Don't white out, wise up. Compare ski travel insurance and protect yourself in minutes.
Getting excited for the snow? We know you spent bucket loads on your gear, lift passes and accommodation (it'll be totally worth it!). The reality is that skiing is a dangerous sport, so protect yourself from whatever the snow can throw at you by comparing ski travel insurance policies and choosing the right one for you.
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What is ski travel insurance?
Ski travel insurance is regular travel insurance with added benefits that are snow sports related. Consider all the things that can go wrong on a trip; you injure yourself, have your belongings stolen or get sick. Now think about how much worse it would be if these things happened on top of a mountain.
What does ski insurance cover?
- Emergency evacuation. Imagine the worst happens and you're stuck in the middle of a black run. Emergency evacuation will cover the expense of your rescue (even if a helicopter is needed!) and transport you to the nearest medical facility.
- Extreme weather conditions. There's nothing much you can do when the weather isn't on your side. Because skiing facilities are usually so high up, the weather is all the more unpredictable. Crack open a book (or a beer) and get peace of mind knowing you're covered for your expenses.
- Your own equipment. If you've just bought a top-notch set of skis for your upcoming trip, you want to protect your investment. Travel insurance will make sure they're protected from damage or theft.
- Equipment hire. This covers the cost of hiring equipment if your own gear is stolen or damaged in an accident.
- Unused ski passes/lessons. So you paid up-front for a batch of ski lessons but didn't end up using them all because you were unwell or it was cancelled? Ski insurance can cover you for this so no money is wasted.
- Heli-skiing. This one's for the pros and the adrenaline-junkies who want to go beyond the black runs. You usually have to purchase additional cover if you're planning a heli-skiing adventure, so make sure this one is included in your policy if you plan on taking things to the next level.
How much is ski travel insurance?
The average cost of a 30-year-old going to New Zealand for 2 weeks is AUD$92.72. This figure is based on 8 different policies with an excess of AUD$200.
With all insurance, there are different factors that can affect the cost of your premium. These include:
- The provider you choose. Price isn't everything. While budget policies may appear great in a quote comparison table, they often have higher excess charges and lower payouts for different benefits. So be careful.
- The policy you choose. The level of cover you choose affects the amount you pay for your ski insurance such as medical only, standard or comprehensive cover.
- The excess you choose. Some people like to play with their excess amounts to get a more favourable premium. Those who are low risk will generally opt for a lower/nil excess so they don't have to worry about paying anything extra in case they have to make a claim. High risk people will generally opt for the higher excess to get the cheaper premium and hope they will not have to claim.
- Your age. The older you get, the greater the risk to the insurer you pose, so you'll pay a higher premium.
- Your destination. The destination you're travelling to impacts how much your policy costs, e.g. the US is one of the most expensive places to get cover due to its high medical care costs.
- The duration of cover. The cost of winter sports travel insurance can be affected by the length of time you are going for, as the longer you require cover for the more you will have to pay for this protection.
- Your holiday plans. If you are planning on engaging in risky activities, such as skiing, you'll end up paying more.
- Cover for high-value items. Most insurers allow you to take out additional cover for items with greater value than the default amount that will be paid for loss. Registering high price items will incur a premium loading based on the number of items and the value that is stated.
General exclusions for ski insurance
Every travel insurance policy will have activities or events that are excluded from cover. These can vary significantly between providers so it is important to be clear on events that you stand to receive a claim for:
Some sports are not covered automatically. Most policies will not provide a benefit payment for claims arising out of participation in:
- Snow rafting
- Ski acrobatics
- Ski joering
Other exclusions include:
- Resorts in certain periods. Some policies don't provide cover outside of the recreational ski season.
- Bad weather and avalanche closure. Most providers will require you to obtain a written confirmation from an appropriate authority confirming the closure.
- Skiing under the influence. Like all travel insurance policies, you will not be covered for any losses if under the influence of drugs or intoxicated.
- Skiing out of bounds. There are a number of insurers that will cover you for skiing off-piste but only if you are within the boundaries of the resort. Generally you will not be covered for backcountry skiing outside of the resort boundaries.
Ski insurance: Australia
Ski travel insurance can help for those short trips to Thredbo or Hotham. While Medicare can assist with medical expenses, you still run the same risks with skiing locally as you do when you're overseas. Domestic ski travel insurance can be useful if you need to claim for damaged equipment, losses if you get sick and can't use the rest of your lift pass, or even emergency evacuation if you need it.
Ski insurance in Australia could be handy if:
- You take a fall and your skis
- You want to try going off-piste and know the conditions will be a bit more challenging
- You break your leg and have to visit a private medical facility for help
- The ski fields close down because of bad weather and you have to change resorts or are forced to cancel
Hopefully none of these will happen to you, but this is why travel insurance is so important when you're on the go, even when it's in your own home country.
Ski insurance for off-piste, cross-country and backcountry skiing
Most insurers will offer cover for recreational skiing under a ski insurance policy but this will rarely include cover for off-piste, cross-country or backcountry skiing.
Is off-piste skiing covered?
A piste is recognised as a marked run or path down a mountain. Off-piste skiing refers to skiing in the backcountry or on unmarked trails. As there are more risks involved, only a handful of insurance providers will offer off-piste cover.
||Off-piste skiing (only as provided under the Winter Sports and Winter Sports Professional Ski PDSs)||Get Quote|
||Off-piste skiing covered (with a professional snow sport instructor/guide only)||Get Quote|
||Both off-piste and cross-country (Nordic skiing) are covered provided you have paid additional Winter Sports Cover premium||Get Quote|
||Off-piste skiing is covered under Winter Sports Travel Insurance||Get Quote|
||Off-piste is covered||Get Quote|
||Off-piste skiing covered under Comprehensive, Domestic or Frequent Traveller Policies with Snow Pack. Backcountry snow sports are not covered.||Get quote|
Is cross-country skiing covered?
Cross-country skiing is making your way around the ski fields without the assistance of chair lifts or other transportation. Not all insurers cover this because of the added risk. Here are a few insurers that will.
||Columbus Direct covers cross-country skiing on marked trails||Get Quote|
||InsureandGo covers cross-country skiing on marked trails||Get Quote|
Is professional skiing covered?
Short answer, yes. It is possible to find cover for professional skiing. Unfortunately, not all insurers cover professionals, so it is crucial that you check with the company prior to purchase and also read through the PDS thoroughly.
||Ski Insurance covers professional skiing||Get Quote|