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Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips for Snowbirds

Retired Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Bob Paterson works closely with The McLennan Group to develop and share practical safety tips for Canadians 50-plus on

Sergeant Bob has been recognized individually and as team member for his many innovative programs such as Seniors Take Charge and Road Watch, which continue to help seniors, children, travellers, and drivers.

Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips
Snowbirds Who Choose to Drive South

Southbound drivers know the routine well, but a safety review can help to smooth the way:

  • A reliable vehicle and proper maintenance will help minimize break downs, and the need for emergency plans.
  • An in-vehicle GPS with CORRECT route programing is economical and invaluable.
  • When preparing to travel, look for books like Along Interstate-75: The “Must Have” Guide for Your Drive to and from Florida, as they are packed with useful information.
  • Membership in an auto club with international services can be a bargain and help enhance safety.
  • There’s safety in numbers. Travel in a group of two or three vehicles if personal safety is a concern.
  • Prepare an in-vehicle emergency kit with water, snacks, flash light, crank radio, blanket, etc.
  • Along the route, avoid parking in “the back 40”, and store valuables out of sight while dining or shopping.
  • Store extra eye glasses in the glove box, and take two sets of car keys – carried by two different people.
  • Keep fatigue and low light driving in mind. A slightly longer daylight journey may be best.
Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips
Winter Tire Safety Reminder for Snowbirds

You’ve installed dedicated winter tires on your vehicle. Great, you have made winter driving safer and less stressful for you and everyone else on the road! But now you’re driving south for a few weeks or months. So what should you do – leave the winter tires on or switch to summer tires and gamble on clear roads?

Yes, dedicated winter tires will wear slightly on the journey south but your chances of running into low temperatures and reduced traction are extremely high. Road conditions in the northern and central United States are frequently as bad as Canadian roads in winter. Consider these three factors:

  1. The severity and frequency of extreme weather events in recent years. Remember the Atlanta ice storms?
  2. The ability of local crews/equipment to respond in storms decreases, the further south you drive.
  3. Our friends to the south will not have our winter driving experience. So give yourself every possible advantage in an over-stressed foul weather environment.

Don’t risk being stranded or involved in an accident. Leave dedicated winter tires on your vehicle until April!

Sergeant Bob’s Safety Tips
More Senior Safety Tips for All Types of 50-Plus Travellers

Sergeant Bob specializes in modern crime and injury prevention tips for on the road, while at home or while travelling. Click to visit:

For additional snowbird / travel safety tips from Sergeant Bob:

Senior Safety Tips
Preparing Yourself For Travel
Senior Safety Tips
Secure Your Home While Away
Senior Safety Tips
Travel On The Road Or In The Air
Senior Safety Tips
Safety at Your Destination

Snowbirds... buy the plan that CARP members trust.

50-plus travellers know, proper insurance coverage makes a world of difference! That’s why instead of gambling with an off-the-shelf product, experienced travellers trust the only travel insurance provider to be recommended by CARP for more than 24 years.

This page contains the details you’ll need to make an informed buying decision; our rates, applications, policy wordings, and exclusive member benefits.

Experience Snowbirds Can Count On

Our licensed brokers are qualified to provide advice on the insurance product that is best suited for you.

Combined, key personnel at our program partner brokerage have over 80 years of travel insurance experience. And because their primary customers are snowbirds, they understand the coverage and benefits typically required by a snowbird traveller.

Savings For Snowbirds - OK, Everyone

Along with 5% premium savings for CARP members:

  • Companion: if you and your travel companion are both insured with our Emergency Medical Plan, each of your premiums will be reduced by 5%.
  • Go Green: receive all your documents (policy, etc.) electronically to reduce your premium by 1%.
  • Deductible Options: for age 60-plus, a $200 US automatic deductible applies. If you increase your deductible, you can save 5%, 10%, 30%, or 45%.
Snowbird Protection Checklist

Click Here for important information to help ensure that you, your home, vehicle and pets are protected while you’re travelling. And if you have questions, talk with your insurance provider before you leave!

We welcome travellers who are not yet members of CARP!

A national, non-profit organization, “CARP advocates for better health care and financial security for Canadians as we age and gives its members access to great benefits and discounts”. To learn more about CARP, please click the CARP logo at the top of this page.

As CARP’s recommended and trusted provider since 1993, The McLennan Group Life Insurance Inc. is a 100% Canadian owned, nationally licensed all-lines brokerage. And we’re 50-plus insurance specialists. So even if you’re not a member of CARP, call us at 1.877.566.1417 and we’ll work to offer a coverage solution for your needs.