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Idiots guide to ski insurance for French resort

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Broadly most of what I pay insurance for in terms of the headlines I don't actually care too much about - i.e. baggage cover, cancellation cover, and cover is much of a muchness.

And as we travel in Europe, broadly I'm relaxed about medical costs being properly covered - either via EHIC or through taking a policy which has a decent £££ value attached to it.

The one bit I get confused about is the rescue on piste cover.

Is cover for the cost of blood-wagons, helicopter (in extremis) etc a "standard" part of Winter Cover travel policies? Or is the carre-neige the best way / easiest way / cheapest way of keeping that covered?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The problem you have is that a lot of the policies, especially the short form you are likely to have in your pocket, do not specifically say helo rescue. This gives the rescuers the problem of payment to the private helo provider. In France if they see carte or carre neige they will not hesitate.
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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?
Yep, that was my thought. I was just looking through one mid-priced option and noticed that search and rescue was not covered. So presumably that means no heli rescue cover for a fairly ordinary on-piste accident. And at about 200Euros for a blood-wagon too, that's a decent amount of under-insurance, even if I know that for us that would not break the bank.

My penny pinching mentality looks at 2.90Euro per day per skier for a Carre Neige (or 87Euro for the family on a 6day, 5 person trip) compared to about £60 for the family to be covered for a "Go compare" mid-priced policy including winter cover, and recognises that I'm double insuring - because a decent chunk of the Carre Neige cover is also provided by the standard UK winter cover travel policy too, even if rescue costs may or may be not.

I know the "bankrupting" costs (e.g. repatriation, medical bills etc) are well covered through most winter cover policies alongside an EHIC, but getting a clear view as to what is and what isn't in a standard winter cover insurance package is a bit of a minefield.

Any recommendations for a simple to understand but effective range of cover?
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I am lucky enough to need a season policy So the market is limited. I use MPI who do short stays and their policies include helo rescue. They also include snowparks which some policies exclude due to the high incidence of claims, if that is your or your kids thing.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
To be fair, the one time we did need escorting off and some medical treatment, it all worked fine without a Carre Neige, and I don't recall being particularly out of pocket. But now I've started thinking about it more I don't want to deliberately not take out something which could be beneficial. Probably just easy to buy the Carre Neige with the ski-pass and just forget about it - 17.40Euro on a 234Euro lift pass isn't that much of a surcharge I suppose.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
EHIC won't help get you home either, thats where a decent winter sports policy comes in, if you need a whole row on the plane to fit your trashed leg in they will sort it. Also keep in mind the GP and minor casualty dept in your chosen resort may well be a private practice and your EHIC won't help there either. So I'd say Carre-Neige (or look at Austrian Alpine Club UK membership, that gives you a years worth of emergency rescue cover including choppers for not much more than the CN for the week and has a whole lot more on offer as well) and a decent winter sports travel insurance if in case of the worst happening you don't want a huge bill as well.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
And remember that you may not be able to travel straight after you are discharged from hospital. Does your policy cover all the costs of accommodation while you recuperate for, say, 3-4 weeks before you're fit to travel? Or perhaps longer? One of the drivers for repatriation is if the insurer thinks a medi-plane or row of seats is cheaper than paying for you to hang around for a few weeks before you're fit to fly as a 'normal' passenger. All in the fine print.
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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!
If its "Rescue" cover you're looking for you can't go wrong with the Austrian Alpine Club (UK). Annual membership for your family of 5 would be £92.00 and Insurance is "Free". Worldwide Mountain Rescue cover for 12 months, so if you holiday more than one week a year in the outdoors then this should set your mind at rest.

https://aacuk.org.uk/p-membership-2019

https://aacuk.org.uk/p-mountain-rescue-search-insurance
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I'd echo the year-'round cover. Where we have our apartment, I'd say I've seen as many heli-rescues in the summer as the winter. Summer sees a lot of twisted ankles, MTB falls etc. So if you walk in the Alps in the summer as well, don't think just winter cover.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Just had a look at my Direct Line policy wording, seems pretty clear.

"Emergency medical, surgical and hospital
treatment and any ambulance and rescue
service fees to take you to hospital."
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@LaForet, really good point. On one holiday the accomodation costs for my parents was t covered so when dad was I’ll, Mum had to fork out for hotel for 3 weeks. Their last holiday they were medivaced home. Combined cost of accomodation for mum when he was ill, medical costs and lead jet = £45,000.
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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.
@LaForet, agree with you. We had cause to use the medical cover in the summer. Post an MTB / VTT in the GM. No accident or anything but bacterial pneumonia that morphed into ICU and septic shock within 12 hrs. Other half had to stay in ICU and then infectious chest ward for nearly a month and then be repatriated, as I'd gone home with the kids and dog.
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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
JimboS wrote:
Just had a look at my Direct Line policy wording, seems pretty clear.

"Emergency medical, surgical and hospital
treatment and any ambulance and rescue
service fees to take you to hospital."


Check that there's no exclusions if off-piste. I'm sure Direct Line didn't cover off-piste. That may be fine if all you do are groomed runs, but for the cost of carre-neige i think it is well worth it to cover the in resort costs and let your insurer cover the repatriation.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Direct line OP is with a guide only.

Quote:
Winter sports activities – only if you have
bought the winter sports cover option
• Cross-country skiing (on recognised tracks)
• Dry slope skiing or snowboarding
• Skiing (on piste, or off piste with a qualified
guide)
• Sledging
• Snowboarding (on piste, or off piste with
a qualified guide)
• Snowmobiling, ski-dooing or ski-bobbing
• Snow shoeing
• Tobogganing.
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