Skiing without insurance too risky warns Ski Club

11th December 2008, by Chris Gill

The Ski Club of Great Britain has issued a warning to skiers and snowboarders that they could face huge bills if they do not take out appropriate travel insurance - more importantly, adequate winter sports cover.

In a recent poll by the Ski Club, 34% of those questioned said their insurance only covered them for the basics - or they were not covered at all.

“People who are unlucky enough to have an accident on the slopes can often get caught out by either forgetting to take out insurance, thinking they can risk going away without it or not taking out adequate cover. The key is to read the small print and make sure your policy covers you for all the activities you will be taking part in.” said Information Manager at the Ski Club of Great Britain, Alyn Morgan.

What to consider…

The advice is to avoid the cheapest/ general travel insurance policy as it may not cover all winter activities, including those that you might expect to be standard.

Activities to particularly watch out for include: off-piste skiing or snowboarding, recreational terrain park use, snowmobiling, bob-run, dog sledding, piste basher driving, tobogganing or ski touring.

Some policies go a step further: heli- and cat-skiing, theft of equipment left outside mountain restaurants, your ski school races, and physiotherapy in the UK if you do receive an injury.

And annual multi-trip insurance policies can often save time and money if you take several trips a year. Most specialist snow sports policies also cover for summer activities, such as all terrain mountain biking.

One slip can be costly…

If you do have an accident and you are not insured you may end up with a frightening bill. And it’s surprising just how many skiers and boarders take that risk - just one awkward fall that necessitates assistance from the local mountain teams can be expensive. Potential costs for European accidents include:

  • air ambulance: £5,000 - £10,000
  • repatriation to the UK (with family escort): £200 - £800
  • repatriation to the UK (with stretcher): £3,350 - £3700 (This can increase by up to £2,000 if the airline apply a surcharge).

For North America the costs are much higher for example the cost of an air ambulance can be £30,000.

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