The cost of treating common ski injuries can vary by over 1000% across the world's resorts, figures from Bupa Travel Insurance reveal.
A broken leg can cost over £8,200 to treat in the USA. The same injury in Andorra would cost less than £700. Torn knee ligaments are the most common ski and snowboard injury and cost about £670 to treat in France, rising to £2280 in the USA.
Bupa's figures highlight that knee ligament injuries, fractures of the lower leg and broken clavicles (collar bones) are the three most common injuries suffered by winter sports enthusiasts. Head injuries are also worryingly common and are the sixth most frequent injury.
With treatment for a fractured lower leg costing over £8,000 in the United States, £2,600 in Canada, and £1,800 in Austria, Bupa's figures highlight the importance of taking out travel insurance which includes medical insurance- before going on a winter sports holiday. Thousands of winter holiday makers last year made a medical claim of some kind but many others were caught out without travel insurance, or inadequate cover.
The top ten ski/snowboard injuries are as follows:
- Knee ligament injury
- Broken/fractured lower leg
- Broken/fractured clavicle (collar bone)
- Contusions (bruising)
- Broken/fractured wrist/hand
- Head injury
- Broken/fractured arm
- Muscular/soft tissue injury
- Dislocation of shoulder
- Broken/fractured upper leg
"Taking out adequate travel insurance is vital for any trip abroad, but the nature of winter sports holidays means that individuals without sufficient medical cover can easily end up with bills for thousands of pounds, even for minor injuries. Skiers and boarders need to read their policy's small print to ensure both medical treatment and evacuation off the mountain is included, as this can often be a very major expense in itself," says Nick Potter, general manager of Bupa Travel Services.
With the cost of travel falling and many people now opting for annual travel policies, care also needs to be taken to ensure that winter sports are included in their policy, and that the coverage is adequate. Skiers and snowboarders intending to go off-piste should make sure their policy covers this activity, and that they are carrying the correct safety equipment.