Ski travel insurance

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Ski travel insurance

Speed, exhilaration, clean mountain air – who doesn’t enjoy an adrenaline-packed skiing holiday?

But with the possibility of collisions and falls, skiing also comes with a high risk of injury. That’s why it’s essential to have the right travel insurance to help ensure you’re covered on and off the slopes.

What does ski holiday insurance cover?

Along with all the basics you’d expect from a standard travel insurance policy (for example, cover for lost or stolen luggage, cancellation and medical costs), ski travel insurance is tailored to include a higher level of cover for skiers and their equipment.

A good ski travel insurance policy should cover:

  • piste closure for more than 24 hours because of a lack of snow, too much snow, high winds or avalanche risk
  • alternative equipment hire if your luggage is lost or delayed on the outward journey
  • personal liability if you injure someone else
  • delays caused by avalanche

What’s not covered by ski holiday insurance?

Not all types of skiing are rated equal. Even with ski travel insurance, your policy may not cover:

  • heli-skiing
  • snowmobiling
  • off-piste skiing
  • freestyle skiing
  • competitive skiing
  • ski touring

If you’re into more adventurous skiing, it may be worth considering extreme sports travel insurance to get the right level of cover for higher-risk sports.

It’s also important to know that:

  • some UK providers require you to wear a helmet or your policy will be invalid
  • nearly all ski policies will be invalid if you’re injured while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

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

If you’re travelling to a ski resort in an EU country, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This should be in addition to your travel insurance, not instead of it. 

The EHIC/GHIC will cover emergency medical treatment in a local public hospital, but it won’t cover the following costs: 

  • mountain rescues
  • private treatment
  • repatriation if you need to be flown home  

Now that the UK has left the EU, you’ll no longer be able to apply for an EHIC. But if you already have one issued before the end of 2020, then it will still be valid until the expiry date. 

The UK government has introduced the GHIC to replace the EHIC. If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

If you’re planning a ski trip to the slopes of Switzerland or Norway, which aren’t in the EU, you’ll need winter sports travel insurance with adequate healthcare cover.

What else should I consider when buying ski travel insurance?

There are some other things to think about when arranging your ski travel insurance, including:

Where are you going?
Ski travel insurance will typically cost more in the USA and Canada than in Europe, as medical treatment in those countries is more expensive.

How many are going?
If it’s a family holiday or you’re travelling as a couple or a group, you might find it better value to buy travel insurance that covers all of you under one policy.

If you’re planning more than one skiing trip over 12 months, you might save money by buying an annual policy.

How’s your health?
Be sure to let your insurance provider know if you have a pre-existing medical condition, including any injuries. If not, they could refuse to pay your bills if you make a claim.

When should I buy ski travel insurance?
The best time to buy travel insurance is straight after booking your holiday. A comprehensive travel policy should cover anything that might happen before your trip, as well as anything on it. That means you’re likely to be protected if your trip is cancelled.

When should I buy ski travel insurance?

The best time to buy travel insurance is straight after booking your holiday. A comprehensive travel policy should cover anything that might happen before your trip, as well as anything on it. That means you’re likely to be protected if your trip is cancelled.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need specialist ski insurance?

Most standard travel insurance policies won’t cover skiing, so you may need to find special cover to ensure you’re protected during your skiing holiday.

With ski injury medical bills as high as £90,000, skiers are being urged to ensure they have the right cover in place before hitting the slopes.

Can I get off-piste ski insurance cover?

Cover for off-piste skiing is included as standard in some winter sport travel insurance policies, but the levels of cover may vary. Check any winter sport policy carefully before buying and consider taking out specialist off-piste ski insurance, or extreme sports insurance, to ensure you're covered.

Will my age affect the cost of ski travel insurance?

Just like normal travel insurance, the older you are, the more you’re likely to have to pay. That’s because you’re deemed to be at a higher risk of falling ill or getting injured – or having a pre-existing medical condition. Some providers won’t even cover skiers over the age of 65.

Can I get cover for my skiing equipment?

You should be able to get cover for your skiing equipment. A good ski travel insurance policy may cover damage to – and theft or loss of – your own or hired skiing equipment. It may also cover alternative equipment hire, if your luggage is lost or delayed on the outbound journey. You could also add a higher level of baggage cover if you’re travelling with particularly valuable pieces of kit.

Is multi-trip insurance cheaper?

It’s not always cheaper to get a multi-trip insurance policy if you’re going on more than one trip in a year. If you’re going on different holidays – for example, a beach break in Spain and a skiing holiday in the USA – you’ll need different levels of cover so single trip insurance is could be more appropriate.

Find out if annual or single trip travel insurance is right for you.

What do I need to get a quote?

You don’t need any documents to get a travel insurance quote, we’ll just ask some basic questions. For example:

  • where are you going?
  • when are you going?
  • do you want any add-ons – perhaps for winter sports?
  • how many people you want to insure
  • how much excess you’re willing to pay
  • how much baggage cover you need
  • what your medical cover limit would be
  • how much you’re willing to pay for cancellation cover
  • if you have any pre-existing medical conditions
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Why use Compare the Market to compare ski travel insurance?

We compare 42 travel insurance providers[1]

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[1] [2] Correct as of December 2022.

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Author image Josh Daniels

What our expert says...

"Even if you're an experienced skier, injuries are, unfortunately, common out on the slopes. You can never be too careful, so it's important you get plenty of medical cover when travelling to ski. Medical treatment can be incredibly expensive abroad, so don't try and cut corners with your cover. Paying a few extra pounds now could save you thousands if you needed to claim."

- Josh Daniels, Travel insurance expert