Snowbird Survey 2004

Summer 2004 CSANews Issue 51  |  Posted date : May 10, 2007.Back to list

CSA members are still the most dedicated and committed people I have ever seen in any organization. Thousands of you took the time to respond to our spring survey, and it is time to share the results.

As always, you surprised us with many of your answers. We have taken a sample of your questions and answers and shown them below, with the occasional editorial comment. We hope that you enjoy your responses as much as we have.

1. Lifetime members: 14.16%

Lower than we expected.

2. Snowbirds who know others who are not CSA members: 65.35%

You are always the best source of new members.

3. Home Ownership:
  • Canada: 90.65%
  • Winter Destination: 61.72%

    These are significant increases from our previous surveys. Does this mean that the stronger dollar has allowed more snowbirds to purchase, as opposed to renting? U.S. real estate prices have been soaring, especially in beach areas, so you have made a good investment.

    4. Living in a retirement community:
    Canada: 9.58%
  • Winter Destination: 40.75%

    There is little change in Canada, but choosing a retirement community at your winter destination is on the rise.

    5. Computer ownership is rising fast (now 65.12%) and e-mail and Internet use are increasing dramatically, as you become more familiar with the computer age. There is still a reticence to give your credit card numbers to a machine, as only 33.45% have ever made an online purchase.

    6. Cellular phones were carried by 52.13% and this is a substantial increase of about 20%. At the same time, the use of telephone calling cards is dropping, which makes sense.

    7. Your planned purchases are very interesting.
  • DVD Player: 36.89%
  • Digital Camera: 33.33%
  • Computer Printer (It's is about time): 26.23%
  • Laptop Computer (Much easier to transport): 17.76%
  • Home Theatre (Still too expensive for our budget, too): 4.37%

    8. An impressive 87.02 % consider yourselves to be in good, very good and excellent health. This is wonderful news. The last survey indicated that only 73% of people felt that they were in good or better health.

    9. Travel patterns are very similar to previous surveys, with two exceptions. More people are now travelling by plane to their destination, rather than by car or RV. The second surprising statistic is that you are planning to stay away longer in the future. Our guess is that the Canadian dollar is having an impact on travel plans and you are taking fewer exotic side trips due to the security issues worldwide.

    10. In the past three years, most travel was to the United States but 22.16% have travelled to the Caribbean and 22.72% visited Europe. (Are these the same people?)

    11. A resounding 78.86% have found little change at Canada/U.S. border crossings and 99.29% of respondents have crossed this border in the past three years. (Our personal experience has been that it is now easier and more efficient at border-crossing points, especially using our passports.)

    12. Snowbirds with employer insurance coverage: 43.85%

    13. Snowbirds who have had employer coverage reduced: 17.58% (A huge 41.11% of those reductions were for out-of-country medical benefits.)

    14. Your primary reasons for choosing your travel medical insurance:
  • Low rates (Be careful and read the policy first.): 44.56%
  • Comprehensive coverage (Smart): 41.55%
  • CSA endorsement: 35.19%
  • Ease of purchase: 27.08%
  • Claims service and quality of care: 23.96% (This one is the most important)
  • Those providing an alternative answer: 12.50% (Our weekend reading)

    15. Your insurance carrier of choice:
  • Medipac: 53.95%
  • Our closest competitor: 8.58%
  • Written answers (More weekend reading) 26.98%

    16. In the past 10 years, 48.88% have had a travel medical insurance claim, with approximately 90% of those claim experiences being satisfactory to excellent. (We believe that Medipac’s claims service and quality of care are far superior to the average and we will certainly ask you this in our next survey.)

    17. The CSA issues of importance to survey respondents were a blueprint for us all to follow. High travel insurance costs led the way (again) at 82.62%, followed closely by 79.98% who wanted better Canada/U.S. relations. This is a very high percentage and it has obviously become critical since the recent border issue which would limit travel in the U.S. to 30 days. Addressing the freedom to travel in Canada and health-care issues were closely aligned at about 75%. There also appeared to be little difference in whether CSA should address federal issues or provincial issues; these were both in a close tie at about 71%. (Makes sense to us, just solve the problems.)

    18. The U.S. Retiree Visa initiative was much higher on your radar screen than we had expected. An amazing 63.87% of you wanted CSA to continue with their efforts to get a special retiree visa for Canadian visitors to the U.S.

    19. In CSANews, you wanted to see more information on Lifestyle Choices (67.11%), non-CSA event information (41.75%), recipes (28.16%), gardening (23.91%) and other CSA member profiles (23.42%). (We will do our best to bring more of this kind of information to you in future issues.)

    This last statistic is for our new prime minister, the provincial government premiers and all health-care ministers who may read this. And we do send many of them copies of CSANews. In our last survey, 86.37% of our survey respondents believed that our government health insurance should pay for the PSA prostate cancer test. Only 3.74% disagreed. Again, is anyone listening out there in “bureaucracy land?”, please, just fix it, and save some lives!