If you were asked the simple question about what you most need for a winter sports holiday, it might be reasonable to insist on some snow.
Actually guaranteeing the weather is not something you might associate with insurance, of course, but there are ways it might offer some compensation and consolation if the snow fails to appear.
Indeed, specialist winter sports insurance – from providers such as Bengo Travel – may offer compensation not only for the lack of snow, but also for too much of it.
Piste closure and avalanches
Certain policy options, for example, allow you to claim compensation for each day your resort formally closes the piste and skiing facilities because of a lack of snow. Although compensation is paid at a daily rate, there is typically a maximum amount you may claim.
On the other hand, if an avalanche brings such an abundance of snow that your arrival at or departure from your chosen winter sports resort is blocked, the insurance may cover the cost of any additional transport required or further accommodation needed – up to a total maximum claim.
Snow board, ski and more
Specialist insurance policies are also more likely to include cover as standard for a wider range of adventurous activities both on and off the slopes – if you choose carefully, you might gain cover for as many as 300 different types of sports and activities.
But it is medical cover which is probably the single most important lynchpin of your winter sports insurance.
These are the kinds of activities that too frequently lead to broken bones – and sometimes high on the slopes and a long way from any immediate help or assistance.
Rescue – even medical evacuation by helicopter, perhaps – the following treatment in hospital and possible repatriation to the UK is all likely to cost a very tidy sum, for which adequate winter sports insurance is going to be prepared.
In pointing out some of the basic safety tips for staying safe on the slopes, government advice underlines your need for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but stresses that this alone is no substitute for proper travel insurance.
Third party liability
It is not only accidents involving yourself that you might need to worry about.
If your actions – or failure to act – lead to the personal injury of someone else, or damage to their property, you may be held liable and ordered to pay a very substantial amount in damages.
For that reason, it is by no means uncommon for public liability insurance to provide for up to £1 million or more of indemnity.
Loss or theft of baggage and belongings
According to the government sponsored Money Advice Service, the average family takes with them on holiday a surprising total of possessions and belongings worth £3,000. Add to this the likely increases for any ski equipment and special clothing you may need, and it is easy to see why winter sports insurance is a prudent safeguard against their loss or theft.