If you have managed to set aside just enough money to take your family on vacation at a ski resort this year, then don’t forget about purchasing the right insurance policy. Winter sports like skiing or snowboarding are incredibly fun, but accidents can and will happen.

Therefore, in case you don’t intend to stay indoors for the rest of the vacation in order to avoid potential injuries that may not be covered by your travel insurance policy, you should consider buying winter sports coverage. Before you can understand the value of the policy in discussion, let’s first find out exactly what the dangers of the slopes involve.

Frequent winter sports accidents  

Tourists who ski at beginner level most commonly sprain their wrists or dislocate a shoulder after a nasty fall. Based on the severity of the incident, the medical expenses that include transportation to the hospital, X-ray/MRI scans and/or surgery vary between $1,500 and $3,000. A broken leg necessitates helicopter or wagon transportation, the same medical imaging, surgery and overnight medical care, adding up to $10,000.

Minor back injuries are even more expensive than a broken leg, whereas the price of treatment for head trauma (including intensive care, chopper ride, recovery, etc.) is through the roof – $60,000 to $100,000. In addition to your own medical expenses, you have to take into account the possibility that you might bump into another skier who could take you to court for personal liability. In the light of these facts, you simply cannot afford to ignore the winter sports coverage.

Vacation insurance packages  

Typically, you will be able to purchase a comprehensive vacation plan that consists of:

  • Trip cancellation reimbursement
  • Loss of baggage
  • Medical treatment
  • Emergency evacuation and transport

However, there is no guarantee that all these clauses are present in the insurance policy other than reading it thoroughly. Moreover, while features like trip cancellation reimbursement/baggage loss are very convenient additions to the coverage, they are not nearly as important as the medical expenses. To put it simply, in case the traveling insurance does not include the latter category of clauses or lists winter sports like skiing or snowboarding as exceptions because the insurer views these activities as dangerous, the policy is inadequate.

It is also necessary to mention that the coverage may or may not include the expenses related to sports equipment damaged in a potential accident. As of such, if you own or you have rented very costly winter sports equipment, make sure your policy has it covered.


As previously mentioned, you might not receive reimbursement for the medical expenses if the type of injury you have suffered is mentioned in the exclusion list. For instance, certain policies don’t have coverage for accidents that occur off-slope, even though they are ski-related.

Alternatively, some insurance policies mandate participating in winter sports under the supervision of a professional trainer, mainly for beginners. At the same time, while skiing on easy/intermediate difficulty slopes may be covered, the same does not apply for expert-level courses. In conclusion, make sure that the type of winter sports you plan to engage in this holiday and its associated potential risks are included in your insurance package. Above all, have a fun traveling time!

About The Author

An expat from Florida living in Bangkok with his wife and children, Chad started out as an English teacher in Thailand and is now a professional content writer working remotely from paradise.

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