Five reasons to buy winter sports insurance for your Christmas holiday in the snow
Recent research from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) shows that over 3.5 million British adults who have been abroad for winter sports holidays have never bought travel insurance.
If you’re off to the slopes yourself this Christmas, don’t make the same mistake – whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, sledging or just walking.
Here’s why it’s important to buy the right travel insurance before you set off for the snow.
In the last ski season, British holidaymakers suffered more than 200 significant injuries - and that’s just the number reported by ABTA members. Injuries were caused by, among other activities, skiing, snowboarding, bum boarding and tobogganing. ABTA says that holidaymakers aged 25 -34 have had, on average, more first-hand experiences of winter sports injuries than any other age group.
A standard travel insurance policy is unlikely to include snow sports, so it’s important to get winter sports cover for all the activities that you and everyone in the family plan to do. Think carefully about what you want to include before you set off, as you probably won’t be able to buy cover once you’ve arrived. Just remember to tell your travel insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions - and that extreme sports like paragliding may call for specialist insurance.
A good winter sports policy won’t just cover the cost of your medical care abroad in an emergency, it will also ensure you have a team of UK medical experts overseeing this care. And it will pay for the cost of your repatriation back home, if you need one.
A good policy will also take care of the accommodation and travel needs of a loved one, so they can be by your bedside abroad.
You can’t rely on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to provide all this. Helpful as it is, the EHIC won’t cover all your costs if you have an accident on the slopes in Europe - for instance, if you need an emergency repatriation back to the UK, or if you’re taken to a private hospital. It will, however, cover basic costs in a state hospital and may save you from paying the excess on a travel insurance claim.
Dr Lynn Gordon, chief medical officer for CEGA, a Charles Taylor company, says: “It’s just not worth setting off for a winter sports holiday without the right travel insurance: an accident on the slopes could expose you to significant medical and repatriation costs.
“It’s also worth remembering that injuries aren’t just caused by adrenaline-fuelled sports, but by slipping on the ice and snow too. Getting a good policy that covers all the activities you want to do will give you the peace of mind to fully enjoy your holiday.”