Family Travel Insurance

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What does family travel insurance cover?

Family travel insurance works just like single-person travel insurance. The difference is that you are getting coverage under a family rate since, in most cases, it insures all travelling family members together under one policy. The definition of “family” differs depending on the travel insurance plan and provider. Usually, a family includes one to two adults that are spouses or domestic partners, children and/or dependents under a certain age. Some plans and providers classify family to include grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, legal guardians, live-in caregivers, and cohabitants if everyone lives in the same household.

Family travel insurance is like all-inclusive travel insurance and typically includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel medical, and baggage loss. Travel insurance coverage and benefits extend only to travellers and will not cover a non-traveller. However, the trip cancellation and interruption benefits in your policy will provide protection should you need to cancel, interrupt, or delay your trip due to a medical emergency had by an immediate family member who is a non-traveller.

How much does travel insurance for families cost?

The cost of family travel insurance varies. Risk factors that providers evaluate that can affect your premium include travellers’ ages, the number of people being insured on the policy, trip costs such as airfare, hotel(s), and any travel expenses that you incur before your trip departure date, and trip length. Additional factors can include trip destination; for example, if your destination is high-risk or remote, you may want to buy a plan with higher limits for emergency medical and medical transportation benefits. Add-ons are also a determining factor, for example, if you want additional coverage for an event that may arise from partaking in high-risk adventure activities. Some providers have also started evaluating risk factors such as the possibility of falling ill with COVID-19 and travellers’ vaccination statuses.

Family travel insurance offers value for the money, especially if you have a large family compared to individual policies, and typically is the cheapest product option because all travelling family members are insured under one policy. Benefits that would generally cost extra might be offered as standard in a family plan, and often children are insured for free. A good rule of thumb is that travel insurance should cost approximately 5%-7% of your trip, but the cost can increase for extended trips outside of Canada. It’s wise to compare plans to determine which will ultimately provide you with the best monetary value. Sometimes it may be cheaper to get a spouse/domestic partners policy and child policy separately. Similarly, for grandparents or older parents because the more senior the traveller, the higher the premium.

To save money on family travel insurance, look for a plan that includes all the required benefits and leaves out the benefits you don’t need. Consider an annual (or multi-trip) plan if you plan to take more than two family trips per year. Some insurance companies even offer discounts, for example, if you purchase a group plan that includes families or groups of 10 or more travelling together. If you are destination flexible, you can save by going somewhere that isn’t classified as high-risk or remote. The best way to find out how much family travel insurance will cost you is to get a personalized quote and compare plans online with us.

What is family travel health insurance?

Family travel medical insurance protects your family should an unexpected medical emergency occur while you are travelling out-of-province or abroad. It is designed to defray the costs associated with emergency medical treatment for illness and injuries, emergency travel benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, and travel mishaps because unplanned eventualities can happen no matter the trip destination or your family’s planned activities. Eligible medical expenses that family travel health insurance can cover include physician services, ambulance transportation, hospitalization, prescription drugs, travel delays, trip interruptions and more. Travel medical health insurance is essential because your Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP) limits reimbursement of emergency medical expenses incurred outside of your home province/territory or country. Family travel health insurance plans vary in coverages, address travellers and non-travellers differently, and don’t cover pre-existing medical conditions unless you meet the policy’s “stability” requirements. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand your family’s needs and how a plan will cover each family member. Review plan details carefully so that you choose a plan accordingly.

Does travel insurance cover family illness?

Yes, travel insurance covers medical emergencies such as the unforeseen illness or injury of a travelling or non-travelling family member, travelling companion or you under the trip cancellation and interruption benefit. However, most policies don’t cover pre-existing medical conditions unless the policy includes the pre-existing condition benefit. Review a plan in detail to verify coverage.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to family illness?

Yes, travel insurance will cover trip cancellation under the trip cancellation and interruption benefit should you, a travelling or non-travelling family member, or a travelling companion come down with an unexpected illness that’s a covered medical emergency before or during your trip. To be considered a medical emergency, the illness, injury, or medical condition must be deemed unstable by a physician or require hospitalization. Most policies, however, exclude cancellation due to pre-existing medical conditions unless the policy includes the pre-existing condition benefit. Ensure you thoroughly read a policy, so you are aware of what is and isn’t covered. Most trips are non-refundable and non-transferable; therefore, travel insurance with the trip cancellation and interruption benefit will reimburse you for your non-refundable trip expenses if you need to cancel your trip or return home early, which can be a costly out-of-pocket expense.

Does travel insurance cover cancellation due to a death in the family?

Yes, travel insurance will cover trip cancellation under the trip cancellation and interruption benefit if there happens to be a covered emergency, such as the death of a travelling or non-travelling family member, that adversely affects your travel plans. Travel insurance purchased when you book your trip that includes the trip cancellation and interruption benefit will reimburse you for expenses if you need to cancel or delay your trip or your trip is interrupted part-way through. For example, non-refundable trip costs such as flights, accommodations, and any pre-booked tours will typically be covered. Always carefully check the wording of a policy because there can be some exclusions you are not covered for in the event of a family death. The most common exclusions include if the deceased is not considered a family member. Every insurance provider and plan defines “family” differently, so it’s vital that you understand what family includes so you know whether or not you can make a claim. Another common exclusion is the death of a non-travelling family member that arises from pre-existing conditions. In this case, it is recommended to consider a policy containing the pre-existing condition benefit when you are making your travel plans.

In the event of your death while travelling due to a sudden accident or unexpected illness, you can be covered if you have Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. AD&D coverage offers financial protection for your loved ones when your remains must be repatriated to your home country, local cremation, burial overseas, or if they need to travel to identify your body. Death resulting from pre-existing conditions is not valid under AD&D coverage. You will need a policy containing the pre-existing condition benefit to cover you. AD&D coverage is typically included in a trip cancellation and interruption plan or a travel medical health plan, and it can occasionally be purchased as an optional add-on. When purchasing AD&D coverage as an add-on it’s crucial that you name a beneficiary. For your loved ones to contact your insurance provider and make necessary arrangements upon your death, it’s critical that you bring a copy of your policy with you on your trip and leave a copy at home with a relative or close friend.

Do you have to travel together to use the same family plan?

Not necessarily. Some family travel insurance plans cover family members whether you are travelling all together on a family trip or travelling separately. When you purchase a family annual (or multi-trip) plan, each family member is insured to travel independently anytime throughout the year. For example, your kids can go on spring break vacation in February to Cancun, Mexico or take a trip to Florida to visit their grandparents over March break, you can take a business trip in May to the United States or vacation at a cottage in British Columbia with your spouse/partner in July, and your spouse/partner can take a business trip to Europe in October.

Does credit card travel insurance cover family?

In most cases, you must pay for your family trip with your credit card to be eligible for the travel insurance coverage the card offers as soon as you book. Remember that not all credit cards offering travel insurance follow the same rules, meaning that one card provider may require an entire trip booking, while another may only require a partial trip booking.

Credit card travel insurance coverage extends to you – the primary cardholder and usually your spouse/partner and children/dependents. Read your credit card travel insurance documentation closely because each card provider and plan defines “family” differently. In many cases, coverage through credit cards has lower limits than a robust third-party plan available through us. It’s essential to understand who’s covered, coverage limits and any special conditions and restrictions.


DISCLAIMER: This guidance in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to offer guidance regarding travel insurance and the benefits which may be available. It does not guarantee coverage for any traveller. The information in this article reflects the most up-to-date information available at the time of publication. If you have questions regarding specific coverage details or available travel insurance plans, please contact our licensed customer care team.