CSANews 114

Bird Talk  Dear Bird Talk, Although there are different insurance companies that deal with CSA members, and because the insurance companies and all of us are aware of the possible problems that may arise if we stay in the U.S. longer, are the insurance companies going to cover COVID-19 treatment if we fall ill....or are they going to insist that we return to Canada? Mark Beasant Dryden, ON Ed.: We have had hundreds of calls and letters about the COVID-19 virus and any snowbird insured with Medipac had full coverage for the entire length of their trip, as long as they purchased their policy prior to the advisory to return. This naturally included full coverage for claims arising from the COVID-19 virus. Other insurers had many different approaches to the problem. The most prevalent was a demand that you return to Canada immediately and that your coverage (all of it) would be terminated. This harmful action, in my opinion, was totally unnecessary and perhaps even illegal under their written policy definitions. These insurers ruined the vacations and lifestyles of tens of thousands of snowbirds and caused enormous and unnecessary stress.  Dear Bird Talk, We use your currency exchange programon a regular, year-round, monthly basis. How can I make an additional one-time transfer? Our regular transfer works excellently, but it would be nice tomake a one-time additional transfer the month before we actually go south. Burton Sine Belleville, ON Ed.: Simply give us a call and we can increase any transfer you wish, on a one-time basis. Many snowbirds do that.  Dear Bird Talk, I would like tomake a comment about the snow- bird magazine. We come down to Palm Springs, California from Alberta for five months every winter. There are also many, many others who come here. When we drive down the roads, we see so many Alberta and British Columbia cars on the road and they are the majority of the cars in parking lots. It is due to the snowbirds who come here that the businesses can stay open. During the summer after we all go home, some of the restaurants can’t even survive and they go out of business. When I read the CSA magazine, I see articles pertaining to FLORIDA almost exclusively. A little bit is mentioned about Arizona, but hardly ever is California mentioned. I would like to see more representation for the Western Canada snowbirds who flock to California. Thank you very much. E. Schaber Ed.: We are very aware of our loyal members and policyholders in Western Canada and the Western United States. We are trying to improve our rep- resentation for these areas in every issue and will continue to do so. Also, do not be fooled by our “competitors,” who are trying to sell you insurance and currency exchange products by saying that we do not care about the West. The CSA and Medipac are the only organizations that do care. The CSA has two dedicated directors for Western Canada who both live and winter in the West, and who represent your needs extremely well.Wendy Caban lives in British Columbia and represents B.C. and Alberta and John Foster lives in Saskatchewan and represents Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They are both on the executive of the Canadian Snowbird Association. Medipac, being a federal corporation, also holds individual licences in every Western province, as well as in the Yukon and the Territories. Please feel free to give us any suggestions which you may have to improve our coverage for you.  Dear Bird Talk, I feel that your response to Harvey Bates of Innisfil in the winter 2019, Issue 113, was quite oversimplified. You’re right − it’s not a big deal − but there are definitely more steps to be taken when travelling with pets. We are snowbirds travelling to Florida with a dog and two cats. Both cats are in their own carrier which is seat- belted and the dog is in her bed, but she is also seat-belted. Why do you recommend the carrier only for crossing the border? Our neighbour from Ottawa was rear- ended in Georgia and his cat got out and was gone. Luckily, he had had his feline microchipped and she was returned to him some months later. This is another suggestion; microchip your pets. Furthermore, all three of mine have valid rabies vaccines and we carry the paper- work for that, as well as certificates of good health from our Canadian veterinarian. Both have been requested on both sides of the border. Moreover, not all hotels on the trip are pet-friendly and I’m sure that there are some stops involved for Harvey and his cat. I decide ahead how many nights we will take and book pet-friendly rooms ahead. They can be cancelled up to 6:00 p.m. of that day without penalty. We also travel with a disposable litter box, a dustpan to clean up stray litter and some toys. Hopefully this will be helpful to Harvey. Genia Alperin-Newell Innisfil, ON Ed.: All excellent points. The rabies and vac- cination certificates are REQUIRED going both ways. Happy travels with your menagerie. 8 | www. snowbirds .org