Types of Insurance Explained

The easy way to buy ski or snowboard insurance might seem to be through a travel agent or tour operator. Sometimes these policies are ‘free’ with selected holiday deals, but where they are not, they can be very expensive. Travel agents are no longer allowed to insist that holiday maker’s book insurance through them and it’s almost always possible to find a better deal by shopping around. Buying online is by far the simplest way to arrange, purchase and obtain instant coverage.

Type of Coverage
The traditional way to buy travel insurance is to take out a policy for each ski or snowboarding trip and this is usually how tour operators sell their cover. If you only make one or possibly two trips abroad a year, this may well be the best option. However, a growing number of travelers are opting for annual travel insurance. We talk about this topic elsewhere on the site, but we’ll take a minute for a quick review. The advantage of an annual policy is that there is no need to worry about arranging cover for each journey and it is usually better value than buying individual policies for two or three trips a year.

Most annual policies will cover trips of a month or more. It’s also possible to add business cover and skiing or snowboarding for an additional charge to a standard annual travel policy too if you plan to do more than travel to the snow. Annual travel insurance is an even better deal for families. Insurance for a couple will be cheaper than for two single adults and cover for a family with children under 18 is not usually much more expensive than cover for a couple. Do watch, though, for restrictions on how the cover works. Some family travel policies only cover the family if everyone travels together. The best policies will cover each adult traveling on his or her own and even unaccompanied trips by the children.

Medical and Injury Insurance
The most important part of travel insurance is medical coverage. This should include treatment at the destination, but also the cost of being flown home, by air ambulance if necessary. Common coverage limits range anywhere from $1-$5 million. It’s useful, too, to have access to a helpline that can put you in touch with a doctor who speaks English.

This extra medical insurance can be enough for a short trip abroad, say a weekend break, but it can also be essential if your regular health insurance doesn’t cover providers outside your network and which may be hard to find when traveling.

Baggage and Belongings, Delays or Cancellations, Personal Accident and other Special Risks such as Off Piste rescue and repatriation are all covered with the right ski travel insurance policy. Different types of travel insurance also cover off-piste skiing and snowboarding with or without a guide except where it is undertaken in designated unsafe areas or outside ski area boundaries.


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