05 February 2014
If you’re spending the holidays skiing or snowboarding, be prudent and remember to purchase winter sports travel insurance to have protection in wherever you go and whatever winter sport you engage in without risk life, limb or property if things go awry.
According to Simon Warsop of the insurance company Aviva, the average claim for medical benefits for the winter season year of 2011-2012 amounted to £1,410, yet the addition of winter sports coverage to the standard travel insurance policy was less at £6.
Still according to Aviva, only 4 in 10 participants in winter sports include cover for these activities. The Aviva survey showed, however, that individuals who are more experienced with engaging in winter sports are more likely to take out insurance policies that cover them.
Most people who already have their yearly travel insurance tend to overlook the addition of winter sports cover to their policy. Numerous policies, however, may not have winter sports covered and, as such, there is a need to check on winter sports that are high-risk like skiing even on the safest piste for inclusion in the insurance cover. If your policy does not include protection for participation in winter sports, do not hesitate to purchase one which does.
Skiing may be comparatively safer than driving because there is no traffic or double deck buses or even motorcyclists on the road, but it remains dangerous because of the uneven trails and rough terrain that may be encountered by the skier while on actual run.
And just because you have a European Health Insurance Card or EHIC, it does not necessarily mean that your protection and safety are covered entirely.
A travel insurance policy, incidentally, does not only include cover if you fall ill or injure yourself while on the ski slopes, it also covers theft of personal belongings such as skis and ski equipment which can be quite expensive, acts of terrorism, untimely death, and accidents. A mountain rescue, for instance, should be covered by your travel insurance but if it does not, it would be wise for you to take out a policy that does. Damaged or nicked winter sports equipment or kits will be expensive to replace or repair unless they are covered by travel insurance which includes cover for winter sports.
The general rule of thumb for most insurers is non-consideration for cover of ski mountaineering, the use of skeletons, bobsleighs, bungees or luges, and ski stunting and acrobatics, narrowing down your engagement in these activities. If you participate in extreme or intense winter sports, you may want to a policy that has terms and conditions specifically designed for these sports. If you insist on engaging in winter sports without cover for them, you expose yourself to avoidable hazards and even invalidate your existing cover.
If you’re a winter sports regular participant, it would be to your best interest to take out a single policy or yearly travel insurance with winter sports cover to avoid expensive purchase of additional policies.
As in buying all other items wisely, it is advisable to compare prices of winter sports travel insurance policies in general, whether it is the one-off policy or the annual type, before taking out your wallet.