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Neglecting insurance can be costly for winter skiers

Wednesday 4th December 2013

As Brits embark on winter breaks to snowier climes this season, research from Aviva shows that 15% of winter sports-goers don’t take out the appropriate insurance cover for winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing. Despite this, almost half of snow-lovers admitted to being involved in an accident or a near miss whilst on holiday, resulting in 76% of them needing emergency medical treatment paid for by their insurance.
 
Furthermore, 43% of those surveyed who didn’t buy winter sports insurance said it was because they didn’t think they would ever need it, with 36% wrongly believing that they don’t need insurance if they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and a further 11% simply forgetting to purchase it. Yet when asked if they could afford to pay for any medical treatment themselves, without insurance, 64% of the respondents admitted they couldn’t.
 
The research from Aviva showed that many winter sports fans are unaware of the actual cost of receiving medical treatment abroad for winter sports-related injuries.
 
When asked what they could afford to pay if they needed emergency medical treatment (and didn’t have insurance), the average amount respondents said they could afford was £492 but in fact the average winter sports claim last year was £740 – a difference of £247.
Treatment for extreme injuries, such as a damaged spinal cord, can be very costly. In one actual claim the cost of emergency medical treatment was £31,000.
 
Heather Smith, director of Aviva general insurance, said: “We never like to think about the worst case scenario, especially when going on holiday, but when it comes to winter sports this can be a costly error.”
 
“Even if you consider yourself to be a competent skier remember that mishaps can happen to anyone and the cost of even a minor accident can run to hundreds of pounds.”
 
She added: “It is worth taking the time to make sure you have the right insurance when you book up your winter holiday. It could save a lot of worry and inconvenience should your holiday somehow go off-piste.”
 
              

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