You Want to be a Snowbird? Here’s What You Need to Know
Have you reached a point where you’re tired of winter in Canada? Are you ready to spend the blistering cold months, somewhere more tropical? Are you ready to become a snowbird? We get it! Winter is not for everyone, and the allure of spending it elsewhere is ever-present. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of Canadians leave their province and find themselves in hot American states. But you should be aware that it’s not always so easy as just declaring you’re a snowbird to your family and then jumping on a plane. Today, we’re going through everything you need to know about becoming a snowbird!
How Long Can You be a Snowbird?
If your plan is to head to the United States for the winter, you can stay for about six months or 182 days. If you stay any longer than that, you may get labeled with a resident alien status which comes with taxes. The IRS does have some flexibility for Snowbirds, but it can be tough to navigate. It’s also important to note that the 182 days could be all in one shot or an accumulation of days. So, if you spend any other time in the country – even if it’s just a single day, that counts towards the 182.
What about Keeping my Provincial Health Insurance?
To keep your provincial health insurance, you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time in your home province. There are different duration requirements for each province.
You need to spend at least six months in:
- Prince Edward Island
- Quebec (But, trips under 21 days are not counted.)
You need to be in these provinces for at least five months:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
This province requires at least four months:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
Finally, both Nunavut and Yukon currently have no residency rule.
Should Snowbirds buy Travel Insurance?
Yes, 100%! As a Canadian, you may not fully realize the sticker shock that comes with American healthcare. So don’t take a risk on your health, and instead invest in a high-quality travel insurance plan. Travel insurance is an absolute necessity, especially for such a long duration out of the country. To compare the rates of the top travel insurance companies, request a quote through isure! Our simple system will show you many different examples and rates to help you find the best coverage for your trip.
Best of all, from now until December 1st, 2017, if you call us at 1-855-211-8747 to get a travel insurance quote, you will be entered in a grand prize draw for a ‘Dream Vacation’! A 3500$ travel voucher applicable to any airline or cruise!
If you’re away from home for a long period of time, some home insurers will have some more measures you need to take. Failing them could result in lost home insurance coverage. Speak with your insurer to know for sure, but a common rule is to have a family member do regular stop-ins and inspections while you are away.
Where should I go?
If your goal is to escape Winter, as is the case for most snowbirds – then the Southern United States’ should be your destination. Florida is the most common area, while California is a close second. Other States include Arizona, Texas and South Carolina. If you have the budget, then you should also consider Hawaii.
Where can I get even more information about being a snowbird?
The CSA, or Canadian Snowbird Association has a supplementary guide to be a snowbird. They also offer a simple Travelers Checklist that will ensure you have all your needs in order.
Tags: Travel Insurance coverage