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.
But going on a ski holiday without the right cover can leave you open to huge costs if something goes wrong. We take a look at what you need.
The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.
Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.
Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.
The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.
Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.Find out more here
Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions
When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions.
MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling 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), 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:
- 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:
- 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
What else should I consider when buying ski travel insurance?
There are a few other things to think about when arranging your ski travel insurance, including:
Where are you going?
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advises holidaymakers to have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), as well as buying travel insurance when going to a European ski resort.
After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.
However, the UK government has introduced the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). 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 EHIC/GHIC will cover you for treatment that would otherwise be free only for local residents; or lower cost treatment for a medical emergency in a local public hospital.
But it won’t cover the costs of a mountain rescue or repatriation to the UK if you need to be flown home.
How many are going?
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 in the event of 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 will 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.
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, and 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.
For the skiing holiday in the USA, you’d need worldwide insurance, including cover for winter sports. Instead of paying for this for the one time you’d need it, with multi-trip insurance you’ll be paying for the whole year, which can be unnecessarily expensive.
How much does travel insurance cost?
Single trip travel insurance for a week in Europe could cost
Single trip travel insurance for a week in the UK could cost
Multi trip travel insurance worldwide could cost
**Based on Compare The Market Data for a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe 1 week. Prices correct as of June 2021.
***Based on Compare The Market Data for a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in UK for 1 week. Prices correct as of June 2021.
****Based on Compare The Market Data for an annual multi trip travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Worldwide. Prices correct as of June 2021.
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
Travel insurance expert
"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."
Why use Compare the Market to compare ski travel insurance?
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^^Correct as of June 2021.
^^^On average it can take less than 2 minutes to complete a travel insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.
^^^^For the period 1st March to 31st May 2021, 9,781 people responded to the recommend question. 9,033 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 92.4% are likely to recommend.