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Going skiing? Take out travel insurance – you know it makes sense

There is a one in seven chance of ending up seeking medical care during a skiing holiday and despite this a quarter of us will take to the ‘piste’ with no cover at all this winter.  So say recent reports in the media.  Apparently, more than 3million ‘Brits’ are looking to hit the slopes this season but you cannot avoid the element of risk inherent on a winter sports holiday,  no matter if you’re a beginner sliding down a nursery slope or a more confident  skier cruising those blues and reds.  The net result is that an increasing number of skiers and snowboarders are injured each year and, while falls, tumbles and the occasional wipe out are part of the holiday experience, you could be hit hard when it goes wrong.  Being rescued from the ski slopes will now cost you well over £75, while medical expenses could set you back a further £250.  The more serious injury cases could be even more painful both physically and financially.  Repatriation to London from the Alps will cost around £2,500, rising to a hefty £6,000 from the USA.

And if you think that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will provide you with full medical cover while skiing in Europe, then think again.  The EHIC, which replaced the E111, entitles you to low cost, sometimes free, basic medical treatment on the same terms as all nationals in EU states, but it should not be viewed as a substitute for proper travel insurance as the EHIC will not cover costly extras such as an air ambulance, personal liability, trip cancellation, or loss of baggage.

That said, do not assume a standard travel insurance policy is enough, as most winter sports travel insurance cover has to be bought as an extra option and, even then, check the small print on your policy.  It would be wise to check that the heli-sking or freestyle skiing that you intend to do is covered, not to mention those ‘off piste’ activities you have planned as your ski travel insurance policy could very well exclude these and that could mean being saddled with an unexpected bill if you get injured.

The golden rule is ‘Get the best cover for the activities you are planning to do’.  This is one area of travel insurance where buying cheap travel insurance could definitely end up being a false economy.

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