The FCO, ABTA and Olympic skier Graham Bell have joined forces to urge Brits to take out travel insurance with winter sports cover in a #Skisafe campaign.
Research from ABTA, in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), shows that 33% of people heading off for a ski holiday fail to check whether they have taken out appropriate insurance for their holiday activities.
Surprisingly, almost half (46%) of the over 55s surveyed said that they never check if they are covered for winter sports.
Over the past 4 years, there have been 58 deaths and 118 hospitalisations in European ski resorts reported to the FCO.
To increase awareness of the importance of preparing properly and buying appropriate travel insurance, the FCO has teamed up with ABTA and five-time British Winter Olympian Graham Bell to provide advice for skiers.
The #SkiSafe campaign ambassador has put together top 10 tips for a safe trip this winter:
- Make sure your insurance policy covers all of the winter sports activities that you are planning to do.
- Remember to take your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) along with you, for necessary treatment at public hospitals in Europe.
- Get fit for the slopes by doing ski-specific exercises that work the quads, glutes, and core. Try to include balance and co-ordination into your work-out.
- If you’re a first time skier, make sure you pick a resort that is suitable and will help you to progress. Look for lots of blue runs, and a beginners’ area close to town.
- Use the right equipment including a properly fitting helmet.
- When you’re on the slopes make sure you are using appropriate safety equipment, and familiarise yourself with the International Ski Federation guidelines so that you don’t put yourself at risk of a collision.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen! You can burn in the mountains even in the middle of winter because of the reflection from the snow.
- Make sure you’ve got appropriate footwear for use off the slopes, or get yourself a pair of rubber snow grips to put over your shoes.
- Keep in mind that alcohol and winter sports don’t mix. The effects of alcohol are multiplied at altitude, so save it for the après-ski.
- If you’re heading out in the evening, make sure to stick together with friends and family. Temperatures can drop dramatically at night, so you don’t want to end up getting lost.
More information, downloadable ski safety checklists and advice is available on the FCO website here.