Are you ready to explore the world while also making money? Then a working holiday may be the perfect answer for you!
If you’re thinking of applying for a working holiday visa in one of the 30+ countries that Canada has an agreement with, you’ll want to think about insurance coverage ASAP.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about travel insurance for working holidays.
What is a working holiday?
If you’ve been researching ways to explore new countries outside of Canada, you may have come across the term working holiday or working holiday visas. Working holiday visas allows someone to work and live in another country for an extended period of time (typically 1-2 years.) Working holidays are typically taken by young people who want to experience life outside their home country for longer than a regular vacation. Working holidays are a super smart way to visit other countries because you’re able to travel and earn money at the same time. Jobs that accept working holiday visas can either be full-time or seasonal/part-time. If you don’t have much job experience or do not have a degree, you’ll be able to land seasonal or part-time positions such as a retail store worker. If you do have a degree or experience in a specific area, some companies will hire you full-time in your preferred industry, even if you will only be there temporarily.
Currently, Canada has an arrangement in over 30 countries that allow for working holiday visas. Most of these countries will allow for a working holiday visa for young people up to 30. Here is a list of countries that allow for working holidays:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
What does travel insurance cover?
If any of those countries seem exciting to live in and you’re starting to look into obtaining a working holiday visa, you’ll want to think about insurance coverage for your extended stay. Medical care typically isn’t free in other countries and can sometimes cost a pretty penny, depending on what type of medical treatment you require.
Travel insurance policies cover two main expense areas:
- Emergency medical care
- Loss of belongings and trip cancellation/changes
For medical treatment, travel insurance policies will cover the expenses related to emergency care only and not routine checkups or visits. This is important to think about when looking for working holiday coverage as you will be spending an extended period of time out of your home country.
Travel insurance can also cover the costs of lost baggage or if you have to cancel your trip due to medical reasons suddenly.
Do you need travel insurance during a working holiday?
The need for travel or health insurance depends on the country you will be staying in. Most countries require health insurance coverage for you to be approved for a working holiday visa. Each country has its own requirements for coverage amounts as well. It’s important to check for this information before booking your trip to get approved for a working holiday visa.
With that being said, even if a country doesn’t require you to have travel or health insurance coverage of some kind, it’s a good idea to still look into an extended travel insurance plan. Accidents and medical emergencies can happen to anyone, no matter your age or health, and you’ll want to be financially protected when they do. Most health insurance policies don’t cover medical expenses outside of your home country, so you will have to look into getting a totally different policy. So, while travel insurance may not be mandatory in all countries, it’s there to provide you with peace of mind in case of an accident or medical emergency.
How to choose a travel insurance policy for your working holiday
Choosing the right travel insurance policy is super important—especially for an extended trip like a working holiday.
While it’s crucial to talk to an insurance broker when deciding on the right policy, there are a few key things to consider before you even speak to someone:
- First and foremost, you need to make sure your travel insurance plan will cover what you plan to do on your trip. Many travel insurance policies only cover leisure activities because they’re mostly used for short-term vacations. Make sure that your insurance company is okay with you having a job. On top of that, ensure that your policy covers any activities you may be partaking in during your stay. For example, if you’re planning to live by the beach and participate in water sports, your policy covers medical expenses from water sport accidents. It sounds tedious to think of things like this, but it’s essential if you’re looking into travel insurance coverage—you don’t want to pay for something that doesn’t actually cover your needs!
- As most working holidays last from 12-24 months, you’ll need a travel insurance policy that will protect you for as long as your stay. Many insurance companies may not offer this length of coverage, so you will need to do your research into the ones that do.
- Make sure that your coverage amount is in alignment with the regulations set by the country you will be staying in. If your insurance policy only covers you up to an amount that’s smaller than the country’s minimum, they may deny you a working holiday visa.
- Sometimes travel insurance does not cover one-way flights. As you’ll be staying for a year or two, chances are you’ll be booking a one-way flight to get to your destination. If flight coverage is important to you, you’ll need to find a company that will support this.
- Lastly, you’ll want a policy that allows you to visit your home country if need be. Most travel insurance policies will automatically be cancelled if you return to your home country, but a few do allow short trips. You may not want to return home once you leave on your working holiday, but you might have to due to a family emergency or an event like a wedding.