Ski Insurance Do's & Don'ts

powder day

Without teaching you the obvious, there are a number of do's and don'ts that you should think about with any ski insurance policy. We've pulled a few together just to give you a starting point for getting the best cover for you.

As simple as it sounds, do not cut corners with your ski insurance as when you need it most you need the right cover.

In short, ski insurance is a must have for a ski or snowboard holiday - period!

Furthermore, you need to buy proper ski travel insurance to ensure you are covered, you cannot rely on free bank insurance cover or a normal travel insurance policy. If it doesn't have "Winter Sports" as a clear inclusion, you will not be covered - trust us!


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The Confusion with the EHIC

The EHIC card (the European Health Insurance Card - the replacement for the E 1-11) allows you to receive a range of medical costs for free throughout Europe. However, whilst you may be covered for some treatment it cannot be considered as a suitable replacement for ski travel insurance! For one, none of the costs of getting you off the mountain are covered and when you consider a helicopter recovery can cost upwards of £2500 depending on the resort and the injury, we think you'll get the point.

As well as that stark example, the EHIC card will not cover any of your transport costs to the hospital, will not cover drugs or extendedmedical attention and will not cover repatriation or baggae claims, cancellation, missed flights - we think you get the point!

What is the Carré Neige?

carre neigeQuite simply Carré Neige is network of skilled professionals that have created a unique insurance policy that you can buy at either the lift pass office, tourist office or from some ski schools. It is a type of ski insurance that provides resuce and recovery off the mountain if you have an injury. It may also cover some doctor's bills and drugs, but should not be viewed as a replacement for a good ski insurance policy.

You can buy Carré Neige insurance for around 3 Euros a day or about 50 Euros for the season

The two best parts of the cover in our view is that if you do injure yourself on the slopes, simply flash your card to the pisteurs and the medics will get on with getting you off the slopes (rather than trying to call your insurance company to check you are covered first!) and secondly, if you lose your ski lift pass, then the Carré Neige covers a replacement!

Finding the Right Ski Insurance Policy

Before you sign on the dotted line for a "one-time low, best ever, greatest value, we pay you to have it insurance policy", we recommend you look at the cover levels and the small print to see the benefits and ensure any given policy will meet your needs.

For example, a comparison site recently quoted a 7 day, Single Trip to Europe including winter sports policy, for around £9, but only comes with £500 cancellation cover, £200 baggage cover and a very high £250 excess on all medical, cancellation and baggage claims. So if you do hurt yourself, you're already £250 down before you statr claiming back what you have had to spend out.

There are three great tips to finding the right policy, so ensure :

i.    That the policy 'cancellation cover' is equal to (or preferably greater) than the cost of your holiday;
ii.    That baggage cover will be enough to replace all your possessions - including ski equipment;
iii.    That you look carefully at the excess charges you will have to pay in the event of a claim!;

A good ski insurance policy should look after you when you have an injury or loss of personal effects and trying to save £5 upfront will cost you hundreds of pounds if you are unlucky.

So What Should be in a Policy?

There are a number of things you shoudl make sure the policy includes at least :

  • £2m for medical expenses, preferably £5m;

  • £1m personal liability (in case you crash into someone on the piste and they want to sue you)

  • £3,000 cancellation (or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday)

  • £1,500 baggage

  • £250 for cash

  • Delay cover (eg £20 an hour for the first 12 hours)

  • As low as possible excess e.g. £50.(This is the amount you have to pay towards any claim, so the higher the worse off you will be in the event of a claim!)

More Great Tips For A Successful Holiday

  1. Keep a separate note of the insurance policy number and their emergency numbers on a business card size piece of paper that can keep on you at all times. Saves a lot of hassle should you need it!

  2. Be very careful drinking on the piste, as most insurance policies will be null and void for cover if you have been "under the influence of alcohol"

  3. When you stop for lunch or après-ski, if you don't carry a ski lock the best way to stop your skis going missing is actually to split them up - or for a board do the binding up around a post or other snowboard. Seriously it works! No point someone stealing one nice ski

  4. Still on ski equipment, don't leave it in an unlocked car or van as that may invalidate any insurance you have. For either of the last two points, if you are unlucky enough to lose skis or snowboards, you will need to report it to the police and get a crime number

  5. If you don't want to wear a ski helmet (why?) make sure you check your policy carefully to see that this is not a requirement. Increasingly policies are requiring you to wear a helmet - see Essential Travel

  6. On an independent ski holiday, check your insurance covers you for delayed departures and missed flights as you'd be amazed how many people miss their intended flight home

  7. Finally, always check that the number of days in your policy will be enough. On a single trip or more notably on an annual policy, the number of days that you are covered on the slopes will vary