Winter holidays are a slippery slope

I’m not ashamed to admit it – I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie!

Nothing beats that feeling of your blood pumping through your veins at full pelt, and the exhilaration of achieving a challenge that really pushes you to the edge.

Snowboarder sliding downhill making powder

Whether it’s scaling the Three Peaks Challenge for charity, running around the amazing Shropshire countryside, or cycling my way round the county’s hills and roads, I can’t resist putting myself to the test.

And to meet my craving for that adrenaline rush, I’ve always fancied the idea of a winter sports holiday – skiing, snowboarding, and even the après ski are all items to be ticked off my bucket list.

So I’ve been watching my friends on their social media accounts since the turn of the New Year, and don’t mind admitting a touch of jealousy when it comes to their winter fun updates.

Mountain top sun view of a group about to start skiingThe excitement of planning a skiing trip and getting totally caught up in the experience of buying the equipment and selecting the best resort must be incredible.

But with my “work hat” on, I also know there are many grey areas for claims if things should ever go wrong.

What if you needed to be rescued from the mountainside? What happens if you lose or damage your rental skis? Or what would happen if the tour operator went bust?

Without the right kind of insurance cover in place, a dream trip could soon turn into a complete nightmare.

And if you’re skiing or boarding in The Alps – or anywhere else in Europe – don’t think that your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will take care of any medical problems that may crop up. The certificate won’t cover you for private medical health care, the cost of being flown back to the UK, or other costs like thefts and cancellations.

Don’t assume either that a travel policy that comes free with your bank account will offer comprehensive cover for winter sports either – buying the right travel insurance tailored to meet your winter holiday needs is essential.

You’ll need to inform your insurer if you have any pre-existing medical conditions and make sure your policy includes sufficient cover for skis and other equipment. Check if you have cover for any gear you’re planning to hire too and for any personal equipment that may get damaged such as your camera or mobile phone. And if you’re planning to go “off piste”, you’ll need special cover for that too.

Skiing and boarding at this time of year is a long-held dream for many of us, but I won’t be going anywhere until I’ve planned for every eventuality just in case it’s all downhill from here on in!

  Dave Williams

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