The Foreign Office warns that nearly a third of people fail to take out travel insurance for their winter sports holidays, despite the high cost if something goes wrong. Breaking a bone could cost you tens of thousands of pounds, so make sure you're covered before you hit the slopes.
Hundreds of British people are injured every year taking part in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. If that is not bad enough, many of them have to pay thousands of pounds in medical bills as they either do not have travel insurance, or their insurance is not comprehensive enough.
- A helicopter ambulance and medical repatriation can cost many times more than your holiday
- Breaking your leg in the Italian Alps could cost you over £4,000 (including medical fees and repatriation)
- A spinal injury in France could cost £6,400
But if you are injured further afield or in a remote location, the cost of medical evacuation and repatriation could be even higher. A spinal fracture in Argentina could cost you £23,000.
Always get comprehensive travel insurance, and check exactly what is covered in the small print. You may need extra cover if you want to ski off-piste.
Remember that drinking alcohol can invalidate your insurance. As a result, you may have to pay thousands of pounds in medical expenses if you are injured.
Dr Laurence Bristow-Smith, British Consul General in Milan, says: "We have provided support in cases where fatal accidents in the mountains were a direct result of drinking too much alcohol. In one case the insurance company refused to pay out as the policyholder had put himself in unnecessary danger and was under the influence of alcohol. This meant that repatriation costs, amounting to thousands of Euros, had to be met by the family."