Whether you're a competitive professional, just skiing for fun, or picking up a snowboard for the very first time, there's one thing you shouldn't hit the slopes without: travel insurance that includes coverage for skiing and snowboarding.

The National Ski Areas Association estimates that about 50 million people will head to snowy destinations for winter sports each season. And although these activities can be especially fun—and many ski resorts take particular care in their safety rules and regulations—accidents, injuries and deaths still occur.

Researchers at John Hopkins University approximate that about 600,000 people are hurt while snowboarding and skiing every year. There are about 38 fatalities annually.

Even the most experienced skiers or snowboarders can run into dangerous trails or unexpected weather conditions. If you're injured on a mountain or cross country trail during a trip abroad, getting the medical assistive services you need can be difficultnot to mention expensive. In these cases, winter sports insurance that provides specialized coverage for skiing or snowboarding is a smart investment.

Why you need a travel insurance plan for winter sports

If you're preparing for a ski trip, one of the last things you may think about is insurance. However, there are a few key reasons to add ski insurance to your packing list:

  • Your regular insurance may not provide adequate coverage. Even if you have a top-notch, regular health insurance policy, it may not provide the type of coverage you need during travel. Many plans only support coverage in policyholders home countries, so a trip to an international ski resort could mean that you're left without coverage.
  • You need ski trip insurance or snowboard insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation coverage. The travel insurance plan you choose must include coverage for emergency assistive services, as well as more traditional medical expenses. This way, your travel health insurance has you covered should you be injured and need emergency medical evacuation.

  • While injuries are on the decline, you can't predict every accident. Current stats show that accidents resulting in injury on the slopes have decreased by about 50% over the past few decades (currently, there are about 2 injuries for every 1,000 skier visits). However, accidents are unpredictable, and its best to have the coverage for these instances, just in case.

  • Top skiing and snowboarding destinations:

    • Cortina d'Ampezzo Resort, Italy
    • Niseko, Japan
    • The Swiss Alps, Switzerland
    • Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
    • Vail Mountain, Colorado, U.S.A.

    What to know about buying a policy

    There are a few key elements to understand ahead of purchasing a policy for skiing or snowboarding:

    • Coverage may be included with a travel insurance plan: Coverage varies for these types of policies, and is often included within travel insurance. This type of coverage is beneficial, as it typically not only encompasses skiing or snowboarding injuries, assistive services and emergency medical evacuation, but some plans also cover the acute onset of pre-existing conditions as well. If you're worried about having to cancel your trip, though, you'll need a separate trip insurance policy.
    • Conditions and exclusions apply: For instance, some policies don't include coverage for more extreme winter sports (like glacier skiing). Others have state of residency requirements, and may only cover U.S. citizens traveling abroad, or non-U.S. citizens heading to the States for snowboarding and ski trips.
    • Check that your plan offers the right health insurance: Many plans provide emergency medical and assistive services up to a certain amount (a $100,000 policy maximum, for example). Make sure your plan provides adequate coverage for your trip.

    Check out our available skiing and snowboarding insurance below, and connect with us at VisitorsCoverage for help choosing the best plan for your next ski or snowboarding trip.

    CA-G

    CoverAmerica - Gold

    Seven Corners
    Plan Highlights
    • Coverage for recreational downhill and/or cross country skiing and snowboarding
    • Emergency evacuation coverage
    • Comprehensive coverage plan
    • Only available for non-US citizens
    AA

    Atlas America

    Tokio Marine HCC MIS Group
    Plan Highlights
    • Coverage for recreational downhill and/or cross country skiing and snowboarding
    • Emergency evacuation coverage
    • Comprehensive coverage plan
    • Only available for non-US citizens
    DA

    Diplomat America

    Global Underwriters
    Plan Highlights
    • Optional hazardous sports rider provides coverage for recreational skiing and snowboarding
    • Emergency evacuation coverage
    • Comprehensive coverage plan
    • Only available for non-US citizens