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Visitors to Canada - FAQ

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is the most affordable coverage for unforeseen expenses on your trip. Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation and interruption, trip interruption, baggage loss, accidental death & dismemberment, flight accident and car rental insurance. The most common claims for comprehensive also called all inclusive is when you have to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen illness of the insured travelling companions or family members. For emergency medical travel insurance the most common claims are illness or injury for children and seniors. The comfort of knowing that you have insurance during a medical emergency provides travellers with peace of mind. You only buy the coverage you need and save time and money by using Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. to get the best coverage at the best price.

Why should I use a broker to buy travel insurance?

Insurance brokers are unbiased insurance professionals that provide advice and can shop with multiple insurance companies saving you time and money. When buying insurance directly from an insurance company you are only buying their policy without shopping for the best policy at the best price. Using a broker does not cost you a cent you will pay exactly the same rate regardless of the channel you use to purchase your insurance coverage. If you buy insurance from an unlicensed professional like a travel agent, bank teller, credit union or tour operator you are getting advice from a non-licensed insurance professional.

Is travel insurance mandatory?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada often requires proof of emergency medical travel insurance before a visitor's visa is approved. It is not a mandatory requirement in Canada but the trend is Immigration Officers are requesting proof of insurance. For countries that require a visitor's visa to visit Canada it is recommended that proof of insurance be included and submitted together with a visitor's visa application to avoid delays.

What if I don't pay for a medical service and I don't have insurance?

Canadian residents who invite relatives or friends to Canada are responsible for their support and are personally liable for all medical expenses incurred in Canada. Hospitals and medical offices have a legal right to collect unpaid bills from the person who sponsors a visitor to Canada.

What amount of insurance benefit should I purchase?

For visitors to Canada we recommend at least $100,000 of emergency medical travel insurance. Hospital costs can run up to $3,500 per day. Canada has one of the best health care systems in the world but it is not free. If your trip includes travel plans to the U.S. we recommend a minimum coverage of $150,000 or higher.  

When can I purchase Visitors to Canada Emergency Medical Travel Insurance?

You can purchase emergency medical travel insurance at any time. We recommend that visitors purchase insurance prior to their arrival to Canada. If you are already in Canada and purchasing emergency medical travel insurance then the policy will have a waiting period. The waiting period for coverage is two to eight days with most insurance companies. If you are purchasing emergency medical travel insurance after arrival in Canada not all companies will offer coverage and you will have fewer insurers to choose from. Some insurance companies do not offer insurance after 30 days of arrival to Canada. For exact terms and conditions please refer to the eligibility requirements of the emergency medical travel insurance policy. 

Who’s eligible to apply for travel insurance?

Anyone can apply for travel insurance. Some insurance policies are liberal, others have more conditions, please refer to eligibility requirements of the policy you are looking to purchase.

Visitors to Canada emergency medical travel insurance can be purchased by:

  1. Canadians that have returned to Canada and are not covered by their Provincial/Territorial Healthcare Insurance Plan.

  2. Visitors to Canada who are here on business, vacation or visiting family and friends.

  3. Immigrants to Canada who are waiting for their government health coverage.

  4. Foreign workers working in Canada. 

  5. Refugees.

Why should I purchase insurance from a Canadian Insurance Company and not buy insurance from a Non-Canadian Insurance Company in my country?

  1. Quick claims procedure in Canada and expertise of the Canadian health care system.

  2. Canadian insurance companies are easier to contact should a medical emergency arise during your stay in Canada.

  3. Canadian medical providers prefer to work with Canadian insurance companies.

  4. Direct billing between hospitals and most Canadian insurance companies.

  5. Every life insurance company authorized to sell insurance policies in Canada is required, by the federal, provincial and territorial regulators, to become a member of Assuris.

Can I purchase insurance for visitors over the age of 80?

Yes we offer insurance from companies that can insure up to any age. The majority of insurance policies do not offer coverage for visitors over the age of 80. A medical questionnaire is required from some insurance companies for ages 80 and older.  

Can I apply for travel insurance for my pet?

We do not sell individual travel insurance for pets. Some policies include pet returns in their insurance coverage.

What are my coverage options?

Travel insurance can be purchased as an all inclusive or comprehensive package or as an individual policy per trip. Visitors to Canada can also purchase inpatriate emergency medical travel insurance that includes additional benefits.

What does the travel insurance plan include?

The travel insurance plan can include different coverage’s depending on the plan selected for both medical and non-medical expenses.

  1. All inclusive

  2. Emergency Medical

  3. Trip Cancellation

  4. Trip Interruption

  5. Baggage

  6. Accidental Death & Dismemberment 

  7. Flight Accident

  8. Car Rental Insurance

Is Family coverage available?

Yes, Family coverage is available. Family coverage covers you, your spouse and dependent children.

Will Visitors Insurance cover me for trips outside Canada? 

Yes, except destinations where the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Government has issued a warning to avoid all travel and non-essential travel to that city, region, or country. The majority of time of the trip has to be spent in Canada. Insurance policies also have limits on the amount of days covered per trip outside Canada. Not all policies include coverage to all destinations the majority include U.S. and Mexico. American insurance companies operating in Canada do not provide any coverage to Cuba. Expenses incurred in your country of origin will not be covered. Please refer to policy terms and conditions. 

Does travel insurance provide coverage for business travel?

Travel insurance includes business travel. Some policies have specific add-on benefits for business travel that can be purchased with your policy. If you are planning to travel outside Canada to destinations that the Government of Canada has issued a travel advisory warning you will no longer be covered. If you require coverage to these excluded destinations with travel advisory warnings we can arrange coverage. Please contact us directly for a quote.

Can I purchase coverage for computers and laptops when I travel?

You can purchase coverage for your computers and laptops when traveling.  Please refer to the policy for terms and conditions of coverage.

What are exclusions?

All travel insurance policies contain exclusions and limitations of coverage. Exclusion is what the travel insurance policy does not cover, hence is excluded from insurance coverage on the travel insurance policy. The most common exclusions are as follows:

  1. Pre-existing medical conditions that are not stable.

  2. High risk activities such as sports, stunt activities.

  3. Traveling to destinations with advisory warnings – including acts of war, terrorism, kidnapping, strike, riot or unlawful visit to any country. For advisory warnings please visit Government of Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for a list of destinations the where a warning has been issued to avoid all travel and non-essential travel to that city, region, or country.  

  4. Losses while sane or insane – depression, self-inflicted injury, suicide attempt, emotional, mental or nervous disorder.

  5. Pregnancy, childbirth or complication thereof, including high risk pregnancy.

  6. Death or injury while under the influence of alcohol, prohibited drugs or any other intoxicant, non-compliance with prescribed treatment or misuse of drugs.

  7. Air travel other than a passenger on a commercial aircraft.

Can I buy additional coverage to cover the exclusions?

You can buy insurance  to cover exclusions, not all exclusions are insurable. 

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

Means a sickness, injury or medical condition: 

  1. for which you exhibited signs or symptoms; or

  2. for which you required or received medical consultation or treatment including medications; and 

  3. which existed prior to the effective date of your coverage. 

Can I buy insurance to cover my pre-existing medical conditions?

We offer emergency medical travel insurance from insurance companies that include coverage for stable pre-existing medical conditions. In order for the pre-existing medical conditions to be covered insurance companies require a stability period of 90, 180, or 365 days. Refer to the policy wording for exact definitions of pre-existing medical conditions coverage, exclusions and limitations. The majority of claims being denied are due to unstable pre-existing medical conditions. We are insurance brokers not medical practitioners. Consult with your doctor to determine if the policy will cover your pre-existing medical conditions and if your health permits travel. Traveling against the advice of your doctor automatically makes you ineligible to purchase emergency medical travel insurance.

What if my pre-existing medical conditions are uninsurable?

Not all pre-existing medical conditions are insurable. You can still purchase emergency medical travel insurance without coverage for the uninsurable pre-existing medical conditions.

Is there any medical test or examination required before we can buy Visitors to Canada Emergency Medical Travel Insurance? 

There is no medical test or examination required to purchase Vsitors to Canada emergency medical travel insurance. You can buy the policy online or over the phone from a Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. licensed insurance broker and get the policy issued and delivered to you the same day by email.

What is not covered and how to avoid having your claim denied?

In order to purchase visitors to Canada emergency medical insurance the insured has to meet the eligibility requirements to be eligible for coverage. At time of claim the insured will be required to provide medical information to the insurance company, this is referred to as post claim underwriting. When eligibility requirements are met the insured is eligible to pay the premium. After the premium is paid the policy will be in force.

If your stable pre-existing medical conditions have changed between the application date and the effective date which is your departure date you must notify us to have the policy approved for the new pre-existing medical conditions. This may be a new prescribed medication, change in dosage of your existing prescriptions or just a consultation with a doctor. Non-disclosure will automatically make the policy you purchased null and void. Please refer to the policy terms and conditions.

What is a high risk activity?

High risk activities include but not limited to heli-skiing, ski jumping, skydiving, sky-surfing, scuba diving, white water rafting, street lugs, skeleton activity, mountaineering, rodeo activity, and other sports activity.

Can I buy insurance to cover high risk activities?

You can purchase coverage for certain sports activities or group coverage for team sports.

What is a Deductible?

This represents the amount of eligible medical expenses that must be paid by the insured before the insurance company begins to reimburse for covered expenses. There are two different kinds of deductibles, per-claim and per-policy period. A per-claim deductible means that the insured must pay a new deductible for each separate claim. A per-policy period deductible means that the insured must pay the deductible only once during the policy period.  

What if I need or want to stay longer than planned?      

To extend your coverage, you must make a request before the expiry date or the date you were scheduled to return home. If you do not have a new medical condition or pending claim on your current policy, an extension may be issued upon request. If you have a new medical condition or pending claim, the extension is subject to approval by the insurance company. Please refer to the exact terms and conditions of your policy. Payments must be made using a credit card.

Are refunds available?

Refunds are available subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. An administration fee may apply.

How can I fill out an application if I am not in Canada?

To apply for coverage, the insured or someone acting on behalf of the insured has to complete a Visitors to Canada application online or over the phone with a Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. insurance broker. If someone other than the insured completes the application they must ensure that they are aware of the medical history, pre-existing medical conditions and prescription medications of the insured. This information must be accurate and is required to determine eligibility for coverage and to ensure the policy meets insured's medical insurance requirements. Any incorrect statements on the application will make the policy null and void. An online application or over the phone application with an insurance broker is the same as a paper application you fill out when purchasing travel insurance from a bank, trust company, credit union or travel agent. The only difference with Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. we shop with multiple insurance companies, compare policies and save you time and money. The insured or the person acting on behalf of the insured does not need to sign a physical paper application.

What do I do if I don't know the exact arrival date?

Proof of emergency medical travel insurance for visitors and new immigrants is often required before they can be issued a visitor’s visa. In these circumstances you can select an effective date of 90 days or longer. Once the actual arrival date is known, you will need to change the effective date to coincide with the departure date. If for whatever reason you still do not know the actual departure date prior to the effective date of the policy, you will need to notify the insurance company and extend the effective date until the actual departure date is known. Your policy is on hold and you only pay for insurance coverage you use travelling not waiting for your visa to be approved and issued.

Can I get a discount on Travel Insurance?

Consider a deductible to save you up to 45% on travel insurance. 

What payment options are available?

The only payment option available for travel insurance online or over the phone purchases are credit cards. If you don’t have a credit card please contact us directly and we will arrange for an alternate payment method. Some insurance companies accept cheques.

How do I get my policy delivered to me?

After we complete your online or over the phone purchase, your policy is instantly issued and delivered to you by email. You can save your policy on your computer or smart phone and print it.

What do I do with my policy?

Please read your insurance policy and confirmation of coverage. If you made an error, contact us to correct the information. Keep a record of your policy in more than one place, you can print it, leave a copy at home and take one with you.  Make sure you send it to someone who can be contacted in case of emergency.

What do I do with my wallet card?

Please carry it with you at all times. If you require medical attention please call the emergency assistance hotline number on your wallet card.


Disclaimer: The FAQ  information provided is for general purposes only, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information. Each Insurance Company Policy contains the actual definitions, eligibility requirements, benefits, exclusions and limitation on their respective policies. Insurance Policies are subject to change without notice by the Insurance Companies. If there is a discrepancy between the information provided in the FAQ and the actual insurance policy/certificate of the Insurance Company, the policy /certificate of Insurance Company will override. The information provided does not constitute any insurance, accounting or legal advice please use at own risk.  

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