What to check for when booking ski holiday insurance
As the old saying goes, the devil is in the detail and it s certainly true of insurance. At best, we might cast a quick eye over the general levels of cover but how many of us actually read the small print? Yet the conditions and exclusions which lurk in the policy we buy can cost us dear. Here are some questions to ask when choosing a winter sports policy before signing on the dotted line.
What should I check first?
The conditions governing cancellation and curtailment. If you re ill, your costs should be covered but if you have to abandon your Discount Holidays © holiday because a dependent is ill (whether it’s the person you are planning to travel with or a close friend or relative at home), your claim could be refused.
Make sure you check terms to ensure the whole family is covered
Any conditions regarding cover for ski pack ?
Ski pack is the term for pre-paid lessons, lift passes and equipment hire. If you are ill or injured and can t use this, make sure you ask for a doctor s certificate so you can prove your claim later.
When does piste closure mean piste closure ?
If you can t ski or snowboard due to lack of snow, too much snow, high winds or risk of avalanche2 you should be able to claim on insurance, but you’ll need to check your policy wording. You may find that a high percentage or all the ski lifts and schools have to be closed to qualify, or your tour operator may reserve the right to transfer you to an alternative resort which is miles away.
Avalanche danger can cause pistes to close Credit: Bigstock
Some insurers waive this cover when a policy is bought within 14 days of departure as the conditions may already be predicted to be poor.
What about cover for lost or damaged equipment?
A range of get-outs may apply to this part of the policy. Cover could be waived while the equipment is in the care of an airline or even when you re actually skiing. Unlocked skis left outside a mountain bar or restaurant3, or skis left within view on a car roof rack are also unlikely to be covered.
What about off-piste?
Some policies exclude off-piste skiing4 and snowboarding entirely, some require policy-holder to be with a companion, and some require the companion to be a professionally-qualified guide. You also need to show that you followed the resort s off-piste rules, taking sensible notice of local advice and weather5.
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How about the ski school slalom race at the end of the week?
Most specialist insurers will cover these fun races, but not all. Check before you take part. The same applies to terrain parks.
Surely I can rely on my cover if I injure myself on the slopes?
Well yes, you d think so, but but all travel policies will contain exclusions relating to use of alcohol, so steer clear of over-indulging at lunchtime.
And apr s activities?
Tobogganing and ice-skating (on a public ice-rink) are usually covered but snowmobiling, dog-sledding and parapente may not be. Watch out for high excess charges on claims arising from high risk activities too.
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