The thought of escaping a dreary, drizzly, grey UK winter for the crisp air, picturesque scenery and enjoyable exercise a skiing holiday offers is always attractive. Add in the obligatory pre- and après-ski rest stops and a cosy log cabin and you have the perfect holiday break, enjoyed by thousands of British tourists every year. Unfortunately, the one thing that a sizeable proportion of them don't bother with is a good travel insurance policy.
Of course, nobody wants to plan a holiday based around any of a hundred things that could go wrong, and cutting down on costs is important for most people too, but when it comes to travel insurance it really is false economy to either go without or to buy a cheap policy which provides inadequate cover.
Spend a Little - Save a Lot
Skiing travel insurance policies vary in price, length, coverage and exclusions, but overall they tend to be surprisingly affordable, with some costing less than you will spend on one dinner once away. Compare that outlay to the estimated one to two thousand pounds you would pay should you need to be rescued by helicopter, or the ten-thousand-pound bill to fly you back to the UK following an injury. And those costs sky-rocket if your skiing holiday is in the USA.
Add in the cost of being burdened with medical costs and compensation claims from someone you accidentally injure (easily done), and you could be facing financial ruin. A good travel policy covers all these possibilities in full, often along with protection for lost or stolen baggage and more.
Don't Be Tempted to Roll the Dice
Sometimes it is tempting to justify skipping travel insurance if you plan to ski only once, for example, or if you are highly experienced. However, nobody can fully predict or control nature, so no matter how careful or competent you are, it is still vital to arrange cover. You can't rely on using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) either, as it only covers basic healthcare costs.
Choose a Specialist Policy
It has been known for people to rely on the basic travel insurance that they get free with their household insurance policy or credit card, but this type of policy is unlikely to include coverage for skiing. If you already hold an annual travel insurance policy, it is possible to buy an add-on to cover winter sports. Otherwise a dedicated skiing travel insurance policy, with adequate funding for treatment, public liability, lost or stolen baggage and belongings will offer the best coverage.
Check the Rules and Exclusions Carefully
If you are making the sensible decision to buy insurance, it is vital to be sure you know what is and isn't covered, and which actions may invalidate it. Before buying check for rules and restrictions based on:
• Medical history
• Unaccompanied items (e.g. skis stolen from outside a café)
• Off-piste solo skiing
• Solo excursions (without a qualified guide)
• Incidents occurring after you consumed any amount of alcohol
Take a few moments to find a good travel insurance policy that offers great coverage, as you are buying peace of mind. Should that disaster strike, you will not have huge expenses to deal with. It really is worth it.