Snowbirds: notify your insurer before you leave

Snowbirds: notify your insurer before you leave

Before leaving winter behind and heading south, call your insurer to make sure you are fully covered.

Home insurance has your back while you’re away

Call your insurance company before leaving for Florida, no matter how long you plan to be away. You’ll find out what is covered and what isn’t should something go wrong while your home sits empty.

Your insurer will also be able to give you some helpful suggestions on prevention.

The first tip is to keep your home adequately heated over winter, turn off the water and drain all the water lines and appliances.

Another tip is to ask someone trustworthy to drop by every day to adjust the heating, pick up the mail and shovel the driveway, etc.

And don’t forget to leave them the phone number and your insurance policy number for your insurance company.

And what about your luggage?

A lengthy trip means lots of luggage. Check to see if your luggage and other personal belongings are covered by your home insurance during your trip.

If you’re travelling with valuable items, tell your insurance company. They’ll be able to tell you if there are maximums on what you can insure.

And because accidents happen so quickly

Did you know that the civil liability coverage under your home insurance policy could be a lifesaver should you end up being responsible for damage or injury caused to others during your trip?

For example, if you accidentally set fire to your condo, you could be held responsible. Your civil liability insurance could provide adequate coverage.

Take this opportunity to find out what kind of civil liability coverage is provided under your policy. You can always increase the liability coverage amount while you are away.

Set off for the sun without worries

Before leaving, let your insurer know how long you’ll be away. They will tell you if any changes need to be made to your policy.

To properly protect your vehicle

Before you set off, take a few minutes to discuss property damage coverage with your insurer in the event of an accident in the United States.

Liability insurance is indispensable in the event of a car accident

In the event of injury or damage as a result of a car accident outside Quebec, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) will pay you and members of your family compensation.

Whether you are responsible or not, the SAAQ won’t compensate the other driver for injuries and property damage that you may have caused.

Find out how much liability insurance you have under your policy, and don’t hesitate to increase it to $2 million to cover any legal proceedings while travelling in the U.S.

And what if you’re renting a vehicle?

Before renting a vehicle in the United States, find out from your insurer if endorsement Q.E.F. No. 27 (Civil liability resulting from damage caused to vehicles of which named insured is not owner) is included in your auto insurance and if it applies to the type of vehicle you wish to rent.

With this coverage, the vehicle you rent is protected against property damage in the event of an accident.

However, the amount of endorsement Q.E.F. No. 27 may not be enough to cover repairs or replace the rented vehicle. Talk to your insurance company for advice.

Ask for a translation of the coverage offered by endorsement Q.E.F. No. 27, just to avoid any surprises because of a language barrier.

An endorsement that covers transportation expenses

An accident happens while you’re travelling, obliging you to rent a replacement vehicle? With endorsement Q.E.F. No. 20a (Travel expenses), you may be reimbursed for rental costs and additional expenses for meals and lodging.

Ask your insurer if you can add endorsement Q.E.F. No. 20a to your insurance contract.

Don’t leave home without travel insurance

To be covered by travel insurance, your trip outside Quebec must not be for more than 6 months (less than 183 days in the same year).

If you expect your trip to last longer, contact the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) to confirm if you are entitled to health insurance and what the conditions are.

Then, talk to your insurer for information on a suitable product.

Also ask for proof of travel insurance to keep on hand in the event of emergency.

The truth and nothing but the truth when it comes to your health

Whether you have individual travel insurance or coverage under a group plan, you must notify your travel insurance company of any changes in your health, for example:

  • A deterioration
  • New symptoms
  • More frequent or serious symptoms
  • Awaiting medical results or diagnosis
  • On a waiting list for an operation or treatment
  • New medication or terminated medication
  • Changes in dosage

To be covered, your health must be stable for a certain time prior to your departure. Check with your insurer about requirements.

If you change your travel dates

Before advancing or extending your trip to Florida, notify your insurer.

They will confirm if it’s possible to change the number of days you will be travelling outside Quebec on your contract, and if you are covered for the extra days.

The contract end date and RAMQ insurability are factors to consider before tacking on a few more days in the sun.

If something unexpected happens

If your travel insurance contract includes trip cancellation or interruption coverage, call your insurer as soon as something happens requiring you to cancel or put off your trip to Florida.

This will make your claim easier.