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Calling all Snowbirds! Here's what you need to know about travel insurance

Calling all Snowbirds! Here's what you need to know about travel insurance Calling all Snowbirds! Here's what you need to know about travel insurance

Heading south for the winter? Before you pack your bags and leave behind snow and ice, make sure you do your research first to ensure a worry-free trip: travel insurance.

Travel insurance does more than help protect you in case of unexpected accidents, health issues, lost bags or cancelled flights. It provides peace of mind so you can spend your time focusing on enjoying yourself.

Here are 5 things to know about travel insurance before leaving for the winter.

1. Your provincial healthcare won’t cover out-of-country emergencies

While we’re used to public health care here in Canada, most other countries don’t offer free healthcare services to travellers. If you face any medical issues without insurance while you’re abroad, you’ll likely be stuck with an expensive bill. Some foreign hospitals even require cash payment before they’ll provide treatment.

In some cases, your Canadian public health insurance might help cover some of your medical bills for trips outside of the country, but you’ll always be required to pay the medical expenses upfront - and there’s no guarantee the Canadian government will reimburse you. Because of that, the Government of Canada strongly advises Canadians to purchase travel insurance before leaving the country.

2. Get a physical before leaving to get the right coverage

Now that you know insurance is important, the next step is to meet with your doctor for a physical or medical questionnaire to identify any underlying issues or pre-existing health conditions. Understanding your overall health will help determine the travel insurance you need to ensure you’re covered, and the premiums it will cost.

If you have a condition that isn’t stable , you may have the option to purchase additional coverage. For example, CAA Travel Insurance offers a Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Rider1 that you can add to your policy.

If you do need to submit a claim during your trip, the health questionnaire may be needed, so it’s important to be as accurate as possible.

3. Insurance plans offer unique coverage to suit your needs

Just like every trip, CAA Travel Insurance offers different types and amounts of coverage to suit your needs and preferences. After figuring out the specific coverage you need from your doctor, speak with a travel insurance expert to find the right policy. There are options with different coverage terms, conditions, exclusions, premiums, and deductibles, so it’s good to work with a professional to ensure you aren’t overlooking anything.

Here are some of the medical and non-medical coverage options CAA Travel Insurance offers:

Emergency medical: CAA Travel Insurance offers $5 million CAD2 in coverage in case you get sick or injured while travelling. The policy covers emergency medical and dental care, hospital stays, illnesses related to COVID-19, and even air ambulance transportation. It also offers reimbursements for vision care, hearing aids, and pet care or kenneling.

Beyond great coverage, CAA travel insurance provides 24/7 assistance, access to virtual emergency medical care or medical house calls, and can arrange direct billing with foreign medical facilities, so you don’t have to pay upfront.3

Trip protection: While you can do a lot of planning for a trip, you can’t control delayed or cancelled flights. CAA Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance helps with unexpected costs related to those flights, and can also help minimize travel disruption for specific emergencies back home, by reimbursing you for the costs to fly out of and go back to your destination in certain instances.

Multi-trip: Are you a frequent traveller? Get a quote for CAA Emergency Medical Insurance Multi-trip Plan4 to save time and money. Stay covered against the cost of unexpected medical emergencies for multiple individual trips (up to 4, 8, 15, 30, or 60 days each) throughout the year. Your multi-trip plan starts each time you leave Canada.

4. Know your deductible

To lower the costs of your travel medical insurance premiums, investigate options that offer a deductible. Having a policy that requires you to pay some money upfront to receive treatment can lower the policy premiums and depending on how much you’re willing to pay before submitting claims, that can help you save anywhere from 10-45% on your insurance premium costs.

If you go this route, keep that deductible amount set aside in case you need to use it. If you don’t end up facing any medical expenses on your trip, you’ll have a bit of extra money to put back in your pocket.

5. Keep your insurance information accessible

In a perfect world, you’ll never need to use your travel insurance, but it's a great idea to keep it handy just in case you do need to use it.

Gather your travel medical insurance documents, including insurance policy info, your medical questionnaire, and emergency contact details. Take a picture of the documents, print multiple copies for you and your travel companions to carry, along with a copy for your family back home in case they need to file any claims on your behalf.

Because some medical treatments may require prior approval, always contact your travel insurance provider as early as possible to understand what’s covered.

CAA Travel Insurance for peace of mind

CAA has been covering Canadians for over a century, and they have a team of experts to help you find the right insurance for your personal needs. Plus, CAA Members get 20% discount5 on travel insurance.

To get started, find a local travel expert. If you already have your trip planned, learn more about CAA Travel Insurance to make sure you’re protected while travelling. Bon voyage!


CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days.

  1. All pre-existing medical conditions must be stable within 7 days prior to departure. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply.
  2. Up to $5 million CAD. Maximum $25,000 for all Emergency Medical Insurance benefits for Canadian residents without active Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP); and/or without GHIP authorization to cover trip days in excess of 212 days in Ontario in a 12-month period.
  3. CAA Assistance is provided by Global Excel Management. Telemedicine and House Call Services availability may vary depending on geographical locations and current emergency medical condition.
  4. Medical Multi-Trip Plans cover 4, 8, 15, 30, or 60 days per trip depending on the plan you purchased. Top-Up coverage is available for longer trips. Coverage cannot extend beyond 365 days from departure date or effective date.
  5. Applies to CAA Members in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by Membership expiry date). Up to twenty percent (20%) savings applies to the total premium excluding applicable taxes. Minimum premium applies. Subject to change without notice. Excludes Visitors to Canada Insurance. CAA Everyday, Classic®, and Plus® Members save 10%. CAA Premier® Members save 20% at CAA Stores or by calling 1-800-267-8713. CAA Premier Members save 10% and earn 10% in CAA Dollars® when booking online.

®CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association. Top Stories

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