Thursday, 8 January 2009 12:00 AM
This winter season almost 400,000 Brits will risk taking to the pistes with no travel insurance and could face huge bills in the event of an accident.
That is according to new research from esure which finds one in five skiers don’t take out travel insurance.
Of these, five per cent wrongly rely solely on their European Health Insurance card (formerly E111) for cover, 11 per cent choose to risk ski trips with no insurance cover at all, while four per cent just forget to buy it.
However, esure urges all skiers to make sure that they have adequate medical cover to avoid being left badly out of pocket if they become injured.
Treatment could run into thousands of pounds with a helicopter evacuation alone costing around Â£1,500 and repatriation costs topping Â£4,000 from Europe and Â£8,000 from the USA and Canada.
Even transport off the slopes on a blood-wagon would set you back approximately Â£200.
Mike Pickard, head of travel insurance at esure, said: “No matter what your level of competency on the slopes, accidents do happen and huge medical bills can easily rack up.
“It’s crucial to ensure you’re fully covered with quality insurance that includes specific winter sports cover.”
In order to ensure safety on the slopes this winter, esure has the following top tips for skiers this winter season:
- Don’t rely on a standard travel insurance policy: Don’t assume that a travel insurance policy automatically provides cover for winter sports. Most insurers offer this cover as an optional extra so check the small print.
- Make sure the sizing is right if you borrow equipment: Over half of skiers (55 per cent) surveyed will be looking to borrow ski equipment and clothing from family and friends, rather than hiring or buying to keep their costs within a tighter budget. Make sure everything is the correct size – especially ski boots – as safety should be the utmost importance on the slopes rather than cost saving.
- Check what activities are covered before you book: if you intend on participating in activities off the regular ski runs, double check which ones are covered as standard and call your insurer if you’re unsure.
- Take documentation with you just in case: if you become injured and need to make a claim, it will be more convenient if you have your insurance policy information and contact details to hand to speed up the process.
- Read insurance policy small print before you buy: check limits, restrictions and exclusions to make sure you have ample cover – especially to cover medical bills.
- Chris O’Toole