October 31, 2007

BCAA predicts record “snowbird” levels due to strong dollar

Burnaby, British Columbia – The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is predicting a record “snowbird” exodus to the U.S. this fall and winter, fuelled by the high Canadian dollar. Senior sun-seekers generally spend between one and six months in the sunbelt states.

BCAA says that sales of its travel medical insurance jumped by 12 per cent this September, compared to the same period last year.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, snowbirds made the highest number of trips to date in 2006, when 694,000 people went south; the number of snowbird trips has increased by 60 per cent between 2000 and 2006.

Among BCAA’s recommendations for snowbirds is to get a passport, which is required for air travel and may be required for land or sea travel by the summer of 2008; purchase travel medical insurance, as provincial health care may not provide full coverage for medical emergencies in other parts of Canada or in the U.S.; safeguard your home; check your auto insurance to ensure that the coverage on your vehicle does not expire while you are away; and if you are driving to your destination, make sure you have adequate limits of third-party liability coverage on your automobile or RV. If you are driving an RV, talk to your insurance advisor to see if you have coverage for hotel expenses if your RV is being repaired for a claim.

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