Migration Season: Tips for Snowbirds

You may overhear murmurs of it in line at the post office, pharmacy, or coffee stand.

“Oh yes, just filling out my change-of-address form; I’ll be heading to Florida soon.” OR: “Bob and I are going to be closing up the house for winter and heading to Scottsdale in a few weeks.” AND: “I’ve got to call my daughter and give her the dates.”

The so-called “snowbirds” are on the move again, and they won’t just be calling family to let them know of the impending date changes, they’ll be calling their tried-and-true insurance brokers. Phone ringing off the hook yet?

Florida alone typically welcomes nearly one million temporary residents every winter, and Arizona can see upwards of a half million. These winter residents have many things on their to-do lists, including requests for effective dates for their policies and in-person proposals. At Distinguished, we hear from many brokers that it is a “when it rains, it pours” scenario when the snowbirds arrive. In this case, “when it snows, it pours.”

Warm-climate states attract these winter residents, who are typically profiled as retirees over the age of fifty-five who “fly south” from October to April. When snowbirds land, the areas they occupy see an increase in restaurant patrons, more shoppers, and, of course, more cars on the road.

Insurance needs for seasonal residents can be varied, but one thing is sure: one of the best ways to save money on insurance is to prevent a claim from happening. We also recommend passing along a few tips for snowbirds that let our customers know we care:

Tips When the Winter Home is Unoccupied
• Set the thermostat at 55°F or higher to prevent pipes from bursting (one of the most common claims) or drain the pipes prior to leaving
• Make the vacant home appear occupied by setting lights on timers, forwarding mail and newspapers, and arranging snow removal
• Ask a friend or family member to check in on the vacant home periodically

Tips When the Summer Home is Unoccupied
• Manage humidity by programming the A/C to run for two hours every morning
• Prevent flood damage by weather sealing doors and windows
• Remove debris from roof so water will drain off
• Turn off the water
• Ask a friend or family member to check in on the vacant home periodically

Distinguished has you covered, so before the first flakes fall, we’re ready to address the coming influx of temporary residents. We can provide quotes 60-90 days out, so you can have the numbers ready before the rush hits! Feel free to check in for quotes now, during the calm before the storm.