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Buy Carte Neige at lift pass office?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Is it possible to buy the Carte Neige insurance (the annual policy) over the counter at lift pass offices? I want to get my annual policy while I'm Tinges in a couple of weeks but I'm not sure if it's possible to buy it from the lift pass office there. Anyone done this?
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rob@rar, What does the carte neige get you over your normal UK based insurance. My understanding is that it only gets you off the mountain and most UK based packages do that as a matter of course.
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rob@rar, yes - or at least you could when i last tried a few years ago

skimottaret, the benefit IMO:

1. it doesn't cost too much
2. it covers everywhere (on piste, off piste, worldwide)
3. in France, if you have to get rescued, you just show them the card and that is the end of it - no paying first then claiming back from your insurer etc. worth having for that alone IMO
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Arno wrote:
.....in France, if you have to get rescued, you just show them the card and that is the end of it - no paying first then claiming back from your insurer etc. worth having for that alone IMO

Agreed. If not the blood wagon will take you to the nearest cashpoint before going to the medical centre - which don't take credit cards.
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skimottaret, yes, most UK travel policies will pay for rescue off the mountain, but for a relatively small fee I'd rather be slightly over-insured so that there are no payment hassles at a time when I would not be inclined, and potentially not in a fit state, to pay for on/off piste rescue. Too many horror stories of pisteurs demanding proof of payment, or even payment itself. I consider the Carte/Carre Neige to be part of the cost of buying a lift pass. See this, or this, or this thread for some people's experiences.
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Arno, I kinda agree about the just flash the card at the rescue office and if i was doing a season i would probably get it.. But at the end of the day if you are hurt bad enough to need a bloodwagon down, you will probably have hospital bills, need to get to the airport, a different flight home etc.etc all of which will have to be claimed back on your insurance so it is to me just another hassle that needs dealing with.

FYI The one time i tried to claim on CN they never paid out for doctors surgery time when my daughter needed stitches. Endless French forms arrived needing witnesses etc and in the end i gave up.
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Whilst all the tour operators offer a lift pass purchase/delivery service for their punters none of them seem to offer the option of including the CN insurance option - hence most UK travellers to france don't even know what it is!

At only 3.50 euros a day it adds boogerall to a weeks trip & it's worth getting the season option if you're doing more than a couple of weeks. I witnessed two people staying in our chalet who've had to fork out hundreds of £ for blood wagon fees. In both cases they didn't know about the insurance option & the TO hadn't offered them the option when they got their lift passes.
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rob@rar, no, you have to get it from the ESF/Club des Sports.

skimottaret, it probably didn't pay for that because it only covers your insurance excess and not your basic medical costs.
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skimottaret, Bottom line is that when you are in shock the last thing you need is going to a cashpoint on the way to the hospital. And that's if they are prepared to (say) heli you off in the first place. I remember bring in a party where a bloke dislocated his shoulder off piste quite a few years back. Before he would call in the heli, the paramedic checked the injured party had insurance (in those days the SCGB card was sufficient). He told us that had the card not been available he would not have called in the heli - though he would have called in the sled. I would like to think that these days he would still call in the heli if he could see a British insurance card, but I am not convinced. For the French, Carre/Carte Neige is your guaantee to be taken off the mountain in an appropriate manner. It is not worth saving its low cost, IMV.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 16-10-07 8:51; edited 1 time in total
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I have insurance which covers all the blood wagon stuff (put to the test last season when Axsette #3 broke her wrist snowboarding), and carry enough cash/plastic to cover immediate needs. Don't really see the need for anything more.
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rob@rar, thanks for the links achilles, Lizzard, i hadnt heard of any having to hand over cash stories before being rescued and after reading those links will be adding CN this year wink ...

How much is the annual CN and if you buy your annual CN in one resort does it cover you in other French ski areas?
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skimottaret, not saying everyone should get it, but those are the advantages for me. it makes the worst bit (being carried off the mountain) as simple as possible. the one time I availed myself of it, it was pretty much the only cost. i'd torn my ACL so it was a case of getting taken to the doctor who did a referral to hospital in the UK once I got back. i can imagine quite a lot of injuries similar to that (bang on the head, dislocations etc) - disabling on the slopes but relatively simple treatment once you get back down

i think the carte neige does cover a limited amount of hospital treatment but not such that you would rely on it alone
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skimottaret, I think I paid €53 last year. My understanding is that it offers worldwide cover; in France any piste rescue service should simply take your policy number and deal with all the paperwork but in other countries you would need to pay and them claim back the costs. More info, in English, at MySnowSports.
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You know it makes sense.
skimottaret wrote:
rob@rar, thanks for the links achilles, Lizzard, i hadnt heard of any having to hand over cash stories before being rescued and after reading those links will be adding CN this year wink ...

How much is the annual CN and if you buy your annual CN in one resort does it cover you in other French ski areas?


40-something euros I think. covers you worldwide (read my post Wink ), although I expect the convenience aspect goes away if you try to use it outside France

edit: Rob@rar has more upto date costs
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In short, the Carré Neige insurance covers the costs of being rescued by the pisteurs or by helicopter, taken off the mountain and taken to the nearest medical centre. After that, once you're at the medical centre, the costs that you incur from that point onwards (medical treatment, transport from the medical centre to another place) are not covered by Carré Neige, therefore you will need to have some other form of insurance in place to cover you for this. Carré Neige is basically just a top-up insurance, to cover you for the stuff that standard insurance usually doesn't already cover (so therefore, it's particularly useful for those intending to ski off-piste).

Carré Neige will also cover you for a refund of the cost of your lift pass under certain circumstances, for example, if the lifts end up being closed throughout all or most of your stay in resort, leaving you unable to ski.

The Carré Neige insurance (as opposed to Carte Neige) can ONLY be bought in conjuction with a lift pass, so make sure you ask for it to be added when buying your lift pass at the office. The duration of the insurance is the same as the duration of your lift pass. For the insurance to be valid, your name must be marked on the lift pass itself - the people behind the desk at the office sometimes forget to do this so make sure you check your name has been put on there before walking off. If you have an accident and you produce a lift pass with no name on it, you won't be able to claim, as the lift pass IS your certificate of insurance.

Carré Neige costs 2,50 EUR per person per day (in Savoie) or 2,70 EUR per person per day (in Haute-Savoie). Definitely worth having if you're going off-piste.

CARTE NEIGE is not the same thing as Carré Neige - it does cover you for the same things, but Carte Neige is the "Season" version, rather than Carré Neige which works in conjunction with the lift pass (for the same duration as the lift pass). For Carte Neige you will be given a separate certificate of insurance which you should keep with you when skiing.

For more details just ask us lift pass office girls wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
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rob@rar, I did read on one of the other threads that CN does not cover professionals and it may be worth checking to see if that extends to BASI courses. wink
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Is Carte Neige not just a tax for skiing in France?
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Quote:
covers you worldwide (read my post ), although I expect the convenience aspect goes away if you try to use it outside France

Hmm. Not sure about world wide. When I bought my Carte Neige annual insurance last year, at the Ski Club, the guy said it was Europe wide, but it's correct that outside France you have to pay up front for the heli, or whatever, then claim back. We have had Carte Neige for a few seasons but never had to use it, but when a visitor with Carré Neige on their ski pass got sledged off the mountain after a crash, the cost of the sledge, and the road ambulance down to Albertville subsequently, was met direct with no hassle. We have a costly annual travel policy too, because we are skiing for many days each season, and are decrepit with various things wrong (my OH is diabetic, for example). To know that wherever you are on the mountain, you will be got off it, and into a medical centre, with zero hassle, is well worth the extra cost. To suggest that an ordinary UK travel policy will necessarily do the same thing is a bit optimistic. Remember the poor guys in Tignes whose families had to pay for the helicopter and the rescue teams, after one of them had died? They had UK insurance which included off-piste. Supposedly.

I think the daily Carré Neige, by the way, is 2.50 a day, not 3.50. The price of an extremely small, low quality, beer...
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Elizabeth B wrote:
Is Carte Neige not just a tax for skiing in France?

No, it's optional therefore it isn't a tax in the sense that I understand it. On the other hand, those resorts/countries that offer "free" piste rescue are levying a stealth tax on their guests.

Wink
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So Admin a must have is also Carre Neige automatically added, Buy one get one free?
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Quote:

Is Carte Neige not just a tax for skiing in France?

Er, no. What a strange question. Puzzled

Carte Neige is effectively a 'mutuelle' - ie a top-up insurance which covers a) piste rescue and b) any excess you then have to pay while using your usual healthcare provision. It is designed to work in conjunction with the French healthcare system, which is why it's not relevant to the British holiday skier.

http://www.natives.co.uk/news/2004/10/16cart.htm for more explanation (and yes, I know it's and old article, but the details are still correct).
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rob@rar wrote:
Is it possible to buy the Carte Neige insurance (the annual policy) over the counter at lift pass offices? I want to get my annual policy while I'm Tinges in a couple of weeks but I'm not sure if it's possible to buy it from the lift pass office there. Anyone done this?


Yes. I get my annual one at the start of the season - from the STGM office (~20 yards to right of entrance to funiculaire) in Val Claret.
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Lizzard, following your link, I see that it is not exactly straightforward doing the CN claim once you are in hospital/medical centre - I hadn't realised that - though at least you are there, and can start to sort things out. Not nice, though. I gather from skimottaret 's experience noted above that claiming for getting of the mountain was not in practice a problem. Is that correct? Has anyone else got experience of claiming?
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achilles, claimimg for piste rescue with Carte Neige is merely a question of handing the pisteurs your card.

I have to say that in ten seasons of dealing with numerous injured guests and staff and several different insurance companies I have never seen anyone encounter a problem in being taken off the hill. Seems to me that these 'I had to take out a mortgage while lying in the snow with a broken leg' scare stories are far from being the norm. Add Carre Neige to your lift pass if it makes you feel better, but if you're a British punter on holiday, Carte Neige is an irrelevance. I'm sure you can find better uses for 30 quid.
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In answer to the specific question.
At the lift office you'll get offerred the option of the daily Carré neige added to your pass.
It's usually someone else, nearby that sells the annual Carte neige.
In mottaret I got it from the trouist office next door, in La Plagne from the Club des Sports /ESF office.
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admin wrote:
In answer to the specific question.
At the lift office you'll get offerred the option of the daily Carré neige added to your pass.
It's usually someone else, nearby that sells the annual Carte neige.
In mottaret I got it from the trouist office next door, in La Plagne from the Club des Sports /ESF office.

The only problem is that I want to buy the card pre-season, so I'm not sure whether the ESF, Club des Sport office will be open the weekend after next.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
admin, in Alpe du Grande Serre you can buy it at the post office. (This is because the postmistress is also the tourist office lady. Laughing )
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Lizzard wrote:
achilles, claimimg for piste rescue with Carte Neige is merely a question of handing the pisteurs your card....


OK. It was the natives link you gave that made me wonder:

Quote:
Fill in the Carte Neige initial claim form (you will be given one when you buy the card) and send it to their address in Grenoble. You MUST do this within seven days of your accident or your claim will be void.....

Q: I didn’t realise I had to get my claim in within seven days:
A: Bummer. That’s just cost you money. .....
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achilles, it also says this, earlier on:

"Carte Neige covers you for transport off the mountain, either on or off piste. If you show your card to the pisteurs they will take the policy number and their costs will be met by the insurance – you have no further involvement."

You only involve yourself in filling in forms if you wish to claim following expenditure on your part which is not covered by your existing health provision.
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rob@rar, Last season I got my Carte Neige from the tourist office in Les Coches. Ended up using it too Sad . As with others, no problems at all getting off the mountain.
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Lizzard wrote:
achilles, claimimg for piste rescue with Carte Neige is merely a question of handing the pisteurs your card.

I have to say that in ten seasons of dealing with numerous injured guests and staff and several different insurance companies I have never seen anyone encounter a problem in being taken off the hill.


I agree. I'm not denying the stories but I will repeat again that it is a criminal offence in France not to take you off the mountain and treat you at hospital, there should be no question of asking for cash or insurance beforehand. If you died the pisteur could be charged with manslaughter.
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Lizzard wrote:
achilles, it also says this, earlier on:

"Carte Neige covers you for transport off the mountain, either on or off piste. If you show your card to the pisteurs they will take the policy number and their costs will be met by the insurance – you have no further involvement."

You only involve yourself in filling in forms if you wish to claim following expenditure on your part which is not covered by your existing health provision.


Aha, gotcha. Thanks.
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davidof, to be fair, in the case I witnessed, the injured skier would not have died, I don' think, had he been sledded rather than helicoptered off the mountain. But I also think he would have experienced considerable extra discomfort.
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rob@rar
See my post re STGM (lift company) office. They are open, as the glacier is open.
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skiingsista,

Thank you that seems the clearest and most useful explanation..
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Kenzie, thanks, missed your first post.
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rob@rar,

Also enquire at the Club de Sport as i think for a small additional sum you get racing cover which might be usefull for what you are planning.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
stewart woodward, is the racing cover needed for snoworks courses on the glacier?
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skimottaret wrote:
stewart woodward, is the racing cover needed for snoworks courses on the glacier?


I do not think so, perhaps its worth checking with 'Wickers World'

It is worth having though if you plan to do TT or Eurotest.
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