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Annual travel insurance

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
vetski wrote:
I have DT insurance also, and they told me that skis should be locked to be claimable.

They actually specifically advertise that is not the case
Direct Travel Insurance wrote:
By way of example, our policies automatically include cover for heli-skiing; parapenting; theft from roof boxes for those driving to resorts; skis left unlocked outside mountain restaurants; and cover for piste closure when the resort has 80% of runs closed (as opposed to the 100% resort closure required by so many policies).

although the terms quoted above do clarify the conditions to which this applies. Many other policies do make it impossible to insure any of your own posessions if you are travelling alone. They also specifically do cover off-piste WITHOUT a guide (except out-of-bounds in the US). I moved to DT this year as their exclusions looked less onerous than my previous insurers (Ski Club). I think there's still a bit of a grey area regarding the distinction between ski-touring/mountaineering, but I doubt that affects many people.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Elizabeth B, i would expect one or both of the policies would have a 'more specific cover' exclusion, ie if you have another policy in force that has more specific cover they will let the policy deal with it. If it is undecided as to which policy is most specific then both insurers involved will contribute to the loss. . . or at least thats the principle behind most insurances. This helps things run smoothly in the event of incidental cross over of covers, ie baggage cover on travel insurance covering the same items as your personal possessions section of your home contents insurance, without allowing you to claim twice for the same loss.

Having dual cover like this is something you really need to explore with the insurers involved to get their view on it prior to you trying to justify your position in the event of a claim. Technically it is a material fact so would be worth disclosing to avoid problems later.
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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?
GrahamN wrote:
vetski wrote:
I have DT insurance also, and they told me that skis should be locked to be claimable.

They actually specifically advertise that is not the case
Direct Travel Insurance wrote:
By way of example, our policies automatically include cover for heli-skiing; parapenting; theft from roof boxes for those driving to resorts; skis left unlocked outside mountain restaurants; and cover for piste closure when the resort has 80% of runs closed (as opposed to the 100% resort closure required by so many policies).

although the terms quoted above do clarify the conditions to which this applies. Many other policies do make it impossible to insure any of your own posessions if you are travelling alone. They also specifically do cover off-piste WITHOUT a guide (except out-of-bounds in the US). I moved to DT this year as their exclusions looked less onerous than my previous insurers (Ski Club). I think there's still a bit of a grey area regarding the distinction between ski-touring/mountaineering, but I doubt that affects many people.


Thansk for the reminder about the advertising, that sentence was posted on here before, which prompted me to call them at the time, and ask.
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GrahamN, I've got my policy booklet with me now - policy was renewed in March 08 - and it says completely the opposite.

"Ski equipment, Ski pass and Ski equipment hire -Section 15

What you are not covered for

6. Loss or theft of, or damage to, ski equipment unless it is:
a) on you all the time
b) locked in the accommodation you are using on your journey or one way trip
c) in a locked store room during the day or night
d) locked to secure racking (during daytime only) where a facility exists. If such a facility is not available then you must take all reasonable steps to prevent loss, damage or theft to your ski equipment.
e) contained out of sight in a secure baggage area and evidence exists of a forcent and violent entry by an unauthorised person"

So, worth chasing the company up on this, I think. I've been told before (in a different context) that information on websites is not necessarily legally binding where there is paper documentation to the contrary. Sneaky devils if they're saying that to ensnare people...

Elizabeth B, work should cover work and play play - but if you claimed against your own policy for a work-related incident, they would expect you to declare any other policies in force at the time of the incident.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
vetski, thats what my policy booklet says (policy date Feb 2008) and what I posted earlier on too. Identical. I called DT to check as I mentioned previously and she said they will only pay out on skis locked to a rack which is fine by me but I didn't realise they were advertising to the contrary.... Puzzled Hey also it makes you wonder how available they expect a rack to be for them to expect you to lock your skis to it...?

Example. You go into a restaurant by yourself one sunny afternoon and therefore have no one to "swap skis" with, as it were. There is no rack outside the restaurant you have chosen, but there is one next door or the next one to that. Someone has it away on their toes with your skis because they weren't locked to the rack. Can you claim for the skis or not?

They might say you could have locked them to the rack further up the road. How do you take all reasonable steps to prevent loss, theft etc? What is classed as reasonable? I'm confused by this.

I am happy to lock my skis up to the rack if there is one, but what happens if there is not a rack in the vicinity? I suppose in that instance I would lock them to something else I could find instead like the guttering or something! wink
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vetski, no that's not incompatible with the advertising. Section 6d says that if there's no secure racking to which you can lock stuff, then it's still covered, provided you've taken all reasonable steps. With other insurances I've had - tough, no cover, i.e. something along the lines of "not covered unless deposited in a facility specifically designated for secure storage", which leaves you with no options at a mountain resaurant. The problem still remains though for the single traveller that if you leave stuff with a friend, and it then goes missing, you're not covered.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
GrahamN, Good that they cover off piste without a guide though (apart from out of bounds in USA/Canada), that was one of the things that made it look better than the SCGB policy when I was looking around for cover and how I ended up with my DT policy. Overall though I'm very pleased with it apart from the question of what would happen if skis got nicked.
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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!
GrahamN, as VolklAttivaS5, I question 'reasonable steps'...classic get out clause. "No secure rack? Well, we looked at photos of the restaurant on its website and it has a balcony, so you could have locked your skis to the spindles" would not surprise me. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I think I want that from them in writing before I'll be comfortable with it! The other thing that struck me is that one might well not be covered for a lot of train travel - even theoretically secure baggage areas aren't always locked, it certainly wasn't when I took the Caledonian Sleeper in April, and it sounds as if it wasn't on the EoSB E-star, otherwise Axsman would not have been able to sleep in it after his French couchette-mates threw him out for snoring!

VolklAttivaS5, re the off-piste coverage - I can't find that in my policy booklet, do you know the section number?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Thanks. At the moment, both my annual policy and the one that work sort out are with the same company, so hopefully it won't be an issue!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
vetski, see here http://www.direct-travel.co.uk/FAQ/What-winter-sports-activities-do-you-cover.htm . Winter sports definition specifically includes "off-piste skiing and snowboarding" (that para is directly from the definitions section of the main policy doc), no requirement for guides, with a subsequent exclusion for US/Canada out-of-bounds unless accompanied by a locally-qualified guide (so you can't bring your own UIAGM, if you so wished). Also see here http://www.direct-travel.co.uk/FAQ/Do-you-cover-hazardous-sports.htm , for more explicit statement. The solo independent traveller problem is still a tricky one though - maybe worth looking at backpacker-type insurances to see how they handle this situation.

VolklAttivaS5, off-piste without a guide IS also covered by the SCGB, one of the important parts of their policy. I wouldn't begin to consider a policy for me that doesn't allow that.

Elizabeth B, when it looked as if I may end up being covered for one holiday by two separate overlapping annual insurances I asked both companies whether they'd end up fighting as to who was covering me. They both said I should choose to make the claim on the company that I felt was most advantageous to me. Different problem to yours though - where it's a case of weeks at risk.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
GrahamN,
Quote:

VolklAttivaS5, off-piste without a guide IS also covered by the SCGB, one of the important parts of their policy. I wouldn't begin to consider a policy for me that doesn't allow that.


Ok. What exclusions did SCGB have that you mentioned earlier that made you change from SCGB to DT?

I thought I did see that about not needing a guide as being a plus point for DT compared to the SCGB but I can't have done then, it was probably because DT was a bit cheaper by a few pounds than the SCGB one that clinched the deal then as I recall.

vetski, as GrahamN, has commented-its on the links he has posted.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
VolklAttivaS5, this issue with ski-loss coverage was one of the main ones - with the SCGB you were completely stuffed at a restaurant (I think you were stuffed a couple of years back even if you locked them), and the lost posessions was more restrictive too (DT was primarily restrictive wrt valuables, IIRC the SCGB one required that level for any posessions). But as you say, the main clincher was that DT was about half the price. DT was also clearer about what racing was allowed, "any non-FIS" rather than just "recreational".
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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
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
There are lots of really good sites on insurance, especially for those going on an extreme sport holiday! This is a great site on travel insurance with info on insurance for extreme sports, and this is a really good site on travel essentials. Good luck and make sire you all get insurance! Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Trouble is, even when you keep phoning a company specifically recommended for ski cover (dogtag, in my case) it's sometimes impossible to get a straight answer about what is covered when it comes to off-piste skiing - this is an area where you have to read the small print carefully and, if it's unclear, ask the company to clarify.

I'm still waiting - 4 days now - reply promised from underwriters within 24 hours.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Hello, Dogtag here. Thought I’d take the plunge and register to tidy up any questions regarding off-piste skiing and boarding. (By the way, where we say “ski” all the way through this, please take this to include you lovely snowboarders as well.)

As a company, we’ve been aware of snowHeads for a long time, but this is the first time we’ve decided to surface. So, please be gentle with me and apologies in advance for posting up probably the longest opening post in history. I fully expect someone to now go and prove me wrong there! And apologies if, in any way, some if this sounds like teaching you to suck eggs. The nature of defining something means stating the obvious sometimes and what’s obvious to you probably isn’t obvious to someone else.

Firstly though, regarding call centre staff and ski knowledge, it is important to point out that you won’t always get someone with ski experience when you call us. Dogtag might be known for ski insurance but we also cover a huge number of divers, sailors, bikers (human powered variety), gap year people and adventurers generally. For example, we’re big in things like Marathon Des Sables, we insured the army to attempt Everest via the west ridge and we currently have two guys about to encounter the Southern Ocean in a round-the-world yacht race. It’s very diverse, we get some very strange requests and we believe our shiny dogtags have reached all seven corners of the planet. Obviously, our guys and girls can’t be experts on all sports but we do try and make our wording as clear as possible.

The fact is that few have the exact same requirements when it comes to travel insurance so please email us at enquiries@dogtag.co.uk or call us for free on 08000 DOGTAG (08000 364824) and ask for David or Tara (and tell them that you are snowHeads). They are skiers. Or email us a number and we’ll call you back. Hopefully, you can all be taken care of individually. (“Taken care of” doesn’t involve a hit squad by the way).

Firstly, I want to confirm that, with us, you can ski off-piste without a guide. Here is exactly what it says in the policy wording:

Off-piste:
Venturing over ungroomed and unmarked slopes but within the ski area or resort boundary, i.e the
area covered by ski patrollers or managed by the resort. Most resorts designate off-piste areas and
mark them as itineraries on the piste map. If you are uncertain about a particular area, do not go there.
Some people understand off piste (or backcountry) skiing or boarding to mean ‘going out of
bounds’, i.e. outside the resort. If you are going out of bounds or outside marked areas of the
resort, you are advised only to do so with a fully qualified local guide. Even some areas within a
resort may be considered out of bounds because they are hazardous. In some parts of North
America, going out of bounds contravenes local law and you may face arrest.
It is your responsibility to ensure that on any particular day you are aware of and obey local advice,
information and instructions given by the resort authorities and that you obey any signs and
information you encounter on the mountain. If a section is marked 'closed' there will be a very
good reason for it (e.g. high avalanche danger) and ignoring such signs or advice will invalidate
your cover. You should be aware that under the terms of cover, needless self-exposure to peril
except in an endeavour to save human life will invalidate your cover.



So, to expand upon this, “off-piste” simply refers to any area of a ski area, or any area outside the boundary of a ski area, that isn’t a marked piste according to the resort’s official piste map. On the mountain, pistes are normally clearly indicated by piste markers or even roped or netted down the sides and dangerous areas are marked (or they should be). Off-piste areas that fall within the ski area boundary and that fall within the operational scope of the Ski Patrol are often marked on the map and are OK without a guide. We refer to this as in-bounds off-piste. Going beyond the “ski area boundary” (out of bounds) is where we advise taking a guide for safety reasons and because you’ll almost certainly find better conditions with a guide, reach places you wouldn’t have on your own and generally make more of your day.

What about heli-skiing?
If you intend to go ‘heliskiing’, ‘heliboarding’ or ‘Cat-skiing’ you will need a higher level of cover. Both of those types of ‘off-piste’ skiing require our Sport+ level of cover.

Where does ‘off-piste’ end and ‘ski mountaineering’ begin?
In general, if you can access an area just by using the resort’s lifts and your direction from there is downwards, we’d regard that as off-piste, whether it be in-bounds or out of bounds. If you need to climb up higher under your own steam using skins, or walk away from the ski area into terrain that that isn’t accessible by lift, then that is where your activity becomes ski mountaineering. Clearly, Ski Mountaineering (AKA Ski Touring, Ski Randonee) are sports which can take you into the more hazardous areas of the mountains. The risks of exposure to cold, fatigue and injury are greater here than in other commonly skied areas of the mountains and rescue might not be easy or immediately possible. Consequently, both of these types of ‘off-piste’ activity require Dogtag Extreme cover. If you chose the Extreme level of cover for say, Ski Mountaineering, it will automatically cover you for lower Sport+ and Sport grades of skiing too. If you are in any doubt whatsoever you should take out Dogtag Extreme level of policy that covers ski mountaineering. If you have a specific ski mountaineering trip planned it is always best to check with us.

Sorry if this rambled on in but, hopefully, this answers most questions. If not, please call or drop us an email. Policy wordings are looked at in early January each year and, if thought necessary, will be revised.

Happy skiing (and boarding of course) and we look forward to hearing from you.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dogtag(Claire), no disrespect but I think you'd be best served by having one definition only. i.e. No explanations in different wording which can bring in ambiguities and complications. Simplicity is essential.

This would be my sole definition of off-piste, editing from your text above:

"Off-piste is any ski slope accessible from a resort's lift system, perhaps with one short climb on skis, which is not within the marked pistes (pistes are normally defined by machine-groomed snow). It includes itineraires (ski routes) - which are normally marked as yellow trails on the map and are ungroomed and more challenging ski runs. It also includes other ungroomed slopes which normally end near the base station of a lift but are not marked on a map. For the purposes of your cover, off-piste does not include areas for which skins, ski touring equipment and ski mountaineering equipment are required for access."
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just thought I would share my recent experience with American Express travel insurance, as I chose them because they provided the cheapest long-term ski cover. My claim was for medical expenses for a chest infection. The claim form is incredibly lengthy - it even asked for details of the credit card I used to pay for the holiday, and also has a form that it looked like had to be filled in by my GP. However on phoning them it appeared that I would not have to do this in this case.

Waited about 7 days, and then got a call saying my claim had been accepted and to provide bank details for payment. Arrived next day.

All in all they were a bit of a faff and effort and I had to spend quite a bit of time waiting on the phone (presumably they were busy because of volcano problems), but they did pay up. Wouldn't say it was a good experience, but wasn't a bad one.
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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?
Removed


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 8-05-18 18:14; edited 1 time in total
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@carnaj66, this is a very old thread. Perhaps you might like to start a new one relating your experiences with Dog Tag? Many people on here have had better experiences with them. and Welcome to snowHeads.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
and if you haven't already done so, make a formal complaint to DT and then take it to the Insurance Ombudsman.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I stumped up for GB Ski Club platinum membership last time round which included annual multi trip insurance and Fogg medical cards for all the family. Think it was £ 215.

The savings I get on holidays (e.g. Neilson Summer up to 10 % and Crystal/SkiTotal/ Inghams 5 % ) more than pay for this...

And I can get loads of other discounts at retailers (Go Outdoors 10 % , Glissshop 10 % etc).
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