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Home Insurance, Travel Insurance, Car Insurance ● Oct 1, 2023

Snowbirds Soaring South: A Guide to Canadian Travelers Heading to the States

Snowbirds Soaring South: A Guide to Canadian Travelers Heading to the States

Every year, as the cold Canadian winter approaches, many Canadians embark on a migration southward to warmer destinations in the United States, earning them the affectionate nickname "snowbirds." Escaping the harsh winter months and enjoying sunnier climes can be a dream come true, but proper planning is essential to ensure a smooth transition. In this blog, we'll explore important steps that Canadian snowbirds should take before heading to the States, including reviewing and updating home and auto insurance, purchasing travel insurance, winterizing your home, and ensuring someone is checking on your house while you're away.

  1. Review and Update Home and Auto Insurance

Before packing your bags and heading south, it's crucial to review and update your home and auto insurance policies. Here are some key considerations:

a. Home Insurance:

  • Notify your insurance provider about your plans to be away for an extended period.
  • Ensure your policy covers extended absences, vacant property conditions, and potential damage from weather-related incidents.
  • Verify that your coverage includes protection against theft and vandalism.

b. Auto Insurance:

  • Inform your auto insurer aif your intentions are to drive your vehicle in the United States or even to leave it home in storage
  • Ensure your policy includes coverage for driving in the U.S. and review the extent of coverage, including liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance.
  • You may require to update your plan to an in-storage policy depending on the province you call home.
  1. Purchase Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must for Canadian snowbirds venturing into the United States. It provides essential coverage for unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. Here's what to consider:

  • Medical Coverage: Make sure your travel insurance includes adequate coverage for healthcare expenses, including hospitalization, doctor's visits, and medications. Verify if it covers pre-existing medical conditions.

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption: This coverage can be a lifesaver if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen events.

  • Emergency Evacuation: Ensure your policy includes provisions for emergency evacuation back to Canada, if necessary.

  1. Winterize Your Home

Leaving your home unattended during the winter months requires thorough preparation to prevent damage. Here's a checklist to help you winterize your home:

  • Turn off and unplug non-essential appliances and electronics.
  • Set your thermostat to a temperature that prevents freezing pipes but keeps energy costs down.
  • Insulate pipes and faucets.
  • Clear gutters and drains to avoid ice dams.
  • Ensure doors and windows are sealed tightly.
  1. House Checks

Having someone check on your house while you're away is essential for security and maintenance. Consider these steps:

  • Ask a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member to regularly inspect your property.
  • Provide them with contact information in case of emergencies.
  • Set up timers for lights, radios, or TVs to create the illusion of occupancy.
  • Have a plan in place for mail and package delivery to avoid accumulating mail.
  • Arrange for snow removal and lawn maintenance to maintain the appearance of an occupied home.


For Canadian snowbirds, heading to the United States for the winter is an exciting adventure. However, it's vital to prepare diligently to ensure a worry-free experience. By reviewing and updating your home and auto insurance, purchasing comprehensive travel insurance, winterizing your home, and arranging for house checks, you can enjoy your time in the sun with peace of mind, knowing that your home and assets are well-protected. Safe travels and enjoy your winter getaway!

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