Ski Insurance: Advice and Tips for your ski holiday
Insurance is possibly the least appealing, but most necessary part of any skiing holiday.
As with any holiday there are risks such as Cancellation and Lost Luggage that you need to consider. Delay is made slightly more likely by the fact that you will be flying into areas where you need snow and ice to enjoy your holiday. Unfortunately, a side effect of snow and ice is that it can sometimes make flying planes or driving coaches/taxis more difficult.
Personal Liability has become more important in our increasing litigious culture. Collisions do occasionally happen on the piste, and lawsuits are more common than they used to be and can be for very large sums – ensure that your insurance policy covers this adequately. Of course, the main reason that you might need to make an insurance claim on a ski holiday is that of Injury and the costs associated with that.
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The overall rate of injuries has dropped by 50% and broken legs have decreased by 95% since the 70s.
A US study showed that for every 1000 ski visits, about three will result in an injury serious enough to require immediate medical attention. (Incidentally, their study compared this to an incidence of 30/1000 for tennis.) They concluded that for the average skier, skiing 14 days a year, the individual chance of injury was 14%.
In both skiing and snowboarding, beginners suffer almost three times more injuries than more experienced participants. And teenagers have the highest overall rate of injury.
You do not want to have to foot the cost of an accident yourself: the cost of being air-lifted from the piste on a mountain in France to a local hospital could set you back £2500, according to the Ski Club of Great Britain. In the US and Canada, it could cost you up to £9000.
- Non-ski Activities
You should ensure you are aware of the limitations of your cover and assess if it’s suitable for you and your group particularly if you're going to do anything slightly unusual such as toboganning, snowshoeing, heli skiing, ice skating or other non-skiing activities.
- Wear a helmet
Studies show that wearing a helmet helps prevent or reduce the severity of head injuries from falls and collisions by 50%.
- Are you covered in the country you are going to?
This may sound odd, but this is essential to check.
- EHIC is not a substitute for insurance
In EU countries, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does offer some protection, so don't get on the plane without it, but this only entitles you to state-provided healthcare in member states, not private medical bills or transportation costs so this must only be used as additional protection, not as a replacement for travel insurance
We all like a vin chaud or gluwein, but you should be prudent when mixing alcohol and skiing or snowboarding. Larger amounts impair your decision making ability and may invalidate your insurance.