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Eight tips for buying ski insurance

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If you are planning a skiing holiday, read these eight simple tips before you hit the piste.

Whether you are a skier, a snowboarder or simply an après-ski enthusiast, it is crucial you get the right cover. But beware that not all insurance policies are made equal.

Recent research revealed that winter sports policies can vary hugely from provider to provider, with exclusions and caveats commonplace as well as differentiating coverage levels – so it’s vital you scan the small print before your trip.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert at, says: “Travel insurance is an essential item when planning any holiday and even more so for a trip involving adrenaline-fuelled winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Finding the best value for money travel insurance policies allows your money to go further on your trip and will give thrill-seekers extra cash to enjoy the après-ski scene whilst leaving you adequately covered.”

Follow these tips on what to look out for:

• Check when purchasing an annual policy instead of a single trip policy what the winter sports cover will be. On some policies it may be limited to say 17 days each year.

• Pay close attention to the detail of policies and ensure they include winter sports protection such as piste closure, avalanche closure and off-piste skiing.

• Check whether emergency transport to hospital and back home is included in the policy wording under medical expenses. If in doubt make sure you get in touch with your insurer directly to enquire.

Follow local/piste guidelines – many policies won’t provide cover if you are injured or have an accident after you’ve been deliberately careless or negligent. Check whether your insurer insists you wear a ski helmet.

• Check what winter sports are covered – some policies exclude bobsleighing and ski jumping.

• If you plan on entering any competitions check your policy. Many will only cover you for non-competitive / non-professional winter sports.

• In addition to adequate travel insurance, it may also be worth paying a small premium when in a resort for local insurance which covers rescue and transport on or off-piste. For example, according to, skiers in France can purchase a Carré Neige pass for a few euros per day which covers rescue and some basic doctor’s bills.

• In addition to your travel insurance, for those heading for the slopes in the European Union securing an EHIC before heading off (European Health Insurance Card) is a must. These cards entitle you to state-provided healthcare in European Union member states, but it should not be considered a replacement for travel cover. If you already hold an EHIC, check it is still in date ahead of your trip.

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