Many people take out travel insurance to cover themselves against injury and losses on a holiday or trip. Standard single trip and annual travel insurance policies often do not cover activities such as skiing though. Ski travel insurance, also known as winter sports cover, is specifically designed to help protect you both and off the slopes.
Before you decide whether or not ski travel insurance is right for you though, it is important to consider exactly what is covered within such a policy.
What does ski insurance cover?
Ski insurance will usually cover you against all the same eventualities as more general travel insurance. These can include injury and illness, cancellation and delay and loss or theft of baggage, personal belongings and holiday money.
Like other forms of travel insurance, ski insurance may also cover you if you have to cut short or cancel your trip because of illness, injury or the death of a relative. A policy may provide personal liability cover in case you injure someone or cause damage to property and it can also cover the costs of emergency repatriation.
The main difference between ski insurance and other types of travel insurance is that it actually covers you against injuries or losses incurred while skiing – an activity that is often not covered on more general policies. This is one of the main reasons that people opt for this specific policy over other, more wide-ranging insurance options while skiing.
In addition, there may be higher levels of cover regarding loss, theft or damage. This reflects the value of associated skiing equipment, which can be very expensive whether it is owned or hired.
The chances of injury are higher on a skiing trip than on many other types of holiday. No matter how competent an individual skier may be, accidents can happen and the consequences can be very expensive. Most ski insurance policies will cover the costs of any medical treatment required, as well as things such as on-piste rescue and the cost of an air ambulance.
Ski insurance may also provide cover for things specifically linked to ski holidays, such as the loss of ski passes or reimbursement of equipment hire costs, ski lesson fees and lift passes should you suffer an injury. Some policies may allow you to claim back the cost of a ski pass should you be unable to ski due to a lack of snow.
What about other winter sports and activities?
Many ski insurance policies will only cover skiing but some may include other winter sports and activities. This can include cover for skiing, as well as other activities such as tobogganing, ice-skating and luging. If you are planning to participate in any of these more obscure activities it is important that you read the terms of a potential policy carefully to make sure you will be covered under its terms.
It's worth noting that some standard ski insurance policies may not cover off-piste skiing or heli-skiing. Specialist policies are available for those who wish to stray away from the ski lifts and can include search and rescue cover.
Can I get annual ski cover?
Ski insurance often works like a specialised version of a standard single trip travel insurance policy. This means it covers you for the duration of a single skiing trip. Typically, there will be a maximum duration and the premium you pay may be partly based on the length of the trip.
With annual travel insurance, the policy holder is covered for multiple trips taken within the space of a given year. Some companies may offer ski or winter sports insurance on an annual basis. If you take more than one or two skiing trips per year, it may be more cost effective to seek out this type of cover. Consider all the factors carefully before you decide whether or not such an option suits your own personal circumstances.
What precautions should I take?
Insurance companies will usually expect you to take sensible precautions, especially when participating in a potentially hazardous activity like skiing. Some insurers, for example, may require you to wear a helmet while skiing. If you have an accident while you are drunk or have taken drugs, it may invalidate your claim. Similarly, some policies may not pay out if you were not following standard safety procedures and protocols on the ski lift or slope.
Other health and safety issues might not directly affect your insurance but can help you stay safe and healthy whilst on your skiing trip. Freezing temperatures and high altitude sunlight can lead to increased risks of both hypothermia and sunburn.
Dressing appropriately in warm, layered clothes, packing sunblock and protecting your eyes are all steps that can help you enjoy a happier and healthier skiing experience.Back to top