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Monday November 19, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Many do not according to ABTA - The Travel Association. An estimated 2.5m admit not checking they're insured for snowsports.





ABTA wants to encourage people of all ages to stay safe on the slopes and to make sure they have the right level of fitness to enjoy their holiday injury free.

Plus have the appropriate winter sports travel insurance.

Many people on a winter sports holidays admit never checking whether they have taken out appropriate insurance for the activities they are undertaking - including skiing and snowboarding.

The report was compiled in conjunction with the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Foreign and Commonweath Office.

Supporting ABTA's Ski Safe campaign is Darren Neylon, CEO of the Ski Club of Great Britain.

"Make sure your insurance covers you for all the activities you are likely to do in the mountains as many don't cover off piste, touring or après ski activities like sledging or ice skating," said Darren.

"It's also worth checking that there are no age or medical condition exclusions applicable before you travel," he added.

Two British ski related deaths and 197 "significant incidents" on the slopes overseas have been reported by ABTA members in the past 12 months.

The real figures are likely much higher.

People who have an accident on the slopes could face hefty medical bills - running into thousands of pounds if they have to be airlifted off the mountain.

Holidaymakers are encouraged to check their travel insurance covers winter sports activities and what is actually included.

Overall, just over one in five (22%) people who have ever been on a winter sports holiday never check their insurance - rising to more than a quarter (28%) of people aged 55 and over.

Meanwhile, younger generations take the most care with their winter sports holiday cover, with only one in seven (15%) 18 to 24 year olds saying they never check if they have the right insurance.

"The other group is the 55 plus age group who seems to be the current target group, who have a high percentage that to not take out travel insurance," said Michael Pettifer from MPI Brokers.

"They are probably well off, the Chancellor has recently freed up their pension pot and if they have a medical matter, and their travel insure may have said no, or a high premium."

"This is why MPI insurance will allow you to buy a policy with any pre existing conditions excluded so the other parts e.g. Liability and delays in travel can still be insured'.

Accidents happenAccidents happen













"Even if you have insurance it is vital to check the details of the policy and the small print," advises the PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

"Are you covered to ski off piste and what about a helicopter rescue?"

"If you need hospital treatment you will likely need to be flown there."

"Some insurance policies require a helmet to be worn regardless of the local legal requirements."

Then there activities such as sledging and ice skating that may be excluded.

Plus local and amateur ski racing.

PlanetSKI has teamed up with the specialist insurance provider, MPI, as it offers policies that cover all the above.

See here for further details on the MPI web site.

Ensure you are correclty insuredEnsure you are correctly insured












"Thousands of people are hitting the slopes each year without the right travel insurance."

"Many wrongly assume they are automatically covered for winter sports as part of their travel insurance, putting them at risk of costly medical bills if they have an accident," said ABTA's Director of Destinations and Sustainability, Nikki White.

ABTA's top tips for having a safe holiday in the snow:

  • Make sure your insurance covers the activities you want to do. Many policies will not cover damage to rental equipment or skiing off-piste without a guide, and many policies require you to wear a helmet at all times.
  • A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) won't cover all your medical costs, private treatment or return to the UK, so you will need to take out travel insurance to ensure you are fully covered. If you have an accident or become ill your EHIC will still allow you to receive state-provided medical healthcare at the same rate as a citizen of that country. Apply for your free EHIC now at:
  • Get fit so you can enjoy your holiday. If you're not physically prepared you're more likely to injure yourself.
  • Choose the right route/pistes. It is important to be aware of how pistes are classified to indicate their difficulty. Know your limits and don't attempt slopes beyond your level of ability.
  • Don't head off-piste without being fully prepared. For example, you should make sure you take and are able to use competently the appropriate equipment - an avalanche transceiver, a probe pole and a shovel. And check your travel insurance for any restrictions. Be avalanche aware.
  • The sun is much stronger at altitude so appropriate strength sun cream should be worn along with ski goggles or sunglasses which offer 100% UV protection.
  • Know your limits. Alcohol affects your resistance and awareness of the cold, and also impairs your judgment, co-ordination and reaction time. Drinking alcohol at altitude will affect you more quickly and your insurance cover may not be valid if you injure yourself or others whilst intoxicated.
"As we head into the winter sports season we advise holidaymakers to check their insurance cover before travelling. It's also important that holidaymakers get themselves ski-fit in order to be safe on the slopes," said the FCO Head of Consular Communications and Engagement, Susan Crown.

"As the ski season gets under way, we recommend anybody heading for the slopes ensures they are well prepared so they have a safe and enjoyable holiday. It's important to know that the FCO cannot pay medical bills if you are hospitalised abroad nor can we fly you home, and unexpected medical costs or returning to the UK can be very expensive."



Since posting this story The Times newspaper has reported that the Ski Club's insurer has made the news this week for the wrong reasons.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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