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Ski Insurance Guide

30 October, 2018 By Carolina Tran

Ski Travel Insurance That’ll Make You King Of The Hill!

Snow – what fun! While a winter wonderland can make for a fun holiday adventure, it can quickly become a cold weather catastrophe. Did you know that injury rates in Aussie snowfields can range anywhere between 1.5 and 3.9 injuries per 1000 visitor days? might not be able to stop you falling on the slopes, but we can help you get the right policy for your next winter holiday. With us, at least your savings won’t take a shreddin’ should you have an accident while out on the slopes!

Most insurers have restrictions on winter sports activities, but adding a winter sports package or taking out a specific ski policy with an insurer means you can leave for your next holiday with the right cover.

Our ski insurance comparison compares a heap of top insurers with policies designed especially for skiers and snowboarders so that you can rise and glide worry free!

What’s In A Ski Insurance Policy?

Before you get your snow bunny on and start hopping down the mountain you’ll want to know what’s covered by your policy. In addition to the usual stuff covered by a standard travel insurance policy (like cover for your luggage, travel delays, cancellation, personal liability and waaaay more), a winter sports package will cover you for emergency evacuation from the slopes to nearest hospital, as well as medical treatment, equipment hire, piste closure, bad weather and ski pack benefits.

An avalanche is snow place to be, so before you eat some powder it’s important to consider:

  • Medical treatment: The cost of a ski injury can be scarier than the steepest black run. A winter sports policy will cover hospital and medical costs you incur while you’re travelling.
  • Emergency rescue: Winter sports comes with its fair share of risks, and injures tend to be quite common. A helicopter ride off a snowy mountain in Europe could set you backwards of A$15,000. And in Canada you’re looking at a whopping bill of $40,000! Most insurers will cover medical evacuation to the nearest hospital, or depending upon the seriousness of the injury, back home.

    What about emergency rescue at home? Did you know if you needed helicopter rescue in Australia it could cost as much as $5,000 in NSW? Whether by road or air, Medicare does not cover the cost of ambulance services! A road ambulance from the ski fields to the nearest hospital would cost you over $500 whilst a trip from your snow resort to the nearest major hospital would set you back more than $1,000. Whilst a private health insurance policy would cover the cost of ambulance services, you may not be covered when you’re in other states. For instance, GHMBA health insurance holders in NSW, ACT, Queensland or Tasmania would only be covered for ambulance within their home states. On the other hand, your ski policy would reimburse these costs of emergency transfer or evacuation from any operating ski resort in Australia.
  • Luggage and equipment hire: Ski equipment is expensive to replace or repair. If your equipment is worth more than $700, most insurers will cover you provided you specify the individual items. Not only are you covered for your own luggage and equipment but you may also be covered for the cost to hire alternative equipment so you don't miss out on snow fun time on the slopes.
  • Ski pack reimbursement: Reimbursement for unused prepaid passes, lift passes, equipment hire and ski lessons if you get sick, are injured or your ski pass is stolen.
  • Piste closure: A ski policy will typically cover you for travel to an alternative location or offer compensation if your pre-booked resort is closed.
  • Bad weather and avalanche closure: Cover for your out of pocket expenses in the event of adverse weather conditions cancellation. If you don't have a special snow sports policy, this may not be covered by the standard cancellation protection.

Who covers what?

*Please note, in most cases you are ONLY covered with the addition of a winter sports add-on*

Insurer Off piste Heli Skiing Professional Underwriter Buy Now
yes yes no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
no no no AIG Australia Limited
no no no Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
yes yes no Auto & General Services Pty Ltd
yes no no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
no no no Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
no no no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
no no no Zurich Australian Insurance Limited
yes yes no Hollard Insurace Company Pty LTd
yes yes no Mitsui Somotomo
no no no Certain underwriters at LLoyd's
no no no Chubb Insurance Australia Limited
no no no Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
no no no Chubb Insurance Australiia Limited
no no no Southern Cross
no no no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
yes yes yes Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
yes yes no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
yes no no Pacific International Insurance Pty Ltd 
no no no Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
no no no Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
yes yes no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's
no no no Allianz Australia Insurance Limited
yes yes no Certain underwriters at Lloyd's

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

What's Not Covered?

You don’t want to be a dope on the slope, so if you’re planning on getting gnarly, ensure your planned snow fun activities are covered!

Don’t eat any powder until you consider the following:

  • Travelling out of season: An early or late snow dump can be awesome but many insurers don’t cover you when you travel out of season. Be sure to check the dates with your insurer.
  • Out of bounds: A few specialist insurers will cover you off-piste, provided you stay within resort boundaries. But ducking under the resort boundary ropes for some backcountry skiing will not be covered. (Keep scrolling to see our table showing who-covers-what.)
  • Under the influence: Après is part of the fun on a winter holiday, but remember claims won’t be paid if an accident is deemed to be the result of excessive alcohol or caused while under the influence of drugs. Pass the butterscotch snaps please!
  • High risk activities - If you're planning on getting gnarly, check that your planned activities are covered.

Calling All Adrenaline Junkies

You know who you are – even the black runs are too tame for you! While most insurers offer cover for recreational skiing and snowboarding, this doesn’t always mean skiing off-piste, cross country, or backcountry is covered. Other higher risk winter sports activities that may not be covered can include heli-skiing, cat-skiing, snowmobiling or lugeing.

But it’s not a complete wipe out. The good news is we’ve done the hard work for you. To make life easier, we investigated 26 Aussie travel insurers to show you who-covers-what is one handy table. Yippee!

Professional Off Piste

Are you entering a competition looking for professional ski insurance? Whizz over to our pro-ski guide for more information.

Understand The Jargon

Technical isn’t limited to your adventure clothes and gear! It’s important to consider the technical definitions of your insurance too, especially when it comes to risky business on the slopes. What your insurer considers skiing off-piste for example, might differ from your idea!

As far as travel insurance goes, skiing (or snowboarding) off-piste is when you ski in ungroomed and unmarked slopes or pistes. This includes skiing in unmarked or unpatrolled areas, either inside or outside of ski resorts boundaries. (more often than not “inside” the boundaries is still considered “off-piste”)

Lucky for you thrill-seekers and powder-hounds, there are a few companies that cover for off-piste activities, but the majority of insurers specify that you must remain WITHIN the resort boundaries, and be with a professional instructor. (NOTE: This doesn’t mean your best mate who has been working in a bar for the past five seasons and thinks he’s/she’s a pro. This means an instructor who has undergone training and is the holder of a backcountry security award and a holder of the backcountry and mountain safety qualification).

Our Top 5 Tips For Finding The Best Ski Insurance Policy For You

With you wont need the chair lift to get a birds eye view of insurance policies. In an already flooded market of options, we help you find the best policy for your upcoming wintery holiday!

To help you pick the best policy here are our top 5 tips to consider when comparing snow policies:

1. Don’t buy on price alone: Don’t just buy the first and cheapest ski insurance policy you come across. Each insurer’s price and policy features will vary dramatically, so it pays to compare and see if you can get more cover at a better price (we’ve highlighted some of the best below). You should compare the different insurer’s prices with the level of cover you want, your destination (some insurers destinations are more expensive than others), your length of trip and the types of activities they cover.

2. Group discounts: If you’re going on a holiday with your mates or family see if you can get a discount for a group or family policy.

3. Pre-existing medical conditions: If you have any pre-existing medical conditions make sure you tell your insurer. Travel insurers will have a list of medical conditions they will and won’t cover. The insurer’s policy documentation (known as PDS) will give you a full list. If you don’t tell the insurer your medical conditions when you buy the policy and then become ill, your claim may be refused.

4. Check your destination is covered: Make sure your destination of choice in covered under your policy as some policies will only cover you at peak times throughout the year.

5. Are you a frequent skier? If you’re forever chasing white powder you should consider an annual multi-trip policy. You’ll save yourself time and money while following the ski seasons around the world, although trip durations do apply so make sure to check the PDS.

Who Offers The Most Cover At The Best Price?

You don’t have to be a world champion skier like Alisa Camplin to get the best policy.

Below you’ll see the most competitively priced ski policy options listed on for someone aged between 20 – 60 years, going on a 2-week worldwide trip.

Comprehensive cover: Fast Cover Comprehensive with Snow Cover at $115.90* offers the most cover at cheapest price (on our site). The policy includes: unlimited medical and emergency rescue, unlimited cancellation, $5 million personal liability, $7,500 luggage, $2,000 delay expenses, $1,500 own equipment cover, $1,000 piste closure, $750 resort closure, $1,500 equipment hire, $750 for your ski pack and more!

Mid-level cover: Slightly more expensive than the policy above, but still decent mid-range cover is the Columbus Direct Standard with Ski policy at $126.00*. The policy includes: $12.5 million medical and emergency rescue, $10,000 cancellation, $50,000 personal liability, $6,000 luggage, $500 delay expenses, $750 own equipment cover, $500 piste closure, $750 resort closure, $500 equipment hire, $500 for your ski pack and more!

Basic level cover: Insure and Go’s Bare Essentials with Winter Sports at $92.99* is the cheapest snow policy on our site. The policy includes: unlimited medical and emergency rescue, $1.5 million personal liability, $2,000 luggage, $250 delay expenses, $1,250 own equipment cover, $500 piste closure, $600 resort closure, $500 equipment hire and $600 for your ski pack.

*Prices correct at time of writing May 2015.

Only skiing for a few days?

Most insurers require you to buy ski insurance for the entire duration of your trip, even if you're only on the slopes a small portion of your holiday. This can really ramp up the cost of your policy, especially if you're headed overseas for an extended period.

However, Travel Insuranz and Insure4Less let you select your ski dates and add cover just for the days you need. So you can have peace of mind knowing you're covered on the slopes, whilst saving a few pennies in the meantime!

Snowboarding Your Thing?

So you consider yourself a Torah Bright, well don’t forget to pack your snowboard insurance before hitting the slopes.

Snowboarding insurance is just the same as ski insurance and covers you for your snowboard hire, ski pack, your lift pass and even bad weather and more! Find the perfect policy for your snowy trip by using our comparison so you can rise and glide with peace of mind!

Need A Lift?

Before you shoop shoop it’s vital to read the policy wording (PDS) to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Remember the level of cover and exclusions varies between insurers, so check it out to suss out what’s the deal with your chosen cover. And if there’s something you don’t understand you can contact the provider directly.

Compare Ski Insurance Online And Save Money!

When you know what you’re looking for, comparing is easy! As your white powder specialist you can compare ski quotes easily and find the best policy for your trip. Comparing online with us will give you the same competitive price as going direct – but without the leg work of shopping around. Save your strength for the slopes! Compare and buy in one place with the click of a button.

Save time, worry and loads of money when you compare ski insurance online, leaving you plenty of time for powdered fun!


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Contributor Carolina

Carolina Tran

Carolina has been working exclusively in the travel insurance industry for over two years. With a customer consultancy background and currently studying law, she is a fine-print wizard who loves helping travellers find a policy that actually works for them. Speaking two languages and having travelled all over the world, Carolina discovered that she is not cut out for working holidays after a stint on her grandparents’ southern Vietnam farm, and is definitely a lounge-by-the-pool kind of lady.

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