A third of skiers hitting the slopes in 2015 will fail to get adequate insurance

8th January 2015

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A substantial one in three planning a winter sports break this year do not intend to take out appropriate insurance, claims new findings from Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance.

A further one in four, or just over a quarter at 27% said they planned to take out just a general travel insurance policy while more worryingly some 6% said that they do not intend to take out any cover at all.

Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance is urging anyone planning a winter sports trip to check that their policy has adequate cover for the activities they will be taking part in, as many policies require winter sports cover to be added on.

The insurer’s survey found that France and Austria will be the most popular ski destinations this winter, with 22% of those planning a seasonal sports trip heading to each of these countries. This is followed by Switzerland, at 12%, the US, with 10% and Italy, at 7%.

With three of the top five most popular skiing destinations being in the EU, Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance is reminding winter sports enthusiasts to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before they go.

The group is highlighting however, that anyone relying on their EHIC for full medical cover should be aware that the card only entitles you to the same state-provided medical treatment as the host country’s residents, which may not be free.  An EHIC card will also not cover emergency transportation should you need to be airlifted off the slopes, taken to hospital by ambulance and repatriated, costs which could easily reach into thousands of pounds.

Scott Gorman of Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance, said: “Whilst most ski and snowboard trips go without incident, winter sports carry risks that can end up being very costly, which is why getting good quality winter sports cover as part of a travel insurance policy is just as essential as your skis and boots.”

Most common injuries

Sainsbury’s analysis reveals that damaged knees are the most common injury amongst winter sports enthusiasts, with 9% of those planning to go away this winter having previously suffered from a knee strain. Some 7% have suffered a broken leg or a facial injury respectively, and 6% have suffered from ankle sprains or a dislocated shoulder respectively. Of those planning to take out a winter sports insurance policy, less than one in three, at 29%, said they will take out off-piste cover.

Off-piste cover is an important addition to any winter sports insurance policy, especially when there is a direct intention to ski or snowboard off the recommended slopes.  Any claim as a result of participation in off-piste skiing when you are not accompanied by a qualified ski instructor who holds the appropriate liability insurance may not be covered. Without such cover, an injury and the resulting emergency medical care could cost thousands of pounds warned the firm.

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