Best Travel Insurance For Canada – IEC Travel Insurance

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After you receive your POE (point of entry) letter, it’s time to find the best travel insurance for Canada.

Having spent two years on our own IEC visa we share our travel insurance tips and recommendations for others. 

The International Experience Canada website states the following requirements:

For IEC working holiday visa in Canada, you must have health insurance for the entire time you are in Canada.

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The health insurance must cover:

  • Medical care
  • Hospitalisation
  • Repatriation

The government website states:

“We recommend you buy this insurance only after you receive your port of entry (POE) letter of introduction.

We can’t recommend specific insurance companies or plans, but you can search online for something that meets your needs.

You may be refused entry if you don’t have insurance.

If your insurance policy is valid for less time than your expected stay in Canada, your work permit may expire at the same time as your insurance.”

Provincial Canadian healthcare or medical cover from your employment typically do not cover repatriation costs.

Therefore you need to get separate 2-year travel insurance for Canada.

Many companies have policies built especially for the IEC visa, but it is essential to find the best travel insurance for Canada suitable for you.

We had to do our research based on several criteria and important inclusions.

But what is the best IEC travel insurance?

Yay for IEC travel insurance
That great feeling when you are fully insured!

Great question! Depending on where you are travelling from and what you want to do in Canada there will be pros and cons with any company you choose. 

Before we break down the main questions you need to ask these are our most recommended and used IEC travel insurance companies: 

  1. True Traveller(For Europe the UK residents)
  2. Fast Cover insurance(For Australian residents)
  3. World Nomads(Available for citizens of over 140 countries)

Here are a few crucial questions you need to ask the insurance company before purchasing your 24-month travel insurance for Canada.

Let’s face it 24 months is a LONG time and you don’t want to pick the wrong IEC travel insurance company! 

To put simply these are the main essential things you want to check before buying IEC travel insurance:

  • What is the level of my coverage? – Skiing, Hiking, Kayaking all these might have an extra fee. 
  • Am I covered for trips outside of Canada? – Travelling to the US, Central America or any location outside of Canada check if they are covered. 
  • What is your policy on trips home? – Some insurers have a limit on trips to your home country, others only allow a couple, and some enable unlimited trips back and forth. Whether you plan to stay in Canada or visit home regularly, find out how your insurer covers you for home visits. True Traveller has unlimited trips home! 
  • Is there any excess? – You need to know how much you have to put out of your pocket to make a claim. The best coverages are no excess ones- but usually, you will have to pay a bit more for these.
  • Are your items and luggage covered? – It is critical for the company to cover you in case of luggage delay, bags lost by the carrier in-transit (it happens!), stolen luggage, stolen passports etc.
  • Are you covered for winter sports? While we didn’t plan on snowboarding when we first landed in Vancouver we were glad we opted for this when we decided to try snowboarding. Ended up doing a whole season in Whistler and was completely covered! You might also want to hike the Rocky Mountains, so get the right cover!
  • Whether the policy can be started abroad if you are already travelling elsewhere. Most insurers are limited to only covering those who haven’t left home yet.
  • How do I contact the insurance company in case of emergency in Canada and abroad? Save the phone number on our phone as soon as you purchase your coverage.

So what is the best IEC travel insurance options and why?

IEC travel insurance the best choices.
Relaxing again because kayaking is included in your policy

So before you get overwhelmed with contacting every travel insurance company asking the above questions we have done the hard work for you. 

Not only have we used these companies personally but in our IEC Facebook group(join here!) we have only received positive replies from others who also have used these companies! 

Always do your own research and remember that buying the cheapest travel insurance for Canada usually isn’t a good idea. Usually, cheap means that there will be coverage limits and keep in mind this is the next two years of your life! 

True Traveller – Available for EU citizens (including the UK)

Flying high over Toronto!

These guys have been incredible and we have continued to use them as we travel around the world. They not only offer you unlimited trips home but fantastic coverage! 

Winter sports coverage is available and there are no minimum residency requirements.

You can claim while you’re still in Canada as there is no need to wait to return home.

True Traveller cover you for over 92 activities on their standard cover! These include bungee jumping, horse riding, safari touring, scuba diving to 18 meters and lots more activities you may end up doing on your trip.

For those extreme travellers out there you can easily add more options at very reasonable prices. We both used them for our 2 year IEC travel insurance and always recommend them to others.

We found True Traveller the best and cheapest IEC insurance for Canada from Europe.

Get a quote here for your IEC travel insurance.

Fast Cover – Available for Australians

Couple talking in the snow about what travel insurance company they went with
“Oh, so you went with Fast cover to!? Woo”

We have had family, friends and many people we met who have come from Australia. Most of them we spoke to had gone with Fast cover. 

They offer cover for 12 months but then it can be easily extended for another 12 months. This totals the full 24 months needed for the IEC working holiday for Australians.

You simply purchase the first 12 months of travel insurance and then you can log in and purchase the next 12 months. You can log in to the Your Policy section of their website and extend it up to the full two years. 

There is also unlimited trips home and not necessary to have a return ticket home in order to claim on the policy.

Winter sports cover is available and their basic cover includes a whole host of activities! 

Also worth noting that their Ski & Snowboarding cover is one of the best we have ever seen! They even include off-piste activities which are often not included. 

Get a quote here for your IEC travel insurance.

World Nomads – Available for citizens of over 140 countries

Whale watching in Vancouver!

Available to a wide range of countries including Australians, Kiwis, Brits, Germans and Irish citizens.

World Nomads policies are easy to buy online and include World Nomad policies can be started if you’re already travelling. World Nomads also allow you to purchase or extend the insurance even if you are already travelling.

To get covered for two years you simply purchase two single one-year policies. 

World Nomad’s standard policy includes almost 100 different activities!

World Nomads can even cover you for dental if you got an unexpected infection, you’ve broken your tooth or injured your mouth or jaw in an accident.

We have used them for short trips in Europe before our IEC visa started and found them amazing. They really do have one of the best covers you can find but they can be a bit more expensive.

Still, if you are looking for the best cover World Nomads are worth looking into. 

Winter sports can be included for an additional premium. 

Get a quote here for your IEC travel insurance.

Final tips for Working Holiday Travel Insurance for Canada: The Small Print

Hiking in Canada on IEC Visa at Sunset
Can’t beat a sunset with friends!

While we have used most of the companies above it is always worth spending that little bit extra just to read the fine print. It is important to pick the IEC travel insurance provider and policy that is right for you. 

As we mentioned above you will be stuck with them for the next 24 months so it is worth spending the little bit extra both on the policy and taking more time to read through everything. 

Thank you so much for reading and if you have any questions at all please leave them in the comments. You will also find a great selection of useful links and discounts on other services below: 

Other useful links for your IEC visa:

Airbnb – We love Airbnb and use it everywhere you travel! If you are new to Airbnb follow the link for $55 discount of your first stay.

Booking.com – Perfect alternative to Airbnb when you need a short place to stay.

Hostelworld –  If you need a cheap place to stay where you can meet other travellers, Hostelworld is the best.

CurrencyFair – Our favourite money transfer company. They are 8x cheaper than banks. Follow the link for 5 free transfers with CurrencyFair.

OFX – Another great money transfer company for larger transfers. We use them for large lump sums. Follow the link for free transfers for life over 1k.

WorldNomads and TrueTraveller – The best travel insurance companies on the market! We personally used them both and can highly recommend them.

Taxback.com –  Every time we have to do our taxes or claim Superannuation we use these guys.

Sendmybag – Best company to ship your excess luggage to and from Australia. Follow our link for 5% discount of your shipment.

Skyscanner – Our go-to tool for finding cheap flights.

For Australian residents: Fast Cover policies also include 24 hour Overseas Emergency Assistance for IEC travellers.

The Fast Cover policy also includes unlimited trips home to Australia during your working holiday visa in case you get homesick!

Make sure to sign up here for Fast Cover. 

If you need more info on moving to Canada, make sure to check out our Canada posts here.

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Thanks for stopping by

Steve and Sabina

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4 thoughts on “Best Travel Insurance For Canada – IEC Travel Insurance”

  1. Good day! I already found a travel insurance company they said that if something happens on me at work in canada they can’t cover anything that happened to me because of my work. Is this reasonable from Insurance company?

  2. Hi Gerphil,

    Travel insurance is not a health insurance. It’s designed for emergencies only. Once you are in Canada you most likely will be able to get health insurance via your employer.
    Best of luck!

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