The equivalent of 3.5 million British adults have been on ski holidays without taking out travel insurance, a new survey reveals. But should you take the risk?
Winter sports trips where you will hit the slopes to ski or snowboard carry an increased risk of injury so it's important to take out specialist policies to make sure you're covered.
Here, we look at when you might need to claim on a winter sports holiday and reveal how to find the best ski insurance using our new star ratings of policies from more than 250 providers.
The age group most likely to have taken out insurance is 45-54 year-olds. More than half of the people who have been skiing in this group have been insured. In contrast, only three in 10 younger travellers aged 18-24 are taking out cover.
But it's younger people who are most likely to experience or witness a major accident on a ski holiday. One in eight 25-34 year-olds have travelled with someone who had a major accident requiring hospitalisation, and 6% have been hospitalised themselves.
Treatment for ski-related injuries can be hugely expensive for those without insurance. And since insurers see it as a higher risk, you'll need to take out special to be covered for injuries on the slopes. If you're not, a claim on your regular travel insurance may not be upheld.
As well as injuries on the slopes, ski insurance will cover associated costs such as air ambulance rescue and getting you back home. If a very serious accident results in a fatality, it can cover funeral costs. It can also cover the legal costs of injuring other skiers.
It's not just accidents that could ruin your ski holiday. Winter sports insurance will also cover:
It's important to read ski insurance policies carefully to make sure they cover you for all you need. Some insurers may not cover skiing off-piste without a guide, for example, while others might not cover rental equipment.
In September and October 2019, Which? experts carried out analysis of winter sports insurance policies from more than 250 providers.
We've given each element of every policy a star rating, so you can choose an insurer based on what's important to you.
We've also compiled details of the coverage limits and excesses of each policy so you can make sure you're getting the level of cover you need.
Other top tips for finding travel insurance include: