Enjoying the great outdoors through exciting activities like skiing and snowboarding is a great way to have a fulfilling and fun vacation.
But of course, even if you’re a pro snowboarding athlete, there’s always going to be that element of risk. And not just a risk of personal injury, but also a risk of having your equipment lost or damaged in transit and a risk of weather causing delays or cancellations.
It’s hard to predict what can happen when we travel, which is why travel insurance is crucial. Fortunately, there are travel insurance plans that cover a wide range of situations, from emergency medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation to trip cancellation or trip delay.
Let’s take a look at the types of insurance that can be most beneficial for skiing and snowboarding trips.
Even if you’re Shaun White, there’s always a possibility of injury when snowboarding or skiing. It’s important to have proper medical insurance coverage when hitting the slopes that can help mitigate unforeseen medical costs.
After all, skiing accidents can be expensive, and they’re not always covered by your health insurance. This is especially true when traveling abroad.
Additionally, while most traditional travel insurance policies will cover regular skiing and snowboarding activities, they typically won’t cover hazardous sports and activities like heli-skiing, which means you’ll need to secure travel insurance that specifically covers hazardous sports if that is your intended type of activity.
You’ll find that travel insurance for sports will vary from policy to policy, so if you want to partake in skiing or snowboarding, you’ll need to look for that specific sport in the insurance plan to ensure it isn’t excluded.
What’s included will also vary. Here is some coverage you’ll want in case you’re injured on your trip:
- Medical expenses: This will cover eligible medical costs if you’re sick or injured while skiing or snowboarding.
- Emergency medical evacuation: If you have a serious injury while out on the slopes that requires emergency transportation, like requiring an airlift to a hospital, this type of coverage will cover the very expensive costs involved. It can be especially costly if you need to be evacuated from a remote place that requires traveling a farther distance.
There are other types of coverage you can add, such as repatriation of remains, which would offer coverage in the case of death for your remains to be returned to your home country, but having medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation are the most important ones.
If you’re still unsure if this kind of coverage is necessary if you already have health insurance, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to your health insurance provider to see what exactly is covered.
Lost or Damaged Equipment
Another common type of coverage thrill-seeking snowboarders and skiers can benefit from is a travel insurance policy with baggage benefits. Snowboards and ski equipment aren’t cheap, after all, and there’s always a chance your equipment can be lost, damaged, or even stolen when traveling.
This type of insurance would typically fall under baggage and personal items loss benefits in a travel insurance plan, but as always, read the fine print to ensure this also includes sports equipment.
If you opt for this coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for the lost or damaged equipment up to the amount specified in your policy. If your policy has a $5,000 cap, that means the insurance company will only pay out up to this maximum amount. So be sure you get the right amount of coverage for the equipment you have.
Additionally, some policies will even reimburse you for costs incurred from a personal equipment delay. For example, if your snowboard is delayed for 24 hours or more and you’re forced to rent a snowboard or other gear, you can be reimbursed for that.
Speaking of delays, if you’re planning a skiing or snowboarding winter vacation, it’s very possible there could be snow delays that would prohibit you from traveling to or from your destination.
It’s not uncommon for flights to be canceled due to severe weather in the winter months, when snowstorms or blizzards are common. In this situation where your flight is delayed or even canceled, travel delay insurance could reimburse you for the non-refundable costs incurred from the delay.
For example, if you pre-paid for lift tickets or ski equipment which you can no longer use due to the delay which caused a trip cancellation, you could be reimbursed. You may also be reimbursed for other costs associated with a delay, such as extra meals or hotel accommodations.
Just keep in mind that every travel delay insurance policy comes with stipulations, such as the delay time. Some policies will kick in coverage after a 6-hour delay, while others will require a much longer delay time before providing coverage benefits, like 12 hours or longer.
If you’re purchasing travel delay insurance, always read the policy thoroughly to understand important details like delay time as well as exclusions or policy caps and limits.
Skiing and Snowboarding Trip Cancellation
As with any kind of vacation—skiing, snowboarding, or otherwise—there’s always that possibility that you’ll need to cancel your trip.
There are many unexpected events that could occur, requiring you to cancel your travel plans. You or a family member could be ill, there could be a death in the family, there could be severe weather which causes a flight or cruise cancellation, and so on.
In short, life happens and sometimes our plans are derailed. This is where trip cancellation can save the day (or at least, improve it). After all, when calamity strikes, the last thing you want to worry about is the financial burden of canceling your travel plans.
With trip cancellation, you can be reimbursed for all non-refundable expenses you would otherwise lose out on, such as your flight, pre-booked hotels, ski or snowboarding equipment rentals, lift tickets and so on.
Just remember that, as with any travel insurance policy, there are caveats. Your trip cancellation policy won’t cover everything and not every reason for cancellation is valid. If you get in a fight with your spouse about who’s the better snowboarder and decide to cancel your trip, for example, you won’t be able to cancel for that reason.
To cancel for any reason, you would need to upgrade to a special trip cancellation policy which would give you that flexibility at a higher cost. Even with this policy, however, there are still typically stipulations, like no cancellations within 48 hours, for example. So read your policy thoroughly.
Gearing up for a thrilling snowboarding or ski adventure? Do yourself a favor and get the right travel insurance coverage for you. Whether it’s a super flexible “cancel for any reason” policy or a standard comprehensive policy, the important thing is to give yourself peace of mind so you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Outdoor recreational vacations can be costly—with equipment rentals, ski lifts, and so on—so be sure to protect your investment.
You can get a quick quote online at TravelInsurance.com by filling out some basic information, such as your estimated trip cost, trip destination, and trip dates. Compare plans from multiple travel insurance companies, view various policies that are affordable and beneficial for your travel plans and buy online at the guaranteed lowest price.
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