Insurance is absolutely essential for anyone considering a season in a snow resort. Always read the policy details thoroughly before committing to a plan. Once you’ve been here for 3-months you are eligible for provincial health care, if you want to consider that option.
The main points you need to be aware of are:
- Where are you covered? If you’re coming to Canada you usually need to opt for the “worldwide” level of coverage.
- How long are you covered for? Usually you have to pay an upgrade on the basic policy to cover you for up to 6 months outside your home country.
- What is your policy excess? This is the amount of money you have to shell out before your insurance policy takes over.
- What activities are your covered for? There is no point having a policy that doesn’t cover skiing or snowboarding if you are coming to do a season in Whistler. You will also want to make sure your policy covers off-piste as, unless you stick to the bunny slopes, you won’t be able to resist the off-piste terrain here! If you plan on working whilst in Canada, you also need to check your policy will be valid for that (look for the “seasonaire” policy).
- Does your policy cover abandonment of your holiday? Basically this covers you if you have to cut your season short and head home. Check with the insurance company that they will compensate you for the unused portion of your accommodation, lift tickets, etc.
Below are a list of insurers that we’ve found to have decent policies – if you have any suggestions please let us know!
You are eligible for B.C. Health after being in the province for 3 months. You don’t have to be a citizen to apply. For about $65 per month you are covered for medically required services such as G.P. appointments, x-rays and basic hospital care. It saves you from having to pay for you policy excess for doctors appointments, which depending on your health, can add up. You still have to pay for dental, optical and prescriptions, unless you employer puts you on the company insurance (very unlikely if you are here for less than a year!).
For more details look at the Medical Services Plan information on the B.C. Health ministry’s page.