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Skiing Insurance

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm considering different options for off-piste ski insurance. Different policies have different limits (e.g. one limits costs to 2,200 Euros while another goes up to 20,000 Euros) . Anybody have any idea how much a rescue operation (inc Helicopter) is likely to cost?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
SFr2,000 and SFr15,000, for the helicopter alone, accorfing to this site.
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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?
I recall hearing of figures of between 2000 and 6000 Euros - would have thought that a limit of 2,200 is too low for comfort.

There is a good write-up here on pistehors.com; there are many other excellent articles on that site for the off-pister... think David posts in here too so he may be able to give you an up-to-date quote!

Cheers,
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Actually, I was thinking of starting something up on this subject too.

Last year, alot of people here seemed to think that insure and go offered a good deal.

WHo used them in the end?
How good was the cover on/off piste?
Did anyone have to make a claim?
How was it handled?

The last few years, I've used an E111 to provide the lion's share of basic medical cover and a Carte Neige which, at around €40-50/year, covers u for a lift off any mountain in the world and delivery to the nearest medical services.
No travel insurance though in this arrangement.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Interesting question, DB. I did a quick scan around some websites, one of which was the American Alpine Club that talked of figures around $10,000 to rescue a climber. Another site quotes $15,000 as the cost of a 3-hour rescue of ice fishermen from ice flows.

I should think an average off-piste ski rescue is a piece of cake in comparison. I imagine the chopper can expect to fly in, pickup, and fly away in a matter of 20 to 30 minutes, plus flying time, but what do I know?

Presumably the cost between the two levels of cover is not that great, since the risk of the insurer paying out for a heli rescue is v.low in any case?
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I can remember a friend of mine asking me to work out the cost of his helicopter rescue, fairly easy no major dramas. I can recall that all the costs were by the minute and related to each crew member, pilot, co-pilot, doctor and medic as well as the helicopter itself. For a 16 minute operation, costed from the time of take-off to return to base his bill was around £480.00 per minute. Every minute of which was meticulously noted, he subsequently had to get a private ambulance to Geneva and fly home with a dedicated nurse, who had flown out from England, on a flight with a row of seats removed to accomodate him. The total bill was probably not far short of £200,000, thank goodness for insurance.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Shocked Shocked
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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!
http://www.natives.co.uk/whatsnew/insstory.htm

"Robert Atlee of Manchester lost an argument with a tree in Breckenridge last season which resulted in a £40,000 total bill. Without the right insurance he would have had to sell or remortgaged his house. But the largest bill I have come across was £395,000 - does anybody know of a higher one?"

http://www.churchill.com/general/press_office/press_release01122003.htm
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admin,
Last year, alot of people here seemed to think that insure and go offered a good deal.

WHo used them in the end?
Insured myself, Mrs H. and 4 children

How good was the cover on/off piste?
On piste cover good - Don't know about off piste.

Did anyone have to make a claim?
Made a claim for Mrs H's knackered ACL - meat wagon off mountain, immediate medical treatment, 5 days follow up in local clinic and 3 seats on the plane for homeward journey.

How was it handled?
Very professional and efficient. They arranged the extra plane seats, and settled the claim within 2-3 weeks (minus the excess of course)
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
admin, The cost of getting you home after a broken leg or an ACL as with Mrs. H will be major. E111 and Carte Neige is only for those who are confident of no major accidents or prepared to take that small risk.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
john wells, Are you sure about that? Carte Neige includes air ambulance cover - and not just from France - in case of necessity. Repatriation also includes the cost of getting children home, plus a replacement driver if necessary.

This was recently discussed 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.
The Natives site has a good one right at the bottom of its article, ask if the piste closure payments are made for too much as well as too little snow, and weather you will get subsistance payments if you are trapped in a resort due to avalanches, I can certainly remember people in Grindelwald only being able to get in and out of resort by helicopter due to there being too much snow, I guess that also means checking that you can get back home as well !
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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
I went on holiday a few years ago with two people who worked for a major insurance company. They said the main problems occur when people try and sort out their own arrangements, and then claim when they get home.

If you have an accident, contact the insurance company's emergency line ASAP, and they will normally take over arranging all medical care/repatriation issues. That way, you pay nothing, and don't have to worry about claiming back expenses.

It certainly worked for that week where we had 3 fairly serious incidents (one included a helecopter). All of them were flown home (they'd come out by coach), and one of them was sent an escort as he had mobility issues. Generally insurance companies will provide you with better service than you would provide yourself with.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Elizabeth B, Good advice, on of the key things is to make sure you take your insurance documents with you when you go. Some policies state that you must use their arrangments and not do it your self then claim.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
admin,

"The last few years, I've used an E111 to provide the lion's share of basic medical cover..."

Can anyone explain (briefly) how the E111 works? and how does this tie in with Travel insurance. In a hypothetical example of breaking one's leg, on-piste in France, what would the E111 entitle you to? (I presume you would have to pay for the meat wagon to take you first to the medical centre, but what then?)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The British Embassy sums it up as follows (for France)...
Quote:

You should take with you a completed E111 form. This is available free of charge from most United Kingdom post offices. It will cover part of the cost of emergency health care at State hospitals in France during your visit. However, an E111 does not cover all medical fees (you will still have to pay for treatment by the French State health service, but you can claim back up to 70% on return to the UK), or medical repatriation, or on-going medical treatment of a non-urgent nature. We therefore recommend that you also obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance. New health insurance cards will eventually replace the current E111 (and other E forms valid for temporary stays in EU and some other European countries). They have already been introduced in some countries. The United Kingdom is committed to doing so by December 2005. Until then, E111s will continue to be issued in their current form and remain valid for use in France

Basically it only covers emergency treatment, and depending on the nature of the emergency, only part of the costs may be reimbursable.

Top-up insurance is vital.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
My one and only experience of having to use an E111 was for a dislocated shoulder. Although the medical centre accepted the E111 I still had to pay a bill by credit card. On returning home and claiming on my insurance, it appeared that the E111 "portion" was deducted from the claim. So if I hadn't presented the E111 the insurance company would have paid the whole bill anyway. Seems a bit pointless, although I suppose underwriters would argue that by reducing claims it keeps premiums lower. It might even have said somewhere in the small print that failing to present an E111 rendered the insured liable for that part as an excess...(ie for not acting as a prudent uninsured would have done). But who reads the small print.. rolling eyes
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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?
You often find that the insurance company will waive the policy excess if an E111 is used to reduce their costs.
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Many insurance companies stipulate that you must have an E111 for travel in countries that accept it, and you may find that if you don't the you become liable for part of the cost.

Always read the small print, Alan.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
PG, thanks for the link - I stand corrected, the repatriation is fine; it is the third party liability which is weak.
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Coincidentally, quite a good piece about the Carte Neige has just appeared on Natives
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Coincidentally!

I'm a bit dubious about this para though, don't have the details to hand right now, can anyone confirm or deny with authority?
The Native on Natives wrote:

This is where your Carte Neige comes in again – it will cover anything the NHS doesn’t, and any excess if you’re using private health insurance. But remember that they won’t pay until they see receipts for everything you’ve spent, as well as proof of the amount which the NHS or your insurance company has reimbursed. Lots of paperwork! In practice, this means that you could end up out of pocket for several months, since you have to wait until the DSS/insurance company processes your claim before you can send anything to Carte Neige.
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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!
In addition to whatever cover you take out for accidents on the slopes, don't forget general cover for things like cancellation, loss or damage to baggage and all the other things that can go wrong.
With packaged deals, you are usually forced to take out cover with them or prove you already have it at the time of booking. But with DIY, it can easily be forgotten. As soon as you've arranged transport or accommodation, you need general travel cover in place. Just in case ...
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We're currently with InsureandGo but thankfully haven't had to claim. When we were shopping around we noticed that a number of areas were included with them but excluded with others, ie tobogganing etc.

Does anyone have any experience of the SCGB cover?
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
spyderjon, I had the scgb cover a couple of years ago, but didn't make a claim so couldn't say. currently watching this topic with interest as I am needing to renew our cover next month.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Helen, we found ski-insurance.co.uk offered the best cover for us and our staff, we found it difficult to get seasonaire's cover at a reasonable price and they came up with the best price. No idea of the quality of their claims service, in my experience that's a lottery with insurers because most out-source it, but their admistration is straightforward and their renewals quick and effective. We also offer their cover to our clients and haven't had any complaints yet. I think I'll suggest to Admin setting up a link to them from snow-shops, they work on a click-through with all their procedures on-line.
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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.
I've used www.snowcard.co.uk for several years as they include cover for off piste unguided as standard on their ski policy, however I too have never had to make a claim, they do include a nice plastic card (credit card sized) with all insurance details on it, much better to keep in a pocket than a paper document.
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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
Insure and Go also do a "credit card" type thing.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I have a company travel insurance, which also covers skiing. However, reading their small-print I'm not completely happy with their skiing cover, so i was thinking of getting some specific cover for my holiday in January - going to France.

As their general travel-insurance seems fine, I'm more interested in on-slope cover, and had looked into carré niege. I'm not so sure whether that's right, now.

I've bveen following these threads with interest and it now looks like we've had recommendations of snowcard, ski-insurance and Insure & Go. Has anyone ever had to claim on them?

I'm a mainly on-piste skier with my off-piste limited to the bits *just* off pistes. I understand that these areas would not be covered by most insurance cover?

I'll go and read their websites when I get the chance today.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
skanky, the reason I chose snowcard was because they specifically do cover unguided off piste though snowboarders have to buy the next level up for off piste (I ski, but use an off piste route almost daily when I do to get back to the hotel, I'd look very silly if I had an accident so close to the hotel and wasn't covered by the insurance)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hmm, I also have company travel insurance which only covers off piste with a "suitably experienced guide". Not qualified - experienced. So - SCGB? Tour operators guide? Friend who's been off piste skiing for 20 years? None of the above Puzzled
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
My insurance is with the BMC (British Mountaineering Council), they cover me for pretty much anything except damaging myself whilst drunk, oh and skiing over 6500 metres - so that's my Everest decent out!! rolling eyes snowHead
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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?
maggi, who knows and that's the problem, it's rather like saying, do not consume exessive amounts of alcohol
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It's that sort of thing that's making me take insurance out instead of the company one. I notice snowcard do a cover for just the skiing part, which means I could use the company one for the journey, baggage, resort type cover and the snowcard for the skiing. Will require some reading though...oh how the winter nights are going fly by! rolling eyes
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
skanky, i am thinking of switching to snowcard (or activecard which i think is the same thing) for that reason. my home insurance gives better terms for claiming for stolen kit and so there is no point paying for overlapping policies.

Given the reasons for starting up the company, i am surprised that no-one has mentioned Dogtag Insurance. Has anyone looked into their terms or used them?
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Dogtag are far more expensive than many other companies - I've never got as far as looking at terms.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
so are they playing on their niche appeal and fleecing the community that spawned the idea? that's business, but it seems a shame if it's the case.
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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!
Though Dogtag insurance does cover a lot. All sorts of wierd and wonderful ways to maim yourself are covered on their sports list!! Shocked
For a season they weren't that much more than the BMC, but they covered a bit less, and had a few bits in I can't remeber that made me go with the BMC.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Another thing to watch out for is minimum altidude restrictions.
Couldn't get cover for skiing in whistler from some companies because the base is at about 600M, and they only cover resorts over 1000M with no account taken of where the mountain happens to be Sad
I could see why this might apply to lack of snow type payouts, but apparently it would make the whole policy invalid Confused
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Getting off a mountain and back to UK by air ambulance came to over £14.000 for our family. TPS annual policy with winter sports extension paid for everything without quibble and arranged everything too.

Ill stick with them.
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