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  1. Top Tips For Keeping Safe On The Ski Slopes

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    Planning a winter ski or snowboarding holiday? Don’t miss out on the fun – avoid injury and expensive medical costs by following our checklist.


    Travel insurance

    Make sure your insurance covers the activities you want to do. Medical costs can be very expensive if you get injured: for example, it could cost up to £40,000 to be treated for a fractured femur in the United States, or £8,000 to treat a knee injury in Austria*. In addition to this, many policies don’t cover damage of rental equipment or skiing off piste without a guide. So it’s worth checking your policy!

    *Figures include medical fees and repatriation. Source: Europ Assistance

    European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

    Travelling in Europe? It’s essential that you take a valid EHIC with you. If you have an accident or suddenly become ill you’ll receive the necessary state-provided medical healthcare at reduced cost, or sometimes free. The EHIC is valid in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. But you still need to take out travel insurance, as an EHIC won’t cover all your medical costs, private treatment or repatriation to the UK. Many travel insurance policies only provide full cover if you also have an EHIC. Apply for your free EHIC now at:

    Be at your peak

    Get fit so you can enjoy your holiday more; if you’re not physically prepared you’re more likely to injure yourself and you won’t get the most out of your skiing or snowboarding.

    Also, be aware that you are exerting considerable energy at high altitudes and it’s unlikely you’ll be fully acclimatised, even at the end of your holiday. The highest skiable altitude in many resorts is up to two miles above sea level, so the air pressure and density is far lower than your body is used to. This can lead to your body tiring faster than usual because it can’t absorb as much oxygen. The air is also much dryer than it is at, or near, sea level. It’s important to drink a lot of liquids (not alcohol!) to maintain your hydration levels. Depending on your size, weight and the level of exertion, you will need between four and six litres of water a day – a gallon or more.

    Know your limits

    Drinking alcohol on the slopes invalidates some insurance policies and can affect you more quickly at high altitudes. It also affects your resistance to, and awareness of, the cold which can put you in danger. In practical terms it also affects your judgement, co-ordination and reaction times; in other words, your skiing will deteriorate after you’ve been drinking.

    Use of helmets

    Wearing a helmet is a personal choice and more and more people are choosing to wear them. In some resorts it is a legal requirement for children to wear helmets. Before you travel you should ensure that you are aware of the legal requirements for the country you are visiting. For more information visit:

    Sun/Snow blindness

    The sun is much stronger at altitude and appropriate strength sun cream should be worn. When it comes to eye protection there are two main options; ski goggles or sunglasses, each has their own benefits and disadvantages. Always ensure goggles or glasses offer 100% UV protection. More information can be found at:

    Choosing the right pistes

    It is important to be aware of how pistes are classified to indicate their difficulty. This will make sure you don’t overstretch yourself and get into a tricky situation. It is useful to note that there can be local and national variations in signs, rules and regulations. When you arrive in a resort, you should obtain and study the piste/trail map of the area. Do be aware that piste classifications vary in different ski resorts and countries. Piste conditions change during the day as the sun moves and warms up the snow especially later in the season. What was a cruising blue run mid morning, could be difficult, and more like a hard red by 4pm. Note that this also works in reverse.


  2. Extreme Winter Sports Travel Insurance

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    Adventure and excitement is now sort after by many travellers which has made activity holidays, winter sports in particular a popular choice for many. In response to this, insurance providers have created what is known as winter sports insurance which is a policy tailored to cover the increased risk associated with these types of activities.

    The nature of winter sports makes it important that you have the best travel insurance. By best we mean a policy that is going to completely cover all your needs at a fair and reasonable price. After all you’ll be wasting your money if you come to make a claim and it turns out you weren’t properly covered for the activities you were doing. If you have a good understanding of what you need to look for in a travel insurance policy and are able to compare different providers then this is quite achievable.

    The first thing you should check is whether the types of activities you’ll be doing are covered in the insurance providers definition of ‘winter sports’, otherwise the policy won’t meet your needs. There are lots of variations that an insurer can have so you may not be covered for what you’d expect to be defined as a winter sport making it important to always check the details of your policy.

    Another important thing to look out for is whether your policy includes cover for your equipment. A general policy will usually cover your personal possessions if there lost or damaged but will rarely cover any specialist sports equipment you may have with you. This is why it’s necessary to have a specialised policy that recognises the activities you’ll be doing.

    Your main focus when looking at a policy for any type of activity where there is an increased risk of you having an accident is the medical cover it provides. This is where a specialist policy comes into it’s own as it will cover your medical expenses that could potentially run into the thousands compared to the relatively low price of a travel insurance policy.

    Specialised insurance policies are now numerous and available for a variety of different activities. Sports cover holiday insurance is another type of policy you may need as it’s aimed at covering you for activities like mountain biking and climbing, sports where the right travel insurance will make a big difference if something were to go wrong. The same basic rules apply for all activity related travel insurance policy but for more information on the different policy types visit

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