Travel and holidays

Understanding winter sports insurance

Whilst snow sports can be exhilarating, there’s no doubt that they come with certain risks attached. That’s why, if you’ll be taking part in any snow sports over the winter season, it’s important to make sure that you have suitable insurance cover in place.

The following activities will usually be included as standard on a winter sports insurance policy:

  • Skiing (including cross country)
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice skating
  • Sledging
  • Snowmobiling

The benefit of taking out specialist winter sports insurance is that, as well as covering the things you would expect on a standard travel insurance policy (for example, cancellation and curtailment), the scope of the policy is extended to provide cover for the added risk of taking part in snow sport activities.

A winter sport insurance policy may include some (or all) of the following covers:

Piste closure

If there were to be a severe lack of snow or an avalanche resulting in the closure of skiing facilities, a winter sports insurance policy may cover the cost of transportation to an alternative resort so that you can continue to enjoy the rest of your holiday. If there aren’t any other resorts nearby, then the policy may also provide compensation in the event of a piste closure.

Helicopter evacuation

Whilst medical expenses are usually included as standard on a winter sports insurance policy, this doesn’t always include helicopter evacuation should you injure yourself at the top of the mountain. Check your policy documents to see if you’re covered, otherwise you may be landed with a rather large medical bill.

Ski equipment

Whether you own your own equipment or are hiring for the week, if you were to lose, damage or have your equipment stolen, a winter sports insurance policy will cover the cost of purchasing (or hiring) new equipment for the duration of your trip.

Ski pack

If you were to injure yourself or fall ill on your trip, then winter sports insurance may also cover the reimbursement of ski school fees, lift passes and hired ski equipment.

Off-piste skiing

Some, but not all, insurers will offer cover for off-piste skiing, but usually only if you follow local safety advice and have a professional guide with you at all times. Check your policy documents to make sure you’re covered before going off-piste.

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