Canada lake mountain sunset

Travel Insurance for Canada

Thinking of visiting the world’s second largest country? Did you know this fact about Canada? This North American wonder has something for everyone; from awe inspiring mountains and glaciers, to the world’s largest shorelines and the biggest temperate rainforest on Earth. 

Whether it’s a trip to enjoy amazing winter sports in Olympic venues, wilderness kayaking or city dinner touring, travellers need to ensure they are adequately prepared and protected. If you are planning a relaxing food and history tour of Victoria, or winter sports blast in Whistler, it is important to do your research so you make the most of your vacation. 

Do I need travel insurance when travelling to Canada from the UK?

Put simply yes and it is important to check you have the right cover, especially if you are planning a winter sports or active vacation. 

What are the risks of travelling to Canada?

The weather is a key consideration, coastal areas can be affected by hurricanes and it’s important to be aware of storm risk in the mountains, so check the local news and weather before travel.  For winter sports enthusiasts there is also the risk of avalanche, so people should always hike on marked trails and ski on piste unless with a local guide. 

Canada is considered a low risk travel destination; however, while it may seem unlikely, the Foreign Office warns travellers to be aware of the terrorist threat, especially if they are a British national. It is important to check that your insurance policy covers you if you were to be caught up in a terrorist incident, covering medical expenses and against the risk of hijack. 

When it comes to crime it is sensible to take the usual precautions and keep your valuables out of sight and secure.  It is always sensible to keep passports, travel money and phones locked in the hotel safe or out of sight if left in an unattended car.  





Like much of North America medical treatment can be extremely expensive and while Canada is a Commonwealth country there are no special arrangements for British visitors.  Your vacation budget can be totally blown away even if you need just basic medical attention, a visitor to Canada can pay from $100-$500 just to see a doctor during the daytime excluding the cost of treatment or medication. If you are unfortunate enough to require a hospital stay it can cost $4,000 a day. 

It is vital holidaymakers and travellers to Canada have travel insurance in place or they could face medical bills they would struggle to afford.  If you do require emergency medical assistance just like America, dial 911 and if it is a less immediate problem there are many walk-in clinics where appointments are not necessary. 

If jetting out to enjoy winter sports

If you are planning on jetting out to enjoy the amazing winter sports scene, it is important to check you have adequate insurance cover.  You are likely to be travelling with expensive specialist equipment you will want covered and there is also the need to ensure that the activities you have planned aren’t excluded– it is vital you check before travelling!  Columbus Direct offers specialist cover for all medical emergencies that can result from winter sports, including emergency medical assistance on the piste and helicopter evacuation if required.

Ski piste Canada




Driving safely

Severe snow storms are a regular occurrence during winter, especially in the winter resorts so be careful when driving.  Each province has its own traffic and safety laws so read up before you hit the road, for example in some parts of Quebec right turns when the light is red is not permitted when it is in other areas of Canada.  Highways are often closed during the winter in Alberta, British Columbia and other provinces because of snow storms and avalanches.

If you are planning to drive in winter, make sure your hire car is properly equipped or you could put your safety at risk and face problems with local law enforcement.  Winter tyres are compulsory in parts of Canada, including British Columbia and in Quebec during the coldest months. 

Before heading out on the road always check the local weather reports, to know what to expect and where to avoid, especially in winter when certain areas are at risk of blizzards and heavy snow.  Make sure you check carefully what is covered under your travel insurance and hire car company’s policy before booking. 

Consider the language

The language barrier can be an issue if a problem occurs when on vacation and travellers heading to Canada should be aware, both English and French have official federal status throughout Canada.  French is the native language of around 7.2 million Canadians (approximately 20 percent of the population) and it is the majority official language in the popular tourist destination of Quebec.  

building in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Travel with Confidence with Columbus Direct

With over 25 years of experience, we know what you need from your travel insurance. You can travel with peace of mind, knowing we’re here for you and your family with cover for everything from lost baggage and flight delays, to stolen items and medical bills while you are on holiday1.

Columbus Direct policies also offer you free access to an airport lounge if your flight is delayed by more than an hour.  Get a quote in minutes and make the most of your next trip! 






 Terms and Conditions apply

(1) Available with Silver and Gold policy only 

Policyholder needs to register their flight for free airport lounge access in the event of a delay of one hour or more. All accompanying members must be named on the policy to gain lounge access. View terms and conditions here