Brits are skiing or snowboarding whilst drunk, without taking lessons and too fast and increasing their risk of an accident and for many doing so whilst without being properly covered by travel insurance.
Research by Santander Insurance has found that 20% of skiers and boarders have had an accident that required professional medical treatment, but one in seven of those going away either don’t have travel insurance or bother to check whether they are covered for winter sports accidents.
Skiing whilst under the influence of alcohol is a big issue with 23% admitting to be still under the influence from the night before and 17% from lunchtime drinking.
Such skiing, or taking to the slopes without a helmet could mean you are not covered by insurance should you have an accident.
With many people suffering an accident, the most common injuries are knee injuries, experienced by 18% of all those who have had an accident. Other main injuries inlcude ligament or tendon damage in the wrist or arm, a broken wrist, a broken arm, broken leg or ankle, or head injury.
Santander estimates that there are around 212,000 skiers and snowboarders in the UK who have required professional medical treatment for an injury suffered but haven’t been able to claim on a travel insurance policy because they weren’t covered.
Treating ski injuries can be extremely costly, with air ambulances potentially costing £5,000 to £10,000 in Europe and around £30,000 in North America. Repatriation to the UK with a stretcher costs around £3,350 to £3,700 from Europe, and anywhere between £2,000 and £5,000 from North America, according to Ski Club of Great Britain data.
As Moyra O’Doherty, Group Marketing Manager for Santander Insurance, comments:”Travel insurance is an absolute must-have for anyone going on a winter sports holiday.
“While many people may want to cut costs on their ski holiday, we would urge them not to cut back on winter sports travel insurance. Ignoring this is a false economy if you have an accident, and no-one in their right mind wants to start the New Year with a huge medical bill.”
MoneyHighStreet comments: “We totally agree with Moyra that it is very important to consider buying winter sports travel insurance for your ski holiday.
“That said, as with all insurance, it is vital to buy cover that meets your particular needs.
“For example, when on a family ski holiday, many take advantage of activities such as skidooing and heliskiing, activities which may well not be covered in a standard travel insurance policy.
“Make sure as well that you focus on policy features and not just focus on paying the lowest price for cover – the cheapest option can often prove costly if something does go wrong.”