Thousands of British skiers have admitted travelling without adequate insurance according to a recent survey by the Foreign Office.
Out of 2,300 people questioned, almost a third of them said they didn’t take out any cover before hitting the slopes, whether for skiing or snowboarding. Fifty per cent of those who answered the survey also stated that they thought a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) was sufficient cover to get them off the slopes, receive medical treatment and be repatriated, should they have an accident. However, the EHIC only means that you receive the same treatment that a citizen of the country you are visiting would. If they get free treatment, so do you and if they pay, then you do too, and the EHIC would not cover repatriation.
It appears that many people believe by not taking out insurance when they travel abroad that they will save money, however if anything unforeseen does occur it could end up costing them thousands.
For example, on a European piste, a broken leg could result in medical bills of up to £25,000, which would include an air ambulance, hospital treatment and repatriation back to the UK, according to leading insurers AXA. The cost on American slopes could be even greater.
Travels are also being warned that a general insurance policy is also not enough whilst skiing or snow boarding; they need a policy that covers winter sports.
Stuart Bensusan, co-founder of the online insurance provider EssentialTravel.co.uk stated “It is deeply worrying that so many Brits are still not buying travel insurance before they go on a skiing holiday,” he added “They must have ‘winter sports’ or equivalent term attached to their policy if they are going skiing and they should check that the cover level of their insurance matches the value of their holiday.”
According to previous reports in the Telegraph Travel, many ski resorts have started to clamp down on drunken or reckless skiers and some resorts in the United States employ people to patrol the slopes and breathalyse anyone they believe may be under the influence of alcohol. Skiers in Colorado face a $1,000 fine if they are caught skiing whilst intoxicated. Nearly two thirds of skiers were also unaware that having an accident off-piste or whilst under the influence of alcohol, would invalidate any policy that they had.
Thousands of people are injured every year in ski resorts across the world, some quite seriously, so think about the few pounds you would spend on insurance and then consider how much it could cost if you did have an accident.