Travel insurance for snowboarding holidays
Snowboarding insurance is absolutely vital if you’re planning a winter sports holiday? Here’s what you need to know
What is snowboarding travel insurance?
Snowboarding insurance is a type of travel insurance that provides cover specifically designed for snowboarders. Whether it’s in the UK, Europe or anywhere else around the world, it’s necessary peace of mind while you’re enjoying the slopes.
Do I need snowboarding travel insurance?
Snowboarding insurance policies come with the cover you'd expect from holiday insurance, including baggage cover, cancellation cover, medical expenses and emergency repatriation cover.
They also provide cover that standard travel insurance does not. For example, you won’t be able to claim for medical treatment costs if you injure yourself, as snowboarding is often excluded as a risky activity in standard policies.
Likewise if any damage was done to your snowboarding equipment, this may not be covered under a standard policy.
Snowboarding is a risky sport and without insurance a bad crash could leave you with tens of thousands in medical bills.
What does snowboarding travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance for a snowboarding trip will generally still include cover for 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 hire: If your snowboarding equipment is damaged, lost or stolen, you’ll be able to claim for replacements or hire costs, depending on what’s stated in your policy
Piste closure: If the piste is closed for a certain length of time, you may be able to get compensation for the time lost. However, some insurers might have minimum closure times – it’s common to see anywhere between 12 and 24 hours
Off-piste snowboarding: Many insurers also offer cover for off-piste snowboarding, 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 tens of 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 condition, 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 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 – EHIC/GHIC
If you’re planning on snowboarding on the Alps or somewhere else in Europe, you could benefit from a European Health Insurance Card – EHIC or the new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). Both the EHIC and the new GHIC will cover you for emergency medical treatment to the same standard as a local citizen in any EU country.
The EHIC/GHIC scheme is still available for UK residents even though the UK is no in the EU. The cards are free and you can get hold of one through the NHS website.
The EHIC is being phased out for UK residents and is being replaced by the GHIC.
The EHIC/GHIC scheme is a good safety net, but not all State healthcare in the EU will be completely free – you may still have to pay something towards your treatment. The scheme also doesn’t cover things like repatriation if you need to come home after a snowboarding injury. For this reason, good quality travel insurance is important.
How often will you need snowboarding insurance?
You may want to consider 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.
It may end up cheaper in the long run, compared to purchasing a single policy for each trip.
Where do I need snowboarding insurance for?
Cover for European destinations is normally 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:
Worldwide travel (excluding the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean)
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 of the following:
Extreme snowboarding: Some forms of snowboarding, or some routes and slopes, may be excluded from certain 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 you will 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 a number of factors:
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 making a claim
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
Travel frequency: The more often you travel the more you’ll 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 should save money by taking out a multi-trip policy
Holiday duration: The longer your holiday, the more likely you are to have to make a claim. 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
Snowboarding travel tips
Snowboarding is a lot of fun even if you spend half of the time lying in the snow, but there is danger involved. Keep safe and make sure you have a great holiday while bearing these tips in mind:
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
Check the weather conditions, to make sure there isn’t too little or too much snow, or even an avalanche, that could interrupt your snowboarding session
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
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
Tell someone where you are in case you get lost somewhere, so 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.