A winter holiday on the sunny slopes could be the best way to kick-start the New Year and to recharge your batteries after a busy Christmas. And, if you don't fancy starting 2008 with any serious financial headaches, remember to include travel insurance when planning your getaway.
According to Direct Line, 1.15 million people from the UK jetted off on a skiing holiday last season. However, many people are unaware of the potential risks involved in travelling abroad, particularly for those taking part in winter sports. An Esure study reveals that one in four Brits take to the slopes without travel insurance cover of any kind, and many others that do have policies have not taken time to check they are covered for all their on-piste activities.
Cancellations, stolen property and injury can cause disappointment, expense and even pain, so it is worth making sure you are prepared for every eventuality. Fair Investment Company (www.fairinvestment.co.uk) director, James Caldwell, said: "The best way to do this is to ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place, just in case disaster strikes."
Direct Line suggests that, on average, people pay approximately £1,200 for their ski outfit and equipment, and with an increasing trend towards buying designer gear, skiers can become prime targets for thieves. "Rather than worrying about expensive items while you are away, make sure all your possessions are covered – especially if you are taking new Christmas presents along," recommends Mr Caldwell.
Most ski travel insurance policies provide personal liability and emergency cover up to a certain level but offers vary, with some allowing you to buy add-ons to top up the policy so that it is tailored to your specific needs. If disaster strikes and an injury occurs, you can avoid the double blow of an empty bank account by making sure you have the relevant cover before you travel.
Finally, a cancellation due to poor snow conditions or other unforeseen circumstances could prevent you enjoying your holiday to the full. Many travel insurance providers will offer cover for cancellation and curtailment, so look out for this option when you buy.
"Travel insurance policies can show significant variation in both level of cover and price, so it is always worth obtaining a number of quotes and comparing deals. This way you can fully enjoy your New Year break in the knowledge that should any problems arise, your insurance company will be ready to act on your behalf," said Mr Caldwell.
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