Insurers: Off-piste skiing

David Woodfield By David Woodfield

Join the Bought by Many off-piste skiers group to get access to a discounted, members-only travel policy.

For some skiing holidays, where the skiing is generally on-piste, the insurance can be relatively straightforward. Most insurers allow you to buy travel insurance with ski cover under a winter sports option. This typically includes coverage for skiing on piste, along with cover for your equipment, piste closures and so on.

However as soon as a more advanced form of skiing is introduced, such as off-piste skiing, things can get complicated with some insurers covering it automatically under the winter sports option and some not. Due to the greater risks of off-piste skiing and the potential costs of rescue, various criteria may be introduced that must be satisfied for the cover to be valid – such as skiing with a guide or skiing within resort boundaries.

It’s unsurprising that many off-piste skiers end up reading policy documentation in great depth or in lengthy conversations with call centre agents who may need to check the details themselves. A search can run into days to make sure that you’re covered and getting a good deal.

We’d prefer to be out on the slopes so to help cut down on the time it might take, we’ve shortlisted a few suppliers below who provide ski insurance with off-piste cover under their Winter Sports option.

Insurers with off-piste skiing cover under their Winter Sports option

  • Columbus Direct offer a policy with standard off-piste cover as long as you remain within resort boundaries. Their cover also includes heli-skiing, cat-skiing, ski touring insurance and snow park skiing insurance so you can cover all your adventurous skiing with one policy. Page 3 of their policy documentation goes into more detail.

  • Ski Club of Great Britain Insurance cover off-piste skiing as well as a host of other winter sports. Their top level of cover (Executive) is expensive, and requires you to be a member of the Ski Club itself which carries a premium too. However, the policy covers heli-skiing, cat-skiing and allows for an unlimited number of days skiing in a year (other policies are usually limited to 17 or 31 days on the slopes per year). See more on page 10 of their docs.

  • Endsleigh Insurance's Winter Sports option has several levels of Winter Sports cover with premiums increasing as riskier activities are included. However, the lowest tier of activity, included as standard in their Winters Sports policies, includes off-piste skiing with a guide. There is a link on the right hand side of their quote page in the FAQ section, which takes you to the list of activities covered.

  • Top Dog Insurance has a comprehensive Winter Sports option that includes cover for off-piste skiing, amongst a range of other activities. Their policy wording (page 6) indicates that they restrict off-piste activity to be within resort boundaries and within local safety guidelines. Forms of racing are almost always excluded, however Top Dog make and exception and will cover you if your competition is part of ski school instruction.

  • Travel Plus cover off-piste skiing within resort boundaries – a good match if you’re just starting to venture into the off-piste world as you’re unlikely to be charging under the boundary ropes just yet! They also, very sensibly, require you to abide by the advice of the local Ski Patrol at all times. Full details the winter sports they cover is on page 13 of their doc.

  • The off-piste skier's group here at Bought by Many provides access to a policy from Explorer Travel at a 10% discount, only available to members. Join the group today to get a quote.

Using off-piste ski insurance

We've looked at 3 of our favourite spots for off-piste skiing and have highlighted policies that cover them. There are many factors for you to consider when getting a policy, not least of which are your specific plans, however our examples may help you navigate the options available

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Have a safe trip!

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