The cost of skiing holidays may be on the increase, but Churchill warns cash-strapped winter sports travellers not to scrimp on their travel insurance this winter.
While an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) entitles EU residents to medical treatment that becomes necessary when temporarily visiting an EU country, this would not cover the cost of repatriation back to the UK or costs such as an air ambulance rescue, additional seats on a return flight or an extended hotel stay if British skiers suffer an injury on the slopes. Many ski resorts only have private medical facilities and privately-owned rescue companies.
A helicopter piste rescue costs in the region of £2000, while a common skiing injury, such as a fractured leg, would result in private clinic surgery costs of up to £5,000. Wrist, knee and lower limb damage are the most common injuries seen on the slopes with average medical costs of ranging from £2500 to £5000.
Even less severe cases, such as having a broken leg, may result in medical repatriation becoming necessary, as airlines may not be able to fully accommodate the injured with the extra room required. This would result in further costs that can run into thousands of pounds and is not covered by the EHIC.
Annette Fox for Churchill comments: " Having an EHIC card is useful when travelling in Europe, but it will not cover the cost of private medical care, repatriation back to the UK or changes to your flights or accommodation. If you have annual travel insurance, also check that winter sports cover is included before you travel."