Are you heading to the slopes this winter? If you’re planning an active winter holiday, then you might already be thinking about travel insurance with winter sports cover.
But what should your policy cover, and how do you know which is the best winter sports insurance cover for you?
We’re going to take a look at these questions and more in our guide to winter sports insurance.
Which activities count as winter sports?
The first thing to consider is which activities can be regarded as winter sports and therefore benefit from dedicated insurance cover.
Your winter sports insurance policy could cover sports such as:
- Skeleton bobsleigh
- Ice climbing
- Ice fishing
- Ice hockey
- Glacier walking
- Riding snowmobiles
It’s best to check the terms and conditions of a policy before taking it out so you know that your activity is covered.
You may also need to stick to specific conditions, such as height for ice climbing, to ensure the validity of the policy.
Why do I need winter sports insurance cover?
If you’re practising any of these sports, then you’ll certainly need a dedicated winter sports insurance policy.
That’s because these activities are considered high-risk, and you may be susceptible to injuries and accidents requiring additional medical care not covered by a regular travel insurance policy.
Your winter sports insurance cover can also extend to specialised or expensive equipment that might not be covered by a standard policy.
So what should I be looking for in my policy?
Your winter sports insurance policy will firstly cover you in the same way a standard travel insurance policy would. So you can expect cover for:
- Basic medical care
- Delays to your travel plans
- Lost, stolen or damaged belongings
Depending on its exact terms and conditions, it can also cover you for:
- Replacing specialist equipment such as skis, snowboards or helmets if they get lost, stolen or damaged
- Lost ski pass
- Hiring alternative equipment if yours isn’t suitable for any reason
- Piste closure according to a time limit – for example, a minimum of 24 hours
- Off-piste activities (not on managed slope and trails), though this may come with conditions such as using a qualified instructor
- Medical care relating to injuries sustained as a result of your winter sports
- Cancelled activities and related costs such as hiring equipment that couldn’t be used
- Delay of your winter activities because of an avalanche
- Personal liability so you can claim legal costs if you are responsible for someone else’s injuries
What doesn’t travel insurance for winter sports cover?
Any insurance policy will have limitations. The details will depend on the type of policy and insurer you go for. As a general rule, your winter sports insurance won’t cover:
- Failing to use the right equipment. If you’re not wearing the right protective gear and get injured as a result, your policy won’t pay up.
- Leaving belongings unattended. Common sense dictates that cover isn’t provided if you leave your possessions unattended in a public place.
- Use of alcohol or drugs. Forget cover if you suffer a loss or injury to yourself or someone else if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Extreme winter sports. A regular winter sports insurance policy won’t necessarily cover you for activities like competitive winter sports or something more unusual like glacier climbing. You’ll need to search for a specialist insurance policy for these.
More about travel insurance for winter sports
There are a few other considerations to think about when looking for the best winter sports insurance policy.
A one-off or multiple trips?
If your trip is a one-off, a single trip policy will most likely be the best fit for you.
But if you’re a winter sports enthusiast and are planning more than one trip to the slopes, why not consider an annual or multi-trip policy? These policies tend to work out as better value for money if you are a frequent traveller. They also take away the hassle of searching for a policy every time you go away.
Your destination calling
You may also want to tailor your winter sports insurance policy to your destination. Like standard travel insurance policies, you can opt for worldwide travel that includes or excludes Canada, the US and the Caribbean or European travel. Or if you’re heading up to Scotland for your winter sports, a domestic policy should cover you.
You may also find that your destination influences the cost of your travel insurance with winter sports cover. For example, if you’re heading to the USA or Canada, your policy is likely to cost more. This is because medical care is more expensive in these destinations, and the cost of repatriation would be higher, too.
One or more?
Group or multi-person policies can also be a great option if you are travelling with friends or family instead of all members of the party taking out their own individual policy.
Bear in mind that the older you are, the more expensive your winter sports travel insurance is likely to be – unfortunately, illness and accidents become increasingly likely with age.
When should I take out my winter sports insurance policy?
As soon as you’ve booked your holiday, there’s no better time to take out winter sports cover. It means that if you have to cancel before you go away, you can make a claim and not have to worry about being out of pocket.
Comprehensive winter sports travel insurance policies will cover early cancellation because of injury, illness, bereavement or redundancy, so you’ll get extra peace of mind from booking early.
Make your winter sports trip a holiday to remember…now!
So why not start searching for the best winter sports insurance policy for you right now? Being organised and staying one step ahead will mean that you can focus on looking forward to that adrenaline-fuelled trip in the heart of winter.
Make it super easy by using our online comparison tool to find the right policy for you and your trip. Click on the Winter sports cover option and input some details about yourself and your holiday, and you’ll get a choice of insurance policies to consider that fit what you’re looking for.
Or if you’d like to talk your plans through with an adviser, give us a call. One of our friendly experts will help guide you to a winter sports policy that will protect you while you live the high life – literally – on the slopes!