Auto Insurance Tips for Canadian Snowbirds
1) Prior to your travel, review your auto policy carefully with regards to travel to the U.S.
2) Connect with your broker to review your policy, as they will be able to point out any coverage gaps or limitations you should be aware of and offer solutions to improve your coverage.
3) Most auto insurance companies will insure your Canadian car in the U.S. for up to 6 months, but it is always good practice to contact your broker to check your insurer’s time limits and restrictions for how long you can have your car outside Canada.
4) Liability coverage helps protect you if you injure or kill another person or cause damage to someone else’s property. Consider increasing your liability coverage while in the U.S. for two reasons. One is that the U.S. is a more litigious country than Canada and judgement/settlement amounts are often much higher in the U.S. than in Canada. The second reason is that liability limits for your auto insurance policy will be in Canadian dollars, but any damages you are liable for in the United States will be in U.S. dollars. Contact your broker to help determine what limit is recommended. While you might think that increasing your liability coverage is expensive, it is often surprisingly affordable.
5) Loss of use coverage pays for the cost of a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired if you’re involved in an accident. If your vehicle is a Canadian model, it could take longer to repair in the U.S., as some parts may not be readily available, so you may need a replacement vehicle for an extended period of time. Be sure to check with your broker if your policy has loss of use coverage and if the limit is sufficient if you are in the U.S.
6) If you’re leaving a vehicle in Canada for the winter that won’t be used while you are away, you may want to consider reducing coverage on those vehicles to save some money. Check with your broker to ensure you maintain sufficient coverage if your vehicle is somehow damaged while you are away, even if you're not driving it.
7) Remember, not all auto insurance policies are created equal. Before you head south for the winter, take some time to review your auto insurance and understand your coverage while outside Canada. And as always, when it comes to insurance, it is best to speak with your broker. We are here to help.
Disclaimer: The material provided is for informational purposes only and does NOT constitute insurance, legal, financial or other advice, and should not be relied on as such. If you require such advice, you should speak with a qualified professional to assist you.