Essential Travel, a major provider of travel insurance for European visitors, said customers who have an accident and are proven to have been skiing without head protection face having their policy invalidated. The policy is part of an ongoing safety campaign by the insurer, “Use Your Head”, which was launched in 2010 following the death of Natasha Richardson a year earlier.
The actress died after sustaining a head injury during a skiing lesson at the Mont Tremblant resort in Canada. She was not wearing a helmet when she fell, and her death prompted a debate about ski safety, with some observers calling for head protection to become mandatory.
A spokesman for the company admitted that while it may not always be able to prove whether or not a customer had been wearing a helmet, it would examine medical records and doctors’ notes for clues.
Other travel insurers may now adopt similar policies. According to a recent survey by Essential Travel, around 77 per cent of British skiers now claim to wear a helmet on the slopes, up from 62 per cent in 2010.