What Type of Ski Insurance Do I Need?
There are many different types of ski insurance available to choose from. The first point to make is that ski insurance is essential wherever you are going and whatever you are doing.
Too many skiers and boarders rely on existing travel insurance only to find that should the worst happen, many general insurance policies simply do not cover skiing related injuries. The cost of helicoptering someone off the piste, giving them medical attention and then repatriating them home goes well beyond any general travel policy.
So regardless of which insurance provider you choose to go with you must ensure you are adequately insured before you hit those slopes.
What Are The Different Types Of Ski Insurance?
There are many different types of ski insurance depending on a number of factors. We have grouped them into four key headings; location, single versus annual, number of people to insure and what exactly you are planning to do on your ski holiday.
Where Are You Going?
The location of your ski holiday will decide whether you are looking for European or Worldwide ski insurance. If you are travelling outside of the European Union then you need to look for worldwide ski insurance. Worldwide ski insurance will cover you for Europe but European cover will not cover you outside of Europe.
Destinations not covered by either a European or worldwide policy will be destinations the Foreign Office advises you against travelling to.
Single Trip Versus Annual Policy
A single trip ski insurance policy will cover you for one single ski holiday. This is a good idea if you are sure that you are going on one ski holiday only. As such the insurer will ask you for the start and the end date of that holiday. The advantages of a single trip is that it can work out cheaper than annual cover and will clearly cover you for that one ski holiday.
An annual ski insurance policy may also be referred to as multi trip insurance and will cover you for every ski holiday you take, usually over 12 months. You will however only be covered for so many days each trip, most policies cover you for 31 days each holiday. The advantages of this type of cover is that if you are travelling a lot it can be cheaper than lots of separate single policies but you need to be sure you are going to be travelling a lot. A further advantage is that it can also mean that you get peace of mind and only have to organise the insurance once a year.
Number of People Travelling
There are four main types of cover here to select from; single, couple, family and group. A single person cover insures one person only. A couple is defined by most insurance companies as spouses or common law partners. A family is usually parents travelling together with children. A group is multiples of individuals travelling together. Adults are usually defined as 16-64 years old and children 2-15 years old. Deciding which type of policy is good for you requires you doing some research, some insurers for example often throw in deals where children travel for free. Other insurers will offer families deals whereby a third child will be free, 1st child will get a 50% discount and a second child will get a 75% discount.
An additional point on group ski insurance is that this can sometimes work out a little complicated, particularly if your group is of mixed ability and will be doing different things. It is worth looking into however as some insurers will offer incentives like 5 or more booking together will get you a 5% discount, or 10% if 10 of you are travelling.
Activities on the Ski Holiday
Ski insurance will differ depending on whether you plan to ski on piste or off and whether you plan to take part in any activities the insurer will deem to be of high risk. So some ski companies will not insure you for ski jumping, ski mountaineering or professional level ski racing.
The key here is to check that anything you want to do on holiday is listed as covered. Include anything you may even think of as a bit of fun like the fun parks. Make sure you are clear what you will be doing and what you will therefore be covered for. Most ski insurers will now include off piste but do check this.
We have included here some categories which do require some specialist thought if you want to ensure you are fully covered. These are ski instructors, seasonaires, over 65’s and those travelling with a pre-existing medical condition.
For ski instructors you will need both cover for when you are teaching and also for when you are taking your qualifications. Your employer may offer you some sort of insurance but do be careful here to check what is on offer. One aspect often missing from company ski instructor insurance for example is repatriation back to your country of residence.
It is certainly possible to get ski insurance if you are over 65 but you will need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when you take out the ski insurance. Our advice would always be to declare anything you are unsure about or check with your preferred insurer before you take the policy out.
Conditions of Your Insurance
Most ski insurance companies will expect you to adhere to all advice in resort.
So for example should to decide to ski off piste on an area that has been closed for safety reasons, this could invalidate any claim. Some insurers will also expect you to wear a helmet and may ask you this if you make a claim. Insurers are also getting hotter on people who drink or take drugs whilst skiing or boarding.
Whenever booking any ski insurance policy do read all the exclusions in your policy as well as what is included so that you are fully aware what you are covered and not covered for.