What comes to mind when you think of Canada? Glaciers and mountains? Grizzly bears and moose?
The great outdoors isn’t all Canada has to offer. If you’re as much a fan of vibrant cities and delicious food as you are of getting back to nature, Canada could be the perfect destination for you.
Travel Insurance Canada
If you’re taking a trip to Canada, it’s a good idea to go prepared with travel insurance. It isn’t compulsory, but it protects you if the worst were to happen such as:
- Having to cancel or cut short your trip
- Theft of personal belongings
- The airline losing your luggage
Medical treatment in Canada can be very expensive. As there are no special arrangements for travellers from the UK, Canada travel insurance is vital to make sure you’re not hit by high treatment costs.
Our basic level of travel insurance gives you up to £10 million of cover for emergency medical treatment and repatriation, and this rises to up to £20 million with our Defaqto five star rated Platinum level.
Choose from three levels of cover
Emergency medical treatment & repatriation
(Limits up to)
Cancellation or cutting short your trip
(Limits up to)
(Limits up to)
Read the full list of benefits in the policy summary booklet.
Holiday insurance Canada: what cover do I need?
Travel cover is divided up into different geographical areas. We use three zones:
- Worldwide excluding USA, Canada and Caribbean
For trips to Canada, you’ll need the third option – worldwide travel insurance. Make sure you don’t choose the second option, worldwide excluding USA, Canada and Caribbean, as you won’t be covered.
Canada travel tips
To make life easier when travelling in Canada, there are a couple of things you should bear in mind:
- One parent travelling with children must carry a letter of consent from the parent who isn’t travelling. Immigration officers can question children if there’s any concern around child abduction.
- If you’re travelling on to the United States, you should check the entry requirements of the US to make sure you won’t be denied entry.
Driving in Canada
If you’re planning to drive when you’re in Canada, you can usually do so as long as you have a full UK driving licence. Make sure you always carry it with you.
Some car hire companies may need you to have an International Driving Permit, though, so make sure you check before you travel so you don’t get caught out. The FCO recommends you take out full insurance when hiring a car.
If you’re planning on driving during the winter, be aware that conditions can be extreme. Roads in some provinces, such as Alberta and British Columbia, can be closed due to avalanches and snow storms.
Follow the weather forecast and make sure you’re prepared – that includes checking if you need snow tyres for the province you’re in.
Skiing and snowboarding
If you’re heading to Canada to hit the slopes at one of the many legendary ski resorts, you’ll need our Winter Sports upgrade. This makes sure you’re covered should the worst happen and you’re injured or your equipment is lost or damaged.
We cover a range of popular winter sports:
- Piste skiing
- Glacier skiing
- Big foot skiing
There’s a full list of all the activities we cover in the policy document.
Hiking and camping
If you’re intending to go hiking or camping while travelling in Canada, take care and be considerate. Follow any park rules and regulations, take your rubbish with you and don’t feed any animals you see.
Be wary of animals with young as they’ll be more likely to act aggressively to protect them. Research how to deal with any animals you might encounter, and make sure you know if you’re going to be in an area where you might see bears.
Do you need a visa for Canada?
Canada visa requirements for British citizens are straightforward – if you’re travelling to Canada for a short period of time you don’t usually need a visa. If you’re travelling to Canada for a longer period of time – to work or study, for example – you should check if you need a visa with the Canadian High Commission.
If you’re flying into the country, as many British travellers do, you’ll need an electronic travel authorisation (eTA). You won’t be able to board your flight without one. Any travellers entering Canada by land or sea don’t need an eTA, but they’ll still need the usual valid travel documents.
For more information about the eTA and to apply online, visit the official Canadian government website.
Your questions answered
Do I need a visa for Canada?
British citizens don’t usually need a visa for short term travel in Canada, but you may need one if you’re staying for a longer period for study or work. Find out if you need a visa by checking the Canadian High Commission website.
If you’re flying into Canada, you’ll need an electronic travel authorisation (eTA), and you won’t be allowed on your flight without one. Find out more about the eTA and apply online by visiting the official Canadian government website.
Do I need travel insurance for Canada?
It’s not compulsory to have travel insurance when travelling in Canada, but it’s definitely worth having. Could you afford to pay for medical treatment or replace lost luggage out of your own pocket if the worst were to happen?
How much time do I need on my passport to visit Canada?
As long as you have enough time to cover the duration of your stay, you’ll be fine. You don’t need any additional time on your passport when travelling in Canada.
Does my travel insurance cover me to drive in Canada with a UK licence?
You can drive a car in Canada if you have a full UK licence, but you should always carry your licence with you. Some car hire companies require you to have an International Driving Permit, so check with your car hire company before you travel. You should also take out full insurance to make sure you’re covered, as your travel insurance won’t cover you.
What are the requirements to enter Canada?
British citizens don’t usually need a visa for short visits to Canada – you’ll need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), which you must apply for before you travel. To find about more about the eTA and apply online, visit the official Canadian government website.
Do I need any vaccinations for travel to Canada from the UK?
If your routine vaccinations as recommended in the UK are up to date, you don’t currently need any other vaccinations when travelling to Canada – although you should check if you need a rabies booster.
For more information on where, when and how to get vaccines, take a look at our guide to travel vaccinations.
Is travel insurance mandatory for Canada?
You don’t have to have travel insurance for Canada but it’s a good idea to make sure you’re covered if you fall ill or have an accident when travelling there. Medical care in Canada can be expensive, and the average cost of medical procedures is £14,615 – find out more in the cost of getting ill abroad.
Can I travel to Canada if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
You can travel to Canada if you have a pre-existing medical condition as long as you declare it when you’re buying your cover. Read more about travelling with medical conditions.