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Winter sports insurance

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Last updated: 10 February 2021

How to get the best ski insurance for winter holidays

If you’re going on a winter sports holiday – or even a trip to Lapland – you’ll have to make sure you have the right travel insurance in place before you leave.

Taking part in sports like skiing and snowboarding increases your risk of injury while travelling. That’s why most insurers don’t offer winter sports cover as standard. The best ski insurance covers you for all the same things as regular travel insurance, but there are extras. These extras cover you for the riskier situations linked to winter sports.

So you need to find separate cover for the best ski insurance for your needs.

Here’s how to get the best ski insurance for winter sports.

What’s included in the best travel insurance with winter sports?

If you choose the best travel insurance with winter sports, then it’s likely your policy will cover:

  • Skiing (including cross country)

  • Snowboarding

  • Ice skating

  • Sledging/tobogganing

  • Snowmobiling

  • Dog sledding (such as husky rides)

  • Sleigh rides

  • Glacier walking

  • Ice fishing.

But check the policy extremely carefully against your plans. Activities such as ice hockey, ski jumping or bobsleighing aren’t usually covered. That tends to be the case even with the best travel insurance with winter sports. Talk to your insurer about this.

Remember that standard travel insurance won’t cover you for even the lowest-key winter activities. Not even a reindeer sleigh ride in Lapland. So you need to find the best travel insurance with winter sports you can. Before you buy your cover, check the policy to make sure your activities are included.

What does the best ski travel insurance protect you against?

The best ski travel insurance is likely to cover you for the sports listed above.

You may also get cover for:

  • Medical treatment. Winter sports are considered high risk. Regular insurance won’t cover you for injuries or illnesses resulting from taking part, but the best ski travel insurance will. Remember that medical treatment abroad can be extremely expensive. You’ll need to get plenty of cover in case something dramatic happened.

  • Your equipment. You’ll be protected against accidental loss, theft and damage. This includes equipment you own and equipment you hire. Look out for the cover limit. You’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough cover to replace everything you’re taking and hiring, in case the worst happened. Piste closure. This will pay for your transport costs to another site if you’re unable to ski at your resort. If no other alternatives are available, you can receive compensation for each day that you can’t ski.

  • Your ski pack. The insurer will pay out if you’re injured or ill and therefore unable to use things you’ve paid for, like your ski or lift pass, ski lessons and hired equipment.

  • Alternative equipment hire. If your luggage gets lost during your outbound journey, you could hire alternative equipment paid for by your insurer. This means you could still take part in the winter sports you planned to.

  • Personal liability. This would pay out if you inadvertently injured someone else during your trip and they sued you.

  • Repatriation. Your insurer would pay to bring you back to the UK if you were ill or injured and unable to fly in the usual way.

  • Avalanche delays. Your insurance would pay out if your activities are delayed following an avalanche.

Find out more about what winter sports cover protects you against here.

Can I get winter sport travel insurance even if I’ve got a pre-existing medical condition?

Some insurers will still offer you insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. To have this condition covered, you’re likely to have to pay more.

Other insurers will still offer insurance, but they won’t cover you for your pre-existing conditions.

Do I still need insurance even if I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

The EHIC is excellent, but we’d recommend having that as well the best ski insurance for your needs.

With the EHIC, you can access necessary state-provided healthcare in the same way as a local resident would. This could mean it’s free or it could mean it’s for a reduced price.

While Brexit negotiations are ongoing, UK residents are still able to use their EHICs when they travel to Europe. It is unknown what the situation will be once the UK leaves the European Union.

But, even with this, the costs of medical treatment can still be extremely high. Plus, there are things the EHIC won’t cover you for, such as private hospital treatment, repatriation and mountain rescues. It gives you important extra protection so you can be sure you won’t have to pay more than your excess even if the worst happens.

Remember that an EHIC also doesn’t cover you for any of the other things that you get with the best ski insurance policies. For example, you’re not covered for lost luggage cover or piste closure.

If you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get a quote through Money.co.uk. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.

Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you're unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can contact the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) or you can telephone 0800 138 7777.

Winter sports travel insurance FAQs

Most do not include it as standard, so you will need to add winter sports cover separately.

Most packages include off piste ski insurance, but make sure you do not ski against local authority advice and you may need a guide with you.

Yes, but each insurer sets their own maximum age. Cover for older travellers can be more expensive, find out more here.

Most policies cover things like skis and poles you own, and anything you hire. Check the cover limits each insurer offers for equipment.

Yes, if you include winter sports cover as part of an annual policy you will be covered all year as long as you do not exceed the maximum trip length.

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