Customers skiing straight into sizeable medical bills
As new ABTA research shows, many travel insurance customers believe they are covered for their winter sports holidays, when in fact they are often not. Insurance technology specialist, Aquarium Software calls for greater clarity on policy exclusions. With many accidents on the slopes each year, it is critically important to check whether you are covered for winter sports and other ‘dangerous’ holidays such as skiing and snowboarding, before travelling.
29 percent of people surveyed admitted to never checking whether they are covered in the case of an accident on the slopes. More specifically, the over 55 demographic is most at risk of being blindsided by the lack of communication between policymakers and customers. A significant 38 percent of over 55s do not check they are covered for winter sports as part of their travel insurance. “With the popularity of winter sports holidays soaring each year - with over 1.75 million people expected to take one this year - making sure you check the details of your travel insurance can prevent enormous, avoidable medical bills”, says Aquarium Director, Mark Colonnese. “It is vital that travel insurance companies make customers aware of this growing problem, in order to prevent a perception that the industry is taking the piste on small print,” he added.
The chances of having to claim do increase with winter sports holidays. In fact, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office found that 58 Brits were killed and 118 needed hospital treatments during ski and snowboard holidays in European resorts between 2012 and 2016. As a result, travellers are finding themselves in situations where they assume they are covered by their insurance company, but are in fact not. “The benefits of travel insurance – especially the medical elements – are all too apparent once you need to make a claim in times of emergency. The industry could be perhaps a little better at encouraging uptake of comprehensive travel cover with more positive messaging about the benefits, and be slightly more transparent on the real cost of comprehensive cover for winter sports,” concluded Colonnese.