Visiting Canada and need to buy health insurance
May 2, 2011 6:17 AM   Subscribe

My aunt will be visiting Canada on a tourist visa from India and she would like to purchase health insurance for the duration of her visit. Can you recommend a company I can contact to get more information about this, preferably an insurance company we can buy a policy from? Google is giving me a lot of sketchy SEO results.
posted by exhilaration to Travel & Transportation around Canada (9 answers total)
Response by poster: Also she'll be going to Toronto I think, so this is an Ontario-specific question.
posted by exhilaration at 7:10 AM on May 2, 2011

Best answer: Assuming that this is just a short stay, is there any reason you wouldn't be simply buying travel insurance?

I have used World Nomads a few times for foreign travel. They are the agency that is endorsed by The Lonely Planet Guides. They offer competitive rates with some of the more comprehensive coverage I could find. (Be sure to read the fine print on exactly what kind of things will be covered, like if you needed to be evacuated from a foreign country in a medical emergency.) I had one instance of needing to make a claim after an injury in Thailand, and it was processed very efficiently. The advantage with them is that you can do everything online, including your claims and monitoring progress.
posted by amusebuche at 7:21 AM on May 2, 2011

Response by poster: I'll suggest that to her but I believe she wants more official health insurance to expedite the visa process. I don't fully understand the details, I've only been asked to find some options.
posted by exhilaration at 7:47 AM on May 2, 2011

ICICI Bank in India provides reliable travel insurance (covering medical and other types of assistance), but that I think that is only for medical emergencies and not for simple medical care. You may want to check it out, however.

Other international providers are usually institutional - in that they provide for employees of organizations and not to individuals. World Nomads seems a good option, as amusebuche has mentioned.
posted by theobserver at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2011

Best answer: FWIW, World Nomads will provide a certificate of coverage and a letter stating the dates of coverage, and I should think that would be sufficient for any visa application process. (Though I might be hesitant to buy a policy before I knew my visa was granted.)

I'm not really sure what other type of insurance coverage (besides travel insurance) would be valid. Unless India is different, most standard domestic health insurance policies restrict any kind of coverage abroad. And unless your aunt is applying for some kind of long term residential visa, I can't imagine that anything besides travel insurance would be required, if that. If there is any concern, the Canadian visa authority would probably ask for a medical physical as part of the visa process.
posted by amusebuche at 8:31 AM on May 2, 2011

I have got international / travel medical insurance via SquareMouth. You can easily get quotes from multiple insurance providers via that site. That is a reliable place to get quotes, recommended by Chris Elliott, a well-known travel journalist.
posted by thewildgreen at 9:13 AM on May 2, 2011

Not being from India, I don't know the specific requirements for a tourist visa for an Indian national.

But I am an immigrant to Canada and have been in the recent past (~6 years) a tourist, a working holiday visa holder and now a permanent resident visa holder.

Travel insurance with medical coverage is what I understand she would need (i.e. the best level of travel insurance - lower/cheaper levels only cover lost baggage, etc). It would cover any medical costs incurred if she had an issue while in Canada - and would prove to immigration that she is not trying to take advantage of the system.

I only needed to do a full medical examination as part of my permanent resident (legal alien / landed immigrant, etc) application.
posted by cmetom at 11:57 AM on May 2, 2011

ICICI Lombard is what I've used for many international trips for myself and family members. You can buy it online.
posted by vidur at 1:47 PM on May 2, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, I've suggested she looks at World Nomads.
posted by exhilaration at 5:55 AM on May 3, 2011

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