According to leading insurance bodies across the UK, no less than one million festive holidaymakers will be toying with fate by hitting the French Alps over the Christmas period without adequate insurance. The popularity of these kinds of holidays is literally skyrocketing year after year, with almost 18% of all UK adults having indicated their intentions to take a ski or snowboarding holiday this year. Worryingly however, upwards of 10% admitted that they have no intention of buying any insurance at all, while a further 25% said that they will simply use the annual policy they already have in place, though do not know conclusively what is covered and what isn’t.
Sadly, the vast majority of annual travel insurance policies do not include any allowance for winter sports – meaning that they are as much use as no insurance at all.
The trouble is, what most still don’t seem to realise is the way in which looking to save a few quid ahead of a ski trip by cutting back on insurance has every potential to land them up to the eyeballs in debts and legal issues, should the unexpected occur. The French Alps are known to boast some of the safest ski resorts to be found anywhere in the world, but this doesn’t mean for one second that accidents don’t happen – they very much do and largely every day.
The same insurance groups behind the latest warning have stated that if and when an uninsured person is injured on the slopes, they face potential costs that can spiral literally into hundreds of thousands of pounds. A brief example was highlighted by way of transport out of a French Alps resort being required following an accident, which along with an initial operation and transport back to Britain could generate a bill close to £30,000.
That £150 premium suddenly doesn’t look quite as extortionate as it once may have.
Despite the fact that up to a third of Brits heading to the French Alps on a Christmas ski year after break will end up filing an insurance claim at some point and 25% of these are likely to have been injured, there remains a massive lack of understanding as to what insurance policies stretch to and exclude. Around 20% of people taking these trips were aware of the fact that most insurance policies wouldn’t cover their injuries endured while skiing, while just 30% knew that their transportation back to the UK would amount to a large personal cost.
Why Pay More?
There is a huge and important reason why some two-week travel policies will cost £160 and other £12; it really doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. A decent ski travel policy from a leading insurer will include as standard around £2 million of cover for medical needs and transport, should the unfortunate happen. In addition, these policies will also include a massive amount of legal cover, which is crucial if any given person happens to be found responsible for the injury of another – something that often cannot be avoided on crowded slopes.
From covering lost baggage to compensating for missed connections and dozens of other benefits, it really isn’t worth rolling the dice and coming home from the Alps with far more than a headful of memories.