ABTA's annual winter sports campaign has launched and will continue to promote #skisafe advice throughout the winter season.
ABTA has worked with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) along with the Ski Club of Great Britain to create some helpful advice for anyone planning a winter sports holiday. Thousands of skiers risk huge medical bills by not getting adequate travel insurance. As British holidaymakers prepare to head for the slopes this Christmas, new research from the Foreign Office reveals that a third (33%) of snow lovers in the UK never check whether they have taken out appropriate insurance for the activities they are going to do, including skiing and snowboarding.
Surprisingly, those most likely to travel without the appropriate cover were in the over-55 age bracket, with almost half of that group (46%) admitting that they never check that they are covered for winter sports, significantly above the general average of 33%.
If you are injured whilst skiing or snowboarding, you could face a bill for thousands of pounds if you’re not properly insured. A helicopter ambulance and medical repatriation could cost you many times the price of your holiday. You should always get comprehensive travel insurance and check exactly what is covered in the small print. For example, you may need extra cover if you want to ski off-piste.
An example of costs in the mountain:
First aid and mountain rescue services are costly both on and off-piste.
Helicopter rescue - €1754
Emergency fee on the slopes - €354
Rescue from the bottom of ski lifts to hospital or doctor - €184
Repatriation back to the UK from a ski accident using a special flight can cost up to £4,000/€4,000 from Europe
Alcohol and altitude don't mix!
Alcohol can affect you more quickly at high altitudes and seriously limits your awareness of danger and cold. Heavy drinking is often a key factor in many consular cases linked to skiing and snowboarding. As well as putting yourself and others at risk, if you are involved in an accident whilst under the influence of alcohol your insurance cover may be invalid. As a result, you may have to pay thousands in medical expenses if you are injured.
Dr Laurence Bristow-Smith, British Consul General in Milan, said:
“We’ve provided support in a couple of consular cases where fatal accidents in the mountains were a direct result of drinking too much alcohol. In one case the insurance company refused to pay out as the policy holder ‘had put himself in unnecessary danger and was under the influence of alcohol.’ This meant that repatriation costs, amounting to thousands of Euros, had to be met by the family.”
#SkiSafe: Winter sports advice