Happiness is Early Bird

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

Well, that might be “pushing the envelope,” as they say. Our phones have already been ringing with requests for Early Bird insurance information. A number of these calls are coming from our competitors, to try and determine if they can raise their prices this year. Well the answer is NO! We have a preferred mailing list, to which we send our earliest information on our insurance products, and we would be happy to add your name. Every client we have, or have had in the past, is on our special list because we believe that all of our clients are special.

This story is not really a story, but more of a list of things that may help you to make the proper decision when purchasing Medipac’s Early Bird travel insurance. To make life simple and to save valuable space, I will just list them as they come to mind.

1: Our prices are in Canadian dollars; our benefits are in U.S. dollars. Every year, we have several snowbirds send us premiums in U.S. dollars and we then send them refunds of the currency difference. Just send Canadian dollars, it is easier for everyone.

2: When choosing your departure date, be aware of the age ranges of the premiums. It will be much cheaper, in some cases, to move your travel dates forward to “save age.” For instance, if you will be turning 71 on October 15 and plan to leave on October 29, you might consider changing your trip to leave before your October 15 birthday. This will place you in the lower age category, with substantial premium savings. Even if you cannot leave prior to October 29, you should still purchase the extra, never to be used days and have the policy in effect before your birthday. Please make sure that it will still cover your entire trip, however.

3: Some snowbirds dislike our top-up fees which are, unfortunately, necessary. They decide to not tell us their real departure date, but ask to have their policy begin when their other policy runs out. I think that they believe they can save $40 without the insurer finding out that they actually departed much earlier. Dumb! Following a claim, the insurer always finds out. The pre-existing condition clause comes into effect on the actual departure date and can cause expensive havoc when an improper date is given to the insurer. You may know of someone who was caught in this uncomfortable situation and my strong recommendation is…just pay your top-up fee!

4: A dangerous practice is to refuse to change your drugs because it will affect your insurance. This does not work, in any case. If a doctor recommends a change in drugs and you do not accept that change, the insurance company still treats this as a pre-existing condition and a claim will not be paid for that condition. Please, just do what your doctor recommends and do not sacrifice your health for insurance reasons. We can normally provide full coverage, in any event, if you contact us and explain your situation.

5: Another critical issue is the need to notify Medipac if your health changes between the date you purchase insurance and the date you depart. Pre-existing clauses come into effect on your departure date and any health change can, and will, affect your coverage.

6: Past-president Ellen White has talked about insurance myths in this issue. Another myth is that you will feel better when you get to the warm weather. The real question is…if you get to the warm weather. We have many, many claims from snowbirds who are still en route to their destination. They thought exactly that. Do not take chances with your health – see your doctor BEFORE you leave, if you are not feeling well. Every minute can count if you have a serious health problem, even if the symptoms are minor.

Our Early Bird package of information will follow this CSANews very shortly. If you have any questions or concerns when you receive it, we would love to hear from you. And YES, our rates are still the same as last year’s main season rates and YES, our Medipac Double Guarantee is still in effect. “If rates go up, your Early Bird rate is guaranteed; if rates go down, we send you a cheque for the difference.”

Have a wonderful summer.