Insurance Checklist for Snowbirds Heading South

Author: Staff | Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Before you pack up in a hurry and get on the move, here are a few insurance considerations every snowbird heading to warmer climates should consider:

Auto Insurance

Now that you’re heading to Florida to spend some time, you’ll probably be using your vehicle to get around. You’ll want to ask yourself: do I need to register my car at my winter home and also, do I need to buy auto insurance, if so in which state?

  • You cannot insure a vehicle in one state and register it in another. The vehicle should be registered and insured in the same state. If you have a car in the state of Florida for more than 90 days, either consecutive or non-consecutive, you have to comply with Florida's registration requirements. However, you are allowed to keep your driver’s license from your home state, even if you register and insure your motor vehicle in the warmer vacation residence.
  • Knowing whether to insure your motor vehicle at your Florida vacation residence will depend on whether you are heading back and forth from your home state, staying in Florida for a short period or simply leaving your vehicle parked at your Florida vacation residence all year round. The rule is, if you register your vehicle in Florida, you have to get auto insurance in Florida. Not only that, you must get your coverage from an insurance company or agent that is licensed in the State of Florida, which means you may not use your current insurance agent from your home state unless he/she is licensed in both states.
  • Certain types of auto insurance coverage are required by some states. Each state will set a limit that drivers are required to buy, so it is necessary to check your state’s minimum requirements. Florida law states that you need to have at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage to be able to legally drive. Keep in mind that Florida coverage minimums are among the nation’s lowest and it is recommended that snowbirds should at least match their home state’s minimums when getting insurance.

Homeowners Insurance

One of the simplest ways to save money on your homeowners insurance is to avoid a claim. Making sure your home is prepared to endure a long vacation absence is important. Apart from ensuring that your water heater is off and valves are turned off, securing your home before you head off to warmer climates also means reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy. You’ll want to check with and notify your insurance company or agent of your plans to leave, and find out if there are any conditions that need to be met under the terms of your policy. You may have to provide contact information and make mention of someone who has the keys and can access your home in the event of an emergency.

 

Health Insurance

If the winter season brings you out of the country, perhaps on a lovely island or a family cruise, you’ll want to have your health insurance policy reviewed before you head off. Traditional Medicare coverage only covers you in the 50 states. According to Medicare.gov, “The 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa are considered part of the U.S.” If your policy has additional coverage, check with your insurance company or agent to ensure that you are properly covered at your final destination.

Packed, Prepared and Ready for the South

Avoiding the snowflakes is a smart thing to do. Who cares about the cold anyway, you’re about to have some fun in the sun! Your sunscreen is packed. You’ve got some awesome plans and now that we have laid out all of these insurance considerations, you are going to be one happy snowbird, packed, prepared and ready for the South!

Call us at (561) 478- 1660 and talk to any one of our licensed and experienced agents, who are ready to assist you in reviewing and understanding your personal insurance needs as a snowbird heading to warmer climates.