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Ski insurance

Travel insurance for skiing

If you’re planning a skiing trip this year, specialist skiing insurance is a must

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 12 January 2021

Looking for travel insurance?

What is ski travel insurance?

Skiing holiday insurance is cover specially designed for ski trips. It includes protection for your equipment, medical treatment in case you’re injured, and specific costs like getting an injured skier off a mountain and safely home.

Do I need ski travel insurance?

Ski holiday insurance is vital, as a standard travel policy won’t be enough to cover any number of situations you might run into on the slopes.

For example, medical costs from skiing injuries are not often covered under standard insurance, as it’s seen by insurers as extra-high risk.

Likewise, your ski equipment won’t come under standard personal possession cover – so if it’s lost, damaged or stolen you’ll need specialist cover to be able to claim.


The most popular countries for winter sports insurance

According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of September 2019


What does ski travel insurance cover?

Ski insurance should cover you for the standard things normal travel insurance offers. This can include policies that cover delays and cancellations, medical costs (including pre-existing conditions), and personal possessions.

However it also includes ski-related policies such as:

  • Equipment cover: If you need to replace your equipment or hire alternatives 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 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 when the piste is closed, though this might only apply if that’s above 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 ski theft a serious risk?

When it comes to ski holidays, people tend to be more concerned with injuries than theft. However, the theft of skiing equipment is 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.


What age do people buy winter sports

According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of September 2019





The same findings from Ski Club of Great Britain stated that more than 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 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.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and the new GHIC

If you’re planning to visit ski resorts in Europe, you should remember your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – or the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaces the EHIC.

Although the UK is no longer part of the EU, the EHIC and GHIC will continue to be accepted for emergency healthcare in State-run hospitals. The GHIC will replace the EHIC, as existing EHIC cards start to expire.

However the EHIC/GHIC 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.

Where will I need ski travel insurance for?

As with most travel insurance policies, you should also bear in mind where you’re travelling. Different policies offer cover for:

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


The cheapest and most expensive countries for winter sports insurance

According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of September 2019


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.

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: If you injure yourself or lose your possessions while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your insurer may refuse your claim
  • Not wearing the right gear: 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: 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 winter sports cost

According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of September 2019


How much does ski travel insurance cost?

The cost of winter sports insurance, which generally includes cover for skiing, can depend on numerous 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, though you’re also more likely to sustain an injury

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 involves skiing, you could still benefit from taking out a multi-trip policy

Destination: Travelling to countries such as the USA, Canada and New Zealand often costs more in travel insurance. This is due to higher medical costs, as well as potential repatriation and rescue expenses

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 at your destination might make more sense.

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 fun and exciting, but to make sure you stay safe and sound, follow these tips:

  • 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
  • Check the weather: 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
  • Respect other skiers: Remember to be responsible when you’re skiing – safely enter and exit any ski runs you use and don’t interfere with other skiers
  • Know your limits: 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
  • 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

Single-trip vs annual insurance

According to MoneySuperMarket data correct as of September 2019

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 – go for a balance between cost and coverage so you get the best value for money without being over- or under-insured.