Protection on the Piste


Posted in General on 28 January 2014

The recent terrible accident Michael Schumacher suffered has highlighted the fact that no matter how good you are at skiing, winter sports can pose a high potential risk in terms of injuries.

Despite this, recent research by Aviva, has shown that nearly 1 in 7 people head to the slopes without the appropriate travel insurance.

The research also highlighted that many skiers and snowboarders mistakenly believe that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will provide them with the necessary protection.

The EHIC will only cover you for emergency medical treatment in a state hospital with the same benefits that a local would receive; it would not cover you, for instance, for rescue from the mountain, if you were unfortunate enough to have an accident.

Similarly the EHIC would not cover you for medical repatriation back to the UK, if it were required.

Below are approximate costs associated with some common injuries suffered by skiers or snowboarders.

  France Austria USA
Medical Treatment      
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Damage £5,000-£8,000 £5,000-£8,000 £10,000
Broken Leg (Lower leg) £6,000 £6,000 £20,000
Broken Wrist £3,000 £3,000 £5,000-£6,000
       
Piste Rescue      
Ski Patrol Stretcher Rescue £300-£400 £300-£400 £2,000
Helicopter Rescue £2,000 £2,000 £10,000-£20,000
       
Repatriation Costs      
Upgrade to Business Class (Leg Injuries) £2,000 £2,000 £4,000-£5,000
Additional Economy seat (Wrist injuries)     £1,200

Source: Healix

As you would expect medical treatment costs in the USA are much higher than in the UK. Whilst the EHIC card is designed for treatment in a state hospital in Europe, some private clinics near ski resorts may accept it, so it is worth taking it with you.

Piste rescue costs are also more expensive in the States as hospitals tend to be further away from the slopes.

For more information on the cover available see our Ski Travel Insurance page.

We’ve created a handy infographic to help you understand the results of the survey.

 

For more information on the cover available see our Ski Travel Insurance page.

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