The numbers don’t lie: According to Statistics Canada, there are now more people aged 65 years and older in Canada than there are children aged 0 to 14. That’s a first for the nation as a whole—one out of six (16 per cent). And by 2024, these “old folks” will account for 20 per cent of the nation’s population. Except that these are no longer “old folks” as they would have been considered just one or two generations ago.
Now they are among the major drivers of Canada’s economy: a strong, healthy and wealthy (by comparison to other age groups) force to be reckoned with in the foreseeable future.
We mention this now, in late summer, during what many would consider a forgettable summer given the terrorist acts (whether ideologically motivated or otherwise) that continue to embroil Europe and the U.S., because it’s the time of year many Canadians start thinking about where they will go to escape all, or little segments of, the impending winter.
And this is also the time when snowbirds (55 and older travelling for at least 90 days) start shopping for their winter travel insurance. They know its value: 80 per cent insist on purchasing coverage. But, as our statistics show, there are also large and growing numbers of mature Canadians (not snowbirds) who are blessed with a sense of mobility, adventure, and a get-up-and-go attitude.” And they too are ready.
Add to this age group the 16 per cent of kids up to age 14 and their parents, and we see a deep multi-generational natural resource to be served by Canada’s travel insurers.
What this summer continues to show is that leaving Canada without travel insurance is for many an unacceptable risk, whether it’s a weekend to see the Toronto Blue Jays try to beat the Detroit Tigers or a month to visit family in Greece.
And so between now and the first snow flurries of October, you can expect to find travel insurers rolling out new products and reaching out to those new demographics.
This is good. And you should pay attention, because travel insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. You are not the same as your neighbour—your needs, age, health, finances, family obligations, sense of security, adventure, and aversion or acceptance of risk differ.
Snowbirds have extensive experience purchasing travel insurance to cover their months-long absences out of their province and its health care security blanket. But not all seniors, or pre-seniors (if you prefer), are best served by snowbird insurance. They may well need different products, ones that are simpler, more flexible, or designed for shorter, more frequent trips, perhaps to more exotic places.
There are also young people (millennials and younger), who used to shun travel insurance. They were the “invulnerables.” But that is changing. They now realize that the world is not as safe place as it was just two or three years ago. And they need the protection they once thought irrelevant.
And then there are the multi-generational groups travelling families. They need yet other products—ones offering more unified coverage for all their members.
If this sounds too complicated, be assured it isn’t—not if you specify to an agent who specializes in travel insurance (and that’s important) what your exact needs are. Let them guide you. Then, when you decide which types of products are best for you, start your comparison shopping. And give it time.
You should never leave the purchase of travel insurance to the last minute. That’s when mistakes, misapprehensions, and misunderstandings happen.
This is an important purchase—now more important than ever. Do it right.
For travel insurance info and products, visit us here.