Snowboard travel insurance could save you mountains of dollars on unused lift passes, a damaged board and more.
Snowboarding ain't cheap when you add up all your lift passes, lessons, gear (hired or owned), accommodation and food. Snowboard travel insurance will let you enjoy your trip without the fear of flushing all this money down the drain or even racking up additional expenses due to an unexpected event like a broken ankle or bad weather.
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What is snowboard travel insurance?
Snowboard travel insurance is basically just ski insurance with a different name. It protects you from most things that could go wrong on a snowboarding trip, whether that's a holiday to the slopes of Japan or a quick jaunt out to Thredbo.
You can buy it through insurers that specialise in winter sports or you can add the winter sports pack to most other travel insurance policies to ensure you're covered for snowboarding.
Why do I need snowboard insurance?
You wouldn't be snowboarding if it wasn't for the thrill. However, along with that thrill comes some risk. An emergency situation atop a mountain can spell disaster without the right protection.
Snowboard travel insurance protects you in the following situations:
- Medical emergencies (international only). If you're overseas, snowboarding insurance will pay for your hospital bills and treatment (Medicare has you covered here in Australia). You wouldn't want to get the hospital bill in a place like Aspen, since the US is notorious for high medical costs.
- Emergency evacuation (international only). If you need to be rescued and taken to a medical facility, snowboard insurance could save you thousands of dollars.
- Lift closures. This reimburses you for the cost of unused lift passes, equipment hire costs and lessons if bad weather forces the slopes to close.
- Your gear. If you brought your own gear, it's covered too. Your insurance will repair or replace snowboards, boots, jackets, gloves and any other gear that gets lost, damaged or stolen anywhere on your trip.
- Hired gear. Most policies will cover the cost of repairing or replacing hired equipment if you get into an accident, so you don't bear the costs.
- Other snow activities. If you want to get more extreme, many insurers will cover you for heli-snowboarding, backcountry snowboarding, cat snowboarding and more as long as it's with a licensed tour operator (although they may charge you an additional premium). Some insurers even offer a specially designed policy for professional snowboarders who take part in competitions.
- Lots of other travel concerns. Besides the snowboarding component, snowboarding travel insurance also covers you for trip cancellation, lost and stolen luggage, travel delay and more.
What's the cost?
The cost varies from person to person and destination to destination. However, we didn't want to leave you high and dry so we ran some test figures using the example of a 30-year-old going to New Zealand. With an excess of $200, the average cost across 8 brands is $93.01 for a 2-week snowboarding trip.
Your cost can vary since there are a number of factors that go into the final amount including:
- The insurer you choose. There are plenty of budget policies out there, just make sure you're getting enough value. Cheaper policies can often skimp on features or not offer enough cover.
- 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.
- Your excess. You can often save on premiums by choosing a higher excess (the amount you pay out of pocket when you claim). It also works the other way. You can choose to pay more in premiums in order to save a claim time.
- How old you are. You're likely to pay more the older you get since you're more susceptible to injury.
- Where you're going. You destination will impact what you pay since costs to insurers aren't the same everywhere. For example, the US is known to have high medical costs. Airline tickets will cost more to replace than locations that are further away.
- Trip length. The longer you're away, the more likely it is that a claim will arise.
- Your activities. Riskier activities like snowboarding typically cost more to insure.
- Covering high-value items. Most policies make you pay extra to cover high-value items like jewellery and electronics. Same goes for expensive sporting equipment. However, snowboarding insurance does cover you for these particular high-value items.
Am I covered for professional snowboarding?
Most insurers will not cover you for professional snowboarding due to the additional risk on top of an already risky activity. Ski Insurance has a specially designed policy specifically for professional snowboarders covering:
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What does snowboard travel insurance not cover?
As you're aware, you can't be too careful on the slopes. Same goes with your insurance: you'll need to be careful not to take part in any activities that are specifically not covered or that will void your policy.
Here are some of the situations where you won't be covered:
- You're acting recklessly. You won't be covered if the claim is the result of you acting recklessly. This can include attempting risky stunts, snowboarding under the influence or doing something illegal.
- Other snow-related activities. Most other winter sports are excluded including bobsleighing, snow rafting, ski acrobatics, backcountry snowboarding, skijoring and snowcat skiing. Some insurers will let you take part in backcountry snowboarding, heli-snowboarding and snowcat skiing as long as it's with a licensed tour operator but they may charge extra for it.
- Snowboarding in areas not marked as safe. Many insurers will let you snowboard off-piste as long as it's an area deemed safe by the resort. But if it's not marked as safe, then your claim will be denied.
- Snowboarding outside of snow season. Most insurers won't cover you if you're snowboarding during a resort's off-season.
- You know the bad weather was coming. You won't be covered if you could have reasonably anticipated that bad weather was on its way before you purchased your insurance.