As we prepare ourselves for a spot of arctic weather I thought it appropriate to mention specialist winter sports travel insurance. According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), up to a million of us will be off skiing over the winter months, with an astonishing third of all skiers not having adequate cover in place.
There is as diverse an array of policies available as there are winter sports activities so it is very important to check the small print to ensure you are covered for every eventuality. A basic EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card (formerly the E111) will cover your basic medical costs across the EU including Switzerland, (the NHS will repay the country you are in for this treatment), but it will not cover things like a helicopter mountain rescue which can cost up to £5,000, or repatriation, the cost of getting you home in an emergency.
Take the case of 59 year old Pam Crawford of Sevenoaks, Kent, who although an experienced skier of 35 years, had an horrific accident last March where she took an awkward turn on a black run on the third day of her ski trip and somersaulted three times before crashing into a slope and smashing her pelvis. The rescue operation, which involved a helicopter, paramedics, several days’ hospital treatment in France and repatriation, first in a specially chartered plane via Biggin Hill Airport in South East London and then by ambulance to a hospital near their home cost about £15,000. Fortunately Pam was insured, but admitted afterwards that she may have had to sell her house to cover the costs had she not been.
Another thing to take into consideration is the winter sport you may be participating in. If you are mental enough to be participating in activities such as ski jumping or luge, you may not be covered under a standard winter sports travel insurance policy.
Finally, whilst half the fun of a winter sports holiday is the ‘apres ski’, remember that the altitude affects your tolerance levels in respect of alcohol, and some policies will have a zero alcohol limit, so I would probably just leave the skis at home myself! If you do fancy throwing yourself down a mountainside however, you can compare winter sports travel insurance here at CompareCrazy.com. The business insurance comparison site!