Does Your Ski Cover Cover You?
Skiing and boarding remains an extremely popular winter sport for many Brits. In fact, almost 1 million of us will jet off to the slopes this winter, but a lot of you will go with inadequate ski insurance for your needs.
Many of us assume, or choose to ignore, that when we go off to the slopes, we're covered by existing travel insurance or even by the free "current bank account" insurance. There's also a false sense of security if you've never been injured, that means you'll think it can never happen to you.
We explore just why winter sports insurance is quite so important and present you with the simplest way to go about organising yours in time for your ski holiday.
Why Winter Sports Insurance is Important
A simple way to appreciate how important it is to have winter sports insurance is to imagine a worst case scenario.
If you had a crash on the slopes and this required you to be helicoptered off the mountain, followed by a few days in hospital, then the cost of all this would be something of the order of £10,000.
With adequate insurance cover, all you would need to pay would be a small excess in the hundreds of pounds.
It is really as straightforward as that. If you have adequate ski insurance cover, then come an accident or fall, you'll get expert support and medical help at no cost to yourself. It doesn't matter whether you caused the accident or were yourself a victim of a reckless skier or boarder, you still use the insurance cover.
If you're thinking of heli-skiing or lots of real backcountry/off piste, then you can also buy specialist insurance providing even better cover features. See our specialist winter insurance section for more.
I Have Never Had an Accident!
The key message is that you can have an accident whether you are skiing fast down a black run as well as skiing gently down the nursery slopes. Mountain terrain is not predictable, so ice can be on nursery slopes and you cannot predict what other skiers and boarders are doing around you. Someone could crash into you because they are being reckless and hey presto it’s your leg that is broken.
In addition many skiers are surprised to discover that many off the slopes activities, including ice skating and dog sledging, are not included in many winter sports policies. So where should you start?
How To Organise Your Travel Insurance
What Cover Will My EHIC Provide?
EHIC stands for the European Health Insurance Card - you may remember this as the E1-11. Essentially this covers some of the medical costs when you need treatment in countries in the European Union plus Switzerland. The hospital treating you then claims back some of that costs from the NHS in Britain.
However your EHIC card will not cover some key costs including mountain rescue or getting you home. So whilst we would encourage you to take your EHIC details on holiday with you it should not be viewed as an all inclusive winter holiday insurance programme.
What is Winter Insurance Cover?
Most winter sports insurance policies include the usual things you would find in a usual travel insurance policy including replacing lost baggage, cancelled flights etc. But you will then find additional elements that are specific to winter sports like:
Some activities may be missing from your cover so do watch out for the following:
Top Tips When Taking Out Winter Sports Insurance
And finally, whilst you can’t guarantee that it will never happen to you there are some things you can do to keep yourself as protected as possible whilst on the slopes. This includes wearing a helmet, wearing wrist guards to prevent from fractures and finally if you are skiing off piste ensure you have the right gear including avalanche airbags and snow shovels.