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Ski Insurance basics

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi guys,

I'll be skiing in Zell am See in 3 weeks time for 5 days. I'm comfortable on blues and more or less ok on reds.

I'd appreciate if anyone could spare a few minutes to guide over the basics of what ski insurance to get / what to look out for / what policies to avoid etc etc.

I'm happy to pay a bit more safe in the knowledge that, in the worst case i need a heli evac, i dont need to spend any more money!

Thank in advance

J

Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sounds like any reputable winter sports insurance policy should do you. Look on comparison sites like Moneysupermarket, for instance.
A lot of people on here ski/board off piste, and that gets a bit more specialist, but if you're sticking to pisted stuff, not an issue. Ditto if you don't need to cover your own expensive equipment. Ditto if you don't have pre existing medical conditions (make sure to declare if you do.)
A lot of people here will use MPI Brokers or Snowcard, for instance, but probably you could get cheaper for your needs. Just read the small print Ts & Cs before you buy.
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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?
@JTizzle, do you have a premium bank account? You might already be covered

Asda has been getting good reviews here

Do a search on here for insurance...loads of info
ski holidays
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Worth looking at British Ski club... i.e. becoming a member, if not already and then looking at their insurance options... always found them to be reputable. The challenge with insurance if you become complacent they are expensive... you definitely have to shop around... IMHO
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
holidayloverxx wrote:
@JTizzle,

Asda has been getting good reviews here



Glad to hear it!

I broke myself quite well a couple of years ago in Italy. Had ASDA cover (which included off piste sans guide) that cost about £10 for the week.

I dread to think how much it cost them and they were helpful in every way possible.

Guy in the bed next to me in the Italian hospital had SAGA cover. The way SAGA treated him you would have thought that he didn't have insurance.
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Thanks for your help, guys!

I'll get the ASDA winter sports insurance on your advice
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@JTizzle, please check it meets your reqts before buying
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@holidayloverxx, I will do - im just paranoid after watching Ski A&E about the costs, mostly from the blood wagon / helicopter evacuation!

I guess normal policies would cover this cost (as worst case scenario)
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Should decent winter sports cover rule out the need for carre neige? After watching that Ski A&E show recently I had a look through my Direct Line policy and it seems very vague. Plenty of stuff about medical bills, repatriation, loss of ski gear, refunds for piste closures, etc but nothing about piste rescue/heli evac that I can see. Have never taken extra cover before but think I'll be adding the couple of euros a day with my lift pass on my upcoming trip.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@SKia Optima, Thanks, but I will be skiing in Zell am See, Austria

I believe the Carre Niege only covers France
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
JTizzle wrote:
@holidayloverxx, I will do - im just paranoid after watching Ski A&E about the costs, mostly from the blood wagon / helicopter evacuation!

I guess normal policies would cover this cost (as worst case scenario)

Any policies with "Winter Sports" cover will do yes.
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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.
sequoiaborg wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
@JTizzle,

Asda has been getting good reviews here



Glad to hear it!

I broke myself quite well a couple of years ago in Italy. Had ASDA cover (which included off piste sans guide) that cost about £10 for the week.

I dread to think how much it cost them and they were helpful in every way possible.

Guy in the bed next to me in the Italian hospital had SAGA cover. The way SAGA treated him you would have thought that he didn't have insurance.


Charming - I have SAGA insurance for this year's ski holiday. Have used them for some years - they are not phased by my age. But I have not has cause to claim. What was the problem?
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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
SKia Optima wrote:
Should decent winter sports cover rule out the need for carre neige?

Yes.

But some take out CN because it's less hassle.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Carte Neige means you don't have to pay out the cash up front. But if you have a credit card with you and don't mind spending on it then that shouldn't be a problem. Carte Neige also covers off piste which many premium bank accounts don't without a guide so it can be useful as a top-up for this purpose. Don't forget to take your EHIC card too.

Given the French propensity for taking cash up front I have no idea what happens if you are on your own and unconscious without the Carte Neige.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@JTizzle, In most scenarios when you are injured on piste you will be stretchered off manually or with a snowmobile to a vehicle or private local treatment area. You would have to have something fairly serious damaged like neck, or back, before a helicopter would be called on piste. You can pretty much discount helicopter evacuation if you are on piste, however for on piste accidents you will generally be covered for that too in most policies.

It is just when you drift well off piste, where it is difficult to get a stretcher. (i.e. not 20 yards to the right or left of piste markers)

Basic insurance will cover you for pretty much all eventualities if you stay mostly on piste, or close to pistes, and follow the rules of skiing and code of conduct.

If you are outside the normal insurance age limits, or have a medical condition which may affect medical insurance, then you are no longer talking about basic insurance. By definition you will need to declare the medical condition and your age. This may or may not affect your premium, depending on the condition and whether your follow your doctors instructions.

For example, I have read some medical travel policy medical underwiting which asks questions like "How many tablets are you advised to take to control your blood pressure?" If it is one then your premium is unaffected, if it is more than one your premium goes up. Then they can ask "Do you take your medication as advised by your doctor?" If the answer is no, your premium goes up.

So medical underwritten travel insurance policies (even for non winter sports trips) can have loadings for medical underwriting.

The reason for this is that the basic policies are very very cheap. There is no allowance for people who are not perfect in these ultra low premiums. Therefore, anyone with a minor defect has to pay extra.

Of course, different providers do different levels of medical underwriting, and have different levels of basic levels of premium. For example, those who do less medical underwriting, will charge more for a basic premium. Just like these over 50 policies which pay out for your funeral costs with no underwriting. They are expensive, but they do not underwrite. They also have very low levels of cover. They attract people who are ill, and who have low incomes. This makes them expensive in terms of premiums.

To sell a product to target all people for all scenarios or particular demographics does not make sense financially for insurers. There is a lot more administration costs involved in underwriting people who do not fit the majority of winter sports participants. Most winter sports participants, where the volume insurance market is, ski on piste, and are in good health, and are within a certain age range.

Outside of this marketing group, you might find a load of snowheads. Non standard risks. People who ski off piste, are older than normal, and who might have pre-existing medical conditions. To offer insurance to such a small market, means your expenses per policy are much higher. You have to do more work, and incur more expenses to make sure you do not pick up all the cases which are likely to make a claim.

Therefore in summary, a basic insurance policy means you fit into the basic insurance policy target market. Ski on piste, be of age below 60-80, have no serious medical conditions.

You cannot get a basic insurance policy, if you are not a basic risk!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Given the French propensity for taking cash up front I have no idea what happens if you are on your own and unconscious without the Carte Neige

You would be looked after with the utmost care, that's what would happen.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Layne wrote:
SKia Optima wrote:
Should decent winter sports cover rule out the need for carre neige?

Yes.

But some take out CN because it's less hassle.

That's my plan. I'm more than happy to pay a few euros for the hassle saving. I'm just surprised the policy wording is so unclear/non-existant in this respect.
ski holidays
 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?
Insure & go have paid out twice for me when I’ve needed to claim for injuries sustained in resort. The first was just doctors fees with a damaged shoulder. The last two years ago, they paid out for repatriation from the near top of arcs 2000 when someone took me out getting off a lift! I did have to pay up front (about £600 in total) but put in a concise claim for expenses & unused lift pass as couldn’t ski for 3 days & they paid up no quibble. Have an annual silver policy that covers 2 weeks skiing. You must wear a helmet & I don’t ski off piste. £70 for two of us annually.
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SKia Optima wrote:
I'm just surprised the policy wording is so unclear/non-existant in this respect.

What policy wording?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Layne wrote:
SKia Optima wrote:
Should decent winter sports cover rule out the need for carre neige?

Yes.

But some take out CN because it's less hassle.


CN also covers off-piste I believe, our free insurance with Bank does not. Note I'm not talking hard-core stuff, just little bumps between runs which is technically off-piste.

For a few euros a day happy to have peace of mind
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Boris wrote:
Layne wrote:
SKia Optima wrote:
Should decent winter sports cover rule out the need for carre neige?

Yes.

But some take out CN because it's less hassle.


CN also covers off-piste I believe, our free insurance with Bank does not. Note I'm not talking hard-core stuff, just little bumps between runs which is technically off-piste.

For a few euros a day happy to have peace of mind

Correct, it does.

CN is ~3 Euros a day for me, wife and kids for 16 days skiing that would be 192 Euros - not to be sniffed at.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Layne, Serre Chevalier do a flat rate for anyone skiing more than 7 days. I think 24€.
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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!
Hells Bells wrote:
@Layne, Serre Chevalier do a flat rate for anyone skiing more than 7 days. I think 24€.

Actually, just checking and it looks like I could get a family season pass for 90 Euros

https://carreneige.com/en/nos-offres/carre-neige-saison/
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
So, any reason not to take out a very basic winter sports policy that covers on piste coupled with CN to cover off piste?

Or could there be insurance contention?
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Insurance fraud often involves taking out multiple insurance policies and claiming on them all. Having duplicate cover means you need to look at the policy wording closely, as you might be covered twice for the same risk, meaning insurers might dispute a claim.

Be careful when you take out multiple policies for the same risk, as you will highlight yourself as possible fraud if you make a claim on multiple policies. If you are able to mention other policies on the claim, then you might find there is a dispute over who is responsible.

I think the answer is be careful when taking out multiple insurance policies. You would not do it for car insurance, or home insurance, so why would you do it for travel insurance?
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

Given the French propensity for taking cash up front I have no idea what happens if you are on your own and unconscious without the Carte Neige

You would be looked after with the utmost care, that's what would happen.


@pam w I should imagine so. The only doubt in my mind arises from the repeated scare threads on here...
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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.
Layne wrote:
SKia Optima wrote:
I'm just surprised the policy wording is so unclear/non-existant in this respect.

What policy wording?

I don't think there is any reference to piste rescue or heli-evac at all in the winter sports section, which seemed odd to me. But maybe they consider it so obvious it doesn't need to be spelled out!
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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
SKia Optima wrote:
Should decent winter sports cover rule out the need for carre neige? After watching that Ski A&E show recently I had a look through my Direct Line policy and it seems very vague. Plenty of stuff about medical bills, repatriation, loss of ski gear, refunds for piste closures, etc but nothing about piste rescue/heli evac that I can see. Have never taken extra cover before but think I'll be adding the couple of euros a day with my lift pass on my upcoming trip.
We have same policy & I confirmed via e mail with them that they DO also cover cost of piste rescue etc
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@SKia Optima, like you, after watching the tv series, I questioned my insurance provider as well as there was nothing in the online policy documentation to indicate if piste evacuation is covered. I received the hard copy and still none the wiser, as @clarkey321, did, I will email them to get it confirmed in writing either way, if it is not I will purchase carre neige when I purchase the lift pass from les menuires, but don't particularly want to if need be!!!!

a few years ago when we were skiing in Megeve, my daughter injured her knee, she was blood waggoned off by a pistuer then taken down to st Gervais by ambulance, with my wife accompanying her. All they asked from my wife was her name and address, and we received invoices for both services from the local mairie a few weeks later, we then forwarded straight to our (different) insurance company who paid them direct.

it does seem that resorts differ even in france!!!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I have Nationwide flexiplus insurance and went hunting to ensure that heli evac from the piste was covered, couldnt find it specifically mentioned and because it could be quite pricey rang to confirm if covered, conversation went along these lines (not verbatim):

Me: hello is heli evac when injured whilst skiing on piste covered?

Agent: Yes, its in the policy doc.

Me: Is it? Good but I cant find it. Can you tell me in which clause I can see it?

Agent: [pregnant pause]. Well it is covered.

Me: Under which section so I know the level of cover

Agent: Under Medical expenses

Me: Good as that has a high level of cover but its not explicitly mentioned is it?

Agent: [further pause]. Dont worry Ive made a note on your file that we had this conversation and what I confirmed to you and this conversation is recorded.

Me: Thanks. Ive done the same thing on my paperwork in case we cant find that file note or the tapes go missing.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Haha I think the Asda recommendations have been doing the rounds since I spoke about it in a previous thread! I'm glad I've been able to offer some small help to people after all the valuable advice I've taken from others in this forum.

Yeah Asda is great - full year "superior cover" multi-trip worldwide cover including up to 28 days skiing/boarding with off piste, and lots of other related activities not normally covered by most insurance companies for me (32 year old, no medical history) about £75, which is amazing.

Glad to see someone else's account that they were good in the unfortunate event of an accident!

Tip: you get winter sports included for free if you take their superior annual cover, as opposed to the basic cover, where you have to add winter sports. See if that one works out better for you, as you get more ££ coverage for stuff and lower excess amounts in addition to winter sports cover for not a huge amount more cost per year.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
achilles wrote:
sequoiaborg wrote:
holidayloverxx wrote:
@JTizzle,

Asda has been getting good reviews here



Glad to hear it!

I broke myself quite well a couple of years ago in Italy. Had ASDA cover (which included off piste sans guide) that cost about £10 for the week.

I dread to think how much it cost them and they were helpful in every way possible.

Guy in the bed next to me in the Italian hospital had SAGA cover. The way SAGA treated him you would have thought that he didn't have insurance.


Charming - I have SAGA insurance for this year's ski holiday. Have used them for some years - they are not phased by my age. But I have not has cause to claim. What was the problem?


The main problem was communication and being given the go ahead for what was actually covered on the policy. The chap in the bed next to me (was admitted to the hospital a few days before me needing a new hip after a femur head break) had his wife staying in a hotel locally and she spent most of her days in a queue on the phone trying to get through to and some sense from SAGA. I don't recall SAGA phoning her even once.He had to stay in Italy for two or three days longer than necessary as SAGA seemed to drag their heels sorting out return flights.

ASDA (or the company that were dealing with me on their behalf) phoned me at least once but usually twice a day to keep me and them updated. If I phoned them I got through immediately. I was able to fly home as soon as the hospital issued a Fit To Fly Certificate.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Tue 7-01-20 10:59; edited 1 time in total
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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?
@Bigtipper, your point about multiple cover makes me wonder about my own insurance. I have health insurance through work which also covers an element of being abroad. Obviously I want to ensure that I'm properly covered so also have an AMT policy with winter sports. As the two are effectively a different style of insurance, and I'd only ever look to claim on one, I assume that any small overlaps shouldn't an issue.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, the issue with fraud is when someone tries to make multiple claims and hide it from the insurers. If you make a claim and think there may be some liability with another policy, mention it at claim time. They may end up splitting it in some way.

Life insurance fraud can often involve people dying abroad getting a death certificate from Calcutta, and making multiple claims for small amounts with life insurers.

Fraud watchers look out for this, and so such claims can be investigated. If you start the claim process saying you think there may be multiple policies which should share liability, this will stop the fraud investigation but might still slow the claim process as no one insurer is responsible for the whole liability.

You'd be surprised how many people take out multiple travel insurance policies, get a small claim verified abroad by police, and then make multiple claims on return home thinking it will not be noticed. Even small medical claims can be claimed for on multiple policies, which is not in the spirit of insurance "utmost good faith".
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Bigtipper, It seems strange that it should be considered fraud.

An insurance company makes a calculation on the likelihood of having to pay out on the various insured activities and prices the insurance based on that.

It shouldn't matter if you have multiple policies, the calculations remain the same and are still in favour of the insurance companies.

If anything, they should encourage people to take out multiple policies because it will increase their long term profits!

I guess the main reason to disallow it would be that people might end up getting injured on purpose in order to make a profit? I would have thought getting injured on purpose is the fraud in this case, not the multiple policies.
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musehead wrote:
...It seems strange that [multiple insurance] should be considered fraud. ...I guess the main reason to disallow it would be that people might end up getting injured on purpose in order to make a profit? I would have thought getting injured on purpose is the fraud in this case, not the multiple policies.
If you think about what insurance is - "risk pooling" with a profit element for the organizer of the pool, then insuring multiple times obviously changes the nature of that deal, hence you are I think correct. It would be an obvious route to fraud. Typically should multiple insurances be liable they'll carve up the costs between them. Hence over-insuring is profitable for them but not for the punter.

musehead wrote:
If anything, they should encourage people to take out multiple policies because it will increase their long term profits
Yes, but that's close to "mis selling", as there is no benefit to the customer in this.
I do think many companies do sail close to the wind on this, getting punters to pay to insure stuff which is already covered elsewhere for example the Montreal Convention or the EU Flight Compensation Regulations.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Multiple policies causes a "moral hazard". You would profit from a claim beyond replacement of the loss. You are insuring against a loss, not gambling than on a loss you get 5x the loss. This creates a "moral hazard" where it encourages people to claim fraudulently.

It is not fraud to have multiple life insurance policies. It is not fraud to die in Calcutta. It is fraud if you are not actually dead and the death certificate is fake from an Indian doctor.

People do die in India, and have multiple life insurance policies. It is not illegal. It just flags the possibility or probability that fraud risk is higher. Consequently, it may be looked into and delay the claim.
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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!
Thanks guys, the tip about ASDA has been very helpful. For the last few years I have been insured through MPI Brokers (Aka Douglas Cox Tyrie years ago when I was in the SCGB) mainly because of the off-piste cover without a guide and my advancing years.

I went to renew my annual multi-trip policy at the weekend and got a quote £40 more than last year - which itself was not that cheap at £146. Tried to get through to MPI today but their phone system was awol going straight to answerphone - so I left a message. In the meantime turned to Snowheads - been a "member" for quite a few years and found this thread.

Went to ASDA, very good site, worked quickly and ended up with an annual superior multi-trip policy at a total of £120 - this with a declared medical condition (extra £20) and age 75 years. Had worked through the T&Cs etc to check off-piste and it looks ok.
I do have Austrian Alpine Club cover - repatriation worldwide and Rega in Switzerland and probably Carte Neige in France - possibly over insured!
Over 75s in PDS get a free local pass so hopefully the Soul 7s will get a workout this winter!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Just renewed with MPI at vast expense and wish I hadn't now I've seen this
Quote:

this with a declared medical condition (extra £20) and age 75 years.
Ah well, next year...
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Hurtle wrote:
Just renewed with MPI at vast expense and wish I hadn't now I've seen this
Quote:

this with a declared medical condition (extra £20) and age 75 years.
Ah well, next year...


Cant you cancel MPI (with maybe a small fee)? If you bought on line you have the right to cancel in 14 days due to distance selling laws. (Sometimes more if they post the docs out then count the time from when you received the docs)
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