Car Insurance Concerns for Snowbirds

Going away for the winter? What you should know about your car insurance.
Categories: Personal Insurance
Nov 28th, 2017 | By: Tracy Hackl

An insurance concern for snowbirds heading to the US in the winter months is their vehicle insurance. If you’re planning to fly and leave your vehicle in BC, many people put a storage policy on their vehicle while they are not driving it. Seems like a good idea right? Before you do this an important question to ask is whether you own or lease your vehicle. Make sure you check your lease agreement to determine the minimum coverage requirements for vehicles in storage before you change the insurance on your vehicle. Even if you own your vehicle, if you’re storing it somewhere with the possibility of it being hit you should consider purchasing collision as well as comprehensive coverage on your storage policy. If you are renting a vehicle in the U.S. for more than 30 days you would need to purchase a secondary policy.

If you plan to travel to the US by car there are some important considerations to talk to your Capri broker about.

Your ICBC Autoplan insurance covers you anywhere in Canada and the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. But it’s important to make sure you’re complying with the registration requirements of the place you’re visiting. You’ll need to change your insurance policy if that jurisdiction requires you to register or licence your vehicle there, even if you’re on vacation.

Discuss your Third Party Liability limits; you are travelling to the litigious U.S. and $1M Third Party Liability may not be sufficient coverage if you are in an at fault accident and get sued. You should also be aware of the amount of coverage other people have.

Your basic Autoplan provides you with up to $1,000,000 of Underinsured Motorist Protection for injury or death caused by a motorist who doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for claims. Consider purchasing Excess Underinsured Motorist Protection ($25.00 / year) which increases your coverage to $2,000,000 if you are hit by a motorist from another jurisdiction who may have much lower coverage. Underinsured Motorist Protection not only covers you while driving your vehicle, but also if you’re a passenger in a vehicle, a pedestrian, or cyclist.
Lastly, if you are taking your RV and planning on living in it while in the U.S., it is not only a vehicle but your temporary residence and as such may require a unique policy.

Talk to your Capri broker to ensure peace of mind while enjoying your much deserved holiday in the sun!

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