Travel Alert: Cover is excluded for COVID-19 or countries with "Do Not Travel" or "Reconsider Your Need To Travel" overall advice levels.

IEC Travel Insurance

Get a quote now for IEC Travel insurance for up to 2 years for your working holiday in Canada. Everything you need to know about travel insurance requirements for your visa including medical, hospital and repatriation cover.
Canada maple leaf

What is IEC Travel Insurance for Canada?

Every year thousands of Australians head to Canada on the International Experience Canada (IEC) program for a one or two-year working holiday.

Between hitting the slopes in numerous snow resorts, trekking and hiking in scenic Jasper National Park, exploring the Rocky Mountain ranges, 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 work!

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 that you don’t miss out. Travel insurance that covers the duration of your IEC visa is one of those requirements.

Fast Cover’s working holiday travel insurance for IEC visas, provides cover for travellers who want to experience living and working in Canada for up to two years as part of the IEC program.

Guy skiing

5 Things you should know about IEC Travel Insurance

1. Cover for repatriation

It’s a requirement by Canadian immigration that travellers participating in the International Experience Canada program are covered for repatriation, hospital and medical.  Good news is that all Fast Cover policies provide cover for repatriation and overseas emergency hospital and medical expenses.

2. Two years’ worth of insurance

Another requirement for International Experience Canada policies is that it covers you for the length of your visa.  Fast Cover policies can be purchased for up to 1 year and extended for up to another year, ensuring you receive cover for the duration of your two-year working holiday visa.

3. Ability to return home without voiding your IEC insurance

Not all IEC travel insurance policies allow you to return home for a visit without voiding your insurance policy.  Fast Cover policies allow you to return home, and resume your trip, as long as you have at least 14 days remaining on your policy.

4. Travel insurance that covers snow sports and adventure activities

Our policies have an ability to upgrade to the Snow Sports Plus policy if you will be skiing or snowboarding or an optional Adventure Pack for the adventurous traveller.

5. Travel insurance with pre-existing medical cover

When purchasing travel insurance for working in Canada, it’s always a good idea to double check that any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions you have are going to be covered.  Fast Cover policies provide cover for up to 43 Pre-Existing Medical Conditions.

Guy pointing

Can I get travel insurance for 2 years in Canada?

In short, yes! We provide travel insurance policies for many Australians heading to Canada for the International Experience Canada program every year.

We can provide a policy for up to two years through a policy extension, and have provided Fast Cover IEC insurance policies to a lot of Aussie travellers heading to Canada for the International Experience Canada program every year.

Initially we are only able to issue you with a 12-month policy. Then, from up to a month before 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. If it is less than one month until your departure, you will be able to extend immediately.

You can also contact us via phone or reply to your policy confirmation email to arrange this extension for you.

Guy ice hockey Canada

Why do I need IEC Canada Insurance for my Working Holiday Visa?

Travel insurance is required for the IEC visa because it can provide cover for some of the various unforeseen and unexpected emergencies you might experience while travelling in Canada.

Australians travelling to Canada to undertake a 2-year Working Holiday Visa as part of the IEC program are required to have International travel insurance that includes medical, hospitalisation and repatriation cover for the duration of their visa. 

All Fast Cover Comprehensive, Snow Sports Plus, Standard Saver and Basics policy options include 24-hour Overseas Emergency Medical Assistance as well as unlimited Overseas Emergency Medical and Hospital Expenses cover for IEC travellers.

Also included with this benefit is:

  • Repatriation: cover for medical transport and related expenses if you become seriously ill or injured overseas and need to be returned home to Australia for treatment.
  • Up to $15,000 AUD cover for the repatriation of your remains to Australia if the worst should happen and you die overseas.

Some of our policies have additional benefits for cancellation, luggage, travel delays, and cover for lost or stolen credit card or travel documents.

If you’re in an emergency while on your working holiday in Canada, our emergency assistance team can help direct you to local medical providers, coordinate alternative transport, and act as a guarantor for overseas emergency medical expenses if required.

Note that the Australian Government recommends travel insurance to be taken out by all travellers to cover them for unexpected emergency medical expenses overseas.

For more information and the latest requirements about the International Experience Canada insurance, visit the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website.

Is there health insurance for visitors to Canada?

Canada does have a public health care service available for Canadian Citizens and permanent residents. To access it, you’ll need to apply for provincial health insurance and serve the waiting period which is generally up to 3 months but you should check with the province you reside in. Alternatively, your employer may provide it for you once you have served your probationary period. So, once you get a job, ask your boss about getting universal healthcare. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll be issued with a card which you are required to present when you attend a medical clinic or hospital.

However, you should be aware that Canada’s public health insurance may not provide the level of cover required for your IEC visa. 

Common expenses that may not be covered by provincial health care include:

Sporting injuries while in Canada

Participating in Snow Sports is a very common activity for travellers on an International Experience Canada visa.

IEC visa insurance can provide assistance if you’re injured whilst participating in not only winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, but injuries from other covered sports or riding a motorcycle, moped or scooter. If you end up with a broken bone or become injured while participating in activities that we provide cover for including surfing, scuba diving or hiking, you have a 24/7 team of medical assistance experts that you can call to assist you in the event of an emergency.

Your luggage or belongings being lost, stolen or damaged during your working holiday

If your bag is lost, stolen or damaged, the Luggage and Personal Effects benefit can provide cover for your loss.

If someone grabs your bag while you’re travelling or tries to rip your possessions out of your hands, there may be provision to claim under your IEC Canada insurance. Make sure that you obtain a police report within 24 hours of the theft to submit with your claim.

Be wary, keep your stuff in sight and reach at all times!

Emergency medical repatriation for IEC visa holders

If you’re injured or sick when you’re travelling, we have a 24/7 emergency medical assistance team that will be able to organise repatriation for you to return home to Australia for treatment, if they deem it necessary.

The emergency team can arrange for you to be accompanied by a registered and approved nurse if required, and there’s also cover for an immediate family member to fly to Canada and fly back home to Australia if needed

Travel Insurance with cover for Personal liability

Fast Cover Travel Insurance policies also include Personal Liability Insurance.

This benefit can provide cover should a claim be made against you for the death or injury of a person, or the physical loss or damage to property.

Travel insurance may be able to assist in the payment of compensation and legal expenses whilst you work in Canada.

What if I get the Coronavirus COVID-19 while I’m doing the IEC?

The Canadian Government have extended their healthcare cover for foreign travellers affected by COVID-19.

Currently working in Canada

You may already be eligible to receive cover on the Medical Services Plan (MSP) as per other residents of Canada.

Recently arrived in Canada for work

The waiting period for the MSP has been waived in some provinces and you may already be eligible to receive cover.

Visa has expired

If your visa has expired and you are unable to return to Australia, you may have access to their Temporary MSP.

You have been laid off

If you have been laid off due to COVID-19 and you are unable to return to Australia, you may have access to their Temporary MSP.

For more information on the COVID-19 situation for Australians in Canada, you can check:

Guy snowboarding

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 in Canada or 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
  • Snowmobiling
  • Tobogganing

If you will only be skiing or snowboarding for a short length of time (less than a month or two), you may purchase a Comprehensive, Standard Saver or Basics policy to provide cover for your IEC visa, and then purchase a Snow Sports Plus policy to cover the time that you will be skiing or snowboarding.

Guy scuba diving adventure activity

What other sports and activities are covered?

Just because you’re on a work permit 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 bunch of exciting sports and activities that are particularly popular in Canada. 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 more risky activities.

Automatically covered sports and activities include:
  • Bungee jumping
  • Canyon swinging
  • Canoeing and kayaking in rivers, rapids, lakes and canals up to Grade III
  • Walking, hiking, trekking or tramping up to 3,000 metres
  • Dog sledding
  • Scuba diving up to 10 metres
  • Ice skating on a rink
  • Indoor rock climbing
  • White water rafting up to Grade III
  • Gym activities
Adventure Pack sports and activities include:
  • Abseiling
  • 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
  • Scuba diving up to 30 metres
  • Outdoor rock climbing
  • Tandem skydiving, hang gliding, parachuting and paragliding
  • White water rafting up to Grade V
  • Zip lining

How much will my IEC Canada insurance 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 can change over time.

To help you save on your travel insurance, Fast Cover will honour any discounts you received on the initial purchase when you extend your policy for the second year.

Australia
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.

We also thought it was pretty unfair, so all of our policies allow for unlimited trips home to Australia during your working holiday.

It also 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 in Australia until the time you leave your home to continue your trip. And you don’t even need to let us know.

There’s only a couple of conditions to keep in mind:

  1. You must have 14 days remaining to the end date on your Certificate of Insurance.
  2. 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.

Money budget
Can I get a refund on the second year once I have my IEC visa?

No, sorry. If you’ve 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 and result in the cancellation of your working visa. You may even face deportation if you have already entered the country.

Question mark
What if I only have a one-year IEC insurance when I arrive in Canada - can I still get a two-year visa?

If you wish to stay in Canada for two-years, the IEC website does state that before you arrive in Canada, you need to have travel insurance for the duration of your stay, to be eligible for a 2 year working holiday visa.

It’s your responsibility to make the necessary enquiries regarding your IEC visa and the eligibility requirements. We’re not able to cover your cancellation costs if you’re refused a visa or issued with only a one-year visa because you entered Canada with a one-year travel insurance policy.

Guys snow climbing team

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 or cancel the second year extension of your policy. The price charged for everyone’s policy has been calculated so that we can pay the claims of your fellow travellers.

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 IEC visa insurance, 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.

Methods of transport

Can Aussies working in Canada travel to other countries on their IEC visa insurance?

Yes, you can!

Our policies provide the option to select regions, so 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.

Canada belongs to the Worldwide region, which also includes the United States and Mexico. This means you could easily hop across the border for a break during your Canadian working holiday, without needing to change or update your IEC Canada travel insurance policy.

The Worldwide region also includes all the lower regions at no extra cost as well, in case you felt like visiting New Zealand or Fiji on the way home, or even popping over to Europe!

Make sure that you check the Australian government travel advice for the country that you’re travelling to beforehand though. There’s no cover for countries with a “Do Not Travel” or “Reconsider Your Need To Travel” warning.

Award winning travel insurance

What is the Best Travel Insurance for Canada Working Holidays?

When assessing the right policy for you and your travel needs, it’s always best to review the benefits included in the insurance policy, and any that are required for your working holiday visa.  This way, you’ll be able to find the best IEC travel insurance policy for your IEC trip.

Fast Cover has been awarded “Best Value Comprehensive Cover 2015”, “Best Online Customer Service 2016”, “Best Travel Insurance (Comprehensive) 2017”, just to name a few.

Below are the benefits included in these multi award-winning policies:

Fast Cover policies can cover you for up to two years while living and working in Canada.  Travel insurance is your resource to better deal with many of the unexpected situations you might experience while travelling on the IEC visa, including 24 hour emergency assistance, emergency hospital expenses and repatriation cover.

Repatriation put simply means ‘to return you back to your home country’. Our repatriation cover is able to bring you back to Australia if you become sick, injured, or die overseas.

Fast Cover provides Travel Insurance policies ranging from Basic policies to Comprehensive Travel Insurance and also a Snow Sports Plus option for the avid skiers or boarders.

When overseas, you’ll have access to your 24/7 emergency medical assistance team. Whether you have an emergency or you're just not sure about something while overseas, you can call the 24 hour emergency assistance team.

This benefit provides cover for unexpected overseas medical expenses such as doctor’s consultations, prescribed medications for any acute medical conditions that arise such as antibiotics, the cost of staying in hospital and medical treatment such as surgeries. In serious cases, you may also be repatriated home to Australia if necessary.

Our Snow Sports Plus policy provides travel Insurance for Skiing and Snow Boarding while in Canada.  This Travel Insurance policy includes cover for off-piste (with a professional instructor), heli-skiing, cat-skiing, back-country skiing with a professional snow sport instructor and snow mobiling.

If your bag is lost, stolen or damaged we may be able to assist under the Luggage and Personal Effects benefit. If someone grabs your bag while you’re travelling or tries to rip your possessions out of your hands, there may be provision to claim under your IEC Canada travel insurance policy. Remember that there are thieves that target tourists around local shopping centres or upmarket areas.

In addition to the automatically included Sports and Activities, Fast Cover policies have an optional Adventure Pack for the adventure seeking travellers, which can cover activities such as abseiling, amateur contact sports, hiking, quad biking, white water rafting, and zip lining.

The Fast Cover Motorcycle Pack can provide cover for riding motorcycles overseas, as long as you have a motorcycle licence, and are licenced to ride in the country you’re visiting.  You should check local laws to determine what local or international licences may be required.

If you purchase a Comprehensive, Standard Saver or Snow Sports Plus policy, and your holiday is disrupted because you, your travelling companion or a family member back home is sick or injured, a natural disaster occurs or your travel documents have been stolen, you may be able to claim for additional accommodation, travel or travel document replacement costs.

Canada guy

Real-life IEC Claims Stories ~

~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.

How can I find the right IEC Canada travel insurance policy?

We know it can be hard to know which travel insurance for the IEC is the right one for you. To help you out further, check out our handy guides on what to look out for, so you can find the IEC insurance policy that suits your type of working holiday.

Why Travellers Recommend Fast Cover for their IEC Travel Insurance

Guy with microscope

IEC Travel Insurance FAQs

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria detailed in our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to buy travel insurance from us, we can provide a policy for up to two years through extension of your policy.

Initially, we are only able to issue you with a 12-month policy. Then, from your policy start date, you can login to your policy on our website and extend it up to a further 12 months for an additional premium. 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 on 1300 409 322  or reply to your policy confirmation email to arrange this extension.

For more information, refer to our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Read more about travel insurance for the IEC program:

Yes, you can take out a 2 year travel insurance policy if you are travelling overseas. 

As long as you meet the eligibility criteria detailed in our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to buy travel insurance from us, we can provide you with a policy for up to two years through extension of your policy.

Can you get a 2 year policy for your trip?

Whether you're off to Canada on the IEC program to work the snow season, teaching English in Southeast Asia, volunteering in Africa, studying in Europe or just want to see the whole wide world, we'll be able provide you with cover. And if you're working, you'll have cover while you work and play!

Get your 2 year policy in 2 simple steps
  1. Firstly take out a 12 month policy, then
  2. Up to a month before your policy starts (this is the departure date specified on your policy certificate), you can login to your policy on our website, and extend it up to a further 12 months by paying an additional premium. 

Once your payment goes through, the date changes are instantaneous and you'll be able to download your updated policy certificate immediately, showing your new cover dates. If you prefer, you can even start your policy the day before you actually leave Australia, which means that you'll be able to extend your policy up to another 12 months the day before you leave. 

Now you're all set to go!

Are you already overseas?

If you satisfy all of the requirements to take out an Already Overseas policy as detailed in our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), you can still take out a 2 year travel insurance policy. The process is the same as above, however, you MUST select the "I am already overseas" option when getting your quote and take out an Already Overseas policy.

Need more help? Contact us
  • info@fastcover.com.au (or simply reply to the policy confirmation email that we originally sent you)
  • 1300 409 322 (9am to 6pm Sydney time weekdays) 
  • +61 2 8215 7239 (from overseas)

For more information on our policies, refer to our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

Read more about taking out a working holiday policy:

There are some risks you’ll be exposed to when travelling and working while on an IEC visa, including possible injury, emergency medical repatriation and belongings being lost, stolen or damaged.

If you’re in an emergency while on your working holiday in Canada, your travel insurer's emergency assistance team can assist in directing you to local authorities, coordinate repatriation back to Australia if this is deemed necessary, and act as a guarantor for overseas emergency medical expenses if required.

Fast Cover policies are available to the following travellers:

  • Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents. See 'Can I buy a policy?' in our FAQ section for more details and check the IEC insurance requirements.

  • Travellers do not need a medical exam to apply for the IEC, but to take out a policy, you will need to be aware of the pre-existing medical conditions that we are and are not able to automatically cover.

If you are likely to be participating in adventurous activities such as motorcycling, bungee jumping or scuba diving, it’s a good idea to take out the Adventure or Motorcycle Pack. If you don’t, you won’t be able to make a claim if it arises as a result of you doing an activity that isn’t covered.

Yes! If both you and a friend are participating in the IEC Visa in Canada, you may purchase a DUO policy together. However, note that any extensions, date changes, add-on packs etc apply to the entire policy. So, if there is any chance one of you may change your mind, or have a different appetite for travelling, adventure sports, etc, it may be a good idea to purchase separate policies.

You can purchase travel insurance for your trip to Canada 12 months prior to your departure date and right up until you board the plane. If you’re overseas and remember you don’t have travel insurance, we may be able to assist with our Already Overseas Travel Insurance. However, the earlier you purchase travel insurance, the earlier your cancellation cover will be in place.

You may be able to find cheaper elective medical surgery while travelling overseas, including breast enlargements, liposuction and Botox, however this is generally excluded from travel insurance. If you experience a complication as a result of the surgery, either while you’re in Canada or after you return home, you won’t be covered by travel insurance.

Things you need to know

* See Product Disclosure Statement for full terms and conditions and exclusions and limits that apply. For travellers aged 80 and over, additional terms and conditions, limits and excesses apply.