Travel Insurance: Five Things Snowbirds Should Know

When packing for your home away from home, don’t forget travel insurance. Here are some tips for a worry-free getaway.

1. If leaving your home province, you need travel insurance.

If you need medical care while away, most countries don’t provide free health care to travellers and your Government Health Insurance Plan may cover very little, or nothing at all. The Government of Canada strongly recommends purchasing travel insurance before you leave Canada. Foreign hospitals can be expensive and may require a cash payment before treatment.

2. Not all travel insurance is created equal.

Different travel insurance providers offer different types of coverage. Review your policy with a travel insurance professional to determine if it’s a good fit and has enough protection for your needs. Discuss the policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions to understand what may affect your coverage.

CAA Travel Insurance1 offers a wide range of medical and non-medical benefits.

  • Emergency Medical: These policies offer $5 million CAD or more2 in coverage for emergency medical and dental care, hospital stays, COVID-19 related illness and even air ambulances. Also included are reimbursements and assistance for vision care, hearing aids and pet care/kenneling. Enjoy peace of mind with 24/7 worldwide assistance, access to virtual emergency medical care or medical house calls and direct billing from medical facilities whenever possible to avoid upfront costs.
  • Trip Protection: Planning to fly? Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance protects you against unexpected expenses related to delayed or cancelled flights, or if illness prevents you from travelling. Its unique “bounce back” benefit reimburses you for the cost to return home temporarily and return to your destination when you’re able.
  • Annual Multi-trip: Travelling more than once over the next year? CAA’s Multi-Trip travel insurance covers you throughout the year every time you leave and return to Canada, up to the maximum number of days per trip you pre-select.

3. Be honest and accurate on your medical questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire is meant to provide an overall picture of your health to determine the cost of your travel insurance premium, and it is referenced when making a medical claim. If you’re unsure of your health details, consult your physician so you can answer the questions with confidence.

A pre-existing medical condition3 doesn’t mean you can’t buy travel insurance. If yours is stable (according to the insurer, not your doctor) for the required time prior to departure (usually three or six months, depending on your age), you may be eligible for coverage. If your condition isn’t stable, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage. CAA Travel Insurance offers a Pre-existing Medical Condition optional coverage that you can add to your policy.

4. Consider a higher deductible to keep costs down.

Concerned about the cost of travel insurance? A higher deductible can help control the cost of the premium, depending on the amount you’re willing to pay when submitting a claim.

5. Keep your travel insurance information handy.

Before you travel, make sure you have all your travel insurance information with you. Save the emergency assistance phone number on your mobile phone. Take a picture of your documents with your smartphone or carry a printed copy in your purse or wallet. Provide a copy of these documents to your travel companion(s) and family back home, should they need to contact your insurance provider for you. Important: Contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible to help navigate your claim and any medical care needed. This is important since some medical treatments may require pre-approval.

Consider CAA Travel Insurance for your next trip.

CAA makes insurance easy so you can travel with peace of mind.
Call 1-833-673-3030 or get a quote and purchase online at

CAA is CARP’s Recommended provider for Auto, Home, Travel, Life and Pet Insurance. To learn more about our offerings and social perks available for CARP Members, call 1-833-673-3030 or get a quote and purchase online at

1CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company (except in British Columbia). Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. BCAA Travel Insurance is sold through B.C.A.A. Holdings Ltd. dba BCAA Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance agent and is underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation. Insurance claims are administered by Orion Travel Insurance Company and its subcontractors, Global Excel Management Inc.
2Up to $5-10 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.
3All pre-existing medical conditions must be stable within 7 days prior to departure. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply.