Get properly covered before you hit the slopes

A third of people planning to enjoy a winter sports holiday don’t intend to take out winter sports insurance – and that means they could face a huge bill if something goes wrong on their trip.

Research has found that about a quarter of people intend to rely on a standard insurance policy instead – and more than 5% of those asked admitted they would not be taking out any insurance policy at all.

Scott Gorman, of Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance, which commissioned the study, said: “Whilst most ski and snowboard trips go without incident, winter sports carry risks that can end up being very costly, which is why getting good quality winter sports cover as part of a travel insurance policy is just as essential as your skis and boots.”

It’s important that your policy provides adequate cover for any activities you take part in. But if you still insist on not taking out proper cover, at least make sure you know in advance what the risks will be.

It is also a good idea to take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. This will help you get medical treatment locally should you need it. But bear in mind that an EHIC does not guarantee you NHS- style “free” treatment – it simply entitles you to the same level of state-provided care as the host country’s residents get. This may be better or worse than you are used to in the UK, and it may or may not be free.

But even if you get good care in hospital, an EHIC will not help with a helicopter rescue from the slopes, repatriation or covering your costs if your holiday is cancelled, and that’s why you should make sure you have decent travel insurance in place.