Travel insurance neglected by 1 in 5 skiers

09 January 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
A fifth of skiers will be hitting the slopes – and potentially falling down them – without protecting themselves with travel insurance, research from esure.com has revealed.

The study found that almost 400,000 Brits taking trips to ski destinations could face huge bills for medical expenses and other possible costs because they're heading off without any travel insurance.

Of the 20 per cent of skiers that do not take out travel insurance before hitting the slopes, five per cent wrongly assume that their European Health Insurance card will provide sufficient cover if they have an accident.

While the EHIC covers the cost of medical treatment within the EU, it will not cover the cost of getting to the hospital, so if an unfortunate skier needed to be airlifted off a mountain, they would have to pick up the bill if they did not have travel insurance.

More than 10 per cent of people chose to accept the risk of taking a skiing trip without being insured, while four per cent simply forgot to buy it before they went.

Helicopter evacuation alone can cost as much as £1,500 and repatriation costs can reach £4000 from a European ski destination or £8,000 from North American slopes, esure.com warns, urging travellers to go fully equipped with insurance cover.

But even travel insurance might not be enough, adds Mike Pickard, head of esure travel insurance, because a standard policy will not always include cover for dangerous activities like skiing, and special winter sports travel insurance is required, which can be bought as a separate policy or can often be added onto a standard one.

With winter sports travel insurance it is still important to check what is covered, the insurer says; although that wouldn't help the 17 per cent of UK adults which said that they would participate in other extreme sports whilst on holiday, such as ice-lake diving, off-piste snow-boarding, and tobogganing, even if they knew they would not be covered by their travel insurance.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd