Make sure you are fully covered advises Europ Assistance Winter is upon us and people are heading off on their seasonal breaks. Most of us know that if we want to take part in winter sports we need to tick the extra box when taking out travel insurance, but people often make the mistake of assuming a policy will cover their chosen activity.

Europ Assistance warns holidaymakers: It is up to you to ensure you are fully covered. While most winter sports trips pass off without incident, accidents are common and if you are unlucky enough to be injured abroad the costs of treatment and getting home can be financially ruining.

For example, if you sustain a serious injury and need surgery you could end up with a bill for up to £250,000, or if you need airlifting off a slope it could costs thousands.

You can take out a winter sports extension to your travel insurance policy but read the terms carefully, as the level of cover it provides varies depending on the insurer. Activities covered by winter sports extensions can include:

  • Ice-skating (outdoor)
  • Skiing (off-piste but on recognised and authorised areas only)
  • Skiing (on-piste / glacier)
  • Snowboarding (off-piste but on recognised and authorised areas only)
  • Snowboarding (on-piste)
  • Tobogganing

Typically for an additional premium, you can take out insurance for sports such as ice sailing, windsurfing, skidoo and snow mobiling. This often excludes personal accident or personal liability claims and is not usually available to those above the age of 65.

More dangerous activities, such as those listed below, fall outside the remit of many travel insurance policies so adrenaline junkies will probably need to contact a specialist insurer:

  • Bobsleighing
  • Heli-skiing
  • Ice hockey
  • Luge
  • Paraskiing
  • Skeleton
  • Ski jumping
  • Ski racing
  • Ski stunting
  • Skiing off-piste outside recognised and authorised areas
  • Snowboarding off-piste outside recognised and authorised areas

Check your travel insurance policy thoroughly and verify all necessary cover extensions are in place before departing your home country, advises Europ Assistance. If you decide to partake in any winter sports on a whim while you are on holiday contact your insurer first. Customers are encouraged to call the Europ Assistance Travel Helpline on 0844 338 5533 if they need to discuss their options.

For travel tips about the country you are going to visit check out, Europ Assistance’s online community for travellers, and download the TripOrganiser iPhone app.

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