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winter sports travel insurance

On the piste? Have fun, but don’t ski.

On the piste? Have fun, but don’t ski.

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month. And that means it’s a legitimate time to start thinking about Christmas. But before we all head off to get merry, here’s a final word on skiing travel insurance. It’s short and to the point. After reading a report in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph about drunken skiing invalidating claims, we thought we should clarify where we stand with drinking and skiing holidays and travel insurance.

For many, après ski is an important part of the whole experience. And alcohol is very much a part of ski culture. Why wouldn’t it be? But the days of drinking and skiing may be coming to an end. The Telegraph article cites American resorts imposing fines on drunken and dangerous skiers, whilst insurers can refuse to pay out if a skiing accident (or even falling over and injuring yourself on the way back from the pub) is deemed to have been the result of excessive alcohol consumption. This policy exclusion is to protect them against the increased risk of injuries following alcohol consumption.

But what happens if you have been drinking, perfectly legally, and are involved in an accident? Or what about if you are hit by someone else whilst having consumed alcohol? Clarity needed!

So, here’s what World First Winter Sports Travel Insurance’s underwriters had to say:

  1. If the accident is as a result of intoxication / alcohol consumption the claim would not be covered. If the incident has been caused by any external factor / event not related to the consumption of alcohol then the claim may be considered on its own merits taking into consideration any contributing factors. If however it is evident that the claim has been caused as a direct consequence of alcohol ingestion clearly this is strictly excluded as per the policy exclusion.
  2. Clearly the onus is on the client as to whether they want to want to consume alcohol. It goes without saying that we would expect our clients to be mindful and conscious of their alcohol intake. No guarantee can be given of whether any claim is covered until all facts/circumstances are obtained.

The message here is that, whilst there’s nothing to stop you drinking on your skiing holiday, moderation and good sense could save you from a hefty medical bill if you are injured on the slopes. And that includes skiing with a hangover, just as it does with driving the next day after drinking. So, as always, moderation is required. If you’re going on the piste, don’t do it on the slopes. And don't forget your World First Travel Insurance.

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