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Do I need insurance when I travel to a different province?

By SmartCoverage Team on October 26th, 2017

Canadians are lucky. There are plenty of amazing things to see and do right here in our home country. We don’t need to go far to experience a great vacation, or go on an epic road trip. Not to mention, travel is easier when you don’t need to pass through boarders, clear customs or change over money. However, there is one practice that should still be observed while travelling domestically and that is puchasing travel insurance.

Why you need out of province travel insurance

Some would argue that travel insurance while travelling within Canada is unnecessary, because the  Canada Health Act  states that the Canadian healthcare system "extends coverage for medically necessary hospital and physician services to their eligible residents during temporary absences from the [home] province/territory." And while this is true, there is a significantly long list of medical expenses that are not covered if you travel outside your home province.

Let’s look at Ontario. According to the  Government of Ontario,  services that are not covered by OHIP in another Canadian province or territory include:

  • Services not covered in Ontario (e.g. cosmetic surgery)
  • Ambulance services (including transport and paramedic)
  • Prescription drugs and other drugs given outside a hospital
  • Home-care services
  • Fees charged by private hospitals or facilities
  • Diagnostic or laboratory services outside of a public hospital
  • Long-term care or residential services
  • Assistive devices (e.g. prosthetics)

So even though you are only travelling within Canada, there is still a risk of accident or sudden illness that may require additional care. If you are caught in another province without travel insurance and are in need of any of the services listed above, you’ll be paying out of pocket. Which is where travel insurance swoops in to save the day. It is also important to mention that travel insurance helps with more than just medical expenses, including lost/damaged baggage and trip interruption/cancellation.

How to get out of province travel insurance

Once you know you will be taking a trip outside of your home province, contact your insurance broker and ask about travel insurance options. Coverage for those staying within the country tends to be less expensive than those travelling overseas, so you can get a good deal by shopping around.

If you travel frequently, both inside and outside of the country, it may be worth looking into an annual travel insurance plan. While these plans do come at a significantly higher cost, they can save you money in the long run otherwise you would be buying multiple single trip policies throughout the year.

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