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Winter sports insurance

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Millions of Brits head off to the slopes every year to enjoy winter sports. But whether you're into skiing or snowboarding, it's important that you have adequate travel insurance in place to cover you up on the mountain.

With single trip and annual cover on offer, which policy is the best to buy for your needs on the slopes?

If you already have an annual travel insurance policy, you should make the effort to read the small print to see if you are actually covered for winter sports and what the conditions are. It might include cover for skiing and snowboarding, for example, but not for more extreme activities such as heli-skiing. And you might not be covered by a standard travel insurance contract if you go “off-piste”. Additionally, annual cover may limit you to a certain number of days a year taking part in winter style activities.

You might also find that a standard policy does not cover items such as sports equipment - or at least not to the level you require to protect your winter sports kit. And the policy might also not cover the loss or theft of your ski pass.

Another consideration is the geographical limits of your annual policy. If you bought it primarily to cover your trips to the Mediterranean during the summer, it might only extend to Europe. But many people visit ski resorts in the United States and Canada, which would mean they would need additional cover.

All this means that, if you are hoping to benefit from the protection of your annual policy when you head to the slopes, you need to drill down into the small print to check for the exclusions and the policy limits. They should be prominent on the document, but if in doubt put in a call to your insurer. 

If you don't have an annual policy, or if your winter sports plans mean your existing policy doesn't provide all the protection you require, you can get specialist single trip winter sports travel cover. You will certainly need to check you have cover for the country you plan to visit and whether you need European cover, USA/Canada or Worldwide protection. And it is important to know whether there are limits on the length of trip - if you are going to be away for more than 15 days, you might need to notify the insurer.

The beauty of a specialist winter sports policy is that it should provide cover for equipment and passes. It might offer you a menu of items, along with various values, so that you can build a policy to cover your particular requirements.

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