If you can remember when the classic song "Snowbird" was a hit for Canadian singer Anne Murray in 1970, then chances are you're now one of the millions of Canadians who are given the moniker "snowbird" because of your vacation preferences. Within the last two decades, Canadians aged 55+ have substantially increased their propensity to travel to warmer climes. According to Canada's Tourism Research Institute, since 2000, snowbird trips to the US have increased by 190 per cent, while snowbird trips to other locales have increased by a staggering 553 percent.
However, along with this statistic comes some sobering news: CNN reports that, according to a recent survey, 47 percent of Canadians interviewed said that they had never reviewed their travel insurance policies, even though 23 percent of them had required medical treatment while travelling.
Buying the Right Snowbird Insurance
Travel insurance isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. That's why, if you're shopping for snowbird travel insurance you need to do your homework, ask plenty of questions, and identify what protections are most important to you before you buy.
With this in mind, here are five reasons why Canadian snowbirds should purchase traveller's insurance:
1. Healthcare is Extremely Expensive in the US
If you follow the news, you already know how expensive healthcare is in the US. Typically, Canadian government insurance only covers seven to nine percent, so you could get stuck with paying more than 90 per cent of an expensive US medical bill. However, the good news is that a comprehensive travel insurance policy can protect you from having to pay these high fees.
2. Snowbird Insurance Plans are Versatile
Did you know that, with travel insurance, you can choose coverage for anywhere from a few days up to several months? You have the freedom to choose the type, as well as the length, of coverage you want. You can choose policies with a lower -- or a higher -- deductible, as well as policies that cover everything, or ones that cover a limited range of incidents. Likewise, you can choose travel plans that not only offer health and auto protection but also trip cancellation protection -- which leads to the third benefit.
3. Trip Cancellation Coverage Can Protect You When Plans Go Awry
If you've ever had to cancel a plane reservation, you know that tickets aren't always refunded. Unfortunately, trips sometimes have to be cancelled when the unexpected happens -- events such as illness or a death in the family, jury duty, weather-related travel advisories or emergencies at home or work. With trip cancellation coverage, you can be covered in case you need to reschedule or cancel your flight. In addition, trip cancellation coverage can offer you extra assistance if your flight is cancelled, or if your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged.
4. Many Snowbird Policies Have a Stability Clause
Worried about a pre-existing condition? Many snowbird travel insurance policies have a so-called stability clause, which means that if your pre-existing condition has remained stable for a certain length of time, they'll cover your healthcare issues while you're travelling.
5. Buying Snowbird Insurance Online is Easy -- and You Can Lock In a Good Rate
Thanks to the Internet, buying snowbird insurance only takes a few minutes, and it's never been easier to shop around. Plus, depending on the insurer, you can often lock in a good rate that will last the life of your policy, so you won't have to worry about increases.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, purchasing snowbird insurance can give you the peace of mind you'll need so that you can fully enjoy your vacation, without having to worry about the unforeseen ruining your health or your finances. Whether you need long-term snowbird insurance, or just enough coverage for a hop, skip and a jump to somewhere warm, with a bit of shopping around you'll find the perfect coverage for your snowbird travel needs.