The Ski Club Great Britain has the following tips for all skiers and boarders before taking out insurance for their winter sports holiday:
1) Check that the policy covers you for all the activities you may be doing on your holiday. Many policies will not cover activities such as snow shoeing, dog sledding, parapenting or tobogganing.
2) Check what the provider means by off-piste. Some insurance policies cover off-piste skiing/boarding without a guide at no additional cost, but others will not cover it without a guide. You may not intend to ski off-piste and therefore believe you do not require off-piste cover, you may end up off-piste unintentionally e.g. if you fall from a lift into an off-piste area, or a piste is closed and you must traverse across an unpisted area instead.
3) Ensure the policy covers delays which mean you miss your flight. Although many policies will cover delays due to accidents or breakdowns, many will not pay out if the delay is caused by adverse snow conditions or avalanches blocking roads.
4) If you are working in a resort for the winter season, take out a seasonal policy rather than an annual policy. Most annual policies do not cover you for more than 31 days at a time without coming back to the UK. Ensure that the seasonal policy has cancellation or curtailment up to the level you need i.e. if you are going on a snowsports instructor course that costs £5000 make sure you would get this back if you had to cancel.
5) If you, or your children, are taking part in fun races with the ski/snowboard school ensure this is covered in your policy. Many policies do not cover racing, even fun races.
6) If you are going on a ski mountaineering, hiking or trekking trip at high altitude check that your policy covers you. Many policies will limit cover to 3000m or less. If you are trekking above this height you will not be covered.
7) Ensure that your cover for medical expenses (including medical emergency assistance services) is at least £2 million.
8) Ensure you have adequate baggage and personal effects cover; £1,000 as a minimum.
9) Ensure you have at least £2 million personal liability cover. Liability claims following accidents on the slopes have risen sharply and are becoming major sources of litigation.
10) Check that you have legal expenses cover – this will cover your legal costs if someone injures you and you need to take legal action.
Travel insurance: News update: December 2007