Ski travel insurance gives you the standard level of insurance you would usually take out when going on holiday, such as cover against theft and loss of luggage and delay and cancellation, as well as additional cover required for the added risk associated with a skiing holiday.
What does a ski holiday insurance policy include?
It comes as no surprise that a skiing holiday usually carries more risks than any other type of holiday, but why is it so important to take out a specialist ski insurance policy rather than just standard travel insurance?
You’re more likely to injure yourself skiing than when lying on a beach - and the cost of a piste rescue, or the treatment of such accidents, can run into thousands. Most ski travel insurance policies will cover for such events.
Likewise, the cost of the equipment used when skiing whether hired or owned can be expensive. Ski insurance can provide an adequate level of cover for your belongings in case of loss or theft, including smaller items such as lost ski passes.
The level of cover varies by policy, so make sure you choose one that offers enough protection for yourself and your property.
Is theft a serious risk?
When considering the dangers of ski holidays, people tend to be more concerned with accidental injuries than theft. However, the theft or loss of skiing equipment could be a much more serious problem than you realise: according to the Ski Club of Great Britain, theft affected as many as 14% of skiers in 2016.
A quarter of skiers (28%) confessed to not taking precautions when leaving skis unattended, which increases the risk of having your equipment stolen. And 61% of skiers don’t mark their equipment, making it more difficult to identify lost or stolen ski gear that has been recovered.
Although purchasing ski insurance won’t stop you losing your equipment or prevent theft, it will keep you covered for all eventualities – providing you have the right policy and you haven’t fallen foul of any exclusions.
Ski Club of Great Britain data, Correct as of 2016.
Which ski travel insurance policy is right for me?
When choosing your policy, consider how long you need ski insurance for – is it a short break on the slopes or a lengthy trip for the season? You need to think about where you’re travelling to as well, because the level of cover required will differ between the UK, Europe and further afield.
You need to check that the policy includes all the activities you want to do whilst you are on holiday – and make sure it won’t exclude cover for anything you’re planning to do. It’s worth keeping in mind that activities such as off-piste skiing may not be covered in standard policies, for example.
Furthermore, If you’ll spend more time snowboarding than skiing, snowboarding travel insurance may be more suitable for you. And if you prefer to enjoy a variety of different snow activities, winter sports travel insurance may be more appropriate.
Where are the most popular skiing destinations?
Brits prefer to travel to Europe for single trip skiing holidays. The most popular destinations are:
MoneySuperMarket data, Winter 16/17.
France, with its enormous choice of ski resorts studded throughout the Alps, remains the most popular choice, while Austria comes in second. Italy and Bulgaria – a slightly more affordable option – are the third and fourth most popular winter sport destinations, while Switzerland rounds out the top five.
Should I rent skiing equipment or bring my own?
The question of whether to rent your skiing equipment or bring your own generally comes down to cost. According to recent data from Intersport, the average return airline baggage fee for snow sport equipment is actually greater than the average rental price for skis and poles in France. This means that hiring equipment after you reach your destination might make more sense for your wallet.
Intersport data, Weekly Rental in France for Skis and Poles, Correct as of 2017.
How much coverage do I need?
When you choose your winter sports insurance policy, it’s important to look at the level of coverage provided compared to the value of your equipment:
Ski equipment. Most skis cost between £100 and £500, although costs can stretch into the thousands for more specialist equipment. In addition, boots, helmets, goggles, and poles can add hundreds to the overall value of your equipment.
Most winter sports travel insurance plans provide around £500 to £750 for ski equipment coverage, so if you’ve got expensive equipment, you should opt for a policy with a higher level of coverage. However, it’s possible that you won’t be able to get coverage for the entire cost of your equipment.
Gadgets. Adding gadget coverage can keep your GoPro and iPhone protected while you’re out on the slopes. GoPros cost between £200 and £650, while iPhones generally cost around £500, depending on the model.
With the level of gadget coverage ranging from £500 to £3,000, you should be able to find a policy that covers the cost of your devices.
Saving money on ski travel insurance
The most important factor when choosing your policy is to ensure it has the right level of cover that you need. It might be tempting to go for the cheapest policy available, but if important things aren’t covered or your excess is high, it’ll cost you much more if you have to pay out-of-pocket or make a claim.
When you compare ski travel insurance, make sure you look at the excess and level of cover (medical, cancellation, baggage, and personal money) as well as the premium price.