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Stay safe on the slopes this winter season

November 3, 2016 Insurance No Comments Email Email

Whether ski travellers are hitting the slopes of Niseko, Val d’Isère or Whistler, SureSave is encouraging agents to remind customers to purchase adequate cover.  As a trusted provider of travel insurance among ski specialists, SureSave’s winter sports insurance is specifically designed to cover a wide range of winter activities, including: snow-skiing (on piste and off-piste); snowboarding (on piste and off-piste); cross-country skiing; telemark skiing; tobogganing; and snow-mobiling. SureSave also covers back-country skiing, heli-skiing and cat skiing which is especially popular in Canada.

Talbot Henry, National Sales Director says,

“At SureSave, we know exactly what customers want from their travel insurance and believe that we now offer the best cover on the market for winter sports, as an add-on option.  We tailor each customer’s cover so they only pay for what they need, and provide customers with the most wide-ranging cover possible for those who do require it.  SureSave’s independent research* shows that over 40% of customers are seeking a policy that has a good balance between coverage and price, i.e. best value; followed by 17% who want a policy that offers the best benefits and coverage.”

SureSave’s research also reveals that 30% of travellers still do not view travel insurance as a necessity.  For instance: 9.5% of travellers admit that they rarely or never bother with travel insurance; 13.3% of travellers purchase travel insurance only sometimes, when visiting destinations that might be risky; 3.5% purchase when travelling for more than a week; and 3.8% of travellers make an assessment on the need for travel insurance depending on the type of trip they’re going on, for example business.  These travellers need information and help from their agents.”

“Many travellers think that all travel insurance policies are the same, but this is not the case. For example, not all insurance policies cover off-piste skiing and snowboarding, so it’s important that customers check which activities are covered by their policy, and under which circumstances.  Evacuating and hospitalising an injured skier typically costs tens of thousands of dollars.  In fact, in one case, we paid out $43,000 for a claim for a skier who fractured her hip in Aspen and had to be airlifted to hospital.  It pays to be properly protected.”

SureSave’s add-on option for winter sports includes cover for snow-specific events up to the specified trip limits, including when: your own ski equipment is lost, stolen or damaged; your hire equipment is lost, stolen or damaged; your winter sports equipment is delayed; or the skiing facilities at your resort are completely closed.

“SureSave acknowledges that, when a customer participates in winter sports, things can happen.  For example, in the case that hire equipment is lost, stolen or damaged, even whilst in use, SureSave pays up to $2,000.  Also, if your own equipment is lost, stolen or damaged, or if it’s delayed from arriving, we also pay up to $1,500 to hire equipment.   These are all features of ski cover that are important to our customers.”

Separate to winter sports cover, the policy also provides invaluable benefits of global emergency assistance.  This provides travellers with assistance that includes: locating and communicating directly with medical facilities; organising repatriation; coordinating with embassies; and keeping travellers’ in touch with their family.

Top Tips for Staying Safe on the Slopes:

  1. Wear a helmet – While not a strict necessity, wearing a helmet is the smart choice while on the slopes.
  1. Pay attention to the signs and boundaries – Skiing off-piste or at a very difficult grade might seem like a great idea at the time, but it must be covered by your insurer. Off-piste injuries, while less common than on piste accidents such as collisions, are typically much more serious. Minor injuries can become a huge issue given your isolation and avalanches are much more prevalent.  Avoid skiing alone, and if you are going back-country, go with a registered guide who knows the local conditions.
  1. Think twice about attempting the half-pipe – As tempting as it may be, taking unnecessary risks and attempting aerial tricks in the terrain park may cause your claim to be denied. 
  1. Pay attention to the weather – Different meteorological conditions can lead to different conditions on the slopes. Slushy snow and icy slopes are particularly difficult for skiers and snowboarders and result in more injuries. 
  1. Finally, don’t drink and ski – You will not be covered if you are intoxicated on any substance and injure yourself or others.

*SureSave Travel Insurance Index consists of a survey of 1,000 respondents.

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