Snowboard insurance

Travel insurance for snowboarding holidays

By Anita Shargall Friday 23 February 2018

How important is snowboarding insurance? Read on to find out more…

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When snowboarding down a mountain with the wind rushing through your hair and without a care in the world, you probably aren’t thinking about your insurance policy. In fact, it’s probably the last thing on your mind, but it would become very important if you were to fall or be cut up by a local ski champ and hurt yourself. 

It's sensible to consider travel insurance for any holiday before you go, but when it comes to snowboarding trips it's paramount to make sure you are insured with a dedicated snowboarding holiday insurance policy.  

If, for example, you were to injure yourself when snowboarding, you could easily find yourself faced with pricey medical bills and, if something went seriously wrong, the cost of emergency repatriation.

Plus, a cheap ski and snowboard travel insurance policy shouldn't be difficult to find as many insurers now offer policies for winter sports. These policies provide cover for activities like snowboarding, skiing, tobogganing (sledging properly) and ice skating – though you should always check the wording of each policy to be sure your activity is included.

Why do I need coverage?

Getting injured when snowboarding can be a serious possibility. According to a study of injury rates amongst people skiing and snowboarding in Switzerland, snowboarding carries an injury risk of 3 injuries per 1000 skier days. In other words, for every 1000 people snowboarding on any given day, 3 will sustain an injury that’s serious enough to require medical attention.   

Snowboarding injury rate

Snow Sports Trauma and Safety data. Collected 2008-12.

Upper extremities like shoulders and wrists are the some of the most common body parts to injure during snowboarding, while ankles and knees are also vulnerable, making it extra important to wear protective equipment.

To keep yourself protected against the medical costs associated with snowboarding injuries, a snowboarding travel insurance policy is a necessary option.

What does snowboard insurance cover?

Snowboarding insurance policies give you the standard cover you'd expect from holiday insurance, such as baggage cover, cancellation cover, medical expenses, and emergency repatriation cover.

Plus your cover might include equipment cover, full winter sports cover, enhanced medical cover, and in some cases, off-piste cover – if you are supervised by a qualified instructor.

It's also common for snowboard insurance to cover emergencies that may arise on the slopes such as piste closure and piste rescue. But, as with any insurance, you should always read the policy wording before travelling to make sure you are covered for each of the activities you will be taking part in.

When would my holiday insurance not be suitable?

When shopping for snowboarding insurance, you must always read the policy wording to check that your plans don’t fall foul of any exclusions. There’s no guarantee that every winter sport or activity will be covered by every single insurer – and if you don’t choose wisely, you may not be insured when you need it the most.

The length of your trip will also affect whether your insurance is suitable. Single trip snowboarding cover is unlikely to insure you for extended trips, particularly if you’re planning to stay for the whole season. In this case it might be worth investing in an annual travel insurance policy, or perhaps a backpacker's policy with additional winter sports cover.

It is also important to make your insurer aware of any pre-existing medical conditions which could result in a claim and in these circumstances you should look into purchasing travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.

When should I buy my insurance?

It’s important to buy your snowboarding insurance as soon as you can. If you buy it in advance it’ll make sure you’re covered for all eventualities, including cancellation. So, if you pick up an injury before you go, for example, cancellation cover means that you won’t have to pay for 100% of the trip.

Generally, the over 60s are more likely to buy well in advance of their departure, giving them a much greater opportunity to take advantage of their winter sports insurance. Younger people tend to buy the same day that they leave, meaning that they’re more likely to suffer financial loss from cancellation or injury.

Snowboarding how many days before do people book

MoneySuperMarket data. Collected between January 2015 and October 2017.

Who takes out snowboarding insurance?

All snowboarders on the mountain can benefit from snowboarding insurance, so whether you’re a couple or a single traveller, there’s a snowboarding insurance package for you. Statistically, families and single travellers take out winter sports coverage at a greater rate than couples and groups.

Who is the most likely to take out winter sports insurance

MoneySuperMarket data. Collected between January 2015 and October 2017.

Simple snowboarding safety rules

Once you are on the piste, it's time to consider safety on the slopes.

It's important to remember that snowboarders face sideways when travelling down the slopes, so a blind spot is created behind them. For this reason, you should always make sure no one is in your way when making a heel edge turn.

Never venture beyond the boundary of the slope as off-piste is often difficult terrain not for the fainthearted, but luckily these areas are usually signposted.

Always take to the slopes with a friend as you may get lost or injure yourself, and you don’t want to be out on the snow for too long if you’re hurt.

Always take a phone, because even though you might not have signal in the mountains, they have GPS and are a way of finding you should you veer off piste and become lost. Of course, losing or damaging your gadgets is always a potential risk when you go snowboarding. Adding gadget coverage to your snowboarding insurance is a great way to ensure that your devices stay protected when you’re out on the slopes.

Always try to follow good on-piste etiquette and know that those in front and below you have right of way. Plus knowing your limits is key – don’t hurtle down an advanced black run if you're a novice, stick to the beginner slopes.

How easy is it to arrange cover?

The good news is it couldn't be easier to find a great snowboarding insurance policy.

You can get a snowboarding quote within minutes with MoneySuperMarket. All you have to do is enter the details of your trip, along with your personal details, and you’ll begin receiving quotes from UK insurers

It’s important to understand that when you compare holiday insurance with MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be looking at winter sports policies. When you review the results, make sure you only consider policies that cover you for snowboarding – and any other sports or activities you wish to undertake.

You should also compare maximum excess, level of cover and premium price to make sure that the plan you choose is right for you. 

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