Modified on 27th Aug 2019

Winter sports travel insurance

Winter sports, and skiing especially – are massively popular tourist activities worldwide.

Winter sports insurance cover is essentially an extension of a standard medical travel insurance policy or a single specialist policy that can cover you for medical treatment should you incur any injuries on the ski slopes or in any other winter sport setting.

Having a medical condition should never prohibit you from enjoying a winter sports holiday – although, it will likely impact your travel insurance.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for the best ski holiday insurance deals or best winter sports insurance cover in general – you can compare quotes for specialist medical travel insurance with us.

It is always advised to consider the level of cover provided in each policy over getting the cheapest price – just to be on the safe side.

What does winter sports insurance cover?

Winter sports travel insurance cover varies from case to case and depends on the insurer.

You can expect a standard medical travel insurance policy to cover you for curtailment, cancellation, lost, damaged or stolen personal belongings, personal accidents, emergency medical expenses, legal expenses, personal liability and travel delay.

However, a specialist winter sports insurance policy is designed to go further. This may well include stretch to cover you for unforeseen circumstances like avalanches or piste closures out of your control.

Specialist ski equipment insurance may also cover you for equipment hire if it ends up being damaged lost or stolen.

What are 'winter sports'?

Winter sports includes a range of different activities.

This includes:

  • Skiing (standard and off-piste)
  • Snowboarding
  • Tobogganing
  • Ice-skating
  • Ice hockey
  • Bobsleighing
  • Lugeing
  • Glacier climbing, walking or trekking
  • Ice fishing

As fun as taking part in winter sports might be, sometimes they can be dangerous. Many holidaymakers have needed medical treatment whilst staying in various ski resorts abroad over the years.

A standard single trip travel insurance policy is unlikely to cover you for winter sports, and you should consider a policy individually designed for winter sports holidays.

It’s important to know exactly what kind of activities you plan to partake in before getting a quote for winter sports travel insurance.  

Ski travel insurance

Given the number of people who book ski holidays every year – ski travel insurance is very common.

Again, as mentioned above, you should never assume that a standard travel insurance policy will cover you for your ski holiday. The same applies for your European Health Insurance card (EHIC), which can cover certain medical costs within the jurisdiction of Europe but it is not a suitable substitute for ski cover.

You may expect a ski insurance policy to cover you for any potential medical costs and also any issues related to ski equipment. For example, it is highly advised to ensure that you have the sufficient level of baggage cover to replace any lost possessions – like expensive ski gear.

It is also recommended that the cancellation cover included in your policy is equal to or even greater than the cost of your holiday overall – and considers any pre-booked equipment or ski lessons.

Travel insurance for off-piste skiing

Not all insurers provide off-piste ski insurance – so it’s important to read the small print on your prospective policy before actually purchasing, especially if it’s a standard ski-insurance or general winter sports travel insurance policy.

Off-piste skiing is generally considered to be more of a potential risk on your health than skiing on normal routes. Like you need to be a more advanced skier to attempt off-piste runs, you need a more advanced insurance policy as a result.

Off-piste insurance may cover helicopter costs if you need to be air lifted or rescued from a remote area. In Europe, these costs can be huge – so having the right kind of travel insurance tailored towards potential situations like this is of the utmost importance.

Snowboarding travel insurance

As with skiing and other winter sports, injury and damaged equipment amongst a range of other unforeseen possibilities are likely possibilities during a snowboarding holiday.

A specialist snowboarding travel insurance policy can cover you for all the usual things you’d expect (cancellation, personal accident etc.) as well as slope emergencies and piste rescue. You may even want to explore off-piste snowboard insurance.  

Enhanced medical cover is also offered – as ankles and knees can be especially vulnerable when snowboarding.

When shopping around for snow sports insurance cover you should always ensure any prospective policy suits the activities you intend to participate in, and we can help you compare snowboard insurance cover from an extensive list of insurers.

Other winter sports covered

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are a wide range of other activities that can also be covered under generic winter sports insurance.

That being said, the more high-risk activities, such as tobogganing, lugeing, bobsleighing and glacier climbing in particular – will most likely need to be declared and require their own bespoke specialist cover (if available).

As we work with 40 leading providers, we can help you compare quotes on a wide range of different winter sports activities that may be planned into your holiday. If you know for definite that you intend to participate in any form of winter activity (however obscure you might think it is) it’s paramount that you explore your insurance options thoroughly and get the right level of cover to suit your personal circumstances.

Skiing in Europe

Tourists from within and outside the continent flock to Europe in their thousands to one of the many distinguished ski resorts across a wide range of countries.

This includes France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland in particular – and the Alps is home to many of the more popular resorts.

To purchase ski travel insurance, you need to enter the country/countries you intend to travel to. This will then be factored in to ensure that the cover provided aligns with European medical costs. As mentioned above, your European Health Insurance card (EHIC) can cover certain medical costs, but is not considered an equal alternative to a travel insurance policy bought from a specialist insurer.

Is it worth getting annual travel insurance with winter sports?

Annual travel insurance including winter sports has a number of benefits.

If you are a keen frequent skier or snowboarder, an annual travel insurance policy can save you money in the long run, especially if you are lucky enough to go on multiple winter sports trips each year. You can even get an annual family policy which represents great value for money if you have multiple getaways planned as a family.

However, you must bear in mind the fact that annual travel insurance is much more difficult to obtain if you have a pre-existing medical condition. That being said, each case varies from insurer to insurer, and some are more sympathetic than others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you've received a quote you can check your policy wording to make sure your winter sports activity is covered.

Single trip insurance is for one off, individual trips and will cover your specified travel dates. This is usually up to 45 days, however, some insurance providers can cover up to 94 days. If you’re not a frequent traveler, single trip cover is a great option and will likely out cheaper than annual multi-trip cover.

If you travel 2 or more times a year, annual trip cover may very well save you money. The maximum duration of any trip will always be specified and will vary by provider. But don't worry, when you get a quote we'll ask you what your maximum trip length is and only show you quotes which match!

You will need to add each country that you are visiting. If you are on a flight stopover this will include any countries where you leave the airport. If you are on a cruise it include any countries where your ship will be docking at.

A pre-existing condition is a diagnosed medical condition that existed prior to taking out a policy. We'll ask a series of questions about the medical history for you and any travellers on your quote. If you answer yes to any of these, you will need to tell us about the travellers conditions. This could be a condition that a traveller has now, or has had in the past. If you are not sure what conditons you need to declare, we have online support available to help you 24/7!

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