Is There a Minimum or Maximum Number of Days I Can Have Travel Insurance?

Here are two different scenarios: one, you have a work conference and need to go down to the U.S. for the weekend; two, you are planning a dream vacation of a lengthy backpacking stint across Europe. While both trips are vastly different, they can be covered by the same travel insurance. But, is travel insurance available for such short and long periods of time? The short answer is yes, it is. Here is a breakdown as to how long you can get travel insurance for, to ensure that you have proper coverage no matter how long you are away from home.

What is the minimum?

The minimum amount of time you can get a travel insurance policy for is one day. It is important to have proper coverage no matter where you are travelling. Whether it is to Cuba for March break, or to a football game in the U.S. for the weekend, travel insurance will protect you. The unfortunate reality is, that no matter how long you are out of the country, anything could happen. If you are injured or sick without travel medical insurance you could be left with invoices for large sums of money.

What is the maximum?

While the maximum number of days for a standard single-trip policy is 212 days, it is important to keep in mind that you cannot travel outside of Canada for longer than allowed under your Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP) and be covered by travel insurance. Typically this is six months, but varies by province. There are also annual plans available that give you the option of multi-trip coverage for a full 365 days.

Multi-trip annual plans

If you know that you will be traveling for a long period of time, or taking multiple trips within the year, an annual travel insurance plan may be right for you. With an annual plan, you can obtain coverage for a maximum of 30 days at a time, however, you can get top-ups to extend the length of your trip. The biggest perk with multi-trip plans is that you can take an unlimited amount of trips for a year from the initial travel date, as long as they do not exceed the length originally applied for, or what is covered under your GHIP.

Are there any restrictions?

Much like with any sort of insurance there are restrictions and exceptions to the rules. The main restriction with the 212-day rule is that you must have lived in Canada at least 6 months prior to departure, in accordance to your GHIP. If you return from a 212-day long trip, you must remain in Ontario for at least 6 months before leaving on another extended vacation. This is why most snowbirds follow the 6 months minus a day rule, so they can travel every year.