Ski insurance

Read our ski travel insurance policy guide

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An adequate travel insurance policy is an important purchase for any trip away and a ski holiday is no exception. Due to the nature of a skiing holiday it is important to purchase a specialist cover designed to protect you both on and off the piste.

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What is ski travel insurance?

Ski holiday insurance is travel insurance that gives you cover specially designed for ski holidays. It generally offers the same coverage as standard travel policy, but it includes extra protection for ski-related equipment, medical treatment, and other potential costs.

Do I need ski travel insurance?

Ski holiday insurance can be useful as a standard travel policy may not be enough to cover certain situations you might run into on the slopes.

For example, your medical treatment costs might not be covered under standard insurance if you injured yourself skiing as it’s seen by many insurers as high-risk.

Likewise, your ski equipment may not come under standard personal possession cover – this means if it’s lost, damaged, or stolen you might need specialist cover to be able to claim.

What does ski travel insurance cover?

With ski holiday insurance you’ll be able to take out most standard types of cover. This can include policies that cover delays and cancellations, medical costs (including pre-existing conditions), and personal possessions.

However it will also include ski-related policies such as:

  • Equipment cover: if you need to replace your skiing equipment or hire alternative equipment when yours is lost, damaged, or stolen
  • Medical treatment: if you need to claim back the cost of medical treatment for ski-related injuries, though this is generally only up to a certain amount
  • Cancellations: if you have to cancel the rest of your holiday as a result of an injury you got on the slopes
  • Ski pass: if you need to purchase a new ski pass when yours is lost or stolen
  • Piste-closure: if you’re unable to ski due to the piste being closed, though this might only apply if the piste is closed for longer than a certain amount of time, usually between 12 and 24 hours
  • Off-piste skiing: Many insurers also offer cover for skiing off-piste, though usually you’ll need to be accompanied by a qualified guide or instructor
  • Avalanche delays: if you can’t ski due to an avalanche
  • Personal liability: if someone else gets injured as a result of your skiing and you become personally liable

Watch out for different types of skiing

Depending on the provider and policy you take out, you may or may not be covered for other types of skiing including:

  • Cross-country skiing
  • Heli-skiing
  • Ski acrobatics
  • Ski stunting
  • Ski touring
  • Ski bob racing
  • Competitive skiing
  • Mono skiing
  • Ski fun parks
  • Off-piste skiing

Is theft a serious risk?

When considering the dangers of ski holidays, people tend to be more concerned with accidental injuries than theft. However, the theft or loss of skiing equipment could be a much more serious problem than you realise: according to the Ski Club of Great Britain, theft affected as many as 14% of skiers in 2016.

A quarter of skiers (28%) confessed to not taking precautions when leaving skis unattended, which increases the risk of having your equipment stolen. And 61% of skiers don’t mark their equipment, making it more difficult to identify lost or stolen ski gear that has been recovered.

Although purchasing ski insurance won’t stop you losing your equipment or prevent theft, it will keep you covered for all eventualities – providing you have the right policy and you haven’t fallen foul of any exclusions.

How skiers protect their equipment

Ski Club of Great Britain data, Correct as of 2016.

European Health Insurance Card

There are many skiing resorts in Europe, and if you’re planning to visit one or more of them you should remember your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

It automatically entitles you to the same level of medical treatment as a local would get. Read more about the benefits with our page on the EHIC.

However the EHIC won’t cover you for things like rescue and repatriation, nor will it be of much use outside of Europe – where medical treatment can cost thousands or tens of thousands.

This is why it can be so important to take out a ski holiday travel insurance policy – this way you’ll have peace of mind in case things don’t go to plan.

How often will I need ski travel insurance?

You can get ski or any other winter sports insurance for a single trip if you’re only going for a one-off adventure. However, if you’re a more frequent traveller you might benefit from a multi-trip or annual policy.

This is because, depending on the provider and policy you choose, you may be able to save money by purchasing a long-term policy rather than taking out individual cover for each trip you go on.

Annual multi-trip policy is cheaper for three or more holidays

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

Where will I need ski travel insurance for?

Like with most travel insurance policies, you should also bear in mind where you’re travelling to. You can take out policies that offer cover for:

  • European travel
  • Worldwide travel
  • Worldwide travel (excluding the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean)

A European policy would be enough for a holiday to France or Switzerland, but if you’re planning on skiing in Canada you’ll need something more comprehensive.

However you should always check with providers if they have restrictions on certain countries, while the government also provides foreign travel advice.

51% of single trip winter sports policies are for holidays in France

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

Destination on TravelSuperMarket

Clicks

French Alps, France

19,081

Bulgarian Mountains, Bulgaria

14,137

Andorran Pyrenees, Andorra

8,282

Austrian Alps, Austria

6,399

Italian Alps, Italy

5,629

Borovets, Bulgarian Mountains, Bulgaria

5,548

Swiss Alps, Switzerland

3,300

Austria, Austria

1,862

Data from TravelSuperMarket, correct as of November 2018.

Who else needs ski travel insurance?

You may also benefit from taking out a group or family policy on your insurance deal. This is because it can sometimes be cheaper and more convenient to have everyone on a single policy rather than taking out individual travel insurance for each person.

Over 30% of winter sports policies were for couples and families

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

What’s excluded from ski travel insurance?

Aside from certain types of skiing that may not be covered, you may also find that ski holiday insurance also excludes cover for:

  • Being under the influence: so if you injure yourself or lose your possessions whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol your insurer may refuse your claim.
  • Not wearing the right gear: which means if you get injured without wearing a helmet or goggles you probably won’t be able to claim for medical treatment costs.
  • Leaving your things unattended: therefore if your possessions are lost, damaged, or stolen after you’ve left them unattended in a public space your claim is likely to be rejected.

How much does ski travel insurance cost?

The cost of winter sports insurance, which generally includes cover for skiing, can depend on the following factors:

Your age: winter sports cover, like most travel insurance, is generally more expensive the older you are. This is largely because the chances of you having a pre-existing medical condition goes up as you get older. For example, people aged 66-75 paid an average of £26.59 for winter sports cover, compared to £11.29 for people aged 18-25.

Cost of winter sports cover per age group

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

Your travel frequency: If you travel often, you’re likely to pay more for cover – whether it’s insuring each trip individually or all together under a multi-trip policy. However if you plan on booking more than three trips in a year, even if only one of them involves skiing, you could still benefit from taking out a multi-trip policy as part of your travel insurance. This is because the average price of single trip cover with winter sports insurance comes to £13.39, and a multi-trip policy averages at £42.49 – which means possible savings for frequent travellers.

Your destination: Travelling to countries such as the USA, Canada, and New Zealand often costs more in the way of travel insurance. This is often due to the high medical costs in these places, as well as potential repatriation and rescue expenses.

The top 5 least and most expensive countries for winter sports insurance

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

Your holiday length: Taking out a travel insurance policy including winter sports cover for a 1-3 night holiday averages at £8.69, while an 11-14 night trip costs an average of £39.14. However costs can still vary hugely depending on a number of factors, including your insurer, your destination, and how many similar policies were sold by the insurer.

Should I rent skiing equipment or bring my own?

The question of whether to rent your skiing equipment or bring your own generally comes down to cost. According to recent data from Intersport, the average return airline baggage fee for snow sport equipment is actually greater than the average rental price for skis and poles in France. This means that hiring equipment after you reach your destination might make more sense for your wallet.

How the cost of ski equipment hire compares to ski carriage with airlines

Intersport data, Weekly Rental in France for Skis and Poles, Correct as of 2017.

When should I buy ski travel insurance?

You should buy ski holiday insurance, like any other kind of travel insurance, as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

This is because it can be useful if you need to cancel your holiday before you leave, and with travel insurance in place early you’ll be able to claim back the cost of your trip if you cancel due to:

  • Illness or injury
  • Redundancy
  • Bereavement

Ski holiday travel tips

A skiing trip should be one of the most fun and exciting things you’ll do on holiday, but to make sure you stay safe and sound while you’re hitting the slopes it can be useful to follow these tips:

  1. Bring the right equipment: you’ll need a helmet and protective clothing as well as goggles and sunblock as the sun can be more intense at high altitudes
  2. Check the weather beforehand: if there’s too much or not enough snow on the slopes, or there might be an avalanche ahead, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to ski
  3. Respect other skiers: you probably won’t be the only person at the resort, so remember to be responsible when you’re skiing – safely enter and exit any ski runs you use and don’t interfere with other skiers
  4. Know what you can and can’t do: don’t try any slopes or runs that you think might be too extreme or difficult, especially if you haven’t got an instructor with you
  5. Keep people aware: when you go out to ski, make sure someone who hasn’t gone with you knows where you are and where you’ll be going. This way if you get lost or if something happens, someone will be able to find you

Compare ski travel insurance

Comparing quotes on MoneySuperMarket is an easy way to find a better deal on ski holiday travel insurance.

All you need to do is tell us a little about your holiday plans, like where you’re going and what activities you’re planning, and you’ll be given a list of quotes tailored to you.

Then you can browse through and compare them by the overall cost, the level of cover you’ll get, and the excess you’ll need to pay for a claim.

Once you’ve found the right deal, you’ll be able to click through to the insurer and finalise your deal – then you can start thinking about those snowy slopes.

However you should remember that the cheapest quote you find isn’t necessarily the best for you – it’s best to go for a balance between cost and coverage so you get the best value for money without being over- or under-insured.

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