A recent survey carried out by the Ski Club of Great Britain reports that almost half of skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes with ski insurance. The Association of Mountain Doctors in France dealt with 140,000 injuries last year, the most common being a sprained knee. Accidents not only put a major dampener on your holiday, but can incur huge medical costs to cover things like mountain rescue and transport back home. World First Travel Insurance reports the average claim for medical expenses for injuries while skiing is £684, or a little over $1,000.
Taking out ski insurance is the safest and smartest thing to do, especially as it is relatively inexpensive – as low as £13 (about$20) per person in England. Before deciding on a policy, check you’re not already covered for winter sports with your bank or credit card. You should also have a clear idea of how much your equipment is worth (make sure you get adequate coverage) and if you intend to participate in extra winter sports – heli-skiing, toboganning, ski touring or ski racing – your policy should specifically mention it.
Direct Travel Insurance warns skiers to read all the terms and conditions and make sure it covers you for the following:
- Medical and air ambulance costs including Search and Mountain Rescue
- Personal liability up to $3 million if you are the cause of someone else being injured (in the U.S. many homeowners policies cover personal liability for ski accidents)
- Piste closure cover – due to high winds, too much or lack of snow (make sure you don’t have to prove that 100 percent of all local resorts are closed – 80 percent is more reasonable).
There are also safety precautions you can carryout to minimize your risk of an accident: Check the weather forecast if you’re planning to go off-piste and make sure you tell someone where you’re going; ensure you and your children always wear helmets; take regular rest breaks as most accidents happen when skiers are tired; and limit drinking on the mountain as alcohol can severely damage your coordination and reaction times.