Snowboard insurance

Travel insurance for snowboarding holidays

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

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What is snowboarding travel insurance?

Snowboarding travel insurance is a type of travel insurance that provides cover specifically designed for people going on a snowboarding trip. Whether it’s in the UK, Europe, or anywhere else around the world, it can provide peace of mind while you’re enjoying the slopes.

Do I need snowboarding travel insurance?

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.

However they can also provide an extra level of cover that standard travel insurance may not be able to. For example, you might not be able to claim for medical treatment costs if you injure yourself snowboarding as it’s often excluded as a ‘risky’ activity in many travel insurance policies.

Likewise if any damage was done to your snowboarding equipment, or if your snowboard got lost on the slopes, it might not be covered under a standard lost, damaged, or stolen possession policy.

This makes it important to include a snowboarding travel insurance policy in your overall deal, as it can be useful for when things don’t go exactly to plan.

What does snowboarding travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for a snowboarding trip will generally still include most types of cover in a standard travel insurance policy. This can include delays and cancellations, your possessions, and basic medical treatment – plus any other additions you have purchased.

However, it will also provide a special level of cover that can include some, if not all of:

  • Equipment and equipment hire: if your snowboarding equipment is damaged, lost, or stolen, you’ll be able to claim for replacement costs and/or equipment hire costs, depending on what’s stated in your policy
  • Piste closure: If the piste is closed for a certain length of time, meaning you can’t snowboard, you may be able to get compensation for the time lost. However, some insurers might have different minimum lengths of closure time mentioned in their policy documents – it’s common to see anywhere between 12 and 24 hours
  • Off piste snowboarding: Many insurers also offer cover for any activities you take part in off-piste, though this will usually have some conditions. For example, the cover may only apply if you’re accompanied by a qualified instructor or guide.
  • Ski pass: if your ski pass is lost or stolen, you’ll be able to claim for the cost of a new one to access the slopes
  • Medical costs: if you injure yourself while snowboarding, the medical costs – which often reach the thousands in places like Canada and the USA – are generally covered up to a certain amount
  • Pre-existing medical conditions: if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, you’ll be covered for any medical costs that occur if they flare up while abroad
  • Cancellations due to injury or illness: likewise if you have to forgo further activity due to illness or injury, the cost of any equipment you’ve hired will also be covered
  • Personal liability: if someone else is injured as a result of your activity or behaviour while snowboarding, this will cover your personal liability costs
  • Avalanche delays: if you’re unable to access the slopes or the piste opening is delayed due to an avalanche, this will cover the cost of any alternative arrangements you may have had to make

European Health Insurance Card

If you’re planning on snowboarding on the Alps or somewhere else in Europe, you could benefit from taking a European Health Insurance Card with you. It’ll cover you for emergency medical treatment to the same standard as a local citizen would receive – read more with our guide to the EHIC.

As it stands, the EHIC card will only work up until the 29th March 2019.

If you are concerned about whether your EHIC card will work after the UK leaves the EU, be aware that a standard travel insurance policy will cover you for any health insurance costs incurred.

When you ski or snowboard you’ll need a good travel insurance policy for the cost of rescues and repatriation to the UK in the case of serious injury or illness.

Travel insurance can be even more useful outside of Europe, where medical costs can reach into the thousands.

How often will you need snowboarding insurance?

You may also want to consider what type of policy you take out depending on how often and how long you travel for. A single trip policy should be enough if you’re only going on a one-off holiday, but if you’re a regular snowboarder you may want to consider multi-trip or annual cover.

This is because it may be cheaper in the long run, compared to purchasing a single policy for each trip.

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

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018

Where do I need snowboarding insurance for?

Keep in mind where you’re going when you buy your policy too. Cover for European destinations can sometimes be cheaper than worldwide cover, so if you’re only going to France or Switzerland, you’ll save money by avoiding over-insuring yourself.

You can generally get policies that cover you for:

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

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

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018

Who else needs snowboarding insurance?

You might also be able to save money by taking out a group or family policy rather than individual policies, if you’re going with a number of people on the same holiday.

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

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018

What’s excluded from snowboarding insurance?

However like any other insurance policy, there are usually exclusions in place for what you can put in a claim for. These can include any if not all of the following:

  • Extreme snowboarding: some forms of snowboarding, or some routes and slopes, may be excluded from some policies, or they may require further cover – it’s best to check with your resort before taking out a policy.
  • Competitive snowboarding: likewise if you snowboard competitively this may also require an extra level of cover if you have to pay for medical costs or equipment.
  • Snowboarding under the influence: if you hit the slopes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, any claims for equipment or medical treatment costs may be voided.
  • Injury without protection: if you injure yourself or become ill as a result of not wearing the right protective equipment or clothing, your medical costs may not be covered under your policy. This might include helmets or goggles, or even wearing a close-fitted under layer to keep you warm
  • Unattended possessions: if your equipment or gear gets stolen, lost, or damaged when you’ve left it unattended, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim for the costs.

How much does snowboarding travel insurance cost?

The price you’ll pay for snowboarding travel insurance depends on:

  • Your age: the older you are, the more you’re likely to pay for cover. This is mostly due to the higher chance of you having pre-existing medical conditions, which therefore increases the chance of you having to make a claim. For example, the average cost of a winter sports policy for people aged 66-75 was £26.59 - £15.30 more expensive than cover for people aged 18-25.

Cost of winter sports cover per age group

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

  • Your destination: the high medical and repatriation costs for places such as the USA and Canada mean insurance generally costs more if you’re travelling to these destinations

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

Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, accurate as of October 2018.

  • Your travel frequency: the more often you travel the more you’ll likely have to pay for cover – whether you’re insuring each trip separately or taking out an annual multi-trip policy. However if you’re planning on taking more than three trips in a year, even if only one involves any winter sports, you could save money by taking out a multi-trip policy – this is because a multi-trip policy costs on average £42.49 with winter sports cover, compared to a single trip cost of £13.39.
  • Your holiday duration: The longer your holiday, the more likely you are to have to make a claim. Therefore, the average cost of insuring a 1-3 night holiday with winter sports cover is £8.69, while an 11-14 night trip costs £39.14 to cover – however beyond two weeks and the costs can vary. This is generally due to other factors such as your destination or how many other people take out similar policies.

When should I buy snowboarding travel insurance?

Ideally you want to buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve finalised and booked your holiday.

This way, if you have to cancel your holiday between you booking it and leaving, you’ll be covered for the cost of the flights and accommodation you’ve bought.

It may even cover the cost of any equipment you’ve hired – though you should check to make sure in your provider’s policy documents before buying.

You’ll be covered for cancellation for the following reasons:

  • Illness or injury
  • Redundancy
  • Bereavement

Snowboarding travel tips

Snowboarding might be a lot of fun, even if you spend half of the time lying in the snow, but there can be high risks and danger involved. Keep safe and make sure you have a great holiday while bearing these tips in mind:

  1. Bring all the right gear and equipment, such as helmets, goggles, and warm but not too heavy clothing – you’ll work up a sweat on the slopes. This also includes sunblock, as the sun’s rays can be more intense at higher altitudes.
  2. Check the weather conditions, to make sure there isn’t too little or too much snow, or potentially even a likely avalanche, that could interrupt your snowboarding session.
  3. Know your limits, as often the more intense and difficult slopes are signalled. Don’t try these if you’re a beginner or amateur – keeping yourself safe should be the highest priority.
  4. Behave sensibly, so you can avoid injuring yourself and others while you’re snowboarding – remember the slopes are for everyone to share. This also means not snowboarding if you’re under the influence of any substances.
  5. Tell someone where you are, in case you get lost somewhere, they’ll be able to flag it to someone at the resort who can send out for help.

Compare snowboarding travel insurance

Finding a better deal for snowboarding travel insurance is easier when you compare your options on MoneySuperMarket.

All you need to do is tell us a little about your holiday plans, so we can find quotes tailored perfectly to your needs. Then you can sort through them to find the right policy for you, depending on the level and type of cover you’ve chosen, as well as the price you’ll pay and any excess fees.

However you should remember that a cheaper policy isn’t necessarily the best one – you should find one that gives you the exact level of cover you need, as you don’t want to be under-insured just to save extra money, or over insured for policies you’ll never need.

Once you’ve found the one you want, just click through to the provider and finalise your deal.

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