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If I don't have "winter sports" cover what am I missing?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Got a renewal notice through from the travel insurance company. The price for the two of us for Europe-wide, baggage and winter sports, has gone up from £215 last year to £320. That is one big leap and it got me thinking: do I really need baggage cover, cancellation cover and perhaps the key question: what does "winter sports" cover actually give me?

I'm not interested in the stuff they might pay out under "winter sports" if the piste is closed, have my skis stolen, etc. And I was already looking at a policy from assurski.fr or carte neige to cover off the possibility that I might incur costs for rescue from the piste or off piste area.

So I'm wondering if basic travel insurance without the winters sports cover will give me what I need, which is some public liability in case I damage someone else, and some medical expenses cover in case I get hurt and need medical assistance. What do snowHead think? Is medical cover, cover for expenses which need medical treatment, regardless of how the need arises?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think the general idea is that you're more likely to injure yourself on a mountain than on a beach and therefore the risk of them having to pay out is greater, hence the higher premium. I'd be worried about them wriggling out of a medical claim for something that happened in a ski resort if you didn't have 'winter sports cover'. But you'd have to check with your insurer to be sure.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I dont pay anwhere near that for world wide + winter coverage. However I do not go off piste, etc. So dont need that extra.
Think im with Amex this year (renewal is in March)
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With my policy (AXA), there is no medical cover for treatment which arises from excluded activities.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Seems risky to forego winter sports insurance

If you have a E111 card, you may have cover similar to what a resident of your chosen Euro destination would have . I would guess in the event of a serious accident : air repatriation , follow up treatment at home, would not be covered
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Won't cover treatment in a private resort clinic or rescue off the nountain either.
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@andy1234, If you are going skiing, then that will fall under Winter Sports cover. If you needed to call on the travel insurance due to an incident on the slopes, and there was no Winter Sports, then they probably wouldnít pay out.

Many standard policies include Winter Sports, just not anything exotic, so they should be cheaper.

There are many reporting 30-50% premium increases this season Sad
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
£320?! Are you both over 80 with a history of illness in the family? Iím 32, single bloke and pay about £50 for multi trip cover, including USA and winter sports and off piste. Thatís with AmEx.

As I understand it Carte Neige will give you cover to get from incident site on the mountain to the medical centre. That medical centre is likely to be private so EHIC will be no use. Also as youíre in a mountain resort itís unlikely that normal travel insurance will cover any medical bills as it will be clear that itís a winter sports injury.

With insurance I think itís important that you donít give them any room to reject a claim. You Ďmightí be okay with normal travel insurance, but as the possible costs can easily run to ££££s itís not a risk I want to take.

Shop around, you should find a better deal.
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We have worldwide cover with our signature account with the Yorkshire Bank, costs £13 per month.

I thought "at least we're insured" and then the worst happened and we had to claim and sort things when MrsHD broke her wrist ice skating one evening in Sestriere. At that point I wondered if it was going to be worth the paper it was written on and to be honest they were absolutely fantastic about everything.

In my eyes even £215 is expensive when you consider a)its Europe only and b) we get green flag, gadget cover and other bits included in ours.
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The last time I needed my skiing insurance was many years ago. Had I not had the insurance, not only would I have had to stump up the cost, I would have missed out on the program management by the insurer (Snowcard). When you are feeling ropey you might want to be organising 3 seats in a row, and an adjacent helper's seat, with an airline, taxi for you and helper to the airport, a 'medical technician' driving you home, and the provision of assistance to get your car back from the airport. Fortunately I didn't have to. It really pays to have a reliable competent insurer behind you if you have an accident. It's well worth think about carefully when you take out your insurance.
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@achilles, +1
Even more complex for my wife's accident which involved getting an ambulance trip from hospital into and through Geneva airport to board directly onto the private air ambulance and then private ambulance from Exeter airport to our local hospital all handled beautifully by LV=. Total cost of the claim was in the region of £30k.


@andy1234,
An EHIC does not give you free medical cover in the EU, it just gives you the standard state provision of the country you are in. You can find out exactly what is covered by the EHIC here.
https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/countryguide/Pages/EEAcountries.aspx

Quote:

So I'm wondering if basic travel insurance without the winters sports cover will give me what I need, which is some public liability in case I damage someone else,

I doubt if a standard policy would cover this while doing an uninsured activity.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
*wrong thread somehow*


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Thu 30-11-17 13:43; edited 1 time in total
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I've just done my seasonnaire cover with MPI. It had gone up a fair bit but I've cut it down to the bare minimum and I think it's a similar price to a higher level of cover last year. TBH I think I was (and still am on some) double insured on many things.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
In most EU countries it is compulsory to have 3rd party liability insurance.

You should make sure you are covered for at least Ä1Million Ä5 is normal.

You should make your you have Full Medical Insurance, dont take risks.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@SnoodlesMcFlude, I just did a quick quote through the AmEx travel site, and the price is very age dependant. Iím 54 and the same cover you quoted is £148 per year for me. Iím assuming they think Ďoldí people break easier and more often rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Small world! I had the same scenario just this morning! We (the OH and I) are both out for the season and so need a longer term policy. I shopped around the main seasonnaire policies and got to thinking. If its a seasonnaire policy, do they cover piste skiing as standard. (Expecting that seasonnaires will likely be up the mountain). The small print isn't completely clear as far as I can ascertain.

After calling MPI it PROBABLY appears not, and we should buy the wintersports package which is about £150 dearer. Having said this, the chap on the 'phone didn't honestly know what would happen if we were injured through a skiing accident and wound up in a French state hospital. Ie. Would medical cover kick in as the standard policy covers or would they decline to pay out as it was ski related and we didn't have wintersports. We have separate cover for mountain rescue, so like you are just looking for medical expenses and public liability. Don't need the baggage, cancellation, equipment theft etc.
I suppose to conclude I am none the wiser. So it'll be interesting if you find anything out. Good luck.
Very Happy
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

The price for the two of us for Europe-wide, baggage and winter sports, has gone up from £215 last year to £320. That is one big leap and it got me thinking: do I really need baggage cover, cancellation cover and perhaps the key question: what does "winter sports" cover actually give me?

I always untick the boxes I don't need when renewing my insurance and that includes missed flights, baggage cover, cancellation cover etc. Over the years I have never made a claim on any of these and since they are not great sums of money I can easily stand the loss every 20 years or so saved money in the long term even if I have to make a claim.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@SnoodlesMcFlude,
Quote:

£320?! Are you both over 80 with a history of illness in the family? Iím 32, single bloke and pay about £50 for multi trip cover, including USA and winter sports and off piste. Thatís with AmEx.

That seems like a good price for your cover. In answer to your question: No, but I was treated for colon cancer in 2014 and they noted it and said they wouldn't cover anything related to that in future. I just turned 60 (so obviously wondering if that kicked the premium skywards) and the other half is 56.

@Clarelisa, glad I am not the only one thinking along these lines, and interesting to hear what the chap at MPI said.

Thanks to all snowHead that have contributed thoughts, I will have to look carefully at your comments. I want to arrange insurance for reasonable eventualities while at the same time not paying through the nose for cover I don't need.
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@johnE,
Quote:

I always untick the boxes I don't need when renewing my insurance and that includes missed flights, baggage cover, cancellation cover etc. Over the years I have never made a claim on any of these and since they are not great sums of money I can easily stand the loss every 20 years or so saved money in the long term even if I have to make a claim.


Good idea. I've been too lax about this in the past and aim to be more vigilant on my next, imminent renewal.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@andy1234,
I would recommend that you look at MPI as their cover for pre-existing conditions cover is very good and while not the cheapest is reasonable.
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Timc wrote:
@andy1234,
I would recommend that you look at MPI as their cover for pre-existing conditions cover is very good and while not the cheapest is reasonable.
+1
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I cant stress how important good cover is and something which doesnt seem to have figured much in this discussion, apart from TimCs description of what happened for his wife, are repatriation costs and arrangements if you are injured abroad and need medical assistance to get home, equally if you die abroad it is horrendously expensive to organise repatriation of a body with all the associated admin costs. I used to work in the insurance industry and while I would agree with many people who say it is difficult to successfully claim in my experience a genuine claim where the cover was adequate will be properly met without too many issues and in so many many cases the support of an insurance company to assist you when the worst happens can provide such a comfort factor. Skiing holidays are not cheap and neither is good insurance cover but in my view they go hand in hand.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've insured with MPI in the past. I agree their cover is good but think they're relatively expensive. I've found LV give me more than adequate cover at a better price (though a long way from cheapest). That's with declaring pre-existing medical conditions for each member of our family, all of which are directly linked to winter sports.

Also on the one occasion we claimed from LV, for a boarding injury, the process was not overly complicated or adversarial and they paid up with no fuss. They also offer plenty of options to include or exclude the types of cover the OP mentions.

BTW, I have no vested interest in LV!
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There are a couple of things about MPI. No 1, you can exclude a lot of stuff to bring the cost down, No 2 they do a France only policy and No 3 they are very open about their cover for off piste. bug, that is 3 things.
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Layne wrote:
There are a couple of things about MPI. No 1, you can exclude a lot of stuff to bring the cost down, No 2 they do a France only policy and No 3 they are very open about their cover for off piste. bug, that is 3 things.


Exactly. This is why we use them every winter. Once you ditch all the 'tourist' stuff like piste closure, ski pack, cancellation etc the price is ok.

I would hate to think that anyone would try to save a few bob on insurance on the basis of 'advice' from a few internet randoms on Snowheads. Good insurance is vital. If you want to be a cheapskate have a look at the 'ski boots in hand luggage', or similar threads, but whatever you do donít skimp on insurance.
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telford_mike wrote:

I would hate to think that anyone would try to save a few bob on insurance on the basis of 'advice' from a few internet randoms on Snowheads. Good insurance is vital. If you want to be a cheapskate have a look at the 'ski boots in hand luggage', or similar threads, but whatever you do donít skimp on insurance.


Why not? Snowheads have a wealth of knowledge. Better to tap into peopleís actual experiences on ski insurance claims, than try and figure it out yourself.

There are so many difference insurances you can buy - home, car, life, income, mortgage, illness, travel, etc - and numerous variations/levels of each, and saying ďdonít scrimpĒ on any of these. And end up way over insured.
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Myself and the boss are covered by Axa. About 159 quid for the year, but c9vers skiing, mountainbikng and my new hip. It is their highest level of cover.
Worth a look.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Themasterpiece, +1
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You know it makes sense.
@Mr.Egg, Although you may not ski off-piste in the normal sense of the word Michael Schumacher was technically off-piste when he fell in the unpisted area between two pistes. You never know when you might find yourself in that situation, skiing in fog for instance or taking what appears to be a safe short cut. 99% of the time it would be no problem but as @SnoodlesMcFlude points out "donít give them any room to reject a claim".
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FYI some policies also have an annoying heli-rescue limitation: namely that you have to be injured for them to cover you. Some people have reported the obviously rare case of being in a group, going way off-piste by mistake, and then finding they need heli-rescue because there's nowhere for them to go. For which they're not covered.

If you walk and especially MTB in the mountains in the summer, then also take a look at heli-rescue cover conditions then as well. Last year, we saw as many heli-rescues in the summer as when skiing, especially MTB accidents and bizzarely, a trotinette fall.
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Poster: A snowHead
telford Mike - oh so right!
LaForet - what pray is a trotinette fall?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The way to save money on insurance for skiing, and to get policies which are no frills policies which just cover the basics you want like medical expenses and public liability, is to set up your own insurance company. This insurance company would initially re-insure most of the risk of high claims with a re-insurer (to limit the chances of insolvency).

You can outsource the claims management initially to save costs. Advertise the policy on snowheads with a discount. Do nothing else with the company, and do not try to make any money on it.

You could be surprised at how cheap the policies would be if the administration costs were eliminated by dealing online only. It is mainly the costs of selling, and claims which are the costs of insurance.

Laughing
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Quote:

what pray is a trotinette fall?

@LaForet, Was it invented by Ann Widdecombe on Strictly, during an ill fated foxtrot? I hope she and her flattened partner were insured wink
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telford_mike wrote:
Layne wrote:
There are a couple of things about MPI. No 1, you can exclude a lot of stuff to bring the cost down, No 2 they do a France only policy and No 3 they are very open about their cover for off piste. bug, that is 3 things.


Exactly. This is why we use them every winter. Once you ditch all the 'tourist' stuff like piste closure, ski pack, cancellation etc the price is ok.

I would hate to think that anyone would try to save a few bob on insurance on the basis of 'advice' from a few internet randoms on Snowheads. Good insurance is vital. If you want to be a cheapskate have a look at the 'ski boots in hand luggage', or similar threads, but whatever you do donít skimp on insurance.

You seem to be contradicting yourself a little! How do you know what is "good insurance"? Like everything else, the price tag isn't necessarily an indicator. And while Snowheads isn't the be all and end all, there are some knowledgeable posters to discuss it with. The debates and real life stories on buying and claiming on insurance have certainly been interesting and beneficial to me.
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I missed one day on my first ski week due to an avalanche on the road to Val Thorens. The insurance company paid out £30 per person due to missing one day. I really did not need the £30, and the compensation was not something I wanted to pay extra insurance.

The tax increase on insurance policies, is something else I object to. It just does not make any sense to tax people for paying for an insurance policy. (especially if it is compulsory insurance). What is that all about?

If I lost my skis, I would buy a new pair. Generally most skiers on foreign holidays, can afford to self insure the costs of a new pair of skis.

If my baggage got lost, or the flight was delayed, this would be covered under a normal holiday insurance policy, which I generally would prefer to self insure for.

What I cannot cover or self insure myself, is low frequency extremely large claims like enormous medical expenses or public liability. That is all I would want, but it is not offered or sold. The main reason it is not sold, is that the insurance premium would be low, and mainly made up of selling expenses and administration expenses. If you add in a whole load of "riders" you are able to claim it is a premium insurance policy containing a load of extras you do not want and will not claim on (just like bank accounts which charge you and give you benefits you do not want or need).

I really object to having nonsence items which you can claim for in a travel insurance policy. It means you have to pay for those who put in claims for small items. Most of the time I would not bother as it is too much hassle.
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@Bigtipper, I'm with you. I once had a conversation with a guy at Snowcard who told me he opted out of the equipment insurance as they don't pay out based on new kit just based on the used value. Even the people that work for them know it's worthless.
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@Bigtipper,
Quote:

What I cannot cover or self insure myself, is low frequency extremely large claims like enormous medical expenses or public liability. That is all I would want, but it is not offered or sold. The main reason it is not sold, is that the insurance premium would be low, and mainly made up of selling expenses and administration expenses.


I'm not sure you are right. Do you have any evidence? I would have thought that the vast majority of your winter sports premium (after selling and admin expenses) goes towards the very rare but hugely expensive claims. The kit insurance and closed piste insurance are really just sweeteners that help to sell the core product which is medical/evacuation/repatriation. If winter sports cover costs, say, £50. Then you need 4-5 premiums to pay for some lost skis. To pay the typical helo/repatriation bill of £10k consumes 200 premiums. If you did find a policy that just covered you for the latter scenarios then it would probably cost you 95% of the 'full' policy.
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@Layne,
Quote:

@Bigtipper, I'm with you. I once had a conversation with a guy at Snowcard who told me he opted out of the equipment insurance as they don't pay out based on new kit just based on the used value.


Most insurance policies do exactly that. It's normal. The basic principle is to compensate you for your loss in such a way that you are restored to the position you were in before. So-called 'new for old' policies have always been the exception to the rule, although many insurers have a goodwill approach of replacing with new if the item is less than x months old. Not surprisingly, they are wary of giving people an incentive to lose kit/make fraudulent claims.
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Yeh, but do they give you a discount if you are an experienced skier? Suppose all the medical claims are mainly for beginners with no experience of skiing? You could undercut the insurance industry by offering snowheads insurance on better terms, because they have had one week on a snowheads bash!

A no claims discount system would apply!
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@andy1234, err... the clue seems to be in the question. No cover? Then you take the no cover gamble. Simples.
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