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FALL 2012
is published four times a year and is Copyright
Fall 2012 by Medipac International Communications Inc.,
180 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 2T5. (416)441-7000.
Subscription Price:
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Published by Medipac International Communications Inc.
Opinions expressed are those of the writers and are not necessarily
those of the CSA, Medipac International Communications Inc. or its
affiliates, their Directors, Officers, or other employees or agents.
Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No: 40063603.
ISSN No: 1195-2393
Barb & Ron Kroll
Dr. Robert MacMillan
Willa McLean
Andrew Moore-Crispin
Rex Vogel
Ron Bellamy
Contributing Editors
Michael Coren
Jennifer Cox
Shari Darling
James Dolan
Bob Slack
Ron Steeves
John Foster
Nancy Hopcraft
Karen Huestis
Gerry Brissenden
James Leroux
Rick Thorpe
Michael MacKenzie
Wallace Weylie
First Vice-President
Second Vice-President
Past President
Executive Director
Legal Counsel
CSA Board of Directors
CSA Editor
Vice President 
Art Director
Director of Sales
Account Manager
Director of Operations
Marketing Coordinator
Staff Photographer
J. Ross Quigley
Bob Slack
Chris Bradbury
Peter Prusa
Neville B. Levin
Fran Castricone
Paula McGovern
Kim Saunders
Doug Miller
FALL 2012 | ISSUE 84
J. Ross Quigley
Thank you for a great response to our survey. We
received literally thousands of replies and your
special comments will keep us busy for some time.
The primary shifts in snowbird habits were what you
would expect with all the new technology which
we are slowing adopting. Eighty-five per cent of snowbirds are now online
and using e-mail to communicate with friends and family. Surprisingly,
Skype also has 30% of snowbirds as users; I will have to try it myself. The
snowbirds completing our survey online had a 99% response to“Are you
online?” and I amwondering about the other 1%.
Your journey south takes a leisurely three to four days for 54% of you and
about the same 50% spend six months at their winter destination, which
is an increase over prior surveys. Eighteen per cent plan to stay longer this
year and it would be nice if our family can do that too. The border does
not seem to present much of a problem and the economy and the dollar
exchange rate are really not relevant to our plans. We simply adapt as best
we can.
It was a bit disturbing to discover that 8% had crossed the border without
insurance protection and I would like to reiterate how dangerous that can
be. Please, please, buy something. More than 50% of snowbirds made a
claim in the past 10 years. What pleased us at Medipac was that 92% of
claimants had a satisfactory – or better – claim experience; 48% even said
that it was excellent. When dealing with the complex and convoluted U.S.
medical systems in emergency situations, these results are spectacular. We
still have work to do in order to help that other 8%, however. Sixty-eight
per cent have family come to see them and you should ensure that they are
properly covered for their visit. In our situation, it would probably be me
that ended up paying for uninsured medical issues, as the kids are not rich.
Just a word of caution for you.
Changing of currency by snowbirds is showing trends towards doing it just
once, before they leave. This has increased from 14% to 26% and implies
that people may be watching the exchange rates and buying when our
Canadian dollar is strong. The CSA’s Currency Exchange Program is also
showing a steady increase every year for regular monthly transfers, which
helps spread the currency risk. Many snowbirds are changing money “as
needed,” and“at the bank” is still the top choice at 63%. This must be the
convenience factor at work because banks certainly do not have great
exchange rates and their fees can add up too.
An incredible 95% of us state that we are in good to excellent health. But,
hey, we are snowbirds; what else would we expect?
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government
of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the
Department of Canadian Heritage.