General Travel Advice

Here is our general travel advice before you travel. Make sure all passports, visas any vaccinations and health requirements are up to date. Check on weather and travel news for your destination, especially if you’re traveling internationally and may not be as familiar with the local and regional rules. Many countries and locales will publish this type of information guide for travelers. This should carry all the latest up to date independent travel and health risks information.

Take all your ski or snowboard travel insurance documents with you. Keep them safe and handy. Take a separate note of your policy numbers in case of loss or damage to your certificate or policy cards. Also leave a copy at home with next of kin as a contingency.

At home lock all doors, windows, put a hold on the mail and extra deliveries. If possible, get a friend or neighbor to house-sit. Don’t take large quantities of cash. Take travelers’ checks and/or credit cards, and don’t forget most travel insurance policies have single article limits. Make sure you have with you the emergency numbers to cancel your credit cards. Don’t forget an appropriate electrical adaptor for the country you’re travelling too. You’ll need one to power any electrical items you have with you.

Taking a small first aid kit is a good idea, as is a basic sewing kit, ski or snowboard wax. Take multi-tool, edge file, and wax scraper, too, if you have them. It will save you time and money. Always keep up to date with your ski, snowboard and mountain safety education. Print a copy if required and keep for reference.

When you are traveling or on holiday 
Be aware of the latest airline and travel security measures. Allow plenty more time for check in and be careful when packing any carry-on bags. Travelers are advised to keep hand baggage to a minimum and not to carry any sharp items, including scissors or penknives in hand baggage or on their person – these can be carried in hold baggage. Don’t leave your home address visible on your baggage. Keep all valuables, passports and money on you. Never pack these items in checked in baggage. Keep your ski and snowboard insurance documents or policy cards with you.

When you get to your destination
Take time to acclimate to the altitude and be careful when moving around. Many have ended a trip before even getting to the slopes by falling over on icy walkways, roads and stairs. Find out where all the main services are such as law enforcement, medical centers, mailing services, etc. Check that the electrical fittings and heaters in your hotel room are safe. Check that the tap water is safe to drink – not usually a problem in Western resorts. If unsure, drink bottled water and avoid ice drinks.

Never leave belongings unattended or with strangers, especially at airports, stations, in resort, on the slopes or unattended in a vehicle. Be aware of potential equipment theft from areas such as lift systems, mountain restaurants, cable cars, car parks and especially in resort at the end of the day. Always keep an eye on your equipment. At your hotel, keep valuables and cash in a safe deposit box or in the hotel safe.

Please remember that you must obtain a police report in the event of any loss or theft. Original documents are required in order to settle your claim. Please make sure you photocopy them before you send them to the claim adjustors. Check with the lift pass office and/or local papers for any special offers on passes – if you’ve not pre-booked – and other local services which may save you time and money.

Be warned that the effects of alcohol increases with altitude so take it easy if you want to get up and stay up on the slopes in the mornings. Finally, enjoy the mountains, your trip and the snow!

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Annual and Long-Stay Ski Travel Insurance and Snowboarding Insurance

The advantage of an annual travel insurance policy is that there is no need to worry about arranging cover for each journey you take and it’s usually better value than buying individual policies for two or three trips a year. An annual travel insurance policy allows you to travel as many times in the year as long as each trip is not longer than 45 days. Up to 17 days ski travel insurance and snowboarding insurance is included free with all our annual travel policies.

However, if you’re going to be skiing or snowboarding for more than 17 days, you can either purchase a single trip or long-stay ski travel insurance and snowboarding insurance policy for each trip. All winter sport activities can be covered, even heli – skiing / boarding. This is the home of the ski travel insurance and snowboarding insurance specialist. Annual travel insurance and ski travel insurance and snowboarding insurance is also backed by the UK largest insurance companies.

Annual travel insurance including ski travel insurance and snowboarding 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 travelling on his or her own, and even unaccompanied trips by the children.

Long Stay Travel Insurance

So many people are going abroad these days and the duration of journeys is ever increasing. You may be going on a longer holiday or trip than usual, maybe you want to ski/ride the winter or stay with relatives on the other side of the world. You might even want to take a temporary job during your stay. So make sure you’re covered with long stay travel insurance.

If you have the right long stay travel insurance, you’ll be confident of knowing that should you fall ill or have an accident you’ll be able to get the necessary medical treatment you need. You could find yourself facing a hefty medical bill if you fall ill abroad without long stay travel insurance. There’s also the risk of losing your personal possessions and equipment or having them stolen. Long stay travel insurance will allow you to replace them or will ensure that a loss doesn’t become a financial crisis, too.

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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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Group and Business Travel Insurance

Traveling together and need group travel insurance? Instead of going to the trouble of arranging individual cover for each and every member of the party, which can be costly and time consuming, why not take out a group travel insurance policy with Ski Travel Insurance.Com to cover all of your group at once? A group travel insurance policy will give complete peace of mind when on your active travels – safe in the knowledge that should you encounter any trouble – you are well and truly covered. Ski travel insurance can cover all your wintersports, mountain, extreme and adventure travel requirements and can provide discounts for groups of 5 people and more.

Planning a business trip?
Traveling on business is essential for many of us, but it can be a real chore at times. Being away from home and your loved ones can be bad enough, but things can get really bad if you have an accident or are the victim of a theft. So, make sure you’re covered with business travel insurance. In theory your employer should pay for any medical attention you may need and should probably have corporate business travel insurance policy in place to cover for any losses you incur. But don’t bank on it!

There are plenty of business travelers who have discovered to their dismay that their company hasn’t in fact arranged adequate business travel insurance coverage. Don’t presume that you will be able to claim against an annual travel policy. Most insurers exclude business travel from their policies. If you’re self-employed, you may not even have thought about the necessity of business travel insurance.

The answer is to sort out adequate business travel insurance cover before you go. After all, you’ve probably got plenty of other things to worry about. And, having the right cover in place will ensure a hassle-free trip. Not only does ski travel insurance provide ski and snowboarding insurance it also caters to business coverage. You can even increase your business travel insurance benefits to include computer and equipment insurance for all your trips.

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Ski Travel Insurance Protects Your Financial Investment

A big ski vacation can be an unforgettable experience that you remember fondly for the rest of your life. For many people, it’s a chance to see a different part of the country, or the world. Many reasonably skilled skiers live an area with local ski areas that may be fun in their own right, but simply can’t compare to the experience offered by the Rocky Mountains. Parents want their children to see and experience the stark, impressive lines of the mountains. In addition to world-class slopes and terrain parks, adults want a first-rate, yet charming, après-ski ambiance. Many mountain ski towns are cultural destinations, especially if your ski vacation coincides or is planned around a major event.

How to estimate your costs

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation, an LGBTQ ski week, or both at the same time, chances are you’re going to need to spend some serious dough to make it happen. Ski vacations at popular Colorado ski resorts will typically cost around $300-$500 per person, per day. And while you may be able to find group discounts and squeeze into lodging accommodations with the maximum allowed occupancy, this cost range also doesn’t account for premium lodging, which might be $1,000 or more per night especially during peak ski season.

We had a friend who had brought his entire family out to Colorado for a weeklong ski trip. Six people in all, including his own father. They choose to go to Breckenridge, which for those who aren’t familiar with Colorado ski resorts, is definitely NOT the most expensive resort. He also researched and found a bunch of online discounts for skiing in Breckenridge. But by the time you factor in meals, ski rentals, just a few souvenirs and miscellaneous travel expenses, he still ended up spending nearly $15,000 or more like $17,500 including the airfare. His dad chipped in a good sum, but he also said it was totally worth it to him.

Don’t dismiss insuring your trip plans and costs

This is all building up to a reminder that, more than indulgence or over-planning, ski travel insurance holds real benefits and peace of mind for the person or persons funding these big vacation plans. It doesn’t cost as much as you might think, and while the cheapest plans have coverage exclusions that are important to understand before you buy, many people are also surprised by just how much ski travel insurance policies do cover. And while single-trip policies are

Depending on where you live, how many people are on the policy, and how much coverage you want, this type of annual policy will cost only peanuts more than a single-trip policy with strong coverage for a major ski vacation. There is no single plan or policy that’s right for everyone. The larger point is still that too many people dismiss ski travel insurance without giving it a fair hearing and considering the cost-benefit analysis with all the details in front of them.

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Guide to Ski Travel Insurance in Europe

If you’re planning on heading out to the mountains this winter with friends and family, there are a few things you can do to make sure you stay safe on the slopes. There is no doubt that skiing is an exhilarating sport, but conditions in the mountain can change rapidly and the decisions you make can put you in danger. This is a brief guide to how ski travel insurance works in Europe.

Before you go…get clued up on Ski and Travel Insurance

We’re biased, but this is an essential item on the to-do list for your ski holiday is to buy winter sports travel insurance. Winter sports cover can be purchased on a single or annual trip basis, and usually sets you back about £40, but covers you for up to £10 million. With helicopter rescue from the mountain costing up to £14,000, that £40 is a bit of a bargain. But there are a few ways in which you can get confused and believe that you are covered for medical care, when in fact you’re not…

The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) replaced the old E111 a few years ago, but is still an essential item to take on your ski trip, as it covers in the case of medical emergency. Whether the costs are covered or you have to pay for the medical treatment up front depends on the country. In many you won’t be faced with the costs, but in France you will have to pay and have it refunded at a later date.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you are covered completely. You cannot rely solely on the EHIC for insurance, as it doesn’t cover you for mountain rescue or repatriation. It will help you once you are at the hospital, but it won’t cover you for that pricy helicopter journey. The fully comprehensive winter sports insurance you purchase will help cover those costs.

Another piece of protection you can purchase is the Carte Neige. This is a type of French insurance cover that you can buy in resort for about 2.50 euro per day and add to your ski pass. The advantage of the Carte Neige is that it is instantly recognizable to the ski patrol, so the medical costs are automatically covered, and you won’t be asked to pay the bill at the hospital and wait for the paper work to be done to be refunded.

The thing to remember is, buy fully comprehensive winter sport cover so that the bigger medical costs are covered. Don’t scrimp, buy insurance and play it safe!

Buy a Helmet…and wear it!

A helmet does not make you invincible, but it will help protect your head in minor collisions. Over the past few years there have been a number of high-profile skiing accidents. The debate over whether to wear a ski helmet continues, and with this recent spate of accidents many people are calling for ski helmets to become mandatory. There is no doubt that skiing can be a high-speed and at times dangerous sport, and like cycling or horse-riding where helmets are part of the normal gear, it only seems sensible that you should wear one whilst skiing.

In Italy and Austria it is now compulsory for children under 14 years old to wear helmets when they are skiing; and in Nova Scotia, Canada they have made it mandatory to wear ski helmets for the coming winter season 2012/13, and those who don’t comply will be fined $250. But with reports suggesting that the number of skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets has increased over the past few years, the number of head related ski injuries have not decreased.

So do you wear one or not? According to the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association), wearing a ski helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 30-50%. But whilst they do protect, their limitations need to be understand as well and they won’t protect you in all cases. They are designed to protect you from injury when a collision is less than 15mph. So if you were to hurtle into a tree at high speeds (average speed of an intermediate skier is 25mph) your helmet will not necessarily protect you from serious harm.
Read the signs…

The fresh untracked snow lying beyond the rope may look inviting, but if there is a sign with a man falling headfirst off a cliff, then maybe you should think twice about ducking the tape and skiing down. If you are not an expert skier, and you’re thinking of venturing off-piste it is best to do so with a guide or an instructor. Be prepared for the hidden dangers that may lie ahead by checking the avalanche risk level, and be aware of hidden rocks, crevasses and trees.

Take a transceiver and make sure you and the rest of your group know how to use them. Un-pisted areas are not patrolled, and depending on the insurance you have taken out you may not be covered, risking a huge bill to be recovered off of the mountain. If you are a member of Ski Club of Great Britain, you can link up with leaders in most ski resorts, where they will be able to guide you off-piste and provide you with the safety equipment, to save you forking out for an expensive ski guide.

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Five Essential Pieces for Your Ski Safety Kit

If you are just a normal skier who sticks to the piste and doesn’t take too many risks, you may not think much about your safety when you’re on your annual ski holiday. Most regular skiers know what they are doing and accept the risks involved, but there are many easy ways to minimize these risks, many of which you are probably already doing without realizing!

Ski Gloves

Never underestimate the importance of good quality gloves when skiing. Not only do they do the obvious and keep your hands warm and frostbite free, but they are also vitally important in protecting your hands in other ways. They cushion your hands against the harsh ridges of icy snow when you fall and they also give some protection to your thumbs from getting caught in the ski pole strap, a very common ski injury. Breathable gloves prevent sweaty hands which, once cooled, remain damp and cold and can even freeze later in the day. Flexibility is important too so you don’t constantly have to take your gloves off, exposing your hands to the elements, as well as durability and most of all, make sure your gloves are waterproof.

Ski boots which fit properly

Ankle injuries used to occur much more frequently than they do these days, thanks mostly to advances in ski boot technology. It shows therefore, how important it is to wear ski boots that fit properly and hold your foot securely in position. Make sure your boots fit well but aren’t too tight that they cut off the circulation, or too loose that you can lift your whole foot off the bottom of the boot. Your toes should be able to move though, to ensure proper circulation. Most of all they need to be comfortable as there’s nothing worse than having to ski all day in painful boots. Most ankle injuries these days occur not from a badly fitting boot but either from a bad landing after a jump, or if your skis don’t clip off properly, which leads nicely to the next point…

Correct DIN setting

This is what your ski technician is fiddling about with on your ski binding when you get your skis fitted at the beginning of the week. It is calculated not only by your height, weight, boot size, and age, but also by your ability level and style of skiing. The higher the DIN number, the more securely your ski is attached to your boot and the more vigorous a fall will have to be for your ski to release. A beginner will have a fairly low DIN so that the ski releases even after a slow speed fall as they will not be practiced in how to fall safely. An experience skier will opt for a higher setting so that skis do not clip off when you are skiing rigorous terrain, or if you just fall in a controlled manner. Having the wrong DIN setting can be disastrous, particularly if set too high and your ski doesn’t come off when it should resulting in a nasty knee or pelvis injury. Similarly, a setting that’s too low can mean a ski can clip of mid turn sending you spinning. It’s therefore vitally important to get this right and is a key aspect to being safe on the slopes.

Ski Goggles

A decent pair of goggles allows you to see in all conditions, which as you can imagine, greatly reduces your chances of getting injured. Spending a little more money on your goggles usually pays dividends as they’ll be better quality, less likely to steam up, and probably come with changeable lenses for different light conditions. In a blizzard, being able to see as best you can within the conditions really will keep you safer than squinting through the snow with your sunnies on your head. In bright weather too, a proper pair of UV protection lenses will save your eyes from getting burnt, and will be hugely beneficial to your sight in the long run. Oddly enough, being able to see where you’re going often prevents crashes!


Whether or not to wear a helmet has divided the skiing community for years. Most would agree that children under 16 should all be encouraged to wear one, with many people calling for them to be made compulsory for young skiers and boarders. Some believe you become more reckless on the slopes when wearing a helmet because you inherently ‘feel safer’ wearing one. Using this as an excuse not to wear one is flawed however, as the figures show that in 188 skiing and snowboarding related deaths, 108 of these had head injury as the primary cause of death – if all of those had been wearing a helmet, this figure would be much lower.

Figures for helmet use are hard to come by as injuries that do not occur because the skier was wearing a helmet are obviously not recorded. One scientist, Brent Hagel, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Calgary, has discovered that wearing a helmet out on the slopes may reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 29 to 56%, which is certainly a reason to wear one. In this day and age, when you see as many people on the slopes wearing them as not, so much so that it’s no longer un-cool to wear one, and when young adults, particularly in the park, often criticize each other for their stupidity in not wearing a helmet, there really is no reason not to. It could just save your life, or at the very least, save you from a horrible headache.

Ski safe!


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Annual Policy or Single Trip Coverage—Which is Better?

When searching for the best travel insurance policy, you should have a basic idea of your travel habits. This will allow you to choose the right policy. If, for example, you know that you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail in the summer and doing a winter ascent of Matterhorn, you should have an idea of what type of coverage you need for both trips. 

If you know you are going to travel several times within a year, an annual travel insurance policy, also known as a multi-trip policy, covers all your trips and can be far most cost-effective. They do, however, have a maximum duration per trip. This is not a substitute for health insurance. If you only plan to travel once in a year, you’re better off sticking with single-trip coverage. 

There are, however, a few additional considerations to make before making this decision. For example, insurance premiums are often based on the oldest traveler. When that individual turns 65, the premium spikes. Think carefully before opting for an annual policy for you or the family. If at least one of the travelers is 65 years old, a separate policy for the older traveler may be the best option. This will eliminate the possibility of everyone else paying a higher premium. However, you should still do the math for your specific policy and ask your insurance provider about age limitations. 

Similarly, the deductible is the amount of money you pay for expenses before your insurance plan stars to pay. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. If a claim is needed, you will be paying much more. If no claim is needed, then your upfront premium cost is lower. If you take out a low deductible, then your premium will be higher, meaning your upfront cost is more but you will end up paying less if you have to make a claim.  

In order to find the right balance of deductible and excess, carefully review your trips. Is one more dangerous than the others? Do you have more experience in one type of travel and less in another? While you may feel confident in your ability to conduct one of your trips unscathed, feeling uncertain about new experiences is normal. If, however, there is an extremely wide gap in confidence, paying for single trip coverage—and opting for a lower deductible for the scarier trip—is a great strategy.  

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Not Checking Exclusions Could Be a $3,000 Mistake

As with other types of insurance, travel insurance policies will include a list of exclusions. These items are occasions in which the insurance will not cover you or personal losses. Most often, this will include severe weather conditions, natural disasters, volcano eruptions, terrorism, war, or civil uprising. While it is absolutely possible to find a travel insurance policy to cover these occasions, most of the inexpensive plans will not. 

Depending on your trip, it is important to choose a travel insurance policy with the fewest exclusions possible. Pay attention to these while reading through the policy, and ensure to declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. Failure to do so will nullify all coverage. Many policies will not cover certain pre-existing medical coverage, and you may have to purchase and add-on to include this. Talk to your insurance provider about the exclusions, and be sure to ask which plan they’d recommend for the trip you’re about to take.  

It is essential to remain vigilant in knowing the medical exclusions and conditions for your policies. You don’t want to get caught in a high-cost country and need to see a doctor—one visit could cost hundreds of dollars. Similarly, traveling to parts of the world experiencing conflict, while an incredible opportunity, will likely come at a huge cost. If your insurance doesn’t cover phenomena that may occur during civil unrest, you’ll have to purchase an add-on—and that can be expensive.  

Here’s the bottom line: Your travel insurance is not likely to cover every aspect of your trip, and that is to be expected. If you know that your destination comes with some type of threat—whether it be a volcano eruption or the threat of war—as your insurance provider about the added costs of coverage. If you go on vacation and realize that the catastrophic event happening is one of the exclusions, you could end up spending thousands of dollars to get out. 

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No, Travel Insurance is Not a Substitute for Health Insurance

Travel insurance has one goal: to keep you and your stuff safe from harm while out on an adventure. As we’ve discussed, there are several components to standard travel insurance: vacation cancellation, medical, evacuation, baggage, and flight. While most of us only utilize the last two options, hundreds of thousands of people around the world pay millions of dollars to add the emergency medical component to their policy.  

The medical portion of travel insurance is one of the trickiest to balance. Some policies offer lower and high medical expense options, which ultimately affect how much you pay. The higher prices are most often used for countries with high medical costs, such as the United States. That said, travel insurance is often far cheaper than a standard health insurance plan in one of these high-cost countries. Though used only for short periods of time, travel insurance can be hundreds of dollars cheaper than a U.S. healthcare plan. 

Travel insurance, however, is not intended to be a substitute for a health insurance policy in your home country. While there is a medical component in you travel insurance policy, it is only designed to cover sudden illness or accident—not preventative, rehabilitative, or diagnostic care. To that end, an individual can choose the level of coverage they purchase before a trip; some travel insurance plans won’t have the medical component.

While this is not necessarily a common practice among those who purchase travel insurance, you have to admit—the idea of paying significantly less for healthcare is pretty enticing. You’ll just wait for your symptoms to get bad enough to facilitate an emergency trip to the hospital, right? While this might seem like a clever scheme, it puts your health in extreme peril. Plus, few travel insurance providers will actually provide insurance for this reason.  

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