14 Jan 2020 by Olga Brighton
Winter trips provide a welcome chance to escape to the sun during those long dark months, or the opportunity to participate in a new, or favorite winter sport like skiing, snowboarding or sledging.
If you are lucky enough to be considering a winter trip, travel insurance is among the top things you should think about before a trip if you want to avoid hassle and costs if things go unexpected wrong. Flight delays, cancelations, losing your luggage, accidents, or falling ill could all ruin your trip.
Travel Insurance provides financial and practical help when you need it most, including finding a doctor, paying for treatment, sourcing an urgent flight home following a bereavement, or covering essential supplies if your luggage goes walk-about.
Here is a list of features that you should look for in your winter travel insurance:
If you’re going on a winter trip that includes winter related activities, make sure they’re covered on your insurance. These activities often involve greater risk and you may also use valuable equipment when taking part. Winter Sports won’t necessarily be covered as standard.
Many policies do not cover skiing or snowboarding off piste. If you plan to go beyond the resort boundaries, check whether you are covered to ski and snowboard off-piste and what terms may apply – before you go! For example, you may only be covered if you are accompanied by a professional instructor or in a designated area.
Choose a policy that includes a cancellation benefit that is sufficient to cover all your pre-paid trip costs. This gives the added advantage of covering you from the moment you purchase the policy.
Choose a policy with good medical repatriation and medical expenses cover – at least £5 million. Medical treatment and repatriation following a fall on the slopes could set you back thousands, even from within Europe.
What if you need emergency medical airlift off your luxury cruise ship? Or you need a helicopter rescue from the piste? Is that covered by your chosen Travel Insurance policy? Being medically airlifted from the high seas, or injuries sustained while participating in many winter sports may require a helicopter airlift, or repatriation - which is costly, so check in advance.
Top insurance companies keep provisions for Emergency Recovery in their standard cover, including the Globelink.
Make sure your Travel Insurance covers baggage, equipment and personal possessions if they are lost, stolen or damaged. This feature is especially crucial for winter trips, whether you are heading for a luxury long-haul winter-sun trip with your favorite outfits, or for the slopes with your expensive ski and snowboarding gear.
Check if the policy covers missed departure. Accidents on the way to the airport, failure of public transport and adverse weather are much more frequent during cold winter months. Also check for piste closure cover, which will provide reimbursement for unused ski passes.
Check all the sporting and adventure activities you plan will be covered by your insurance. Whether winter sports of other favourite winter sun activities like surfing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, as well as winter sports classics like skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, glacier walking and ice skating. You are more likely to be injured while participating in such activities, so don’t take the chance.
Another important factor to be aware of is the Excess on your policy. The cheapest policy may have a high excess – which is the amount that you are responsible for in the event of a claim. Check you are happy with it. Or opt for an ‘Excess Waiver’ so you don’t have to worry about it.
Everyone loves free stuff and it’s no different when buying Travel Insurance. Look out for benefits that you are usually charged extra for – like Cruise Cover, or cheaper deals on Annual Cover. Globelink offer 17 days free Winter Sports coverage on Annual Policies with a 45 day trip duration. Some terms and conditions apply.
Wherever you go and whatever Travel Insurance policy you select, visit the FCO Travel Aware website to get useful travel and security information on your destination and check FCO's travel advice to help you stay and travel aware.