Taking Flight: Travel Insurance Tips For Snowbirds

By AMA Staff

Seasoned Snowbirds know that careful travel planning is essential to a wonderful vacation. But anticipate the unpredictable, especially for an extended stay.

“There’s a greater risk of something happening, the longer you’re away from home,” says Nikola Berube, director of sales at AMA Travel. Which is why travel insurance should be part and parcel of any snowbird’s plans—right from the get-go. Berube recommends factoring into your budget the cost of travel insurance. AMA members get a nice head start—10% off travel medical insurance premiums. And AMA suggests considering a few different things when getting your policy.  


Taking on a deductible—the amount you pay before insurance “kicks in” to cover the rest—is a viable option for travellers who can afford to pay some expenses out of pocket, notes Berube. The deductible will lower the upfront premium rate of your travel medical insurance policy.  

Pre-existing condition rider  

Standard travel medical insurance requires that any existing condition be stable for three to six months, depending on your age, before travelling. Be sure to read the policy definition of stability, which includes changes to medication dosages. For those with existing medical conditions, Berube suggests adding a rider to the policy. For an extra cost, snowbirds can lower the stability period of an existing or new medical condition to just seven days and it can be added anytime right up to the day before you leave.  

Comparing coverage with other insurance providers can be confusing. If the cost with another insurer seems low, it’s particularly important to check if a condition will be covered over a certain age, or if there are limitations on costs covered. Conditions to ask about include cancer, cardio related illnesses and lung conditions. 

Visit AMA Travel online at or call 1-866-989-6595 to get a quote and set out your budget. 

AMA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire may be required to purchase travel insurance. Quotes are valid for 30 days.