Are You Fully Prepared for a Break on the Slopes?

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Direct Line warns UK winter sports fans to make sure they have sufficient cover before setting off to the airport

With over 1.1 million people from the UK expected to take part in winter sports this year*, travel, home and car insurance specialist Direct Line warns travellers who aim to save money by going uninsured, they could be in for a shock if they have an accident.

A common injury on the slopes, such as a lower limb fracture, would result in private clinic surgery costs of up to £5,000. Additionally there could be a further £2,000 in costs for helicopter mountain rescue. Wrist, knee and lower limb damage are the most common injuries seen on the slopes with average medical costs ranging from £750 - £1,500**.

Annette Fox, spokesperson for Direct Line travel insurance, says: "People need to be more aware of the costs associated with winter sports when the worst happens. With enthusiasts becoming more adventurous on the slopes, it is important they have winter sports and medical expenses insurance cover, for whatever type of activity they plan to do."

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), formally know as the E111, is essential when travelling in Europe as it gives access to healthcare. However, it is not a travel insurance replacement and may not cover all that could be required, such as long-term treatment. Even less severe cases, such as having a broken leg may result in medical repatriation becoming necessary as airlines may not be able to fully accommodate the injured with the extra room required. This would result in further costs which can run into thousands of pounds and is not covered by the EHIC.

Direct Line travel insurance policies will cover a flight to get a patient back home or, if necessary, fly them to the nearest suitable medical facility for emergency treatment, before arranging a homeward journey.

Travellers should be aware that there are other elements of medical care that could be required, resulting in further costs. For example, an intensive care ambulance used for medical repatriation for serious cases such as head injuries can cost, on average, up to £10,000 from Geneva to London. It's even more important for those taking part in winter sports outside of Europe to ensure they have adequate cover, as a serious accident could see costs reach £45,000 for an air ambulance from Calgary (Canada) to London.

For further information, please contact:

Tom Wicks
Direct Line Press Office
Tel: 0208 290 3069

Notes to Editors:
*According to the Ski Club of Great Britain: http://www.skiclub.co.uk
** Direct Line internal claims data

Direct Line winter sports cover includes:

  • £5 million medical expenses cover
  • Loss of hired ski equipment up to £500
  • Lost ski passes and fees up to £250 for unused or part of passes, hire or tuition fees for which you can't get a refund due to: accident or sickness, pass is lost or stolen or the resort closes completely
  • Evacuation from the slopes on medical grounds
  • Piste closure up to £20 per day to a total of £200

In addition the standard policy benefits include the following:

  • Airline and end suppliers failure cover (A new feature of the policy, fills the gap in consumer protection relating to end suppliers of holidays for direct bookings which may fall outside of the Governments ATOL (Air Tour Operators Licence) and has been included on all Direct Line Travel Insurance Policies)
  • Loss or damage to personal belongings
  • Delayed or missed departure
  • Personal money up to £500
  • Personal accident

Other services which Direct Line travel insurance polices will provide that the EHIC won't include are:

  • Advice to the nearest suitable medical facility
  • Translation facilities
  • English doctors if necessary for telephone consultation

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, travel, pet and home insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line is part of RBS Insurance, the second largest general insurer in the UK and is wholly owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3564 or visiting http://www.directline.com

Direct Line Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered office: 3 Edridge Road, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1AG. Registered in England and Wales no. 01810801. The Financial Services Authority's Register can be accessed through http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register

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