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Do you Need Specific Insurance for Ski-ing or SnowBoarding?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 2 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Insurance Skiing Skiing Travel Insurance

If you’re planning to go skiing or snowboarding when you’re on your winter holiday, there are specific insurance policies that you can take out to make sure you’re covered for all eventualities. Most general winter sports insurance policies will cover skiing and snowboarding as standard, but it pays to check the exclusions, and make sure that if there’s anything you plan to do which might take you off of the beaten track, you won’t get hit with a nasty bill if you’re injured or have an accident.

Specific Insurance Cover for Skiing and Snowboarding

It’s vital to make sure you have the correct cover when you book a skiing holiday, and the main thing you must take into account is whether the level of cover, even if you only plan to ski, will be appropriate.

You need to be aware of terminology too – some travel insurance policies actually use the word 'ski' to mean snowboarding too, which can cause a lot of confusion. If in doubt, ask. . Snowboarding might not be covered by your policy and it’s not wise to assume that it is Check with your insurance provider before you take out a skiing travel insurance or snowboarding insurance policy.

What Types of Skiing or Other Activity May Not be Covered?

Off-piste skiing is a grey area with many insurers, with some deeming it too expensive to cover in a standard skiing travel insurance policy. Make sure that if you intend to sample the scenery off piste, you are definitely covered to do so. In some cases it might only be unaccompanied off piste runs that aren’t covered. Like winter holidays themselves, all insurance policies have variations!

Theft of My Skiing and Snowboarding Equipment

Before you buy your policy, clarify the term 'unattended goods', with your insurance provider. It’s not easy to take your skis or snowboard everywhere with you when you’re back from the slopes, so if you stop for a quick drink and leave your skis on a roof rack or in the ground outside, are they classed as unattended? Don’t get caught out by crafty insurance policy clauses.

What Else Should be Covered in a Skiing or Snowboarding Insurance Policy?

  • Ski lift passes: these can cost you a fair bit and area easy to lose... One or two specialist skiing travel insurance or snowboarding insurance companies will compensate you for having to buy another one!
  • If you can’t ski – what if the ski lift is out of order or weather conditions make it impossible? Some policies will cover the cost of travelling to another ski resort, plus ski passes. And in some cases you could be entitled to a daily rate of payment if you can’t do what you came for. You may need a report from the resort manager to make a claim.
  • Liability insurance: this helps if you crash into another snowboarder or skier and hurt them! If they then sue you for damages you can be hit with massive fees so look for a policy giving you at least £2m liability insurance if you’re skiing or snowboarding in Europe, and double it for the USA or Canada.

Many winter sports insurance policies can be quite vague when it comes to what they will and won’t cover, so be aware of the pitfalls and consider buying from a specialist insurer for this type of holiday. In most cases you’ll never need to call on the policy – but make sure you don’t get caught out if you do...

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