Tips for a worry-free winter away

Tips for a worry-free winter away

Many retired Canadians will soon head south to their home away from home for the winter months.

CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is sharing new CAA member research that sheds light on some of the common worries experienced by snowbirds and is suggesting some simple tips to plan for a worry-free winter away.

In an online survey completed earlier this year by over 3,000 members, CAA found that the top worries snowbirds had while travelling were:

  • The wellbeing of family and friends travelling with them
  • The wellbeing of family and friends back at home
  • Pre-existing health concerns
  • Losing their wallet
  • Illness/injury related to activities on trip

“Peace of mind while travelling is the ultimate luxury,” said Kaitlynn Furse, manager, public relations, CAA South Central Ontario. “Taking steps to ensure that you’ll be covered with the right travel and medical coverage, is the best way to make the most of your time away during the winter.”

Among those surveyed, medical coverage for the duration of the trip was the most common type of travel insurance purchased, followed by trip cancellation/interruption, an annual policy that provides coverage for multiple trips throughout the year or a packaged plan that provides both medical and non-medical coverage for the duration of a trip.

CAA SCO suggests that snowbirds planning to head south this winter look for the following coverage before taking off:

Emergency Medical Insurance that includes:

  • Emergency medical treatment: Applies to hospital accommodations, physician fees, lab tests and X-rays, private duty nursing, and ambulance service.
  • Medical repatriation: When medically necessary, this coverage allows you to be transported safely to a medical facility for treatment, avoiding out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Return of vehicle: If you’re badly injured or hospitalized, the return of vehicle benefit will cover reasonable expense to have your personal or rental vehicle returned, providing you that extra peace of mind.

Bounce Back benefits: When travelling, there is always the possibility of having to return due to a home or family emergency. Bounce Back benefits often provide up to $2,000 for a round-trip ticket home and back to your destination.

CAA SCO also recommends the following when buying travel insurance:

  • Consult with your doctor before filling out a medical questionnaire. This will allow you to fully understand your medical history, allowing you to answer questions with confidence.
  • Read your policy carefully. Understand what is and isn’t covered.
  • If you have any questions, ask your travel insurance provider.
  • Don’t buy travel insurance on price alone.

Snowbirds should also check the following before heading south:

  • Make sure your driver’s license and passport do not expire while you are away.
  • Check with your auto insurance company to ensure you are covered while driving in the United States. Additional coverage may be required.
  • Review your homeowner’s policy. If you are away for an extended period, you must have someone check your property regularly.
  • Make sure to check travel advisories for your destination at least once while planning your travel and before you travel.

For more educational tips on commonly asked questions related to travel insurance go to

About CAA South Central Ontario
For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of eight auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for our over 2 million Members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

Canada Day Weekend – Travel Tips for facilitating your border crossing

Canada Day Weekend – Travel Tips for facilitating your border crossing

OTTAWAJune 28, 2018 /CNW/ – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) advises travellers that it anticipates higher volumes at its ports of entry over the Canada Day Weekend. The CBSA shares the following tips to facilitate your border crossing:

For returning residents:

Introducing a new surtax on U.S. goods – starting July 1, 2018, certain goods originating from the U.S. are subject to a surtax on the value for duty in accordance with the United States Surtax Order (Other Goods) and the United States Surtax Order (Steel and Aluminum). Please note that the surtax will not apply to U.S. goods that are in transit to Canadaprior to July 1, 2018. The surtax will be applied on goods subject to the surtax if a traveller exceeds their personal exemption. A list of goods subject to the surtax is available on the Department of Finance’s website.

The Monday of holiday long weekends tends to be busiest; plan around it.

Know your purchases and keep travel documents handy – Know your personal exemptions and restrictions and make sure that each passenger has the correct travel document. Have your travel documents and receipts in hand when you arrive at the border. It is recommended you travel with a passport as it is the only universally recognized travel document.

Declare all purchases, acquisitions, and/or gifts received when returning to Canada – refer to the I Declare brochure on the CBSA website for more information. If you are bringing gifts, it is recommended they not be wrapped as we may need to examine them more in-depth.

For travellers and residents:

Plan your border crossing – Check border wait times using the CanBorder App and cross at the least busy port of entry in the area. Historically, holidays result in higher than normal volumes; plan your entry during non-peak hours such as early morning. The Monday of holiday long weekends tends to be busiest, plan around it.

Know the contents of your vehicle – Travellers can consult the CBSA’s website for information on firearms and other restricted and prohibited goods. Declare all your goods.

Become a NEXUS member – NEXUS is designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved travellers into Canada and the United States. NEXUS members receive expedited border clearance in the land, air, and marine modes, and a NEXUS membership is valid for five years.  Additionally, you may take advantage of NEXUS expedited benefits when going through Canadian Air Transport Security Authority at key airports across Canada.

Use a Primary Inspection Kiosk – If you arrive at one of Canada’s busiest international airports, you can now verify your identity and make an on screen declaration using a primary inspection kiosk. Most travellers arriving in Canada by air, including returning residents and foreign nationals may use the kiosk. Download our eDeclaration mobile app to save even more time when you arrive by air in Canada.

Do not travel with cannabis (marijuana) – Cannabis is not yet legal in Canada. And even when it is, it will remain illegal to take it across the border.

Not sure? Ask the CBSA officer – The single best thing you can do to save time returning to Canada is to simply be open and honest with the CBSA officer. If you are not sure about what to declare, don’t hesitate to ask. The officers are there to help you.

For more information, visit the CBSA website or contact the Border Information Service.

Follow us on Twitter (@CanBorder) and Instagram (canborder), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

SOURCE Canada Border Services Agency

Canadians Positive on Travel Medical Insurance



The experience of Canadians who have purchased travel medical insurance is very positive, with more than 8 in 10 satisfied with the product and the value it provides. Furthermore, 98% of people who made travel medical insurance claims in the past year said they were fully or partially paid, with only 2% of claims being rejected. In addition, 91% of claimants said they were satisfied with their claim experience from initial contact to final outcome.

These are the key findings of new public opinion research by Pollara Strategic Insights. These and other findings about travel medical insurance are consistent with results from similar research undertaken by Pollara in 2015.

According to the research, confidence among Canadians who have purchased travel medical insurance in the past year is high, with 87% confident they would receive the quality of service they expected. In addition, 90% were confident they would receive the assistance they needed, and 86% expected reimbursement to cover the cost of the travel medical emergency as per their policy. These results were even higher for those who had made a claim.

Canadians also said they have a reasonable understanding of the travel medical insurance coverage terms and limitations, amount of coverage, and who to contact in the event of an emergency.  For example, at the time of purchasing their travel medical insurance policy, buyers said they were confident they knew the policy terms with 89% saying their knowledge was at least reasonable. Furthermore, 89% of buyers also said they had at least some knowledge of the limitations and exclusions of their policy at the time of purchase.

Fully 85% of claimants found the actual claim submission experience to be in line with what was explained to them during the initial contact, and 89% of claimants thought the claim submission experience was positive and either met (75%) or exceeded (14%) their expectations. However, despite the high levels of overall satisfaction, 31% of claimants (down from 38% in 2015) had a complaint about the claim experience, mostly about the length of time it took to process a claim, and lack of clarity about what was required.

When it comes to choosing their travel medical insurance, Canadians said the top six factors influencing their decisions were:

  • features and benefits (87% vs 86% in 2015);
  • overall amount of coverage (85% – not asked in 2015);
  • ability to speak to someone (83% vs 81% in 2015);
  • price (81% vs 76% in 2015);
  • ease of purchase (77% vs 70% in 2015); and,
  • coverage for pre-existing conditions (71% vs 66% in 2015).

The increase in the last three factors from 2015 is notable, which suggests consumer expectations for travel medical insurance are increasing, and that providers need to keep improving their product and service to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

“Canadian consumers have expressed a great deal of confidence in the travel medical insurance industry, and the products that our members provide,” said Keith Martin, Co-Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII), which sponsored the Pollara research. “On the other hand, consumers continue to raise the bar on what they expect from their policies in terms of product features, quality service and value, and rightly so.”

These are the key results from an online survey of 1,200 adult Canadians conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights between February 16th and March 5th, 2018. A random sample of this size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8%, 19 times out of 20.

About CAFII:
The Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance is a not-for-profit Association dedicated to the development of an open and flexible insurance marketplace. CAFII believes consumers are best served when they have meaningful choice in the purchase of insurance products and services. CAFII’s members include the insurance arms of Canada’s major financial institutions – BMO Insurance; CIBC Insurance; Desjardins Financial Security; RBC Insurance; ScotiaLife Financial; and TD Insurance – along with major industry players American Express Bank Canada; Assurant; Canada Life Assurance; Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company; CUMIS Services Incorporated; and Manulife (The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company).

About Pollara Strategic Insights:
Founded in 1980, Pollara Strategic Insights is one of Canada’s premier full-service research firms – a collaborative team of senior research veterans who are passionate about conducting research through hands–on creativity and customized solutions. Taking full advantage of their comprehensive toolbox of industry-leading quantitative and qualitative methodologies and analytical techniques, Pollara provides research-based strategic advice to a wide array of clients across all sectors on a local, national, and global scale.


Travelers Canada Offers Services Beyond Insurance for Small Businesses

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Travelers Canada, the Canadian division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today announced a new suite of services extending beyond insurance for small business customers. Human resources and legal assistance will now be offered, at no extra cost, to help small business owners manage day-to-day activities fundamental to their growth and success.

“Small business owners play a vital role in the economy, however, they typically have limited resources to manage the different challenges that come at them each day,” said Erica Glendinning, Vice President of Business Insurance at Travelers Canada. “We are excited to enhance our offering with these services and give small business owners the support they need to stay focused on growing their businesses.”

Travelers Canada will now offer the following new services and solutions:

~Business Legal Telephone Assistance – In-house attorney support on issues such as rental agreements, contracts, real estate and consumer law.
~Designated Human Resources Assistance – Professional support for human resources issues, including hiring, absences/leaves, safety, discrimination, immigration, labour matters, benefits and temporary employees.
~Emotional Support Assistance – Professional counsellors to provide confidential emotional support for issues related to home, work, trauma, grief and other personal or business hardships.

These services will be provided to Travelers Canada small business customers through Assistenza, a company that has delivered assistance services for the personal and commercial insurance industry for more than 25 years. Services will be available in English and French, as well as other languages upon request.

For more information about these services and insuring a small business, please visit

About Travelers Canada
Travelers Insurance Company of Canada, the Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company are the Canadian licensed insurers known as Travelers Canada. Travelers Canada is the Canadian division of the Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), a leading provider of property casualty insurance for autohome and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately US$29 billion in 2017. For more information about Travelers Canada, visit


3 Reasons it Could be Another Record-Breaking Year for Visitors to Canada

3 Reasons it Could be Another Record-Breaking Year for Visitors to Canada


Canada was the place to visit in 2017, and it seems travellers agreed. Visitors to Canada celebrated alongside us during our nation’s 150th birthday as well as Montreal’s 375th — undoubtedly attracted to this country thanks to being named Best Travel Destination (Lonely Planet) and Destination of the Year (Travel + Leisure magazine). According to Statistics Canada, we welcomed a record 20.8 million tourists from around the world, the most ever in our history.

And 2018 is shaping up to be just as strong, if not stronger. The first quarter of the year, has already seen 3,096,059 visitors welcomed to our shores, an increase of almost 6.4% from the same period last year, with momentum cresting convincingly toward the peak July/August months.

“There are three reasons to believe that 2018 is poised to surpass last year’s success” explains Dan Keon, VP Market Management at Allianz Global Assistance. “One has to do with China, and others are as a result of shifts in industry or regulatory environment that are now fuelling emerging markets.

1. 2018 is the Canada-China Year of Tourism

Designated so by the Government of Canada – with the intent of doubling the number of Chinese tourists by 2021 – there is concerted effort being placed in cultivating a stronger preference for coming to Canada. In addition, China-Canada family ties are already particularly deep, with 1.7 million Canadians with Chinese ancestry, and almost 50% of Chinese travellers coming to visit friends and relatives in Canada.

2. Travel visa restrictions to Canada removed or loosened

Visitors from Mexico and Brazil have less cross-border paperwork to worry about, as travel visas are no longer a requirement, making Canada that much more accessible. Similarly, travellers from India are now enjoying improved access to Canadian travel visas. Their growing middle class is in the midst of experiencing a surge in interest for travelling abroad.

Countries of Origin

3. More flights to Canada

Excluding American travellers, who are also apt to visit by car or RV, the majority of visitors to Canada fly in through our airports. Indeed, an increasing number of airlines are either adding more routes, or offering direct flights to Canada. This is particularly true for visitors from South Korea, which is an emerging market opportunity.

Keon suggests factoring these trends into plans to capture a share of the visitor to Canada market. “While these various influences make it easier and more attractive for travellers to visit Canada, their excitement should not get in the way of having travel insurance to protect them before their trip begins.”

Visitors to Canada travel insurance administered by Allianz Global Assistance for example, provides emergency medical coverage ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, with varying benefits, depending on the length of stay in Canada.

Sometimes, however, visitors to Canada can have varying levels of experience with travel insurance and the valuable emergency health and medical benefits that travel insurance may provide.

When working with this particular group, and their family members living here in Canada, Keon suggests travel advisors can assess this knowledge gap, first by listening for the following statements such as “Why do I need it?” Statements like this provides a great opening for an advisor to share various sudden and unforeseen scenarios when travel insurance may come in handy, such as an unexpected visit to the doctor, cost of new prescriptions as a result of an emergency health issue, or for emergency dental care.

With Canada poised to receive another 17 million+ visitors throughout the remainder of 2018, travel agents are ideally positioned to present travel insurance to visitors from China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Korea – along with introducing those same visitors to the very best that Canada has to offer.


This course is included as part of your ILS General CE and/or Adjuster CE Course Subscription

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