Travel insurance can be expensive if you’re a Canadian senior. In this review, we compare the prices and plans for travel insurance for Canadian seniors. We also look at travel insurance offered through Canadian credit card companies.

We got all quotes in 2015.

For this review of travel insurance for seniors in Canada, we compared rates for a two week vacation to the United States for a couple, aged 72 and 74. 

Kanetix.ca 

Compare travel insurance quotes.
Kanetix.ca lets you compare Canadian travel insurance quotes online in just minutes. They give free, no obligation quotes from more than 30 insurance companies.Hugely popular, Kanetix gave over one million insurance quotes to Canadians in 2010. Check out our review of Kanetix.ca. A short medical questionnaire was required to get these quotes.

$133.22, Tour Med (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductibleFor travellers with no pre-existing medical conditions, the cheapest quotes at Kanetix.ca (without trip cancellation or interruption) were:

  • $140.00, PC Travel Insurance (with deductible), $10 million coverage, $250 deductible
  • $140.76, Tour Med, $5 million coverage, $0 deductible
  • $152.00, Travel Guard (with deductible), $10 million coverage, $250 deductible
  • $171.30 GMS Group Medical Services (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductible
  • $171.90, RSA (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductible

While GMS and RSA may seem like unfamiliar names to Canadians, all three companies are well established in Canada.

  • TIC (Travel Insurance Coordinators) was established in 1972. TIC is fully owned by the Co-operators Life insurance Company (part of the Co-operators Group Limited, one of Canada’s largest insurers).
  • RSA Travel Insurance Inc., which includes the Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, among other large insurance names in Canada.
  • GMS Group Medical Services is headquarted in Regina, Saskatchewan. GMS was founded in Saskatchewan in 1949.

The cheapest all inclusive plans at Kanetix.ca, which include emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage coverage were:

  • $456.00 TIC All Inclusive, $10 million coverage, trip cancellation and interruption
  • $466.00 PC Travel Insurance All Inclusive USA Plan, $10 million coverage, trip cancellation, trip interruption
  • $466.00 April Travel Insurance All Inclusive Package, $5 million coverage, trip cancellation, trip interruption, zero deductible

When the same Canadian seniors were quoted with an existing (heart) medical condition, prices, as can expected, increased.

  • $207.54, Tour Med (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductible
  • $218.00, Tour Med, $5 million coverage, $0 deductible
  • $255.45, RSA (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductible
  • $281.00, RSA (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductible
  • $281.00 GMS Group Medical Services (with deductible), $5 million coverage, $250 deductible

Compare travel insurance quotes.

CARP Canada

Coverage is only available for CARP members (membership is $14.95/year). CARP insurance is proved by Manulife Financial.

Online quotes for CARP insurance without trip interruption or cancellation were:

  • $186.90, Travel Choice 1 Policy, $5 million coverage, no deductible. Policy will not cover a medical condition not stable at any time during the 90 days before the purchase date of travel arrangements. We strongly recommend purchasing this insurance by phone, as the descriptions of coverage in the policy documents and the webpage were different.
  • $143.38, Travel Choice 2 Policy, $5 million coverage, no deductible. A medical questionnaire is required for this plan.
  • A full refund of the premium paid will be made provided that a written request is received before the effective date.

Medipac (Canadian Snowbird Association)

A long (about 15 minute) and extensive medical questionnaire was required to get these quotes. While the Medipac rates were just slightly higher than those quoted through Kanetix.ca, the amount of emergency medical coverage was only $2 million/person, while the Kanetix.ca quotes were $5 million.

Medipac has a long and detailed list of individuals who cannot be covered. If you purchase Medipac insurance, but have these conditions, any medical claims you make may be denied, even if they’re not related to these conditions. Check the policy or talk to an agent for details. These exclusions include:

  • terminal illness
  • lung cancer
  • having a prescription for home oxygen (for any reason)
  • stroke
  • chemotherapy
  • being prescribed or taking insulin or medications for diabetes or heart conditions

Medipac’s will not cover a medical condition not stable and controlled at any time during the 90 days prior to the purchase date of travel arrangements or before the start date of the trip. We strongly encourage you to read Medipac’s carefully worded policy and discussion of pre-existing conditions before purchasing insurance through them. The text of the policy is very hard to read, but there is a slider at the bottom of page that lets you increase the writing size.

Medipac Travel insurance (through through the Canadian Snowbird Association) cost:

  • $206.80, $2 million coverage, Preferred Plus Rates Category, no deductible, no trip cancellation, interruption or baggage
  • $188.80, $2 million coverage, Preferred Plus Rates Category, $99 deductible, no trip cancellation, interruption or baggage

For insurance that includes trip interruption and cancellation (this cancellation insurance must be purchased within 48 hours of booking your trip):

  • $408.40, $2 million coverage, Preferred Plus Rates Category, no deductible, up to the cover amount trip cancellation, unlimited trip interruption, $1,000 baggage coverage
  • $369.60, $2 million coverage, Preferred Plus Rates Category, $99 deductible, up to the cover amount trip cancellation, unlimited trip interruption, $1,000 baggage coverage

RBC Travel Insurance

To buy RBC insurance, you need to be an RBC client (or spouse, child, adopted child, or step-child of the client). RBC Travel Insurance sells policies based on whether or not you have a pre-existing condition. You’ll get a better rate if you don’t have a pre-existing medical condition.

The best feature of RBC travel insurance is unlimited emergency benefits. However, the policies seemed quite expensive compared to the Kanetix.caquotes. RBC’s travel insurance packages for seniors over 60 are marketed as the Travel HealthProtector packages.

RBC Travel Insurance won’t allow an individual over age 60 to buy insurance as part of a couple or family. Instead, we had to go through the time consuming process of qetting two quotes for both members of the couple.

If we got a quote without completing a medical questionnaire, prices were:

  • $392, unlimited emergency medical coverage, $0 deductible, pre-existing medical conditions must be stable for 180 days before trip, $1,500 per person trip interruption insurance, $1,000 per person baggage insurance. The Travel HealthProtector Single Trip Enhanced coverage does not include trip cancellation insurance. For trip cancellation coverage, you need to call RBC directly at 1-800-565-3129.
  • $336, unlimited emergency medical coverage, $500 deductible pre-existing medical conditions must be stable for 180 days before trip, $1,500 per person trip interruption insurance, $1,000 per person baggage insurance, no trip cancellation insurance.

If we got a quote after completing a five minute medical questionnaire (and indicating perfect health), quotes for a couple were:

  • $174, unlimited emergency medical coverage, $0 deductible, no pre-existing medical condition exclusion, $1,500 per person trip interruption insurance, $1,000 per person baggage insurance, no trip cancellation insurance.
  • $150, unlimited emergency medical coverage, $500 deductible, no pre-existing medical condition exclusion, $1,500 per person trip interruption insurance, $1,000 per person baggage insurance, no trip cancellation insurance.

BMO Travel Medical Insurance

BMO had a simple, quick online insurance application. Quotes are for travellers in perfect health:

  • $182.28, $2 million emergency medical coverage, no trip cancellation or trip interruption, and no baggage coverage.
  • $306.16, $2 million emergency medical coverage, cost of trip per person trip cancellation, cost of trip trip interruption, and $2,000 total coverage per trip for baggage.

BMO travel insurance is provided by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company – Canadian Branch (Allianz). BMO offers a trip cancellation policy, which excludes any emergency medical coverage.

  • $185.06 for cost of trip per person trip cancellation, cost of trip trip interruption, and $2,000 total coverage per trip for baggage. This plan did not include any emergency medical coverage.

CAA Travel Insurance

We got a quote from the British Columbia CAA club. Irritatingly, the BCAA will not provide couples coverage for couples over 60, so we had to complete individual applications for each member of a couple. We had to complete a five minute medical questionnaire. Quotes were:
  • $239.13, $10 million emergency medical coverage, $300 deductable, no trip cancellation, interruption, or baggage insurance. The same quote with $0 deducatble was $262.87. The quote rose to $302.06 for $200,000 additional coverage for an unstable pre-existing medical condition.
  • $419.13 $10 million emergency medical coverage, $300 deductable, $1,000 trip cancellation, $25,000 trip interruption.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

World Nomads is one of the best known travel insurance companies in the world. They’re recommended by Lonely Planet, and have a good reputation for making travel insurance hassle free, and offer good value. World Nomads is the only travel insurance company that we know of that will allow Canadians to purchase travel insurance if you’ve already left on your trip.

However, World Nomads only offers travel insurance to people aged 60 or under. 

If you happen to be under 60, World Nomads is a pretty good choice, especially if you’re planning a longer trip. World Nomads, unlike many policies, covers adventure activities like scuba diving. Check out our review of World Nomads travel insurance for Canadians.

For a couple both aged 60, travelling to the US for two weeks, World Nomads quoted:

  • $202.08 (this is a family quote, so if you happen to have children, it could be a great deal), $5 million emergency medical coverage, no deductible, $1,000 trip cancellation per person, $5,000 trip interruption per person, $2,500 personal belongings and luggage per person, and $2,500 sporting equipment per person.

Travel Insurance Through Credit Cards

Credit cards often offer travel insurance as a card holder bonus. Happily, many Canadian credit card companies are now offering insurance coverage to people over the age of 64.

Credit cards that offered a travel insurance perk tended to have fairly high annual fees, though we did find one credit card with no annual fee. For all cards we looked at, you need to purchase your tickets with the credit card in order to have their travel insurance.

Tip: Credit card companies often advertise Common Carrier Accident Insurance as a perk. This insurance is not comprehensive emergency medical insurance. Common Carrier Accident Insurance only covers you if an accident occurs while you are on a common carrier (airplane, boat, train, bus, etc), and only if you purchase the tickets on the card.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Travel Insurance

The Scotiabank Gold American Express (the link is to our review of the card) card offers travel insurance for seniors, plus some other perks.

  • $99 annual fee, but the card ofen offers some fantastic sign up bonuses
  • $1 million travel emergency medical insurance
  • For those over 65 years of age, Travel Emergency Medical Insurance for the first 10 days of each trip. You can buy additional insurance if your trip is longer than 10 days.
  • Trip Interruption $2,500 per person ($10,000 maximum per trip for all Insured Persons)
  • Trip cancellation $2,500 per person ($10,000 maximum per trip for all Insured Persons)
  • Flight Delay $500 per trip
  • Lost and Delayed Luggage ($1,000 per trip)
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance of up to $500,000
  • Check out Scotiabank’s website for the Scotiabank Gold American Express card for more information, and to help you compare cards

Scotiabank Platinum American Express card

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card also offers travel insurance for seniors, plus some other perks. While the $399 annual fee is pretty hefty, the card does offer a slough of perks for those interested in platinum card with travel insurance benefits.

  • $399 annual fee
  • $2 million travel emergency medical insurance benefits
  • For those over 65 years of age and older, Travel Emergency Medical Insurance for the first 10 days of each trip. You can call the Insurer to buy additional insurance if your trip is longer than 10 days.
  • Trip Interruption $2,500 per person ($10,000 maximum per trip for all Insured Persons)
  • Trip Cancellation $5,000 per person ($25,000 maximum per trip for all Insured Persons)
  • Flight Delay ($1,000 per trip)
  • Lost and Delayed Luggage ($1,000 per trip)
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance (up to $500,000)
  • Check out Scotiabank’s website for the American Express® Platinum Credit Card  for more information, and to help you compare cards

The Bottom Line

Overall, comparison site Kanetix.ca offered the best deals on basic, no frills travel insurance. The cheapest quotes at Kanetix.ca were $133.22 (Tour Med) and $140.00 (PC Travel Insurance). RBC medical travel insurance was the closest competition, with a quote of $150 for unlimited coverage, although you need to be an RBC customer.

Compare travel insurance quotes.

For all-inclusive insurance, Kanetix came in second cheapest, at $456.00  for TIC All Inclusive. Medipac offered a cheaper competitive coverage for $369.60 but it only offered $2 million coverage, while Kanetix.ca’s TIC quote offered $10 million coverage.

Travel insurance for seniors offered through Canadian credit card companies has improved greatly in the past year.

Overall, Kanetix.ca is probably the best place to start when shopping for travel insurance for seniors in Canada. Their quick online quotes let you compare several companies quickly, and give you a good baseline for costs.