Going South for the Winter: Essential Information for Snowbirds – Travel insurance Canada to US
The cold weather is well on its way. This means that for many people, it’s time to start going South for the winter.
But we’ve all heard those horror stories about Canadians who seek medical help on vacation in the USA, only to come home to a hospital bill for tens of thousands of dollars.
This doesn’t have to be your reality. You should be able to enjoy your life as a snowbird without facing a bill that will put you in debt.
Winter vacations in the USA are popular for Canadians, especially to those ideal snowbird destinations like Florida. So when you’re planning your trip, make sure you’re prepared.
Read this information carefully to avoid living one of those hospital bill horror stories.
The Difference for Snowbirds
You need insurance to travel to the USA, regardless of how long you’re going for.
However, there’s a difference between going for a week or two and going for the whole winter. It’s important that you understand these differences before you head out.
Under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), Ontario residents are only covered for minimal out of country coverage. This is only for a very specific range of conditions or situations.
Most of the time, it only covers emergency situations that require immediate care. And it generally won’t cover the whole bill. OHIP members get reimbursed $200 per day for inbound emergency services, and $400 per day for operating room services.
You will have to obtain coverage from a private travel insurance company to make sure you are covered during your trip.
Snowbirds also need to consider their car insurance policy. If you’re driving down south make sure you know what’s in your policy when it comes to driving or taking your car out of the country.
Even if you’re renting a car, review both your policy and the rental company’s policy. Some rental companies only insure for up to 30 days.
Many popular snowbird destinations are RV parks. If you’re staying in one of these locations, you’ll also need to look into home insurance options so that you’re covered for premises liability.
Snowbird Travel Insurance Options
Travel insurance for the USA is essential if you’re planning on spending your winter there.
When you consider your options, review the insurance policy coverage. Don’t just compare prices.
There are two types of travel insurance: single trip and multi trip.
Single trip insurance covers you for a certain amount of time. It’s meant for long term trips without any return visits back to Canada during the duration of your stay.
Multi trip insurance covers you for unlimited trips to and from Canada for the whole year. This policy is best if you plan on making some return trips home. However, this policy only covers a certain amount of consecutive days at a time for your trip.
Once you’ve chosen a company and begin your policy, you’ll have to meet eligible criteria. This includes filling out a questionnaire and disclosing any previous medical conditions.
Lastly, make sure you check for travel advisories in place by the Government of Canada. If you are traveling to a location that’s under a travel advisory, it will affect your eligibility for travel insurance.
What to Know Before You go
One in ten travel insurance claims for accidents that happen out of country are turned down, and it’s very often that this happens because the form was incorrectly filled out.
Read your insurance policy carefully and that you’ve filled out every detail correctly. Even if you miss one minor detail, this could cost you.
Ask your physician or family doctor to help you go over the forms. This will ensure that you are filling everything out as accurately as possible.
Health care in the USA is not cheap, even just for a day’s worth of care. This could add up to thousands of dollars.
Travel insurance is also only used for emergencies, so be prepared if you have a pre-existing condition. Stock up on medications and bring extra supplies so you don’t run out.
What to do if You’re in an Out of Country Accident
Accidents happen, whether you’re covered or not. The best thing you can do is be prepared.
Go to the hospital as soon as you feel something wrong. If you wait, you could be considered at fault if your condition gets worse. For many insurance companies, this is grounds to deny your claim.
When you make a claim to your insurance company, you’ll be reimbursed for whatever costs you were covered for by that policy. Sometimes this might not be enough.
That’s when it comes time to get the compensation you need.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Many travel insurance claims are negotiable, and a professional can make sure you get what you deserve.
Accident benefits are different in other countries than they are in Ontario. It’s important to understand what you’re entitled to. That’s where we can help.
Conte & Associates Can Get You the Compensation You Need
If you’ve been in an accident while spending your winter vacation in the USA, Conte & Associates can help. An injury can ruin your holiday, but it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your life.
Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers can get you on the right track to recover from an accident out of the country. We’ll fight aggressively so you don’t have to suffer any more than you already have.
We work with the top medical experts in Ontario to get the best support for your claim. Don’t wait any longer.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get your life back on track.