Winter Sports Insurance Guide

What is winter sports insurance?

If you are heading skiing or snowboarding, you want to protect yourself in the event of any injury, so you can relax and enjoy your time on the slopes. Read our guide to choosing the winter sports insurance to suit your needs.

Winter sports insurance is primarily designed to ensure you are protected should you suffer a medical emergency or your holiday has to be cancelled. However, you can extend policies to cover winter sports equipment; lost or stolen ski passes; and transfer to other slopes if your normal piste is closed because of an avalanche or lack of snow.

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Karl Scott, boat insurance articles authorKarl Scott is a respected leader with nine years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including military, boat, pleasure craft, private car and cycle, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.


Do I need winter sports insurance?

If you are out on the slopes skiing, snowboarding, or trying other winter sports, there is a real risk of injury, and as you will probably not be covered by standard holiday insurance you will need winter sports cover.

The average cost of winter sports insurance is not excessive, but the cost of treatment for a severe accident while out on the slopes can be in the thousands. It therefore makes sense to be covered should the worst happen.

What does winter sports insurance cover?

Personal liability cover as part of winter sports insurance meets the cost of compensation claims made against you if you’re held responsible for causing injury to a person, or damage to property. A minimum cover of £2m for medical expenses and £1m for personal liability is worth investing in, including rescue from a mountain and travel expenses back to the UK.

Things to consider when choosing your winter sports insurance

Cover for off-piste skiing is not usually included as standard, so make sure you add it in if you plan to go off-piste. Similarly, if you want to try out  related activities such as tobogganing, snowmobiling, ice skating, heli-sking, using the snowpark, skiing in the wilderness without a guide or paraskiing, you will need to find a policy that will include these as additional cover.

If you own or hire expensive skiing kit, and want loss, theft or damage cover for it, you may also need to add this as an extra.

There are also sometimes age limits relating to winter sports insurance policies. Many charge more to insure people over 65, or will not insure them at all.  

Furthermore, if you have any medical conditions, tell the insurer. If you fail to declare a pre-existing condition and later make a related claim, your policy will not cover you and you will have to foot the bills yourself. It might add to your insurance cost, but having to stump up an extra £50 now is better than having insurance claims rejected because of something you didn’t disclose.

As with all insurance policies, if you are unsure if anything is covered check your policy documents carefully or speak to your insurance adviser.

What does winter sports insurance exclude?

  • Injury when not wearing a helmet: It is compulsory in most ski resorts for children to wear helmets, but it’s still a matter of personal preference for adults. However, most insurance policies require a helmet to be worn, even if it's an unrelated injury such as a broken leg.
  • Liability when failing to follow local rules: if you continue to ski against local authoritative advice you will invalidate your winter sports insurance. Always follow the local dos and don'ts for pistes and snowboarding parks.
  • Skiing when not sober: There is a grey area around how much alcohol is acceptable where insurance and winter sports are concerned. If a doctor or other specialist treating you after an injury reports that you have injured yourself while being too drunk to ski safely, your claim will be declined

Military winter sports insurance from Towergate

Towergate can cover military personnel for trips to the slopes around the world. For more information, visit our dedicated military winter sports insurance webpage or call us 0330 123 2249 to speak to a specialist adviser.