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.

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.


A travel traffic light system has been introduced for international travel. From 19 July 2021, trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. However, you’ll still need to fulfil any pre-departure requirements, such as testing. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant local authority.

If a country 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’re aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and to check travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed at short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red listed countries. Should you choose to travel against the FCDO rules, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase. Some providers do offer cover for international travel if you’re travelling for essential purposes, however most do not. In all cases, 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.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

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

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?

Ski travel insurance to Europe will typically cost less than the USA and Canada, as medical treatment in those countries is more expensive.

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 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 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.

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

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 a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe for 1 week. Prices correct as at November 2020.

***Based on a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in the UK for 1 week. Prices correct as at November 2020.

****Based on an annual multi trip travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling Worldwide. Prices correct as at November 2020.

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

Josh Daniels

Travel insurance expert

Skiing is notorious for injuries, so even if you’re a black diamond-level skier, it’s important to have the right type of travel insurance to cover you, should the worst happen. Remember, not being completely truthful about your health, or any existing injuries, could invalidate your policy or result in a hefty additional charge.

Why use Compare the Market to compare ski travel insurance?

We compare 43 travel insurance provider products^^

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^^Correct as of November 2020

^^^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 June 2020 to 31st August 2020, 10,731 people responded to the recommend question. 10,011 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 93.3% are likely to recommend.