1Do I really need travel insurance for my Working Holiday adventure?

Insurance coverage might be a condition of your Working Holiday permit or simply a “highly recommended” common sense purchase—either way, it should be one of the high-priority items on your pre-departure checklist whether you’re embarking on a Working Holiday adventure, enrolling at university abroad or simply exploring a new country.

Sure, getting quotes and reading paragraphs of fine print isn’t as fun as shopping around for a sturdy backpack but consider it the most responsible decision you’ll ever make. Going backpacking halfway across the world? Not crazy (according to us). Leaving home without travel insurance? Terrible choice (according to everybody).

Indeed, as a foreign worker, student or tourist, you won’t be covered by the local healthcare system and whatever health coverage you have at home won’t help once you’re abroad. 

So let us guide you through buying insurance! This comprehensive guide will explain what to expect from travel insurance and how to choose a policy that fits your needs. 

Do I really need travel insurance for my Working Holiday adventure?

The following countries make it mandatory to purchase health insurance covering repatriation and hospitalization to be issued a Working Holiday permit. Proof of insurance will be requested as part of the application or when landing.

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • France
  • South Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Russia
  • Taiwan
  • Uruguay

Travel insurance isn’t mandatory in Australia and Japan but it’s still highly recommended.

When mandatory, travel insurance must be valid for the entire duration of your stay. For instance, if you’re planning to spend 12 months in Canada, you must show proof of insurance coverage for 12 months. And if you’re only spending six months in Chile or Taiwan for instance, you can buy coverage for six months only. There’s one exception so far—Argentina. Argentina requires all Working Holiday permit applicants to buy coverage for 12 months, even if you’re not planning to stay there that long.

Always check for the most up-to-date information during the application process and before travelling to the destination, it can change quickly. The bottom line is, no one is ever refused entry or denied a Working Holiday permit for having proper insurance coverage so if in doubt, make the smart choice.

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En PVT au Canada de novembre 2021 à 2023, je répondrai à vos questions avec plaisir. Pour le premier trimestre 2024, direction l'Amérique latine !

I moved from France to Canada on a WHV from November 2021 to 2023, followed then by spending the first quarter of 2024 in Latin America! Happy to answer all your questions.

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