Travel Insurance for a Working Holiday in Canada on the IEC Program
Every year hundreds of Australian travellers head to Canada on the International Experience Canada (IEC) program for a one or two-year working holiday.
Between trekking and hiking in scenic Jasper National Park and the Rocky Mountains, hitting the slopes in Whistler, white water rafting on the Yukon, or kayaking on one of Canada’s thousands of pristine lakes, there’s so much to do and see you’ll certainly never be bored on your days off!
The IEC program only accepts a limited number of participants each year, so it’s important to make sure you meet the strict visa and work permit requirements so you don’t miss out.
Fast Cover’s working holiday travel insurance provides high-quality cover for travellers who want to experience living and working in Canada for up to two years on the IEC program.
Below we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about purchasing travel insurance for your IEC working holiday visa.
Can I get a two-year travel insurance policy with Fast Cover?
In short, yes!
We provide travel insurance policies to heaps of Aussies heading to Canada for the IEC program every year.
As long as you meet the eligibility criteria to buy travel insurance from us, we can provide a policy for up to two years through policy extension.
Initially we are only able to issue you with a 12-month policy. Then, from your policy start date, you can login to the Your Policy section of our website and extend it up to the full two years. The date changes are instantaneous and you'll be able to download your updated certificate immediately showing your new cover dates.
You can also contact us via phone or reply to your policy email to arrange this extension for you.
How much does a two-year travel insurance policy cost?
To get an idea of the approximate cost for a two-year policy, just double the quote you have for the first 12 months. However, keep in mind that insurance prices do change over time.
If you’re flying out early in the morning, you may even wish to start your policy one day before your departure date so you have extra time to arrange the extension.
To help you save on your IEC travel insurance, Fast Cover will honour any discounts you received on the initial purchase when you extend your policy for the second year.
Do Fast Cover policies meet the IEC work permit requirements?
Yes! Our Basics, Standard Saver, Comprehensive & Snow Sports Plus policy options all include medical, hospitalistion and repatriation cover that fulfills the IEC visa requirements.
Fast Cover policies also include 24 hour Overseas Emergency Assistance for IEC travellers.
For more information about the International Experience Canada insurance requirements, visit the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) website.
What is repatriation insurance?
Repatriation is included under the Overseas Emergency Medical and Hospital Expenses benefit, and provides cover for emergency medical transport and related expenses if you become seriously ill or injured overseas and need to be returned home to Australia for treatment.
The Overseas Emergency Medical and Hospital Expenses benefit also provides up to $15,000 AUD cover for the repatriation of your remains to Australia if the worst should happen and you are killed overseas.
Check the benefit tables below for more information about the different levels of cover available:
Can I get cover for skiing, snowboarding or other snow sports?
Yes! If you want to do any skiing, snowboarding or other snow sports while overseas, you can purchase our Snow Sports Plus policy which provides cover for:
- On-piste skiing and snowboarding
- Off-piste skiing and snowboarding (with a professional instructor)
- Big foot skiing and snowboarding
- Cross-country trail skiing
- Glacier skiing and snowboarding
- Cat and heli-skiing
- Ice skating
- Ice luge-ing
Please keep in mind we are not able to provide snow sports cover for just a portion of your overall policy dates. You’ll need to purchase it for the entire duration of your working holiday.
What other sports and activities are covered?
Just because you’re on a working holiday doesn’t mean it’s all work and no play!
Canada’s many lakes, national parks and rugged wilderness means there’s no shortage of outdoor activities and adventure sports for you to try while you’re there.
To help you make the most out of your days off work, Fast Cover automatically covers a huge list of exciting sports and activities that are particularly popular in Canada, including:
- Bungee jumping
- Canyon swinging
- Canoeing and kayaking in rivers, rapids, lakes and canals up to Grade III
- Dog sledding
- Horse riding tours
- Ice skating on a rink
- Walking, hiking, trekking or tramping up to 3,000 metres
- White water rafting up to Grade III
For travellers who are looking for something a little more thrilling to do during their time off, we also have an optional Adventure Pack add-on to cover activities such as:
- Animal conservation and handling
- Canoeing and kayaking in rivers, rapids, lakes and canals up to Grade V
- Hiking, trekking or tramping up to 6,000 metres
- Quad biking
- Outdoor rock climbing
- Shooting clay pigeons at a gun range (not hunting)
- Tandem skydiving, hang gliding, parachuting and paragliding
- White water rafting up to Grade V
- Zip lining
You can check out the full list of sports on our Activities page.
Can I return home to Australia for a visit without voiding my insurance?
Yes, you can!
We understand that for many young travellers, committing to one or two years working abroad without being allowed to return home can seem a bit daunting and unfair.
We agreed, so we changed up our policy rules and wording to allow for unlimited trips home to Australia during your working holiday.
It doesn’t have to be for a medical emergency or something unexpected. You might just want to come back for a visit, or to attend a special event like a birthday, wedding or spend Christmas with your family, and that’s completely fine too!
Your policy will simply be suspended from the time you return to your home until the time you leave your home to continue your trip.
There’s only a couple of conditions to keep in mind:
- You must have 14 days remaining of the period of insurance as noted on your Certificate of Insurance.
- We will not pay any costs in relation to your return to Australia unless the costs are covered by this policy.
Following the resumption of your trip, your policy will remain valid until the end date shown on your Certificate of Insurance or your permanent return home, whichever comes first.
Can I travel to other countries on my working holiday policy?
Yes, you sure can!
As long as the country you’re travelling to is included in your current policy region (or in a lower region), you’re also covered to travel there within your policy dates.
For example, the Worldwide region covers Canada as well as the United States and Mexico. This means you could easily hop across the border for a break during your Canadian working holiday without the hassle of changing or updating your travel insurance policy.
The Worldwide region includes all the lower regions at no extra cost as well, in case you felt like stopping over in Thailand or Hong Kong on the way home, or even popping over to Europe!
Check out the tables below for more information about which countries are included in each region:
Can I get a partial refund on my insurance if I return home early?
No, sorry. If you voluntarily choose to cancel your trip and return home early, we can’t provide a refund for the remaining time left on your policy.
If you’re not sure how long you want to stay overseas, it might be a better option for you to purchase a one-year policy initially and then extend it at a later date. However, you should keep in mind that if you enter Canada with a one-year policy, you may only be issued with a one-year working holiday visa,
If you’re returning home early due to an unexpected illness, injury or other claimable event, you may wish to make a claim under your policy for related expenses.
Can I get a refund on the second year once I have my visa?
If you have already started travelling or exercised a right under the policy to obtain your working visa, we cannot cancel and refund the second year of your policy.
If purchasing travel insurance to cover the entire duration of your working holiday is a condition of entry into the IEC program, cancelling your policy after arriving in Canada might invalidate your work permit.
Keep in mind this may result in the cancellation of your working visa and even deportation from Canada if you have already entered the country.
See our FAQ section for more information about the 14 Day Cooling Off Period.
What if I only have a one-year policy when I arrive in Canada - can I still get a two-year visa?
The IEC website does state that you need to have purchased two years’ worth of insurance before arriving in Canada.
It is your responsibility to make the necessary enquiries regarding your IEC visa and the eligibility requirements. We are not able to cover your cancellation costs if you are refused a visa or issued with only a one-year visa because you entered Canada with a one-year travel insurance policy.
Why choose Fast Cover for your IEC working holiday travel insurance?
Fast Cover provides specialist travel insurance for travellers on the International Experience Canada program every year.
We've also made buying travel insurance for your IEC working holiday as fast and simple as possible by automatically covering 43 Pre-Existing Medical Conditions on all our policies.
No need to fill out any boring medical questionnaires or submit medical history forms when buying your insurance!
Another great benefit of purchasing a Fast Cover travel insurance policy is that we automatically cover a huge list of sports and activities to keep you busy on your days off.
Of course, since many IEC travellers are working at Canadian ski resorts like Big White or Whistler, one of the most popular activities to do on your days off is to hit the slopes! Fast Cover’s Snow Sports Plus policies cover both on and off-piste skiing and snowboarding, as well as heli-skiing and cat-skiing.
Fast Cover has a range of different travel insurance policies to suit all budgets and traveller types, and include 24 hour Emergency Assistance anywhere in the world.
Buy travel insurance directly from our website in just a few clicks!
|Hannah's Hospital Shock
Hannah, an 18-year-old snowboarder from NSW, was on a two-year working holiday in Canada when she was admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain. Further tests found she had an inflammatory bowel disease which required emergency medical treatment. The Fast Cover Emergency Assistance team stepped in to manage Hannah's care and acted as a guarantor for the payment of her hospital bills. Hannah's Snow Sports Plus policy set her back just over $1,000 but covered over $48,000 AUD worth of medical treatment and her recovery in hospital.
|Penny’s Policy Pays Off Twice!
Penny and her partner travelled to Canada on the IEC. They had scored great jobs at the Big White Ski Resort and planned to hit the slopes on their days off. However, just a few weeks into their holiday, Penny woke up with severe pain in her jaw. The pain was so bad she couldn’t eat or sleep! A dentist confirmed she required an emergency wisdom tooth extraction at a cost of around $500 USD. Penny contacted the Fast Cover Emergency Assistance helpline and followed their advice, uploading her receipts and documentation for the claim which was fully reimbursed. Unfortunately, that was not the end of their troubles overseas, as Penny's partner’s mother also unexpectedly passed away. Once again, they contacted Fast Cover and confirmed that their travel insurance policy would cover the flights home to Australia for the funeral, as well as returning to Canada at around $2,200 AUD each.
~Traveller details have been changed to protect their privacy. Claims examples are from Fast Cover travel insurance customers from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016.
|Highly recommended for IEC working holidays
Fast Cover travel insurance was simple to purchase online and also very reasonably priced for two years worth of comprehensive snow sports cover. Online claims service is also easy to use and fast once you provide all the supporting documentation. No issues getting my two-year working visa and would definitely recommend them to anyone planning an IEC working holiday.
SB – Secondhand Boxman Travel Blog
|Purchased without issues
Super easy to purchase and understand what was included. If you are looking for snow sports cover this is the place to go. I rang around to a few companies and most didn't offer the range that fast cover does. Customer service was amazing!
A Campbell – Productreview.com.au
|Quick And Easy
The range of cover options and pricing made our decision to purchase Fast Cover an easy one. Not only could we tailor the cover to our needs but the website was easy to understand, navigate and fast to respond.
Chris – Compare Travel Insurance