What is ski insurance?
Ski insurance, also known as winter sports insurance, is a specific kind of travel insurance policy tailored to cover anything that might go wrong on a ski holiday.
This includes ski equipment, medical treatment, and the costs that come with ski-related injuries.
Standard travel insurance policies will not always cover these things, so it’s important to take ski trip insurance if you want to be protected when doing any kind of winter sports abroad.
Also bear in mind that European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) and new Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) don't cover the cost of rescue from the slopes - relying on them alone could prove extremely costly.
What does ski insurance cover?
Most ski trip insurance policies will cover the following:
Getting injured on the slopes can be expensive. There's the cost of the treatment itself, which may be covered by the new Ehic replacement, Ghic. But there's also the price of air ambulance rescue from the mountains and of repatriation if you need to be sent home.
It's also worth noting that while the Ehic covered cardholders for treatment in some non-EU countries, including ski hotspot Switzerland, the Ghic is only valid in the EU.
Most ski insurance policies will cover these up to a certain amount, usually in the millions of pounds. When we looked at more than 250 policies in September and October 2019, the median coverage was £10m, and some had no upper limit. Due to the pandemic, we didn't examine ski trip insurance policies in 2020.
Lost, stolen or damaged equipment
If your skis, sticks or snowboards are damaged, stolen, or go missing, most policies will cover you for several hundred pounds, though some go into the thousands. You can claim back the cost of your own equipment, or for hiring replacement equipment.
Cancellation or curtailment
If you have to cancel or cut short your trip due to an injury, you can claim back the cost of what you missed. £15,000 was the most coverage we found in October 2019 - again, this was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Very specific to winter sports breaks, ski insurance will cover you if an avalanche delays your skiing.
You can claim for this if you can't ski because the piste is closed. It will normally have to be closed for a certain amount of time first.
Ski insurance can also cover events like death, overseas funerals, and legal costs for causing injury to others or damaging someone else's property.
Check each policy carefully to see what it will and won't cover before you decide on an insurer.
Who offers the best ski insurance?
We paused reviewing travel insurers in 2020 due to the disruption caused by the pandemic and the multiple changes firms made to their policies throughout the year.
Instead, we analysed policies from 73 insurance providers in October 2020 to find out which coronavirus-related scenarios they covered.
We sorted these insurers into four groups, from those offering the least to the most coronavirus travel cover. Click the link below to see who came top.
- Find out more: best and worst travel insurance
Does regular travel insurance cover skiing?
Many aspects of a ski trip are not covered by standard insurance policies. This is because winter sports holidays have a number of risks that other trips do not.
If your insurance policy doesn't cover winter sports, you won't be covered for a huge number of unfortunate mishaps that could happen while you're away.
Does ski insurance have an age limit?
Age limits tend to vary from insurer to insurer. Premiums tend to be higher for older travellers as they are seen as higher-risk. Some insurers will not cover people over the age of 65.
Can I get ski insurance if I have a pre-existing medical condition?
As with standard travel insurance, you may be able to get ski insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition, but it could cost you more. This is because insurers may perceive you to be more likely to claim for medical assistance.
Find out more about how to get the best cover when you have a pre-existing condition with our guide to medical conditions travel insurance.