Ski travel insurance

Standard travel insurance won’t usually cover the risks associated with winter sports, but ski insurance provides the extra protection you need.

Family picnic at a rest stop

What is ski travel insurance?

Ski travel insurance, also known as winter sports insurance, is a specific type of cover that’s designed to protect you and your ski and snowboard equipment.

Winter sports holidays can be great fun, but they also come with certain risks that aren’t usually covered by standard holiday insurance.

Ski travel insurance helps give you extra peace of mind whether you’re on or off the slopes.

Adult friends carrying snowboards in snowy mountains

What does ski travel insurance cover?

On top of the same level of protection you get with most standard travel insurance, ski travel cover also protects you against specific risks associated with winter sports.

So along with cover for things like lost luggage, flight cancellations and medical costs, a ski travel policy is also likely to include cover for:

  • Piste closures
  • Lost ski passes
  • Lost, stolen or damaged ski equipment
  • Delays or closures caused by avalanche
  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Personal liability (if you cause an injury to someone else)
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Hospital transportation and repatriation

What’s not covered by ski holiday insurance?

While ski travel insurance gives you an extra layer of protection for winter sports, there’ll be a number of situations that may be excluded from your cover.

Typical exclusions are:

  1. Certain types of skiing

    For riskier types of skiing like heli-skiing, off-piste skiing, and competitive skiing, you should consider extreme sports travel insurance to get the right cover

  2. Drug and alcohol related incidents

    If you have a winter-sports related accident when you’re under the influence you’re unlikely to be covered

  3. Not using the right kit

    Claims are unlikely to be accepted for injuries when you weren’t using or wearing the right kit - some providers will only cover you if you’re wearing a helmet

  4. Taking unnecessary risks

    For example, if you ski into an area of the ski resort that’s been blocked off and you have an accident

  5. Leaving your equipment unattended

    If your equipment or belongings are damaged or stolen when you’ve left them unattended in public or somewhere that’s not secure

How much does it cost?

Factors that influence how much your ski insurance will cost include:

  • Your age
  • Your health
  • The number of family members or people you need to insure
  • Which country you’re travelling to
  • The length of your policy

Make sure you shop around and compare quotes to get the best cover for your needs.

Will an EHIC or GHIC cover me for skiing in Europe?

Having a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) entitles you to essential healthcare in the state hospitals of

European Union countries.

You can receive this treatment for the same cost as the citizens of the country you’re in.

But while these cards can help you with emergency treatment for a ski accident, it won’t cover the cost of rescuing you from the mountain, transporting you to the hospital or any repatriation to the UK.

And if you end up in a private hospital it won’t cover the cost of this at all.

So, you could find that a nasty mishap leaves you facing tens of thousands of pounds in unplanned costs. This is why it’s a good idea to take out ski insurance, as well as packing your EHIC or GHIC.

Be aware that if you need to apply for a new card, the GHIC replaces the EHIC for the majority of UK nationals.

What else should I consider when buying ski insurance?

When you’re looking at ski insurance, there are a few factors you should consider to help you choose the right cover for your needs. These include:

Single trip or multi trip

If you think you might travel abroad more than once during the year, even if only one of those trips is for skiing, it might be cheaper to take out a multi-trip or annual policy.

Your destination

Whether you’re heading to the French Alps or further afield, check your policy covers the destination. Bear in mind that ski insurance for places like Canada and the USA will often cost more.

The cost of your gear

If you’re a seasoned skier with expensive kit, check your policy for how much you can claim if it gets lost, stolen or damaged. You may need to take out extra cover for more valuable items.

How many people you’re travelling with

If you’re a couple or travelling as a family or group, you might find it’s cheaper to buy travel insurance that covers you all under one policy.

The type of winter sports

For more adventurous winter sport activities, like skiing off-piste, check the terms and conditions of your policy. You may need to buy extra cover or take out specialist insurance.

When should I buy ski insurance?

To get the most out of your ski insurance, you should buy cover as soon as you book your holiday.

This way, as well as giving you protection during your trip, it may help cover costs if something prevents you from going.

It also means you’re likely to be protected if your ski trip is cancelled.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can still get ski insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

Just be aware that it’s likely to cost more and you may not be covered for claims that relate to your condition.

The government’s MoneyHelper service and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) have directories of specialist insurers who can provide you with quotes.

To get the best deal make sure you compare specialist1 quotes, as well as exploring any cover that standard insurance providers may offer you.

Winter sports holidays come with more risks (and expensive kit) than regular holidays. For example, you’re more likely to be injured on a ski holiday than a pool-side break.

So, most standard travel insurance policies won’t cover specific risks for winter sports. You may be able to purchase it as an add-on to your travel insurance though.

On the other hand, ski travel insurance has been tailored to cover anything that might go wrong when you’re on a ski holiday.

But be aware that some annual travel insurance policies include cover for winter sports. So, it’s worth checking any existing policy you have.

Yes, most ski insurance policies offer an optional policy add-on to cover skiing off-piste.

Although be aware that terms and conditions may apply – for example, you may need to be accompanied by a qualified instructor or stick to recognised off-piste routes within the resort.

If you can’t buy cover as a policy add-on, it’s possible to take out standalone specialist cover for off-piste skiing.

This will vary depending on the insurer. Some won’t cover you for skiing if you’re over 65, whereas others don’t have an upper age limit.

Your age might mean you’re quoted a higher premium, so make sure you shop around and compare quotes.

Some providers specialise in over-65s travel insurance. This can cost more but includes additional benefits, like extra emergency and medical cover, that standard

insurance doesn’t come with.

You can also use MoneyHelper to help you find a provider if you need cover for particular medical conditions.

Yes, most policies will cover you for several hundred pounds if your ski or snowboarding equipment gets damaged, lost or stolen during your trip.

Check your policy to see the amount you’re covered for and the excess you’ll need to pay.

Your cover should also include the cost of hiring equipment, so you can carry on enjoying your time on the slopes.

Some policies will provide cover if your equipment is accidentally sent to the wrong resort, paying out for each day you have to go without it, to help cover the cost of ski hire.

This really depends on how many trips you’re likely to take in a year.

If you’re only planning on one or two holidays away, then you may find that taking out single trip cover for each one is better value.

But if it’s likely that you’ll be taking several trips abroad during the year, then a multi-trip policy may be cheaper. So, it’s worth comparing both options to see how prices differ.

It’s easy to get a quote. Just tell us a few details about you and your trip and we’ll do the rest.

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