Many of us who move to Canada on an IEC visa don’t realise that you will need travel insurance for a Canada working holiday.
As soon as we do realise we head to Google or ask a Facebook group.
In this article, I am just going to break down some of the popular options for IEC travel insurance and why I recommend them.
Firstly, what does the government say about travel insurance for a Canada working holiday?
See for yourself on the gov website here or read below:
For International Experience Canada, you must have health insurance for the entire time you are in Canada. The health insurance must cover
- medical care;
- hospitalization; and
We recommend you buy this insurance only after you receive your port of entry (POE) letter.
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, you may be issued a work permit that expires at the same time as your insurance.
Yikes, so be sure to get IEC travel insurance!
So what is the best travel insurance for a Canada Working holiday visa?
There is a big difference between the super cheap insurance companies and the ones that are more expensive.
My first recommendation and who I use on all my trips:
True Traveller – Unlimited trips home(more on this later) they cover 92 activities as standard!
These include bungee jumping, horse riding, safari touring, scuba diving to 18M and lots more activities you may end up partaking in on your trip.
True Traveller also includes non-manual work if you’re on an IEC Working Holiday.
My second recommendation which people recommend all the time is Worldnomads:
Premium insurance for a premium price. But don’t let that deter you, they have some of the best travel insurance covers you can find.
They also cover you for unlimited trips home so are a great choice.
Just don’t forget if you think you will be doing some winter sports make sure to choose it.
But again the companies are flexible so if you want to add it later you can
So what about this trips home you mentioned?
Glad you asked, well as most of you reading this are coming from Ireland or the UK you can just book through a local company. But and this is a big BUT, make sure to double check the terms and conditions.
The same as when you need travel insurance for Australia, these companies often fail to highlight the fact that you can only come home for 10 – 20 days a year before your policy is void!
I will have to repeat that as it didn’t sink in for me when I first read it either.
So let’s say you’re having a great time in Vancouver enjoying your summer days on Kits beach and snowboarding in Whistler during the winter, great life right?
Now, it’s been about 8 or 9 months you wouldn’t mind popping home to say hi to the parents, friends and eat a big bag of Taytos. I hear ya, it happens.
So when you book your two-week trip home, with many policies it can be just over the allowed days you can return that year!
These terms and conditions change all the time so be sure to double check before booking.
The above will all cover you for the 24 months travel insurance you will need in Canada.
To summarise my IEC travel insurance options would be:
- True Traveller
- Fastcover(if you are coming from Australia they are fantastic!)
- Your own home country equivalent – Just make sure to check the terms!!
Don’t forget about money transfers
Okay, I hope you found some useful information about IEC travel insurance above.
One other thing we often overlook is sending money to Canada. The first thing we do get our bank account set up and then need to transfer our funds to Canada.
The absolute worst thing you can do is use your bank to transfer money. I am not saying this to shock you, but they charge 4- 6% on the exchange rate and you can easily lose CAD$100-$200+ on a transfer.
Instead, use a money transfer company, as it is straightforward to send money to Canada but not so easy to send it out of Canada(you typically have to go into the branch and ugh it’s just a pain)
With Currencyfair you can get your first ten transfers for free here(only for a limited time)
Or with Transferwise you can get some great rates. Just keep in mind their transfer fee increases the more you send.
Lastly, if you are planning on sending over $10k, I recommend OFX as you get a dedicated broker and it a much more personal service which can save a few extra euros. Get free transfers for life here.
Enjoy your Canada working holiday visa!
There is enough to worry about moving to Canada without all these additional things, but I hope this post has cleared things up a little.
Be sure to share and thanks for stopping by!