According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) about one third of people setting off to enjoy a winter sports holiday do so without having arranged any insurance cover. Still more alarming is the fact that this percentage rises to nearly one half when the travellers concerned are under 35 years old – the very age group for which winter sports are most likely to appeal.
In order to consider just what protection these uninsured sportsmen and women are missing out on, it might be helpful to take a closer look at just what winter sports insurance covers.
Although the precise elements of cover might vary from one insurer to another, this might be described as specialist insurance, since many standard travel insurance packages may not provide adequate protection for all winter sports activities. You might want to arrange your winter sports insurance, therefore, through specialists such as Bengo Travel.
Nature of the sports
Winter sports naturally involve an element of danger. Of course you might try to stay safe on the slopes, but accidents may happen. It’s no fun to suffer an injury, but it’s even less fun to need to be rescued from some remote piste by helicopter – especially if you are then faced with the bill for the £5,000 or so that it may have cost.
You are likely to want your cover for winter sports to indemnify you against such costs – but, once again, the kind of specialist insurance that offers the same protection for the widest possible range of snow-based sports. Some insurers, for example, offer cover for up to 300 different activities during such holidays.
Although medical cover is probably the most important element, your equipment, personal belongings and luggage is also vulnerable to loss, damage or theft. You are likely to want to ensure that all of this property is adequately covered.
When arranging this element of cover, you might also want to make sure that the total sum insured for particular items of value is sufficient to buy replacements in the event of their loss.
Some insurers may even cover the costs (up to certain limits) of hiring replacement skiing equipment if it is lost or stolen whilst you are travelling to your resort.
In a similar vein, some policies may offer compensation for your being unable to use your ski pack if you have been injured and are unable to take to the slopes as you had planned.
Although sites such as the Met Office may be able to give up to the minute forecasts of conditions at the resort you are planning to visit, no one is able to guarantee the weather.
Nevertheless, specialist providers of insurance for winter sports may help ease the frustration of finding the slopes closed because of lack of snow by providing compensation (up to prescribed limits). Similarly, if your access to your resort is blocked because of an avalanche, some insurers may cover the cost of your finding alternative transport or accommodation pending clearance of access roads.
It may be clear, therefore, that there is potentially the world of difference between winter sports insurance as part of a standard package of travel insurance and the comprehensive cover available from specialist providers.