Beginner's Guide To: Winter sports insurance

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The Independent Online

With the ski season just around the corner, it's the time to start thinking about your travel insurance if you'll be hitting the slopes this winter. Yet most policies don't include cover for winter sports as standard so it's essential to make sure you will be insured for whatever snow-based activity you'll be partaking in.

What is winter sports cover?

Sports such as skiing and snowboarding aren't included in standard insurance policies so you need to make sure winter sports cover is included if you're heading to the pistes. It will cover you for events such as medical emergencies, cancellation of a trip and personal liability. However, you can also be covered for items such as your winter sports equipment or hired equipment and your ski passes all essential items for your winter break.

I have an annual policy, is winter sports included?

If you buy an annual travel insurance policy there are usually a number of options you can choose from European-only cover or worldwide. Similarly you'll have the choice of whether to include winter sports the policy will be slightly cheaper if you choose to exclude it.

If you already have an annual policy and can't remember whether you're covered for winter sports, check the policy document or give your insurer a call. You'll be able to add it and it shouldn't cost much.

Check the small print

Whether you already have insurance for winter sports, or are looking to buy a new policy, check the small print as the level of cover can vary. Some providers may not cover you for incidents such as piste closure, avalanche closure or, if you are daring to ski offpiste, you may not be covered for this, which in the event of an accident could hit you in the pocket in a big way. Some providers may not cover you for the loss of a ski pass or theft of winter sports equipment so going through your policy wording with a fine tooth comb is essential.

Kate Murphy,

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