We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

Piste of mind: Skiers urged to ensure they’re covered against snowballing medical bills

  • Case studies show claims as high as £90,000
  • Use of an air ambulance alone can add £10,000 to the bill

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed the true cost of winter sports-related claims, varying from £1,000 to as much as £90,000. More than 6 million* Brits choose the slopes for their winter trips so it’s vital that you make sure you have the right cover included in your travel insurance. With adverse weather and extreme snowfall in the Alps, it’s never been more important to make sure that you and your family are fully protected against the worst case scenario.

The Winter Olympics are just 4 weeks away so ski holidays are likely to be more popular than ever, but having an accident ‘on piste’ without the right cover would send your holiday spiralling downhill. ABTA recently estimated that as much as a third* of people do not check whether their travel insurance covers winter sports before heading up the mountain so the ABI urges holidaymakers not to put your skis on before you’re absolutely sure you have the right insurance in place.

The warning comes as the Association publishes details of recent claims, demonstrating the sometimes calamitous costs of a winter sports injury:

  • One holidaymaker had a serious fall, fracturing their rib and puncturing a lung. The accident lead to a 14-day stay in hospital and required a doctor escort on their flight back to the UK. The entire claim cost £90,000.
  • One young skier, who travelled to his resort by coach, damaged a knee ligament on the slopes. Following hospital treatment, he was unable to travel home by coach so his insurer paid out £3,823 to cover the medical costs and an alternative flight home.
  • A customer fell over whilst skiing in America and broke their wrist. One night in-patient treatment and surgical intervention was required, resulting in a total cost of £38,000, covered by the insurer.

Mark Shepherd, Assistant Director, Head of Property, Commercial and Specialist Lines at the ABI says:

“With thousands of ski-related injuries happening every year, dedicated winter sports insurance cover is essential for anyone thinking of skiing or indeed snowboarding this winter. Without the right cover, consumers could be on a slippery slope to a major financial headache and these case studies demonstrate just how serious the repercussions of uninsured snow sports could be.”

Some of the typical costs if you break a bone up the mountain include: £8-12,000 medical costs; £600 mountain rescue and; £2,000 for transfers or flights. However, the requirement of an air ambulance can add an additional £10,000 to the bill.

Those going on a ski holiday wear goggles, jackets and gloves to protect against the cold. In the same way, the ABI encourages everyone jetting off to the mountains to check you have the right insurance to protect against snowballing medical bills as high as £90,000.




Notes for Editors

*Statista research: https://www.statista.com/statistics/660546/europe-number-of-people-skiing-by-country/

**Abta research: https://abta.com/about-us/press/over-55s-are-least-likely-to-check-they-have-winter-sports-insurance


1. Enquiries to:
Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667
Sarah Cordey                           020 7216 7375    Mobile: 07860 189071
Dominic Stannard                     020 7216 7350    Mobile: 07889  641702
Melanie Fernandes                   020 7216 7660    Mobile: 07720497617


2. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.


3. An ISDN line is available for broadcast


4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

Last updated 15/01/2018