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Winter sports are undoubtedly great fun and are something to look forward to each winter as the mercury begins to plummet. Unfortunately, accidents do happen even to the most experienced participants, so it's vital that you are adequately insured before you hit the slopes.
But there's more to winter sports insurance than just medical cover. Read on to find out more.
You should be aware that most standard travel insurance does not cover winter sports because of the high risk factor. Those policies that do offer cover will only entertain certain activities; skiing, provided you do not go off piste, but not heli-skiing, for example. You can extend your policy to cover other activities whilst you are on holiday by contacting your insurer for an additional premium.
A good winter sports policy can be a financial lifeline in the event of an accident that leaves you hospitalised. The cover for medical treatment due to injury or illness whilst you are on holiday should be sufficient to cover the likely costs of treatment and repatriation. These costs will depend on where you are planning to take your holiday, and an experienced insurance broker will be able to advise you on a suitable figure.
Winter sports kit is expensive, but you should be able to claim on your insurance policy if your luggage or equipment is lost, stolen or damaged en route to your destination. However, you should note that you may not be covered if you leave your possessions unattended, and you must be able to provide proof of ownership and a police report in a case of theft. You should also be able to claim under a winter sports insurance policy for hire equipment that is lost, stolen or damaged and for the cost of replacing it.
Be aware, too, that many policies place a limit on the amount they will pay out for individual items and you will also have to pay an excess fee.
If you are injured, ill or for some other reason unable to use a lift pass, most policies will compensate you with at least some of the cost.
In the event of piste closure due to adverse weather or snow conditions, your winter sports insurance policy should pay out. However, do check the small print, as the amount you will receive could vary between insurance providers.
Your insurance policy will cover the cost of the cancellation or curtailment of your holiday under certain circumstances: the death of a close relative or a serious illness, for example. Most policies will also offer some compensation for cancellation of flights and unreasonable delays.
If you decide to take a package holiday, always check that the operator is ATOL protected. This means that you will receive financial assistance from the Government's protection scheme should your operator go bust.
You must behave responsibly whilst on holiday. For example, if you were to have an accident while skiing and you were not wearing a helmet, your insurer could turn down your claim. Similarly, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you had an accident, you could well find that you are not covered.
Winter sports policies, just like standard ones, do not usually cover pre-existing conditions unless you specify them when you take out the policy and the insurer agrees to accept the additional risk. Your premium will usually be correspondingly higher in this case.
If you are planning on taking a winter sports holiday this year, always discuss your trip and the activities you intend on undertaking with an insurance broker in your area. Make sure that you're adequately covered so that the only thing you have to worry about is staying upright while you're en piste!Share