Male skier in bright clothes skiing on a ski slope

Skiing this winter? We look at the best winter sports insurance

Your regular travel insurance might not cut it.

If you’re planning to jet off and partake in some winter sports this year, you’ll need to have a think about what to do in terms of insurance for this trip.

Although you might already have travel insurance or health insurance, it’s highly likely that these won’t stretch to covering any injury to you as a result of skiing, or snowboarding, and you also may not be covered in the event of piste closures etc.

What do I need to think about when shopping for winter sports insurance?

There are a few things to consider when you’re looking for this kind of policy:

  • Are you going to be away on this kind of holiday more than once in the next 12 months? If so, you may well save by opting for an annual policy, rather than a one-off one.
  • What level of cover do you want? Most policies have medical cover of €10 million or more, but there are some budget options out there, too. Remember, while these budget options might save you some money in the short-term, being left without sufficient cover in the event of an accident may not be worth taking that risk.
  • Do you have any other travel insurance already? If so, you could ask your provider if you can top up your existing policy instead of going for a full new one - but be sure to compare prices for doing this. If not, you’ll want to make sure your new policy covers you for the usual things like cancellations, lost baggage etc., as well as the cover for winter sports.

You can normally also add on things like volcanic ash cover, or cover for piste closures.

Who provides winter sports insurance?

There are lots of providers of winter sports in Ireland, including AA, Blue Insurance (as an add-on to a travel insurance policy), coverforyou.ie, InsureandGo, and multitrip.com.

There are also a couple of comparison sites which list all of the insurers in their market, including CompareTravelInsuranceIreland.com and UCompare.ie.

How much does winter sports insurance cost?

How much this costs will depend on a number of things, including:

  • how long your trip is;
  • where you’re travelling to; and
  • whether you want single or multi trip insurance.

According to UCompare.ie, for a short single trip in Europe including winter sports, you could get cover for one person from as low as €19.24. This would include medical cover up to €20 million.

Annual policies start from €24.99, so if you’re taking a couple of trips in the year, think about whether one of these could work out better for you.

Compare Winter Sports Cover

Don’t forget about the excess

Almost all insurance policies have an excess, which is the amount you must pay yourself towards any claim you make on the policy.

Sometimes this can be as low as €1, but it can go up to hundreds of euro, so it’s really important to check this before you sign up. If you don’t have the spare cash to cover the excess, consider paying a little extra for your insurance to get a policy with a low excess.

Make sure you cover yourself

If you’re a frequent skier and have never had any issues, you may feel that winter sports cover is an unnecessary expense. However, the cost of medical expenses in the event of any injury can soon rocket into the thousands, so it may be well worth taking 5 minutes and spending a relatively small amount on a policy now to future-proof against any issues while you’re away.

In addition to this, some tour operators require you to take out this kind of insurance before you head away on a trip that involves winter sports - so make sure you give yourself enough time to shop around and find the best deal.