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Planning To Travel To The United States This Winter?

The US border has opened up and with cold weather upon us, you may be planning your long awaited trip to the sunny south. It’s important to know what you need to consider before leaving your home for an extended period of time and the potential impacts to your property and auto insurance coverage. Keep reading to get all the details on ensuring your property is well protected during your absence this winter.

Home Maintenance Before Your Trip

water shut off valve

First, let’s go over some key home maintenance that should be taken care of before travelling. Here’s what you need to do before your departure:

  1. Drain all water pipes and turn off your water.
  2. Ensure that all doors and windows are secure.
  3. Hold mail, forward mail, or ensure someone picks it up while you’re away.
  4. Arrange for snow removal (if applicable) and any other exterior maintenance.
  5. Change over utilities to digital billing.

BONUS: Click here to get even more tips on How To Protect Your Home Before Winter Arrives.

It’s important to note that coverages, such as water damage, are not available when your home is left unoccupied. This is why having someone check in on your home regularly is so important. If a pipe is leaking or bursts, it can be caught early enough and fixed.

PRO TIP: Ensure the person checking your home goes to the basement. While all may appear well on the main floors, the basement is where many water problems originate. No one wants to come home to find a mouldy basement!

It’s best to talk to your agent or broker before departure to learn more about how to protect your home.

Are You Planning To Drive To The US?

US and Canada border with cars waiting

If you’re a Canadian travelling to the US and are planning on driving down in your vehicle, we recommend reviewing what coverage you have and what actions you might need to take if, for any unforeseen reason, you have to do an out-of-country claim.

For example, what should you do if you collide with large wildlife? Deer collisions are, sadly, very common. If an animal runs out in front of your car unexpectedly, these types of collisions are considered unavoidable and are covered under your comprehensive coverage. If this happens to you, connect with your insurance agent right away. You may have to pay the deductible, but your agent and on-site adjusters can guide you through the claim so you’ll be able to get back to your vacation as quickly as possible.

If you will be renting a vehicle while away, contact your agent to add a rider to extend your auto insurance policy to the rental car ‘with limits’. This option is more economical than purchasing the coverage offered from the rental car company, but it is not automatically included in your policy.

Also, if you will be leaving your car behind, you may want to consider reducing your auto coverage, leaving only the comprehensive coverage. However, before changing your coverage, consider the potential impacts that this change will have on your accident benefits coverage, particularly if you don’t have access to other extended health coverage. Removing road coverage temporarily also deletes accident benefits coverage if it is your only insured vehicle.

It is always a good idea to speak to your Agent to have all your questions answered before you leave. 

We want to help you navigate any insurance decisions and/or claims. So while you’re checking things off your to-do list before your trip down south, call us today to ensure you’re protected. Safe travels!