Hitting the slopes? Avoid huge bills by getting ski travel insurance for your trip.
Skiing and snowboarding trips are a great way to enjoy a vacation. However, accidents can happen. With loads of skiing facilities in remote areas far from local hospitals, transportation costs alone could be huge.
Fortunately, getting insurance is simple and straightforward. Whether you're a novice or an experienced skier, there's cover out there for you.
Ski travel insurance can help for those short trips to Thredbo or Hotham. While Medicare helps, you still run the same risks with skiing/snowboarding 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 should you need it!
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Why do you need travel insurance with ski 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 worse than when weather affects your plans. Because skiing facilities are usually so high up, the weather is all the more unpredictable. Making sure your trip is covered for any eventuality is essential.
- Equipment hire. Even the most experienced skier will tell you that accidents can happen, often resulting in damaged or broken equipment. It's important then to make sure that the equipment you hire is covered.
- Your own equipment. If you've just bought a top-notch snowboard or set of skis for your upcoming trip, you want to protect your investment. Insurance will make sure they're protected from damage or theft.
- Unused ski passes/lessons. So you paid upfront 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. For the pros and the adrenaline-junkies who want to go beyond the easier 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.
What other activities are covered by ski insurance?
Most insurers will offer cover for recreational skiing and snowboarding 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 and snowboarding covered under Comprehensive, Domestic or Frequent Traveller Policies with Snow Pack. Back-country 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 cover cross-country skiing on marked trails||Get Quote|
||InsureandGo cover 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.
How much is ski travel insurance?
The average cost of a 30yr old going to New Zealand for 2 weeks is $93.01AUD. This is figure is based on 8 different policies with an excess of $200.
With all insurance, there are different factors that can affect the cost of your premium, this includes;
- 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 hoping 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.
- 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 they exclude 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 joreing
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/snowboarding 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.
Travel insurance for skiing in Australia
If you're planning on hitting the slopes in Australia, you should still consider travel insurance. While medical is covered by Medicare, you can still benefit by having cover for your ski equipment, accommodation costs and other snow related activities.
Ski insurance in Australia could be handy if;
- You take a fall and snap your hired snowboard.
- 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.