Search and Rescue insurance will save you expensive bills, and most travel insurance policies don’t cover it. Read our guide to Ski Insurance below.
These days, most people get travel insurance and, in the case of a skiing holiday, most will check the “Winter Sports” box on the form too. And with that, you’re covered, right? Wrong!
Whilst the Winter Sports cover on your travel policy will most likely cover you for cancellations, loss or damage to equipment and hospital costs, almost every policy excludes what is known as Search and Rescue.
So, what does this really mean? Well, to answer that question, let’s consider a situation where you have an accident on the piste. The ski patrol is called, and they place you in a stretcher and get you off the mountain to a waiting ambulance. That’s Search and Rescue in action, and that alone could cost an average of €395, with another €184 to get you from the bottom of the slopes to a hospital. Without the specific Search and Rescue insurance, you will have to pay this immediately.
In this situation, you’ve now had medical care and are already around €600 worse off! If you had to be rescued by helicopter, that bill could already be at over €2,000! Now, if you have the correct insurance cover in this event, this won’t happen. Check out the our information below.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this situation.
The first way is to ensure you buy the insurance with your lift pass. If you are buying your passes yourself, ensure you say “avec assurance” when asking for the lift pass. This will cost around €3 per person per day, and you will be given a receipt with your lift pass receipt. Don’t lose these receipts! In the event of an accident, just show this receipt and there will be no charge. You can also use the receipt (together with your lift pass receipt) in the event that you lose your lift pass in order to get a free replacement.
The second way is to purchase the Carré Neige – this is a policy that gives you the insurance cover needed and can be useful if you are having more than one ski trip, as it will be more cost-effective.
EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)
Off-Piste Ski Insurance
Generally, travel insurance policies will not cover you for off-piste skiing, and you should gain specific specialist ski insurance if you intend to go off-piste. Unless you are trained, you should enlist the services of a guide or your insurance may be invalidated.
It is also worth checking what is classified as “off-piste” by your insurance policy – even a few metres from the marked piste may render your insurance invalid.