Does your travel insurance cover allow skiing?
29th January 2016
A recent report by ABTA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office study raised some alarming results that 31% of skiers and snowboarders were not aware of the constraints and limitation of their insurance cover when it comes to skiing.
It seems the problem was worse with older skiers where the results showed 55% of skiers over 65 didn’t know. Younger skiers aged between 25 and 34 surprisingly were the most likely to check the details before they travelled.
Many standard travel insurance policies exclude winter sports cover, others that allow winter sports often have restrictions that don’t cover skiing or boarding off piste for example. Some may allow skiing off piste but only when accompanied by a qualified mountain guide. Other common restrictions exclude heli-skiing or racing.
Some insurance policies require a valid European Health Insurance card (EHIC) which allows the holder to receive the same medical attention that locals enjoy at no or reduced costs in European member states including Switzerland but not Andorra. Many skiers may not be aware that unlike the E111 form the EHIC card has an expiry date, so check yours in still in date before you travel.
We have also heard of some insurance policies where the holder is required to wear a helmet, but at Ski Line we believe everyone should wear a helmet, particularly children.
Many annual insurance policies restrict the number of days cover is provided to between 10 and 17 days. So if you ski for more than a week each season you must check you have appropriate cover.
The average amount of a winter sports insurance claim is over £700, but in a serious accident requiring a helicopter transfer off the mountain and major medical attention this can run to £30,000+ in extreme cases.
Our advice is to check your policy before you travel to make sure you are fully aware what is and what isn’t covered.
Advice on what to do if you come across an accident on the slopes
I don’t think I have ever had a skiing holiday when I haven’t at some point come across a skier or boarder that has been involved in an accident of some kind. If you spot someone who has fallen you are duty bound to stop and check they are OK.
If you come across an injured person on the slopes, the first thing to do is to secure the scene which can prevent an even worse accident from happening. This is particularly important if the fall has happened below a ridge or on a sharp bend or turning point, where other skiers might not be able to see the injured person or anyone who is trying to help them.
Secure the area by removing your skis to form a Cross by pushing your skis into the snow about 20 m above the injured person to warn other skiers descending that an accident is just below.
Then contact the medical emergency phone number which will be clearly printed on the piste map, if you don’t have a piste map get someone to ski to the nearest ski lift to get help, make sure that you know/ remember what ski run they are on and roughly where on that run that the injured person is.
Try and make the injured person comfortable and wait with them until the medical team arrives.
Buy ski insurance online
Ski Line offer ski travel insurance through our link to Flexicover where our clients enjoy a discount.