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Q: Why should visitors buy insurance from a Canadian insurance company instead of from a company in their home country?

A: Canadian medical providers (hospital, dentists, medical clinics, etc.) prefer to work with Canadian insurance companies. There is direct billing between hospitals and the Canadian insurance companies. In the event that you have to pay for expenses and then file a claim, Canadian insurance companies will have a faster claim procedure as they can verify Canadian medical expenses faster than providers in foriegn countries (so you get reimbursed faster).

Also, Canadian insurance companies are regulated by Canadian regulators, at some of the very highest standards around the world. In fact, they are also re-insured by Assuris - a Canadian government agency that will cover up to $60,000 of medical expenses in case a Canadian insurance company becomes insolvent. Not that that is likely, but it's nicer to know that you are insured no matter what happens. Also, for proof of insurance at immigration/entry time, paperwork is best shown in English or French.

Q: Who is eligible for the new parent and grandparent super visa?

A: Here's the exact answer provided on the government of Canada website: Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have been found admissible to Canada and meet some other conditions are eligible for the Super Visa. Visa officers consider several factors before deciding if the person is admissible. This means they are a genuine visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of their visit. Among the things that could be considered are:
  • the person’s ties to the home country,
  • the purpose of the visit,
  • the person’s family and financial situation,
  • the overall economic and political stability of the home country, and
  • invitations from Canadian hosts.

In addition to being found admissible to Canada, the parent/grandparent must also:

  • provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild in Canada who meets a minimum income threshold,
  • prove that they have bought Canadian medical insurance for at least one year to cover the period of time that they will be in Canada, and
  • complete an Immigration Medical Examination (IME).

Q: Can my parents buy health insurance from their home country?

A: According to the above quote from the government's website, proof of Canadian medical insurance is required. While this may change in the future to a list of approved international carriers, the guidance so far is for visitors to purchase visitors insurance from a Canadian company. Why the restriction? Canadian travel insurance companies are governed by the regulations in Canada, and the government probably feels safer that any claims will be paid for by a company they can regulate. The government doesn't want to be the one to have to pay any claims, or sue a company that doesn't pay out a claim.

Q: What amount of Visitors travel medical insurance should I purchase?

A: Hospital costs for visitors to Canada can amount to over $3,000 per day, and air ambulance charges to return you home could very easily be in the ten's of thousands of dollars. We recommend $100,000 of medical insurance coverage if peace of mind is what you are after, and a higher amount if you are visiting from farther away, or more elderly. Any policy less than $50,000 will be subjecting the family to unneccesary financial.

Q: Can I purchase a policy for my family members who are planning to come for a visit?

A: Yes. Anyone can purchase a visitors insurance policy on behalf of someone coming to Canada. In fact, you should know that if a person is coming to Canada and you have sponsored their stay, you will be responsible for their medical bills if they cannot pay for them. So even if they don't want to pay for higher coverage, you might want to buy it for them anyway.

Q: Are there any discounts for two or more travellers buying at the same time?

A: Some company's do offer discounts for companion travel, or larger group travel insurance policies. Your quote will determine if sucha discount applies.

Q: If I have a pre-existing condition, can I get coverage for that with visitors insurance?

A: Maybe. It depends on the pre-existing condition, and the terms and conditions of the policy. Some insurance companies offer plans that cover pre-existing conditions as long as they have been stable for a certain period of time (3 to 6 months) before departure from your home country. Sometimes, pre-existing conditions will not be covered. It is important to read your entire policy to make sure you are aware of the definitions affecting coverage, as well as the possible exclusions that may apply.

Only some of the available plans will cover pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, highblood pressure, heart conditions, etc. Other policies, while they do cover stable pre-existing medical conditions, use strict eligibility questions to screen out applicants (for example, no coverage available if you use an ICD (pacemaker), oral steroids for lung conditions, diagnosis of stroke, blood clots, congestive heart failure or heart murmur in past 12 months, etc.). For a direct comparison of the exclusions concerning pre-exisiting medical conditions, click here to compare policy wording and stable periods.If you have any questions about your pre-existing conditions and obtaining coverage, please contact us.

Q: Do I have to take a medical test before I can buy Visitors to Canada insurance?

A: No. There is no medical exam required prior to purchase. There may be some medical questions that are asked as a part of your online application. You must answer all questions truthfully, as not doing so may void (cancel) your coverage. If you have to submit a claim, the insurance company will investigate to determine if your condition was a pre-existing one, and/or whether you were truthful on your application.