Monday, 4 November 2013

Insurance - some things to think about

 It's snowing down in Les Allues today and as the booking season for ski trips moves up a gear many people will be making plans for their winter holiday. In all the excitement of travel arrangements there is something not to forget - Travel Insurance, or more specifically Travel Insurance which covers you for snow sports. 
It's not a very interesting topic and we are not Insurance experts so this post is more about giving a few pointers and clarifying a few myths.
  • Do I need Insurance?
It's a no brainer really, sadly accidents and other bad things happen so not having Insurance can end up being very costly
  • I live in UK and have access through the Public Health System to care in France so I am OK.
Well yes and no. It is true that with the correctly completed forms you can access care in the French system if you live in UK. What this will not help you with is getting off the mountain and to a hospital or health centre. Even the Pisteurs with their blood wagon will need to see your insurance cover or proof you can pay, a helicopter will cost a lot more. If you want to estimate the cost of a helicopter trip off the mountain take a look at the cost per minute which you will see posted at the main ticket offices, let's just say it's not cheap!
  • So how do I get cover to get off the mountain?
The easiest is to get the CarrĂ© Neige which you purchase along with your lift pass. It costs a couple of euros a day, store it next to your lift pass as it's the what the Pisteurs want to see when they come to your assistance. It covers other things as well such as reimbursement of the cost of your lift pass in the case of an accident and medical expenses up to 3000Euro if you are not covered by any other Insurance.

If you want to know more about the CarrĂ© Neige this site will tell you everything you need to know: Carre Neige 

  • I have a Credit Card which includes Insurance so i will just use that.
True many credit cards offer "Travel Insurance" but you need to read the small print. Snow Sports are sometimes excluded and limits of cover can be small. Check the small print carefully especially if there are any restrictions on how much of the trip was purchased on the Credit Card, in some cases cover is only provided if the whole cost was purchase using the card. It pays to check all the details.

  • I am a fair weather skier preferring to spend my time in the resort restaurants and bars, I don't ski far enough to need Insurance.
 It's a bit like driving, often the shortest trips turn out to be the more dangerous ones.              Skiing and Boarding is a sport like any and accidents happen. Many will not be your fault but that doesn't make them any cheaper. You can be a great skier/boarder and get taken out by someone else no matter how careful you are. Insurance isn't just for rescue and medical expenses, it provides cover for missed connections, lost/delayed luggage and can compensate you if you are the victim of theft.

There are lots of good Insurance comparison web sites now to help you compare one Policy with another which take out some of the drudgery of selecting a Policy that is right for you and your trip to the snow. As we said at the beginning it's not the most interesting topic but it is important so get a Policy to suit your needs, take care and have a great holiday - no matter what happens!