With over 1.8million Britons looking to take to the pistes this winter season, esure urges skiers not to scrimp on travel insurance cover to save money - especially as more people opt for weekend breaks and cheaper ski resorts in countries such as Poland.
According to new research by esure travel insurance, the effects of the recession are causing skiers to make cut backs that could be disastrous in the event of an accident. Nearly a fifth admitted that they would not buy travel insurance cover to save on the total cost of their winter sports holiday. This false economy could leave them badly out of pocket with a hefty bill to pay.
Cash-strapped skiers and snowboarders are also changing their habits to try to trim the cost of their winter sports trip. Over a million would consider shortening their trip to save money, choosing a weekend break or long weekend away rather than a full week. Even more surprising, nearly half would consider staying at home by opting for the Scottish ski slopes rather than the Alps or Rockies.
Finally, over half revealed that they would consider booking a winter sports trip away from the traditional resorts in Europe and North America - opting for a cheaper winter getaway in Poland.
Mike Pickard of esure says: "With more skiers considering weekend breaks and trips to Scotland as household purses continue to tighten, there may be a greater temptation to dismiss the need for travel insurance. But any winter sports holiday - no matter how long the trip or how close to home - comes with a certain element of risk. It is crucial to ensure you are fully covered if you have an accident on the slopes. The growing popularity of less-established winter resorts increases the importance for skiers to have suitable cover. Less well-known ski destinations such as Poland may be cheaper but medical facilities and rescue services are unlikely to match the standards of some established resorts."
Tips for holidaymakers looking to hit the slopes this season:
Make sure you have winter sports cover: do not assume that a travel insurance policy automatically provides covers for winter sports. Most providers offer this cover as an optional extra.
Check what activities are covered before you book: if you intend on participating in winter sports activities, double-check which ones are covered as standard and call your insurer if you are unsure.
Pack your paperwork: in case you need to make a claim or want to check whether any activities are excluded, take your insurance documents and contact details with you.
Read your policy document: check your policy details and limits, such as insurance against a lack of snow and cover for medical bills.
Travel insurance: News update: October 2008