Winter Adventure Coverage: Insurance for Skiers and Snowboarders

Making Sense of Insurance for Skiing and Snowboarding

The thrill of skiing and snowboarding around the world is beyond compare. Can anything compete with a sunrise run in Switzerland or Alberta? Or a fantastic apres-ski with friends in Italy or Colorado? But for those involved in winter adventure sports, the big rewards are coupled with big risks. Of course, any traveler can experience a health emergency. But when it comes to winter adventure sports, comprehensive insurance coverage is a must. To have the ultimate stress free, worry free outdoor travel experience, here’s what you need to know about insurance for skiers and snowboarders.

Unique Activities = Unique Coverage

Dedicated winter sports enthusiasts are always worrying about what conditions will be like. While there’s no insurance that can guarantee perfect snow, insurance for skiers and snowboarders can have some very unique features. Depending on the provider, those options include coverage for trip-ruining circumstances such as piste closure, dangerous weather like avalanches, disruption from volcanic ash, and strikes. If you’re traveling primarily for skiing and snowboarding, these options are very reassuring.

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Understanding Small Print and Big Risks

Reading the fine print is important for any insurance policy. Insurance for skiing and snowboarding is no exception. You don’t want to miss out on important coverage because you didn’t read the fine print or properly disclose all activities. Among the things you’ll want to look into are:

  • Does your insurance cover refunds for specialty lessons should you fall ill and need to withdraw?
  • Does your policy cover additional winter sports and activities beyond skiing and snowboarding?
  • What are your options if you plan on taking part in helicopter tours, snowcat skiing, off-piste activities, or visiting low-altitude resorts?  You may need additional extreme sports coverage.
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Lift Passes Have Their Own Fine Print

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Did you know that fine print isn’t just on insurance documents? You’ll also find it on your lift pass, resort membership agreement, and other important documents. And, depending on what it says, you may need more or less insurance than you expected.  For instance, some lift passes automatically include mountain rescue coverage. In some cases, this assistance extends to off-piste activities so long as they’re within the resort boundaries. But you won’t know unless you ask!

Resorts and lift passes may include some coverage – or they may sell coverage on site. For example, in Europe, you’ll likely be asked if you want Carre Neige coverage. It provides emergency coverage for hospitalization, rescue, and more. It has widespread recognition but it’s not essential. Think of it as being sold car insurance when you pick up a rental car. It can offer you extra protection and peace of mind but it isn’t necessary if you already have a comprehensive insurance policy. Know your policies before you hit the slopes so you won’t be hit by last-minute panic.

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Are You a Skier or Are You Secretly Self Employed

It may seem like an odd question – wouldn’t you know if you were self-employed? But it’s not always so obvious. A lot of travelers offset the cost of their adventures by picking up odd jobs around the hills. Others barter their skills, like helping to coach children’s lessons in exchange for heli-tours.  This all counts as employment under the law. If this sounds like you, make sure you properly explain the situation to your insurance provider.

Not Your Average Gear Protection

Some ski and snowboard enthusiasts might play a bit loose with their health, but they always baby their gear. Once again, it’s time for some research. When it comes to gear coverage, you want to make sure there are no exclusions that will affect you. Is your gear covered if it is stolen from your hotel or the lodge restaurant? What if it is damaged in transit by the airlines or by the hotel shuttle company? Will your insurance company cover the cost of rentals in the event that your gear is stolen or damaged? When considering how much protection to purchase, don’t forget to consider the cost of accessories and customizations and non-athletic items you always travel with such as high-end cameras.

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With the right ski or snowboarding insurance package backing you up, you can hit the slopes with ease!

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