Travel insurance

Don't hit the slopes without cover warns AA

16 February 2009

Despite the economic gloom up to 3 million Brits will head for the slopes this winter and 300,000 of them could be left seriously out of pocket if they do not take out appropriate insurance cover, according to AA Travel Insurance. This staggering figure is the number of people who injure themselves on the piste each year and are forced to make a claim on their travel insurance.

A lack of adequate protection can prove very expensive. For example, a broken leg in Europe can cost up to £4,000 to repair and as much as £10,000 in the US. The cost of surgery on torn ligaments, one of the most common winter sports accidents, will also run into many thousands of pounds.

Christian Young, director of AA Travel Insurance, said, "The cost of treatment varies dramatically depending on the injury and between countries. Even getting off the slopes can cost more than the holiday itself with the charge for mountainside rescue and transport costing around £10,000 in the Alps. This is why it is so important to check your policy before you leave."

The AA's winter sports insurance policy checklist:

  • Medical costs: we recommend a minimum of £5 million for medical expenses alone. This will be needed to cover all associated costs including drugs, ambulances, surgery, hospital care and repatriation
  • Off-piste cover: many policies do not provide cover for off-piste skiing or boarding. If you are going to venture off-piste always check your insurance policy details carefully
  • Ski hire: make sure your policy covers the cost of replacing ski hire equipment and ski passes as theft is on the increase in many European resorts
  • Personal liability: collisions on the slopes are the cause of some of the nastiest injuries making personal liability cover essential, particularly in the US where lawsuits are on the increase
  • Piste closure: too much or too little snow can mean the piste is closed. This can be very disappointing, but means you can claim compensation if your holiday has been disrupted

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16 February 2009