Snowbird Protection Checklist

Home, travel and auto insurance should never be considered as “get it and forget it” products. This is especially true for snowbirds. Along with changing protection needs, there could be limitations in place, or conditions that must be adhered to for coverage to be valid.

Take time to confirm your insurance requirements, the terms and conditions of your policies, and your responsibilities. It can be a costly mistake to assume you’re covered. If you have questions, check with your insurance provider before you leave for vacation!

Back to the Travel Insurance Page
Documentation
  • Because resident aliens can be taxed on their worldwide income by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it’s wise to ask your accountant whether you are considered a non resident alien or resident alien.
  • Along with your passport, travel documents, medication and eyeglass prescriptions, and insurance policies, it’s important to have proof of Canadian residency – IE: a utility or cable bill with your current address – with you when you enter the United States. It shows the IRS that, “you maintain a tax home in a foreign country during the year, and you have a closer connection to that country than to the United States.’
Home Insurance
  • Coverage for damage caused by frozen pipes has conditions if your home is unoccupied.
  • Some policies require your home to be inspected DAILY if you’re away more than four days in the regular heating season.
  • Click Here to read Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips to secure your home when you’re travelling.
Travel Insurance
  • If your health changes between the time you buy your insurance and its effective date, you must notify your insurer or risk invalidating your coverage.
  • Don’t buy your travel insurance at the last minute. You need to understand your policy’s benefits, limitations and exclusions. Most claim denials are the result of customers not understanding what they’ve purchased, not reading their policy to learn exactly what is and isn’t covered, and not understanding their own obligations.
  • Be aware of your policy’s time restrictions for out-of-province coverage. If you decide to stay a few more weeks, can your policy be extended after you’ve left home? This is a question to ask before you leave!
  • BE AWARE: You must meet “physical presence” requirements in order to maintain provincial health insurance coverage. IE: while Ontario residents can obtain out-of-province travel insurance coverage for up to 212 days in any 12 month period, you must be in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12 month period. If in-province requirements are not met, you may be ineligible for provincial health insurance. For the “physical presence” requirements across Canada, check with your insurance provider or click here for links to the provincial and territorial health insurance plan websites.
  • Click Here to read Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips to those preparing to travel.
Auto Insurance
  • Knowing claims in the U.S can be expensive, consider increasing your liability limit.
  • You’re renting a car, and you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver because your credit card provides insurance. But are you covered for “Loss of Use”? If not, and it takes three weeks to repair a damaged car, you could be forced to pay a three week rental, while the car was not in use.
  • A vehicle registered and insured in Canada, but left in the U.S. on a permanent basis may require separate coverage from an American insurance company. It’s best to check with your insurance provider.
  • Depending on how much time you spend living in your RV in the United States, it may be considered a home as well as a vehicle, and therefore in need of special coverage. Check with your insurance provider.
  • Click Here to read Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips for those on the road or in the air.
Travelling With Pets
  • The rules for bringing pet dogs and cats across the Canada / U.S. border are pretty straightforward, but there are differences between the two countries – and even different U.S. States. Click Here for more.