Are winter sports travellers risking too much?

Winter sports
Winter sports holidays and travel insurance

Top travel insurance advice from HolidayExtras.com

With one in five holidaymakers leaving the country without any travel insurance at all*, HolidayExtras.com is urging winter sports enthusiasts to buy the right kind of cover for their trip this season.

From minor breaks or losing ski gear to the worst case scenario – being helicoptered off a mountain – winter sports insurance from the UK’s market-leading add-ons provider is one travel extra holidaymakers can’t afford to be without.

Insurance from HolidayExtras.com covers winter sports enthusiasts for up to 90% of the purchase price for lost, stolen or accidental damage to equipment and up to £100 for hire equipment.

Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ice-skating, natural disaster such as avalanche, piste closure and ski passes are all covered, with medical expenses of up to £5,000,000. And children aged up to 17 travel free with an insured adult.

Customers may also extend their policy to cover additional activities such as ice sailing/ice windsurfing, skidoo and snow mobiling, at an additional cost.

Andrea Clayton, Head of Insurance and Travel Trade Partnerships for HolidayExtras.com, said: “Far too many travellers mistakenly believe that their European Health Insurance card will cover them for accidents or that the Government will pay out if they need to be flown home in an emergency. Unfortunately this is not the case, and you are risking serious damage to yourself as well as your finances if you do not budget for this travel essential.

“The good news is, it’s fast and hassle-free to book holiday insurance with HolidayExtras.com and you know you’re getting the best deal for the policy you need.”

Andrea’s top tips for buying holiday insurance this winter:

1 Check the levels of cover
It is essential to check three main areas of cover: cancellation cover, medical expenses, and baggage and personal belongings.

Cancellation cover

Advertised on a per person basis, this should always be equal to the total cost of your entire holiday, including all additional expenses such as car and equipment hire.

Medical expenses

Medical cover will almost always be offered as a figure somewhere in the millions. However, it is unlikely that you will need more than £1 million per person.

Baggage and personal belongings

Always ensure that you know the replacement value of the items you take on holiday. Items classed as valuables will always have a limit. That’s why if you are taking items over this limit you should check your home contents policy. Often it can prove most cost-effective to add them here.

2 Always check exclusions
It will come as a surprise to many that some policies do not automatically offer cancellation cover or medical expenses. In fact, the only legal requirement for a travel insurance policy is that there is some form of cover for personal belongings.

It is important to carefully check the wording on travel insurance offered free with bank accounts and credit cards. If you don’t have a copy of wording, you won’t know how to claim or who to call in an emergency. Therefore, make sure you know the 24-hour contact number.

3 Sporting activities
If you plan to take part in sporting activities while on holiday, including winter sports, check your policy wording clearly for the activities you are pursuing, since all policies follow different criteria.

4 Don’t be fooled by cheap prices
Prices vary considerably, but many low cost policies will not cover travellers aged over 50 or those with pre-existing medical conditions. Look out also for special offers such as children travel free – some such policies even cover travellers up to the age of 18.

If you travel more than twice a year, favour long-haul destinations or participate in winter sports, an annual policy will represent the best value for money.

Certain family cover policies enable everyone to travel independently, providing the utmost flexibility for family holidays, weekend breaks and school trips.

For more information on HolidayExtras.com’s range of travel insurance products go to www.holidayextras.com/holiday-insurance or call 0800 171 000.

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Notes to editors

HolidayExtras.com has won a number of awards for its travel insurance, including Best Travel Insurance Provider in the Travel Weekly Golden Globe Awards 2011.

Skiing (off-piste but on recognised and authorised areas only), skiing (on-piste/glacier), snowboarding (off-piste but on recognised and authorised areas only), tobogganing, and ice-skating (outdoor), are all covered as standard by HolidayExtras.com’s winter sports policy.

*2011 ABTA Consumer Trends survey:

“One in five, 20% of travellers, are still running the risk of sky high medical bills when travelling abroad through not taking out travel insurance in spite of recent high profile cases highlighting the significant risks of doing so to both health and finances.”

“17% also believe that travel insurance is unnecessary when travelling in Europe if they have a European Health Insurance Card which provides access to basic state medical care and a further 26% mistakenly believe that an EHIC card will cover their repatriation costs if they fall ill or have an accident and have to be flown back to the UK.”

We take the hassle, you take the holiday…

For more information contact
Helen.gillilan@holidayextras.com

01303 816 335

Holiday Extras is the UK number one for pre-booked airport hotels and airport parking, taking bookings for over 6.8 million travellers each year. Holiday Extras’ customer service has been recognised in the National Business Awards shortlist for Customer Focus and the Online Retail Awards. In January 2011, the company was listed in Which? magazine’s top five One Click Wonders, easy-to-use travel websites. A record-breaking 99.88% of customers are satisfied with Holiday Extras’ products and service.

The company offers a wide choice of holiday add-ons including airport lounges, airports by rail, London theatre breaks, UK theme park breaks, and holiday insurance. For more information and to book please visit www.holidayextras.com