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Winter sports fans 'failing to check their medical cover'

05 December 2016 08:20

Abta and the Foreign Commonwealth Officer are warning snow-sports fans to check their insurance cover

Abta and the Foreign Commonwealth Officer are warning snow-sports fans to check their insurance cover

Thousands of Britons could be heading off on snow-sports holidays without appropriate travel insurance cover, it has been warned.

A survey carried out by ABTA and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) shows that 33% of those travelling on winter sports holidays fail to check the small print on their cover. This increases to almost half (46%) for people aged over 55.

Over the past four years, 58 Britons have died while on snow-sport holidays, with a further 118 being admitted to hospital.

FCDO guidance on the .gov website states: "Make sure your insurance covers the activities you want to do. Medical costs and returning to the UK unexpectedly can be very expensive. Many insurance policies will not cover damage to rental equipment or skiing off-piste without a guide, and many policies require you to wear a helmet at all times. Check your policy before you go!"

A safety collaboration

Ski Sunday presenter and five-time Olympian Graham Bell has joined forces with ABTA and the FCDO to highlight the importance of safety on snow-sport holidays.

Some of his tips include having the appropriate kit, getting fit before you take on the slopes and having appropriate travel insurance that covers winter sports in case disaster strikes and medical assistance is needed.

Specialist winter sports travel insurance is available.

"It's fantastic to see so many Brits heading off each winter to take part in the sport I love," said Bell.

"Most of the time, nobody will run into any trouble, but to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, it's important to stay vigilant on your winter-sports break. Far from wanting to discourage people from going away this year, I just want to make sure that everyone is taking the necessary precautions to make their trip as fun as possible."

A warning from ABTA

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: "People heading off to the slopes this winter should make sure they are covered by the appropriate travel insurance.

"Winter-sports holidays often include activities that may not be covered by the usual insurance policies, so we would advise holidaymakers to check that they are covered for everything they plan to do.

"Unfortunately, accidents can happen and can lead to costly medical bills, but having appropriate insurance means people can rest assured that they are adequately covered."