Travel insurance Updated:
This time of year sees many Brits heading to the mountains to make the most of the snow and the après-ski party atmosphere. However, it seems that few of us think too carefully about our insurance for these trips, with many people setting off for the slopes without the necessary cover.
According to research carried out by Sainsbury's Travel Insurance, one in three people (33%) questioned said that they did not intend to get winter sports insurance, with a worrying 6% saying that they would not be buying any cover at all. This means that many skiers and snowboarders could be opening themselves up to a nasty shock should the worst happen.
Of this group, one in four (27%) did say that they would be getting regular travel insurance, but this does not necessarily mean that they will be fully covered for their winter fun. Many general travel insurance policies require winter sports to be added on to their average cover, so if the terms of the policy are not checked, winter holiday-makers could find themselves footing the bill of any medical expenses they have.
Sainsbury's research also found that respondents who were taking out winter sports insurance were not necessarily fully covered either. Skiing or snowboarding off-piste without a qualified instructor in the possession of liability insurance means that your regular winter sports insurance may not cover you should you have an injury, something that could cost you thousands of pounds. But, with less than one in three (29%) people saying that they will be buying off-piste cover, many winter holidaymakers could end up doing just that.
It's all too easy to think that you will avoid injury on your holiday, but accidents can and do happen. "While most ski and snowboard trips go without injury, winter sports carry risks that can end up being very costly, which is why getting good quality winter sports cover as a part of a travel insurance policy is just as essential as your skis and boots," commented Scott Gorman of Sainsbury's Travel Insurance.
Sainsbury's research found that a common injury was damaged knees, with 9% of those questioned admitting to previously suffering from a knee strain. Another 7% respectively had sustained a broken leg or facial injury, while 6% suffered from an ankle sprain. A further 6% of winter sports enthusiasts had sustained a dislocated shoulder during their winter holiday. Clearly, injury can be common, which means protecting yourself with suitable cover is a must.
If you are planning on testing your mettle on the slopes this winter, make sure you are covered for all of your planned activities. Check that your intended travel insurance policy covers you for skiing or snowboarding and if it doesn't, add it on. You can start your search for travel insurance with our handy comparison tool.
It's also a good idea to make sure you have an up-to-date EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). This will entitle you to the same state-provided medical care as the host country's residents. However, bear in mind that this care may not be free and that the card will not cover you for emergency travel or repatriation, which is why it is always important to get comprehensive insurance cover.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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