Skiers urged to check travel insurance as heavy snow affects swathes of Europe

Skiers are being urged to check their travel insurance as parts of Europe have been blanketed by heavy snow.

Less than 7% of the single trip travel insurance policies on the market cover winter sports as standard while 11% do not offer any winter sports cover at all, financial information business Defaqto found.

Meanwhile, fewer than one in five (17%) annual policies include winter sports cover as standard – so annual policy holders need to be aware that they cannot presume that they are covered for winter sports holidays – it said.

Defaqto said that, in cases where there are piste closures due to adverse weather conditions, three out of five (61%) policies which offer winter sports cover as standard or as an optional extra will only pay between £10 and £25 for each day lost, while only one in three (29%) will pay £30 or more for each day lost.

Those who may be tempted to ski off-piste due to piste closures should also be aware than many policies will not cover skiing off-piste – or will only do so under certain specified circumstances.

Only 3% of both annual and single trip policies on the market offer a no restriction off-piste policy, Defaqto found.

Of the 987 single trip insurance policies that offer winter sports cover on some basis, 110 do not allow off-piste skiing at all, Defaqto said.

Some policies will allow “restricted” off-piste skiing, often requiring a professional guide to accompany the policyholder or limiting the areas where they can ski in a resort.

Brian Brown, head of insight at Defaqto, said: “Winter sports holidays are much riskier than your average beach break and insurers know this.

“If you are planning a winter sports break, it’s vital you check your insurance covers you for injuries, damage to expensive ski equipment and adverse weather conditions just in case the worst happens.

“Travellers need to ensure that their travel insurance policy covers them for the worst case scenario.”

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