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Snowbird Travel Insurance for Canadians Traveling South

Canadian winters can be particularly long and cold, which is why many individuals choose to spend those dreary months in a warmer southern climate. But what about health insurance while traveling to another country? Most Canadians have coverage in their home provinces, but not outside, let alone in a foreign country.

Travel insurance for snowbirds


That’s where a travel insurance policy comes in. This coverage offers financial protection for medical charges accumulated abroad.

You can buy Snowbird Insurance here or read more about it below.

Read on to find out more about this type of travel medical insurance for Canadians traveling abroad, known as Snowbird travel insurance.

What is a Snowbird?

Snowbirds represent a demographic of nearly half a million Canadians that prefer to flock south for the winter. Many people travel to the warmer regions of the United States and Mexico, while others migrate even further. The Snowbird lifestyle offers a welcoming break from everyday routines, the chance to pursue outdoor activities, and an opportunity to shake off the winter blues.

What is Snowbird Travel Insurance?

Snowbird Travel Insurance, or Travel Medical Insurance, can cover the cost of unforeseen medical bills at your winter destination. A typical policy includes:

  • Coverage – from $25,000 to $5 million
  • Deductible – between $0 and $5,000
  • Duration – 5 days to 3 years

A minimum of $100,000 coverage is advisable. The deductible and duration of the policy depends on your unique circumstances.

Snowbird coverage will pay for medical necessities such as:

  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor visits
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Medical equipment
  • Ambulance expenses
  • Prescription medication
  • Dental work
  • Emergency evacuation
  • Repatriation

Your Government Health Insurance Plan (GHIP) would typically cover these expenses at home. However, your provincial insurance policy will pay little if any of these costs incurred outside the country.

Some Canadians opt for additional travel coverage that covers unforeseen trip expenses.

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance – If your flight gets canceled, this coverage can reimburse you for your loss.
  • Lost Baggage Insurance – Stolen or lost baggage is not uncommon and can be a devastating way to begin your winter break.

These optional policies can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

Typical Exclusions

Most Snowbird Insurance policies have exclusions that include:

  • Mental health disorders
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Countries with travel warnings
  • Acts of war
  • Certain sports activities

Make sure to read the policy description of coverage to understand which conditions are excluded from coverage.

Why Snowbirds Need Travel Medical Insurance

Medical costs abroad, particularly in the United States, are significantly higher than at home. A single visit to the physician could cost hundreds of dollars. Meanwhile, a hospital visit could cost thousands.

Travel Medical Insurance is an essential investment to protect your finances while traveling to another country. These plans are also very flexible and allow Snowbirds to customize their coverage to their needs.

For example, single-trip plans make the most sense for one-time visits. If you plan to travel south multiple times throughout the year, multi-trip coverage would be a better choice.

How Much Does Snowbird Coverage Cost?

The type of coverage you choose depends on a wide variety of different factors. There are no one-size-fits-all Snowbird travel insurance policies. Everyone’s travel plans are different and require the appropriate coverage. Below are some of the factors that affect the rate of your premiums.

  • Length of travel
  • Your age
  • Single- or multiple trips
  • Pre-existing medical conditions

The more time you intend to spend abroad, the higher the overall price of your insurance will be. However, your average monthly payment will be lower for a long trip.

Snowbirds Over 60

Some insurers set additional requirements for applicants over a certain age (usually 60) that include:

  • Medical Questionnaire – You may have to submit a questionnaire detailing the current status of your health and any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Period of Stability – If you have a pre-existing health problem, you may have to submit a statement that verifies the stability of your condition for it to be covered.

Depending on the type of pre-existing condition, some providers may not offer coverage to individuals over their age limit.

Single-Trip Coverage

This plan is ideal for Snowbirds that only plan to travel south once within a one-year timeframe. Your coverage can protect you for up to 183 days consecutively. Residents of Ontario and Newfoundland are eligible for 212 days of continuous coverage. Below are the characteristics of a single-trip plan.

  • Medical coverage has a defined start and end date.
  • Policyholders can extend protection by “topping up.”

Snowbirds often decide to extend the stay of their trip by a few days or weeks. If there’s a possibility that you’ll want to stay longer, choose a top-up plan. This option allows you to add coverage time to your single-trip policy.

Multiple-Trip Coverage

Some Snowbirds make multiple trips down south each year. A multiple-trip plan covers unlimited visits outside the country for an entire year.

These policies contain limits on the number of days that are covered for each trip. Typically, plans will cover expenses for anywhere between 10 and 60-day trips. Multiple-trip plans usually have the following characteristics.

  • Medical insurance for unlimited trips throughout the entire year
  • A limited number of days covered for each trip

If your stay exceeds the maximum limit, you can usually purchase a top-up to add extra coverage days. Sometimes, a combination of plan options is the best solution to meet all your travel insurance needs.

When to Get Snowbird Travel Insurance

The best time to get Snowbird Travel Insurance is while you’re planning your trip. It’s never too early to compare quotes and find out more about your options. Compare your options online to determine how much coverage you need and what you can do to extract the most value from your policy.

Where to Buy Travel Medical Insurance for Snowbirds

Your medical travel insurance needs are as unique as you are, which is why a flexible and personalized plan is the best way to go.

There are many different policy options and an abundance of factors that contribute to constructing the perfect coverage plan. Use our simple travel medical insurance comparison engine to compare and buy coverage for your upcoming trip.

To compare and buy Snowbirds Insurance online, please visit our travel insurance comparison website for Snowbird Travel Medical Insurance coverage. You can buy a plan to cover your stay in the United States (or outside of your home country) in under five minutes.

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