The Concerned Snowbird Series

Like thousands of other Canadians, Robert Woodcock aims to visit the southern United States each winter. But the 72-year-old retiree wants to know what travel health insurance really covers. His search for the right insurance––for himself and other Canadians––is the focus of The Concerned Snowbird series. “I sit there poolside and I am constantly thinking: Do I really have coverage? I [won’t] know until I make a claim.”

Robert set out on a mission, and he agreed to let Travel Insurance File tag along. Now, in The Concerned Snowbird Series, we explore the proposals, questions, and worries of the retired home renovator. Join us as we address Robert’s concerns and endeavour to make him, and you, a smarter, safer, more prepared snowbird.


Intro – Meet Robert Woodcock. Hockey lover. Avid traveller. Concerned Snowbird.

Follow Mr. Woodcock as he confronts his travel insurance fears. Did he choose the right product? Did he make a mistake on his application? Is he covered… or not?

Part 1 – Travel Insurance Scares Bob More Than Flying Pucks

Most news stories about travel insurance scare Robert Woodcock. He only needs coverage a couple of times a year so he and his wife Lynn can drive to Florida. Yet, as they sit by a pool and enjoy the winter sunshine for two or three weeks, he worries…

Part 2 – Why the Provinces Won’t Offer Bob’s Dream Coverage

Canadian snowbirds have waited a long time. But most provinces have yet to obey federal law and increase coverage for emergency medical care outside of Canada. “Ontario (reimbursement) rates have never gone up a cent in 21 years,” notes Doctor…

Part 3 – Can Bob Count On His Travel Policy?

Sitting by the pool during a winter vacation in Florida, snowbird Robert Woodcock frets about travel insurance—particularly reports that insurers have refused to pay certain claims. The 72-year-old Toronto man dreams of buying coverage…

Part 4 – Claim Denied! How Sonja and Others Fought Back

Robert Woodcock, a 72-year-old Toronto resident who tries to fit in trips to Florida around his hockey goalie duties, has never made a travel insurance claim. But he is worried his luck could run out and, worse still, that his claim could be denied…

Part 5 – Just How Many Travel Insurance Claims Are Denied?

Snowbird Robert Woodcock heard that only 2 per cent of travel insurance claims are denied. He quickly decided that’s 2 per cent too many. “That doesn’t sound like a lot, but to [all of those in the] 2 per cent…it becomes a very serious problem…”

Conclusion – ‘Builder Bob’ has a PHD*… and a New Mission

Robert ‘Builder Bob’ Woodcock set out on a mission this fall. The 72-year-old Toronto retiree wanted all Canadian travellers to have the option to buy travel health insurance without the risk of a claim being denied. He was dismayed that so many claims…

Video – A Concerned Snowbird’s Mission: Did Bob Find Peace of Mind?

When we first met avid traveller and concerned snowbird Robert Woodcock, he was worried about getting the right coverage for his regular trips to the United States—and frustrated with a lack of answers to his questions about the world of travel insurance. Above all, Bob wanted…

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