The Wild World of Insurance

For me, the most daunting part of the working holiday application process was choosing and purchasing travel insurance.

Whilst I hope I could grin and bear the pain if I broke my leg whilst trying to be clever when snowboarding, I don’t think I could cope with my parents uttering a disappointed ‘I told you so’ if I didn’t have the right insurance to cover me.  I figured that if the worst is going to happen there might not be a lot I can do about it (other than stick to the piste), but I could make sure the aftermath is more bearable than my broken limbs by doing my research into insurance.

BUNAC offer an exclusive and comprehensive policy through Endsleigh that covers all eventualities with lots of added extras, but does also come with an exclusive and comprehensive price tag.  It’s all very well looking elsewhere for your cover, and a lot of travellers do, but it’s crucial that your cover ticks the right boxes with BUNAC otherwise it won’t get approved, and your letter of work authorisation will be delayed while you find yourself an alternative.

Sensible Skiers on Grouse Mountain

I am no insurance expert, but luckily the guys at BUNAC are, and they provide all Working in Canada applicants with guidance of minimum requirements for your cover, including period of cover, geographical area covered, medical cover and activities included.  From my experience, things to look out for include whether you’re covered if you come back to the UK at any point during your trip (some policies will cease the moment you’re back on British soil) and what the excess is on any claims you might unfortunately have to make.

If you decide to go with another provider, other BUNAC-ers have gone with the following:

STA Travel –

ACE Insurance –

Multitrip –

This isn’t to say that you don’t need to check these out thoroughly before you commit!

I went with ACE Insurance and paid £203 for 12 months global backpacker insurance.  I was happy that the policy covered my needs for what I’ve got planned, and BUNAC were too.  The topic of insurance is always a popular one in various blogs and internet sites, and does tend to induce mass panic (and even mild hysteria), but for me it turned out not to be quite the minefield I imagined.  Different policies will work better for different people, and I am in no position to endorse any particular provider, but I do recommend you do the research as it really is worth it – insurance is not something to skimp on.


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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

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