Insurance Update

Fall 2011 CSANews Issue 80  |  Posted date : Sep 02, 2011.Back to list

I love good news!

As a person who spends considerable time in the United States, for both business and pleasure, the close of the Canadian dollar at $1.059 on July 27 was hopefully a sign of things to come. I have some minor regrets in that I did not sell my townhouse in Florida when the rate for $1 U.S. would have gotten me $1.43 Canadian in exchange. And my townhouse also lost half of its value from the real estate highs of three or four years ago. But that is "water under the bridge." The only time you can really measure the investment return of your second home is the day on which you sell it, and that will be many years away.

I bought my second home not as an investment, but as a lifestyle choice. I have immensely enjoyed every second I was able to spend there and, as our dollar strengthened, it has cost me less and less to enjoy it every year. My kids and grandkids have been able to descend on us for a "cheap" vacation and this has led to hundreds, if not thousands, of wonderful memories. 

More good news has arrived – my property taxes have gone down substantially as well. If you own property in the U.S. and your taxes have not been reduced, then I would look at filing an assessment appeal with the county in which your home is located. Real estate appears to be stabilizing in the U.S., but there are still projections of 10-15% reductions in prices by the end of the year. It appears that February or March of 2012 will provide excellent opportunities for those looking for that perfect spot.

There is excellent news on the insurance front, too. Obamacare seems to have had less effect on hospital and doctor rates than we had anticipated…so far. 

Our strategy to confront aggressive billing departments, combined with Medipac's reputation for paying our claims, has proven very successful. We have been able to hold rates to minor inflationary increases and still provide a 5% discount for our Early Bird purchasers.

The insurance prognosis going forward looks very positive. As indicated in the Editor's Message, this will be a tremendous growth year for Medipac, as more and more snowbirds are "finding" us. There are a few new programs in the market this year with new gimmicks and new promises, and I can only wonder why companies would need these. Perhaps their old plans had worn out their welcome in our snowbird community.

Oh, and that dollar…it fell off a cliff in the past several days and briefly flirted with par; but most forecasts call for about $1.05 for next year. This means that $1 Canadian buys $1.05 U.S. One senior bank was projecting up to $1.10 recently and that's where I would like to go. That would be great news!