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What is a snowbird?

A snowbird (also known as a “winter visitor”) is a seasonal traveller who escapes Canada’s harsh winter climate by migrating south to warmer destinations during the winter months. Florida, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and California are among the most popular locations for snowbirds to call home in the winter.

Do I need snowbird travel insurance?

The short answer is – probably.

Domestic Canadian health insurance will not provide coverage for citizens travelling outside of Canada, so snowbird insurance which includes emergency medical coverage is highly recommended for Canadians visiting the U.S.

The Government Health Insurance Plans (GHIP) is different for each province on what they cover and generally the amount is low. On average, they may cover up to $400.00 Canadian for a hospital stay and around 10% Canadian of the emergency room, urgent care or doctor visit.

In addition, without travel insurance, you will be required to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. Some medical facilities, such as hospitals, will allow a payment plan. But, for urgent care visits, doctors, dentists and expenses such as ambulance, will need to be paid out of pocket. For the most robust coverage, an all-inclusive plan may reimburse for unexpected, covered events such as trip interruption or trip cancellation.

How much is snowbird travel insurance?

Travel insurance for snowbirds is not one-size-fits-all and is as unique as the traveller themselves and the costs will vary.

However, travellers are advised not to base their insurance purchase solely on price. It is important to ensure your Canadian snowbird insurance policy offers the right coverage for your individual needs and circumstances.

What does travel insurance for snowbirds cover?

Coverage will depend greatly on your unique needs and concerns.

Emergency Medical Plan: provides coverage for urgent medical situations that occur while you are on a covered trip.

All-Inclusive Travel Package: provides coverage prior to your trip departure (trip cancellation), coverage for reasonable accommodations if you are delayed while travelling to your destination (trip delay), and coverage while on your trip (trip interruption, baggage loss, or delay). It also includes emergency medical and emergency medical evacuation.

The type of medical coverage will be determined based on the type of trip you are taking. If you are driving down to the sunny state of Arizona you may feel content with an Emergency Medical Plan. However, if you finally have decided to take that cruise you’ve been dreaming about, you may consider an All-Inclusive plan for a larger range of coverage options.

Our experts at InsureMyTrip are available to help you compare plans to find the best option for your unique travel.


DISCLAIMER: This guidance in this article is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to offer guidance regarding travel insurance and the benefits which may be available. It does not guarantee coverage for any traveller. The information in this article reflects the most up-to-date information available at the time of publication. If you have questions regarding specific coverage details or available travel insurance plans, please contact our licensed customer care team.