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Ski travel insurance

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Travel insurance for skiing

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. Ski travel insurance, also known as winter sports insurance, can protect you against the specific risks associated with skiing and snowboarding holidays. 

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

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), travel insurance with ski cover is tailored to include extra protection for skiers and their equipment.

A good ski travel insurance policy should cover:

  • Loss of ski pass
  • Damage, theft or loss of your own, or hired, skiing equipment
  • 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 or Switzerland, make sure you have a valid Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This should be in addition to your travel insurance, not instead of it.

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

  • Mountain rescue
  • Private treatment
  • Repatriation if you need to be flown home.

The GHIC has replaced the EHIC, but if you already have an EHIC issued before the end of 2020, it will still be valid until the expiry date. If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC on the NHS website.

The GHIC and EHIC can’t be used in Norway or Iceland, so if you’re planning a trip there it’s even more important to make sure you have adequate medical 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 during it. That means you’re likely to be protected if your trip is cancelled.

How can I find the cheapest ski holiday insurance?

As with any type of insurance, a good tip for finding cheap ski holiday insurance is to shop around.

You can compare prices here at Compare the Market – just tick the ‘winter sports’ box when entering your details and the type of cover you want.

One word of caution, though – the cheapest deal may not necessarily be the best deal for you. It’s important to make sure you have adequate levels of cover for each policy element of your ski trip travel insurance, like cancellation cover and baggage cover.

Frequently asked questions

Does regular travel insurance cover skiing?

Most standard travel insurance policies won’t cover skiing because of the risks involved, so it’s likely you’ll need to pay extra for winter sports cover to ensure you’re fully protected.

With ski injury medical bills as high as £165,000 in the USA if you need taking to hospital by air ambulance, skiers are being urged to ensure they have the right cover in place before hitting the slopes.

Does travel insurance cover ski passes?

Winter sports insurance will usually cover you if your ski pass to access the lifts and ski runs is lost, stolen or damaged. However, some policies won’t pay out unless you were carrying it with you at the time or you’d left it locked away in a safe.

Does ski insurance cover snowboarding too?

Yes, both snowboarding and skiing are covered under a winter sports insurance policy, although not all will cover you for off-piste snowboarding. Winter sports insurance will also typically cover activities such as ice-skating and sledging.

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 will cover loss, theft and damage to 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 could be more appropriate.

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

What do I need to get a ski trip insurance 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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Correct as of June 2024.

Author image Anna McEntee

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.”

- Anna McEntee, Home, pet and travel insurance expert