Winter Sports Insurance
Guide to Winter Sports Insurance
Winter Sports Insurance is an increasingly popular type of travel insurance as thousands more holiday makers take to the slopes and adorn skis for the first time or as a seasoned amateur.
The Winter sports season lasts for around 4 months in Europe and thousands of winter sports holiday-makers make for the airports around early December through to March.
The wide variety of winter sports activities is bewildering including:
Snowboarding, snowmobile, skiing off piste, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, dog sledging, snow shoeing, sledging, snow biking, speed skating, ice skating, glacier walking, ski joring, ice climbing, ice hockey, mono skiing, curling, tobogganing, and broomball to mention only a few activities.
Indeed the desire and interest in winter sports activities has spread to the UK as more and more holiday makers travel to the French alpine region and beyond to get their first taste of that white powdery snow. Winter sports Insurance has had to become more refined as skiers become more adventurous and demand travel insurance to cover them for more varied and perhaps more hazardous pursuits.
Winter Sports Travel Insurance is probably best purchased as a separate policy, which is specifically tailored for the variety of winter sports activities, however it is available within an annual multi-trip policy for a given number of days per year.
It is always best to check with the travel insurers list of permitted winter sports activities before you take the insurance as you may intend to participate in activities not included as standard and some of the activities listed above are in fact not included and too hazardous to be considered, I wonder can you guess which ones?
It goes without saying that participation in winter sports activities requires you to be in reasonable fitness and agile as accidents do occur even to the healthiest skier you need to be prepared and fit.
Winter sports travel Insurance is basically the same as standard travel insurance with the difference that it will cover you for medical situations caused by participating in winter sports activities. If you are a regular winter sports activist then you can join winter sports clubs and probably obtain cheaper quotations for winter sports policies.
Winter sports travel insurance can be obtained through a variety of sources including the Internet which is a window to view hundreds of web sites offering winter sports insurance to suit all categories. It is advisable to speak to the company before you book online to double check that any out of the ordinary activity will be covered as special permissions may be sought for particular activities.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions then you must disclose this to the winter sports travel insurer before you book it so as to make sure you will be covered in the unlikely event you need to make a claim. Even if your medical condition is controlled with medication or if you have recently undergone surgery to correct a problem or are on a waiting list for treatment you must disclose this to the medical screening line and declare it otherwise should you come to make a claim the insurer is within their rights to deny the claim on the grounds that your medical condition may have affected your ability to ski and thus potentially caused you to have the accident.
You can expect to pay at least double the cost for Winter Sports travel insurance compared to standard holiday insurance so don't be surprised at the cost and in particular if you are venturing further a field to Canada, North America or outside of Europe then the premiums can be quite expensive, many more locations are promoting their ski slopes to the UK winter sports enthusiast so to avoid the crowded slopes try to look for lesser known locations for your first skiing experience and learn your skiing skills with qualified ski instructors before you venture on the more crowded slopes. There is no need to purchase expensive equipment as everything you could need is available to hire at the resort. It is best to purchase appropriate winter sports clothing for clothing shops in the UK to save some money as these can be rather pricey on location.
More and more skiers are experiencing the thrills and spills of Off-piste skiing, as to get away from the crowds on the prescribed slopes and to experience the high-mountain scenery and making the first tracks in fresh powder snow are without doubt a fantastic experience. However, it can never be completely safe so if you go off-piste you are doing so at your own risk but your chances of survival are greatly increased if you are properly guided and equipped.
Normally all Winter Sports Travel Insurance cover you for off-piste skiing and even snow boarding, however, it is wise to check first and there are certain guidelines and some restrictions. You should ensure that you check with the local piste guides and authorities before you venture off-piste and make sure you are entering designated off-piste areas, on no account should you be skiing in prohibited areas. Even experienced skiers can get into difficulty and you cannot be aware of what lays underneath that fresh blanket of snow.
It is customary never to ski or snowboard alone off piste and never go beyond your own ability as you are venturing into un tread territory and you shouldn't let your desire for adventure obscure your sense of safety and well being. Remember that you are on holiday and only ski for a couple of weeks a year so listen and learn from the professional guides that ski every day when the weather permits.
Winter sports travel insurance can only protect you if you follow the local advice of experienced guides and local authorities obey the rules and follow the advice given by people who know better than you. Try to ensure you have the relevant Safety products with you such as shovels, probes, transceivers, first aid kits etc. These can be purchased at the resort or online at numerous web sites, probably a bit cheaper.
Winter Sports Travel Insurance can be obtained at the resort but don't expect it to be as cheap or as comprehensive as you could obtain in the UK as all travel and winter sports insurance must be purchased BEFORE you leave the UK you should take adequate precautions to both insure your own health and for ski hire loss and slope closure as adverse weather conditions can close all slopes and if you have purchased an skiing card then you wont be able to claim any compensation if you don't take out the correct insurance beforehand.
Winter Sports Travel Insurance will protect you and your possessions whilst you enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery and experience the thrills of cascading down the slopes and the hot drinks after, so take to the slopes this year and prepare yourself by taking out winter sports travel insurance from an accredited winter sports specialist insurer first.
You may want to check out our Guidance notes about travel insurance if this is the first time that you have bought travel insurance online.