Wimbledon Clinics

Wimbledon Clinics

Going skiing? Check your insurance

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A third (33%) of people heading for winter sports holidays fail to check whether they are covered for the activities they are planning, including skiing and snowboarding, according to new research.

The study by ABTA, in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), also found that older travellers are most likely not to check their insurance cover. Almost half of those in the over-55 age bracket (46%) admitted that they never check they are covered for winter sports.

Commenting on the findings, ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer 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 and can make the most of their time on the slopes.”

In the last four years there have been 58 British deaths and 118 hospitalisations from skiing and snowboarding holidays reported to the FCO in European resorts. Thousands more have suffered injuries both on and off-piste.

To help stay safe on the slopes, five-time Olympian Graham Bell has shared his tips which include:

• Get fit by doing ski-specific exercises that work the quads, glutes, and core. Try to include balance and co-ordination into your work-out.

• If you’re a first time skier, make sure you pick a resort that is suitable and will help you to progress. Look for lots of blue runs, and a beginners’ area close to town.

• Use the right equipment including a properly fitting helmet.

• When you’re on the slopes make sure you are using appropriate safety equipment, and familiarise yourself with the International Ski Federation guidelines so that you don’t put yourself at risk of a collision.

• Don’t forget the sunscreen! You can burn in the mountains even in the middle of winter because of the reflection from the snow.

• Wear appropriate footwear off the slopes, or get a pair of rubber snow grips to put over your shoes.

As well as making sure your insurance policy covers all of the winter sports activities that you are planning to do, ABTA also advises travellers to take a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on the trip, for necessary treatment at public hospitals in Europe.