A “Snowbird” 101: How to Insure Your Trailer if You Snowbird

For those who live in Alberta most of the year but opt to either tow their trailer south of the border or close up trailer and fly south for the winter, you’re probably aware of how nice it can be to skip out on the most bitter months the province experiences. No winter tires or no frigid mornings spent waiting for your car to warm up so you can make your daily commute to work.

This is called “snowbirding” – you’re “flying” to the south/warmer weather for the snowy months. RecProtect provides insurance solutions in Alberta and throughout Canada for avid campers, trailer owners, and RV-livers and caters its programs accordingly depending on what your needs as. If you are a Canadian snowbird who likes to take your trailer south in the winter, you have unique requirements as your trailer is no longer primarily in Canada and you may be using it year-round.

RecProtect is here with a quick guide on snowbirding and how to insure your trailer if you snowbird.

What defines a “Snowbird?”

A snowbird is essentially a northerner who drives or travels somehow to a warmer southern area for the winter, whether that’s in Mexico or a warmer state. Often, a snowbird is a retired individual or a retired couple, but it can just as easily be a seasonal worker or someone who works remotely. The move is only temporary, and snowbirds will typically return to a primary home back north once the snow has melted.

Snowbirds don’t necessarily have to own a trailer. Some snowbirds may opt to leave a trailer behind in Canada when they travel south, whether by car or by plane, and may need to assess an entirely separate coverage option: storage insurance. Your trailer is still at-risk even if it’s stored away, so discuss with your broker if you don’t plan on bringing your trailer with you.

What is a Snowbird Endorsement?

A snowbird endorsement is basically a trailer insurance Alberta endorsement that you can use to supplement your coverage if you travel to the United States during the colder months. There are specific trailer insurance coverage features you may need to consider when it comes to travelling out-of-country, and moreover what your specific circumstances call for.

A snowbird endorsement may include the following features:

  • Increased third-party liability limits. If you are traveling to the United States or Mexico, your liability coverage may be limited. Should something happen which you are labelled liable for, you may be required to pay out for property damage/medical expenses, or even loss of income – which your third-party liability insurance can cover.
  • Some standard Alberta trailer insurance policies include limits for travelling out-of-country. Check your policy limits to be sure, but you might note a clause that states you are only able to maintain coverage with your trailer outside of Canada for a certain period of time. Your snowbird endorsement may be able to significantly extend this period. For instance, RecProtect Trailer Insurance limits the out of Canada coverage to 90 days.
  • If you snowbird but don’t bring your trailer with you, i.e., drive to a second property, you may leave your trailer in storage back in Canada during the time where you are gone. Discuss storage insurance with your broker and how it can impact you.

RecProtect’s Tips for Snowbirds

Acquiring a snowbird endorsement to add onto your existing trailer insurance in Alberta is one thing, but actually knowing all the ins and outs of a seasoned snowbird is an entirely separate matter.

RecProtect has some tips if you’re just starting out as a newbie snowbird:

  • Take your time travelling to and from your destination. If the snow has already started to fall, the conditions could be treacherous.
  • Invest in your snowbirding trailer. If this is to be your “home away from home,” you’ll want it to feel that way, too.
  • Take it easy the first year. Go somewhere that you might already be familiar with, or a location where you might have some family and friends.
  • Try meeting some new friends. Who knows? You might find yourself learning more about various travel destinations by chatting with fellow snowbirds.
  • Choose a destination that will reflect what you want to do for the winter months. Leisure? Lots of activities? Lots of tourism? The choice is yours.
  • Discuss the potential of acquiring a snowbird endorsement well before you leave. Coverage may be limited depending on your plans, so it’s best to ensure you’re on the same page with your broker before you hit the open road.
  • Determine when you are going to leave and return. Alberta weather can be unpredictable, to say the least, so it might be hard for you to navigate in the snowy weather if you left too late.
  • Consult with your broker to ensure you are not in violation of any terms on your policy.

Snowbirding isn’t always easy, especially if this is your first time doing it. It might do you some good to connect with any snowbirds you know or join communal groups online. The more you do it, the better you’ll get and the more fun you’ll have!

Have more questions regarding snowbird endorsements for your trailer insurance in Alberta? Not to worry. RecProtect’s friendly brokers know trailers, and we can help you find solutions fitted to your personal circumstances and how you travel.

Get a free trailer insurance quote in Alberta today in under 60 seconds with RecProtect!