is a good option for comprehensive cover. Including: unlimited medical cover, unlimited cancellation, $2.5 million personal liability, $5,000 luggage, $2,000 for travel documents, $2,000 luggae delay expenses, $2,500 hospital cash allowance and $30,000 in unexpected travel expenses. The excess is $200.

*All prices accurate at time of writing June 2017.

International Experience Canada (IEC) Policy

If you're heading to Canada for more than one year and don't want the hassle of having to extend your policy or buy another policy from overseas, there are some speciality policies out there.  As per the International Experience Canada visa requirements, a purpose designed policy covers the full 23 months and provides comprehensive cover for emergency assistance, emergency medical expenses, lost or damaged luggage and personal effects, cancellation fees and many other benefits.

So if you're looking for a comprehensive policy designed specifically for Australians heading to Canada for a 2 year working holiday, look no further than

To be eligible to buy this particular policy, you must:
  • Be approved by the Canadian government to participate in International Experience Canada
  • Be an Australian resident
  • Be aged between 18 and 35 years of age
  • Start and end your journey in Australia
  • Purchase your policy before your journey commences

Tips To Save On Travel Insurance For Canada

save uk travel insurance

  • Combine policies - If travelling with your family or a companion, a joint policy is often cheaper than purchasing separately.

  • Increase your excess - Most insurers allow you to lower your premium by opting to pay higher excess in the instance that you need to make a claim.

  • Shop around - You'll be amazed at how much travel insurance quotes can vary. Offers by travel agents or airlines usually have commissions added on. In fact, you can save up to 50% by shopping around, so it pays to buy your travel insurance travel insurance direct. Doing your comparison online will allow you to compare loads of travel insurance quotes in seconds. Yippee!

Benefits Of A Gap Year

There’s no denying that a year out of your ‘normal’ life can be somewhat daunting as you wave goodbye to your daily routine and let go of everything familiar. However, a gap year can have huge benefits for recent school or university leavers, or those wanting a mid-career sabbatical. Apart from experiencing a different culture, you may also pick up a new language or life skills, discover a hidden passion or even boost your career prospects.  

The following are just some of the incredible benefits of a gap year:
  • It looks great on a resume: Exploring the world, participating in voluntary programs and taking part in new and unfamiliar cultures are all proof of your ability to take on new challenges beyond your comfort zone. Employers highly value such skills. 
  • Your world will expand:  By engaging in projects and backpacking around the world you'll meet people from all walks of life who you would never have otherwise. Interacting with those from other destinations and cultural backgrounds can vastly expand your horizons and give you an entirely fresh perspective. 
  • You'll grow up: When you're in your regular routine very often it's easy to rely on parents and friends to help you out in a sticky situation. Sorting out your life in a new and unfamiliar setting can be daunting but very rewarding too. A long break overseas can cement your ability to stand up on your own two feet and establish some valuable life skills.
  • You'll get a much deserved break: It's easy to fall into a monotonous pattern of studying for the next exam or working towards the next pay cheque without really questioning whether you're really following your goals or dreams. Taking a break from it all can help you gain more perspective and discover what really makes you 'tick.'

Ready To Find Your Perfect Canada Travel Insurance Policy?

Stuff going wrong on holiday shouldn’t be your foremost concern. After all you’ve got rockies to see and exciting places to be! But like it or lump it, without safeguarding your travels, your entire trip could go belly up!

Since many IEC travellers work at Canadian ski resorts such as Whistler, Sun Peaks and Big White, you'll want to make sure that you're covered for when you hit the slopes on your days off.  Use the ski quote box when comparing Canada travel insurance policies if you want cover in the snow. If purchasing a longer-term specialist policy from DUInsure or Fast Cover choose the winter sports option for a fun, worry-free working-holiday.

Contributor Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

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