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Best Ski Travel Insurance Providers

We’ve argued for the benefits of skiing travel insurance—now it’s time to share our favorites. These four insurance providers cover a broad spectrum of ski- and snowboard-related activities, as well as other outdoor recreational pursuits.

World Nomads Travel Insurance; “Adventure Activities Level 3”

What does it cover? Snowboarding/Skiing via helicopter/snow cat, backcountry, outside of resort boundary, alpine ski touring with a guide, and on- or off-piste within resort boundaries.

Can you extend the policy while still away? Yes, as long as you haven’t made a claim on that policy.

Do I have to purchase the insurance while in my country of residence? No, you can purchase or extend coverage once you have left for your trip.

 

InSure4Less

What does it cover? Backcountry snowboarding/skiing without a guide.

Where is it available? Australia.

Can you extend the policy while still away? No
Do I have to purchase the insurance while in my country of residence? Not necessarily, but it is only available for coverage in Australia.

 

Insure and Go Travel Insurance

What does it cover? Heli skiing, cat skiing, off-piste skiing with a professional guide, and snowmobiling.
Where is it available? England, Ireland, United States, France, and Australia.
Can you extend the policy while still away? It depends on your policy; some annual policies only include trips for up to 30 days in length.
Do I have to purchase insurance while in my country of residence? No.

 

Sports Cover Direct
What does it cover? Different levels cover different sports. Level 2 coverage includes: Off-piste snowboarding and off-piste skiing; Level 3 includes Level 2 and snowboard acrobatics, snowboard stunting, snowboarding parks with large jumps, ski jumping, ski racing, mountain climbing with ropes, mountain walking, and mountaineering.
Where is it available? United Kingdom, Ireland, and Channel Islands
Can you extend the policy while still away? Yes.

Do I have to purchase insurance while in my country of residence? Yes.

What to Look for in Adventure Travel Insurance

Every plan differs in its provided benefits, coverage limits, covered reasons, and exclusions. If you are searching for ski- or backpack-related travel insurance, you should look for a few key benefits. Below, we have listed our top six benefits to look for when deciding on an insurance plan or coverage option.

 

Emergency medical benefits. This provide benefits for losses due to covered medical and dental emergencies that may occur during the trip. If you suffer an injury or hypothermia while skiing, emergency medical benefits can reimburse the cost of your medical care.

 

Emergency medical transportation benefits. This will provide medically necessary transportation to the nearest hospital or facility following a serious illness or injury experienced while traveling. If you suffer an accident while skiing, these benefits will pay to transport you to the nearest hospital.

 

Baggage loss/damage benefits. This can cover loss, damage, or theft of baggage and personal items. This is essential for those traveling with expensive ski and snow equipment, especially those traveling via airplane.

 

Trip delay benefits. These benefits can reimburse you for additional accommodation and travel expenses if you experience a departure delay of six or more hours. If you plan to fly home from Vail, this coverage will help you pay for a hotel and meals in the case of a flight-cancelling blizzard.

 

Baggage delay benefits. These benefits will reimburse you the additional purchase of essential items during the trip if baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common airline carrier for 24 hours or more.

 

24-Hour hotline assistance. This provides access to assistance teams to help with travel emergencies and last-minute questions about coverage. If your passport disappears while you are backpacking across the tundra, this team will help connect you to local embassy staff to get a replacement.

Travel Insurance for Backcountry Exploration is Essential

If you have backcountry experience, you know that it is essential to prepare for the worst. Backcountry skiers spend much of their time thinking about avalanche safety, spending hundreds of dollars on the equipment necessary to stay safe in case of an emergency. You practice safety rescues and thoroughly research all terrain, checking daily avalanche reports whenever possible. However, complete backcountry trip preparation involves more than avalanche preparedness. It requires an added level of safety.

 

Avalanches are not the only threat to backcountry skiers. While out exploring, you may experience exhaustion, hypothermia, dehydration, bone fracture, concussions, falls, and falling rock. Unexpected weather could leave you stranded. Genuine emergencies in the backcountry require Search and Rescue assistance, medical facility use, and ambulance rides.

 

Of course, backcountry enthusiasts do what they can to stay safe. Most are adequately prepared in the event of an emergency, but it is impossible to predict when an accident will strike. To that end, it is difficult to be financially prepared for the outcome of a backcountry accident; ambulance and Search and Rescue fees alone are enough to shock a survivor. Injured skiers often need hospital transfers, and in the most remote locations, you may need a helicopter ambulance.

 

Rather than stressing out about the financial burden of a backcountry accident, you should invest in ski travel insurance. Injury is more likely to happen off-piste, so you must focus all of your attention on the terrain—not on your wallet. The only way to truly protect yourself is to invest in a travel insurance plan to meet your needs. Now, not all travel insurance policies cover backcountry skiers. When searching for a plan, explicitly ask providers if they cover backcountry exploration. Once you have a plan secured, you’ll be able to spend more energy on the trip itself.

The Ultimate Ski Travel Insurance Resource Guide

This is where our specialty interests enter. Our organization is designed to inform travelers of the importance of travel insurance, but our primary goal is to help athletes—particularly skiers—make savvy trip and vacation choices. Travel insurance is especially important for those travelling with large, expensive pieces of equipment, as well as for trips relying entirely on the weather. Below, we have listed a few reasons why you should double-down on your ski trip before hitting the slopes.

 

Accidents happen, especially on the slopes. Though ski injuries have decreased by nearly 50% since the 1970s (chalk it up to better equipment and a more comprehensive ski education), accidents do happen. The thing about accidents: they’re completely unpredictable. Danger exists everywhere on the mountain, from chairlift boarding to that bratty kid bombing down the double diamond behind you. Ski travel insurance can save both you and your trip; if you experience an injury during your stay, you’ll be covered.

 

Your skis are expensive. You should protect them. Skiing equipment nearly always has to be checked in with the airline; it is too big to fit anywhere else but in the hold of the aircraft. This puts your equipment in the hands of people you don’t know. Airline coverage for lost, damaged, or destroyed bags is extremely limited, and they have cap on liability even if your gear is expensive. Moreover, if you are transporting rented skis, you will be liable for additional costs. Ski travel insurance protects your gear and your wallet. Planning to rent skis at the resort? You will likely be travelling with expensive cold weather apparel, so travel insurance is still a great investment.

 

When your trip relies entirely on weather, travel insurance is necessary. You can’t control the weather, but ski travel insurance will keep you from worrying about it. Whether the resort can’t make enough snow, warm weather turns everything to slush and grass, or a blizzard closes your local airport, most ski travel insurance policies will cover cancellations, interruptions, and delays. When you can’t rely on the perfect alignment of weather and dates, travel insurance will help you keep calm.

 

Ski trips are expensive. Insure your investment. The cost of lift tickets, ski rentals, airline tickets, and hotel rooms can add up to a hefty price tag. If you throw in a last-minute cancellation, you can lose a lot of money—sometimes thousands of dollars if you are planning a family or group trip. Moreover, trip costs are on the rise; ski resorts have seen large price increases, and a single day at a popular resort like Jackson Hole or Aspen will cost more than $100 per person.

 

Planning a ski trip without insurance is a massive financial risk. A good ski travel insurance policy will cover trip cancellations as well as travel interruptions and stolen or lost baggage. Travel insurance will help you in case of an emergency, but it will also let you relax a bit; after all, you’re on vacation.

What to Know Before Buying Travel Insurance

Mid-trip is not the time to discover a surprise clause in your travel insurance. To avoid potential mishaps and opportunities to overpay, travelers should take certain steps before investing in an insurance plan. We have provided a brief checklist to make you feel more secure in your purchase.

 

[ ] Have you compared rates? We do not advise purchasing travel insurance from smaller vendors. Instead, check sites like InsureMyTrip, Travel Guard, and TripInsuranceStore to make sure you are getting the right price.

 

[ ] Have you asked your friends and family? If an acquaintance has had a good experience with a particular provider, ask them about it! This is the best way to feel confident about your investment.

 

[ ] Have you read the entire policy? This is the best way to prevent surprises. Be sure to comb through the inclusions on your plan to ensure you get the best package for your trip.

 

[ ] Have you booked your trip? The best way to get discounts and additional coverage is to purchase your insurance directly after booking.

 

The Importance of Travel Insurance

Ultimately, the decision to purchase travel insurance is entirely personal. Most people don’t utilize the service, and if they do, it’s generally simple flight coverage. Don’t get us wrong—flight and baggage insurance are nearly essential for safe and secure travel. However, if you are travelling long distances for extended periods of time with expensive equipment, travel insurance is a great investment.

 

The most important role of travel insurance: It protects your investment. Travelling is expensive, and—whether you think it will or not—accidents are bound to occur. Sure, if you sprain your ankle while walking from the hotel to the pool, it might not be a bi deal. But what if your appendix bursts? What if your $2,000 flight is cancelled? What if your $1,000 pair of skis is lost in the airport?

 

Additionally, medical emergencies are nearly unforeseeable. If your trip involves any type of extreme sport, such as backpacking, skiing, or scuba diving, purchasing medical or evacuation insurance becomes essential. Reflect on the nature of your trip: Did you spend a lot of money on flights? Are you going to be very active, or do you plan to spend your time on the beach? These are the questions you must ask to determine if you want to purchase and how much insurance you might need.