Canadian snowbirds are taking flight, but is their insurance up in the air?

--TD Insurance poll reveals only half of Canadian snowbirds check travel insurance before leaving home--

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - It's getting cool out and Canada's snowbirds are starting to head south, but are they properly protected while away from home? According to a recent TD Insurance survey only half of Canadians aged 50 and over checked their travel insurance policy before leaving for vacation, and only 16% called their insurance provider to determine if they needed to update their policy.

"Snowbirds have a unique set of insurance needs, different from most Canadian travellers," says Dave Minor a vice president at TD Insurance. "Not only do they need to understand exactly what their travel insurance policy covers, but they may have to review auto, recreational vehicle, and home insurance policies - for both their property down south and back home - before they travel."

Here are some tips on travel, auto and home insurance for Canadian snowbirds heading south for the winter:

Travel insurance

"Snowbirds should review the details of their travel medical insurance policy including whether or not there is a time limit for out of country coverage and what they need to know about pre-existing conditions and limitations," says Minor. "If a snowbird has visited a hospital or switched medications in the past 12 months, this information needs to be disclosed to their insurance provider, as a failure to do so may impact insurance coverage should they need to make a claim. Anyone who is unsure about a detail within their policy should just ask."

Auto insurance

According to the TD Insurance survey, 46% of Canadian snowbirds incorrectly believe that if they are driving outside of Canada, their auto insurance policy will cover them, but this isn't always the case.

"Snowbirds need to call their insurance provider if they are taking their vehicle outside of Canada or the United States or if they plan to rent a vehicle for more than 30 days," says Minor. "They should also consider increasing their liability limit given that claims in the United States can be expensive, and discuss that with either their provider or insurance agenti."

For snowbirds travelling down south by motorhome or RV, keep in mind that although insurance protection on recreational vehicles is similar to regular auto insurance, because this vehicle also serves as a home, it requires a unique policy.

"If RV owners are increasing the amount of time they are living in their vehicle - for example living in the unit full time versus an occasional weekend getaway - then their policy may need to be revised," says Minor. "Check with your insurance provider to find out what your needs are so you're not left uncovered."

Home insurance

Only 12% of Canadian snowbirds say they checked their home insurance policy to ensure their primary residence would be covered while on vacation. Making sure you take the necessary steps to protect your home before you travel will make the process easier, should you need to make a claim.

"Often insurance policies have specific "away" requirements, which, if not fulfilled, could void coverage if your home is left unoccupied and unattended for an extended period of time," says Minor. "Contact your insurance provider to make sure you know what steps to take to keep your current policy valid."

More information and tips about your insurance needs are available at www.tdinsurance.com

About the TD Insurance State of Insurance Report
TD Insurance commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online custom survey of 2,748 Canadians aged 18 and older, including 1,362 Canadians 50 years of age or older (referred to as snowbirds). Responses were collected from February 7 to 18, 2013.

About TD Insurance

TD Insurance offers a wide range of products to help protect clients from the 'accidents of life' including credit protection, auto, home, health, life, and travel insurance.  With more than 3 million clients, TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a network of more than 1,150 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and telephone. For more information, visit www.tdinsurance.com

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i Canadian Snowbirds Association. The CSA's Traveller's Checklist; accessed September 10, 2013: http://www.snowbirds.org/downloads/CSATravellersChecklist2ndED.pdf

SOURCE: TD Insurance

For further information:

Caitie Wallman / Jessica Squibb
Paradigm Public Relations
416-203-2223
cwallman@paradigmpr.cajsquibb@paradigmpr.ca

Pascal Dessureault
TD Bank Group
416-944-6830
pascal.dessureault@td.com


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