If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably thinking it’s time for a winter holiday.

Or you may have already booked one and need to check you have the right insurance cover before you go.

Will travel insurance cover me for winter sports?

Travellers sometimes assume they are covered for winter sports as part of their travel insurance, but it is often not the case, meaning thousands of people could be heading to the slopes without any cover. Research from ABTA, the travel trade association, showed that just over one in five (22%) people[1] who have been on a winter sports holiday never check whether they have taken out appropriate insurance for activities like skiing and snowboarding.

You might already have a travel insurance policy, but it’s important to check you have the correct cover when you’re travelling or going on holiday so there are no surprises. Ultimately it means you can relax, as you shouldn’t have any unexpected costs if something does go wrong.

It can cover expenses arising from issues such as:

  • Cancelling or cutting short your trip, if it’s for reasons beyond your control
  • Disruptions such as delays
  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Lost or stolen baggage and possessions

A standard travel insurance policy will usually only cover you for low-risk activities. If you’re one of the UK’s estimated 2.2 million active skiers or snowboarders and are planning a trip to the slopes - or you want to take part in another adventurous winter sport - then you’re likely to need an additional winter sports policy.

What does winter sports insurance cover?

Winter sports insurance, also known as ski insurance, is an add-on to standard travel insurance that offers more comprehensive cover. 

Depending on what policy you choose, from which insurer, it may cover the following activities:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Glacier trekking
  • Tobogganing
  • Sleigh rides
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dogsledding

Some of the more extreme winter sports such as heli-skiing (off-trail, downhill skiing which you access by a helicopter rather than ski lift) or competitive winter sports, may not be covered, in which case you would need further specialist insurance.

Did you know we now offer travel insurance?

If you're planning a winter sports holiday, you can enjoy the extra protection of our optional cover while hitting the slopes.
Find out more about our travel insurance 

It’s important to check individual policies to see if your chosen activity is covered, as they can all vary. Also, aside from the key activities, do check what else is included in your cover. It might include cover for:

  • Replacing equipment, whether you hired it or it belongs to you, such as helmets or skis if lost, damaged or stolen
  • If an avalanche or piste closure prevents you from taking part in winter sports activities or simply results in the resort being closed
  • Medical costs if you injure yourself 
  • Cost of cancelled activities and equipment due to illness or injury
  • Off-piste skiing or snowboarding, although policies may stipulate these must be with a qualified instructor

So, if you’re heading off on an active alpine break, be sure to check your insurance cover before travelling. Unexpected medical costs, in particular can be hugely expensive.

Once you’ve done this, you can relax in the knowledge that you’re covered for the unexpected and focus on getting ready for a fantastic winter escape!

Go to Solved to read more about how to stay covered at home and on your travels.


[1] https://www.abta.com/news/2-5-million-brits-have-taken-slopes-without-ever-having-winter-sports-travel-insurance