Many Brits will set off on their family ski holiday without any travel insurance or assume their annual travel insurance covers them, but does it? We take a look.
According to Axa Insurance, the UK’s largest travel insurer, some 17% of the UK adult population enjoy a snowboarding or ski holiday.
Worryingly 10% of these don’t have any travel insurance and a further 25% will rely on their annual travel insurance but many don’t check that it covers them for a winter sports holiday.
Around a third of skiers/snowboarders will make a claim at some point. The cost of ski holiday injuries can quickly escalate – evacuation from the slopes, an operation and an air ambulance home from Austria can easily reach £25k while costs for those holidaying in America and Canada will be even higher.
There’s also injury to others to consider as well as loss or damage to expensive equipment, reimbursement for closed pistes as well as the usual insurance cover for such as cancellation or lost baggage.
When on a family ski holiday, many take advantage of activities such as activity on the slopes such as skidooing and heliskiing, activities which may well not be covered in a standard travel insurance policy.
Whilst many are cutting back on foreign holidays as Amanda Edwards from AXA travel insurance says: “Obviously money is tight for many people at the moment and holidays are expensive. But to cut insurance out is a false economy.
Dealing with an injury is stressful enough but having no insurance could mean the damage lasts until long after the plaster cast has been removed.”
Top Tips for Skiers include
- If you think you can rely on your annual insurance policy for you ski holiday, make sure you check that it does cover winter sports, upgrade if need be. Make sure it covers you to ski for enough days – some will have a limited number
- Check your policy limits – for example if you have expensive skis or equipment you may need to upgrade your insurance, or you may find an upper age limit for first time skiers
- Make sure you take care and of your ski equipment – for example if left in an unattended vehicle you may be uninsured
- If you think your ski equipment has been stolen get a police report in order to claim. Keep receipts for original and replacement goods
- If the pistes are closed while you are away you may be able to claim. If this is important to you make sure you have a policy that covers you for this although there will be an upper limit
- Skidooing, heliskiing and other activities are increasingly popularbut before you do any of these check that you will be covered
- If you want to ski off-piste, be aware that some insurers will exclude this, or require that you are accompanied by a qualified guide
- Make sure you understand your excess levels and can afford them – they vary from insurer to insurer and some may reach several hundred pounds
- If you have arranged your own holiday rather than booking through a tour operator, check you have comprehensive enough cover for things such as delayed departure, or additional accommodation if you are unable to get home when planned.
Taking steps in advance to consider your needs and to buy ski insurance cover that meets your needs is vital – and as Amanda Edwards adds “Around £50 to cover a family of four for a week’s skiing in France is not much more than the price of lunch on the slopes.”