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Can I buy travel insurance after leaving Canada? 

In Canada, the government plays a significant role in healthcare expenses through its publicly funded healthcare system known as Medicare. The healthcare system is primarily funded by taxes and supplies access to medically necessary hospital and physician services to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents. 

Medicare (refers to Canada’s publicly funded health care system) coverage is limited to medically necessary hospital and physician services within Canada. When Canadians travel to the US or any international destinations, they are not covered or by their provincial or territorial healthcare plans for medical expenses. 

However, Canadians leaving Canada can still obtain health insurance coverage for healthcare services in other countries through private travel insurance plans. These travel insurance policies are specifically designed to provide coverage for emergency medical expenses, including hospitalization, physician visits, urgent care, prescription drugs, surgeries, COVID-19 treatment, medical evacuation, accidental death and dismemberment, and more during their stay. 

Can you buy an insurance plan after leaving Canada? 


Canadian citizens can buy travel insurance from private insurance providers or companies in the US after leaving Canada. Travel insurance plans are widely available and are highly recommended for domestic and international travel. Whether Canadians are planning a short trip to an international destination, traveling to the US for vacation, or relocating to another country or the US, they can purchase travel insurance to protect themselves against unforeseen events and medical expenses. 

Travel insurance typically covers the following: 

  • Medical expensesTravel health insurance for Canadian citizens covers medical expenses, doctor visits, and hospital stays incurred due to accidents, injuries, or sudden illnesses that require medical attention. This can include coverage for hospitalization, doctor visits, laboratory tests, prescription medications, and emergency medical treatments. 
  • Emergency medical evacuation– In the event of a severe medical condition that cannot be treated at the current location, your chosen insurance policy may provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation to the nearest equipped medical facility or repatriation to the home country if necessary. 
  • Pre-existing conditions– Depending on the policy, some may cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions, which refers to sudden and unexpected flare-ups of pre-existing conditions during the trip. It is important to review the policy details to understand the coverage for pre-existing conditions. 
  • Optional add-ons– Some travel medical insurance plans offer additional coverage options, such as coverage for adventure sports, faculty and chaperone rider, personal liability, medical evacuation rider, accidental death and dismemberment rider, and more. 

Apart from the points mentioned above, there are other benefits as well. Read the plan’s brochure to find out. 

How to buy a travel insurance plan after leaving Canada? 

Buying a travel insurance plan after leaving Canada can be challenging but possible. Here are a few steps to follow: 

  • Do your research– Conduct online research to find insurance providers that offer coverage for individuals who have already left their home country. Look for providers that offer coverage to Canadian citizens in the US and abroad. 
  • Contact insurance providers– Once you have made a list of providers, you can contact them to inquire about their policies and whether they allow the purchase of travel insurance after leaving Canada. Discuss your specific plans, duration, and any pre-existing medical conditions to ensure they can provide suitable coverage. 
  • Understand policy terms– Carefully review the policy details, including coverage limits, exclusions, deductibles, renewal policies, and any pre-existing condition clauses. Ensure the policy meets your specific needs and provides sufficient coverage during your stay in a new country. 
  • Review policy documents– Once you have purchased the travel insurance plan, carefully review the policy documents, including the policy certificate, terms and conditions, and contact information for emergency assistance. Familiarize yourself with the claims process and the steps to take in case of an emergency. 


It is important for Canadian citizens leaving their homes to obtain appropriate healthcare coverage to ensure access to necessary medical services and financial protection in case of emergencies or unexpected healthcare expenses in a foreign land. Remember that buying a travel medical insurance policy after leaving Canada may come with limitations or exclusions, and coverage options may be more limited compared to buying insurance before departure. 

Visitor Guard® has several snowbird travel insurance options for Canadian citizens coming to the US. You can buy these plans before or after departing Canada. To know more about these plans, contact us. 

Pallavi Sadekar

Pallavi Sadekar

Travel Insurance Expert

Pallavi Sadekar is a seasoned insurance professional with over 17 years of experience in the industry. As the Head of Operations at Visitor Guard®, she brings a wealth of expertise to the field. With a profound understanding of insurance, Pallavi has consistently demonstrated her commitment to helping clients make informed decisions about their coverage.

Pallavi’s insights and advice has earned her recognition in esteemed publications, including Forbes, USA Today, and various online platforms. Her contributions to these outlets have solidified her reputation as a trusted authority in the insurance domain. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of visitor insurance, finding the right coverage for clients, or understanding the intricacies of visitor health insurance, Pallavi’s in-depth knowledge allows her to offer practical and informed guidance to her clients.


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