With Covid-19 putting a pause to all travel in 2020 and most of 2021, new research has found that winter sports enthusiasts feel less confident in their skiing and snowboarding abilities.

In fact, the research revealed that 71% of those who regularly participate in winter sports activities feared they might be a little ‘rusty’ on their next snowy getaway.

So, whether you’re researching ahead of your first-ever winter sports holiday, or you’re just refreshing yourself on what to look out for when buying a policy, we’ve pulled together some top tips on things to remember before you set off for the slopes.

Buying the right travel insurance policy

With so many travel insurance policies available in the market, it is important to make sure you choose over that is relevant to your trip – especially when it comes to a winter sports holiday.

Travellers embarking on a winter sports holiday should be aware that winter sports cover isn’t available as standard on most travel insurance policies. Therefore, adrenaline junkies should look for a specialist winter sports policy that suits their trip needs, or even a standard policy that allows them to add on a winter sports extension.

Winter sports policies or extensions not only cover you for the activities that you are participating in, such as skiing, snowboarding, etc but most also cover your equipment too! Policies also typically offer protection against other scenarios, including;

  • cover if you accidentally damage your winter sports equipment during an activity
  • cover if your hired winter sports equipment was lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged
  • cover if your ski resort is closed and you, therefore, can’t take part in activities
  • cover if your equipment was in your checked-in baggage and doesn’t arrive at your destination within 12-hours
  • cover if you need dental or physiotherapy treatment after you return home
  • cover if you are unable to use your ski-pack during your trip
  • cover for the cost of your pre-paid ski pack if you had to cancel your trip.

Making sure you have the right winter sports policy or extension is essential, because if you do end up needing to claim without having the relevant protection, you won’t be covered. And remember, not all of the travel insurance providers will offer all of the cover mentioned above, so you will have to check the policy you’re buying just to make sure it is suitable for your personal needs.

Buying travel insurance at the right time

We get it. You’ve just paid out for a winter sports holiday, so the last thing you want to do is fork out even more on a travel insurance policy. But it is so important that you buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday, and not wait until the very last minute. And here’s a couple of examples of why:

If you fall ill before your trip and bought your travel insurance policy before this illness could have been foreseen, then, in most cases, you’ll be covered to cancel your trip and claim for any associated cancellation costs.

However, if you buy your policy at the last minute and then try and claim for cancellation, you may find yourself out-of-pocket and unable to claim, as many travel insurers would assume that you bought the policy with the intention of claiming. Travel insurance is there to protect you against unexpected and unforeseen costs, not against planned events.

Another reason it is important to protect your trip from the very start is to prevent your holiday from being affected by strikes, adverse weather conditions, or your holiday company going bust. After the year we’ve experienced, you can never predict what might be round the corner!

Making sure you have all relevant documentation

A passport with over six months of validity left, proof of your vaccine status, and an in-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), are just a few examples of documentation that countries may require you to enter with.

It is essential to check on the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office’s (FCDO) website for the entry requirements of the country you are visiting before you depart, as failure to provide the necessary documentation may result in you being turned away at the border – and you won’t be able to claim any additional costs incurred as a result through your travel insurer!

Being safe and sensible on your trip

While it may be tempting to push yourself out of your comfort zone, it is important that winter sports enthusiasts stick to the slopes that are suitable for their level of experience. The reason is, that if you do push yourself too hard, you could end up sustaining an injury and spending the rest of your holiday out of action.

This leads us to our next point. Alcohol. Now, we know that après ski is all part of the experience, but being intoxicated on the slopes is just simply looking for trouble.

Alcohol can slow down your reaction time and can lead to accidents. Plus, if you have an alcohol-related accident on the slopes, your travel insurance could be invalidated. This means that any claims submitted, including emergency medical expenses, search and rescue costs, as well as any lost personal possessions, will be yours to foot.

As always, we’re here to help with any insurance-related questions. So, if you’re unsure of anything please do get in touch with us at hello@travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk.