The low Canadian dollar is getting in the way of winter travelers who usually head south to the United States.
The so-called “snowbirds”, that is, the Canadians who often spend their winter months in warmer American states, are facing struggles with the travel insurance they need to ensure they will have medical coverage while they’re away from home.
This high cost of insurance coverage is the direct result of the Canadian dollar, which is hitting decade lows.
Not only is it now more expensive for these travelers to exchange their currency to U.S. dollars in order to pay for everything they buy while they’re away, but it has made the cost of travel insurance for medical coverage so expensive that agents are saying that many customers have decided not to winter in the U.S. this year – or ever again until the exchange is more favorable to their cause. Thousands of people in Canada make this trip every year and many are wondering how much of an impact the exchange rate will have on the trend, this year.
This issue has been compounded by the recent travel insurance premiums hikes that have occurred recently.
Travel insurers have implemented two premiums increases in the last six months, bringing the rates to over 20 percent higher than they had been last winter. That, combined with the exchange rate is simply overwhelming many travelers who are finding that the trip has now been pushed out of their budgets.
According to Marty Firestone from Travel Secure Inc, “We’ve had more calls than we’ve ever had where we tell people what the premium is and they just say, WHAT?!”. Firestone went on to say that with the current rates that are in place, an 80 year old traveler who has some medical issues could find him or herself paying anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for a six month travel medical policy.
With those figures ahead of them, it is not difficult to understand why the expense related to travel insurance is preventing snowbirds from heading south to warmer weather for the winter. Equally though, there are some that have said that they are going to risk making the trip without buying the coverage. To that, Firestone said “They’ve got to get their heads examined.”