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Does ski insurance cover off-piste?

Hey there adrenaline junkie - so even the black runs are too tame for you hey? If you're planning on getting gnarly on the slopes, check that your planned activities are covered before you go hitting that untouched powder!

Most insurers offer cover for recreational skiing and snowboarding when you’ve bought a ski insurance policy, but even for the most experienced riders this doesn’t always mean you are covered for skiing off-piste, cross country, or backcountry. This also includes higher risk winter sports activities like heli-skiing, cat-skiing, snowmobiling or lugeing.

What is skiing off-piste in the world of travel insurance?

Skiing (or snowboardng) off-piste is when you are skiing in ungroomed and unmarked slopes or pistes, including skiing in unmarked or unpatrolled areas, either inside or outside of ski resorts boundaries.

Who covers off-piste skiing or snowboarding?

Lucky for you thrill seekers, there are a few companies that cover for off-piste activities, but you generally have to be within resort boundaries with a professional instructor.

NOTE: This doesn’t mean your best mate who has been working in a bar for the past five ski seasons and thinks he’s/she’s a pro. This means an instructor that has undergone training and is the holder of a backcountry security award and a holder of the backcountry and mountain safety qualification.

Who covers what?

**Click on the ticks for more information**

General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

Off-piste exclusions to pay attention to:

Like all insurance policies there are terms and conditions you need to be aware of. So even with the appropriate ski cover, exclusions will still apply. For example you wouldn’t be covered for skiing/snowboarding off-piste if:

  • Your policy says you’re only covered off-piste when you’re with a professional instructor, and you go without one.
  • Your equipment is damaged during use. Not all ski insurance policies cover for damage to your own equipment while you are using it.
  • You take part in a competition or tournament, unless it specifically says otherwise.
  • Skiing and/or snowboarding is your profession (in most cases). 
  • You were under the influence! Apres is all part of the fun on a ski holiday, but bear in mind that claims will not be paid if an accident is deemed to be the result of excessive alcohol or under the influence of drugs.
  • You intentionally expose yourself to a needless risk like doing cliff drops.
  • You do not report lost or stolen items to the police within 24 hours, with a written report.
  • You cannot provide proof of ownership with original receipts for any lost or stolen items.
  • Ski equipment is left unattended in a public place and is then lost or stolen as a result. This includes equipment that is misplaced or damaged by your transport carrier.

So powderhounds, regardless of whether you're going to Thredbo or Chamonix it's really important to read your insurers policy documentation (known as the Product Disclosure Statement) to make sure you understand when you're covered, and when you're not. A slip on the slopes can be VERY costly, so it pays to know your conditions of cover before you hit the slopes.

Compare off-piste skiing

You can use our site to compare ski insurance quickly and easily. We’ve got heaps of quotes so you can find the right policy for your needs and budget.

So what are you waiting for? Compare our ski quotes now and save yourself time, worry and loads of money!

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