Read the small print when buying travel insurance for your annual ski holidays

Research by Ski+board, the Ski Club of Great Britain's monthly members' magazine has revealed some surprising restrictions on travel insurance policies. 

While many annual policies cover trips of up to 31 days (some 45 or more), exclusions for winter sports often apply, even when you've paid a premium. For example, keen skiers and boarders who make more than one trip to the mountains each season could well be doing so uninsured, as some policies will only cover up to 10 days of winter sports activities a year.

Using the comparison site MoneySupermarket.com, Ski+board searched annual policies and found that several insurers offered unsatisfactory cover that was only revealed in the small print of the key facts. Cheaper Travel Insurance and Virgin Money Essentials fared worst, offering only 10 days per year. Several others, including Boots, offered up to 17 days' cover. Other exclusions often included off-piste and ski racing.

When querying Sheila's Wheels, Ski+board was told that the total cover also included days spent travelling to and from the ski resort, meaning that one week-long trip plus a long weekend over the course of a year would exceed 10 days' cover. 

For peace of mind, the magazine recommends seeking out a specialist winter sports insurer. The Ski Club of Great Britain provides cover, including off-piste and unguided skiing, for skiers and boarders aged up to 65. However, it limits the number of days' cover to 14 per year for Standard cover (available to non-members, around £83 per year), rising to 21 days for Super cover (around £115 per year) and unlimited skiing for Executive (£164 per year), both members-only options.