Cost Of Winter Sports Injury Claims Has Doubled In Two Year

12 January 2011

The value of winter sports injury claims from Italy have jumped 106%

The Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card offers a worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance policy, including winter sports cover

The average cost of winter sports-related travel claims doubled in two years (47.6%) according to Sainsbury’s Finance(1).  In addition to the value of individual claims having increased, the number of claims is also on the rise, with the number of winter sports injuries incurred in the USA and Europe during winter 09/10 up 8% and 4% respectively on the number of claims seen during winter 08/09.

The supermarket bank urges people heading off to winter sports destinations this year to ensure they have their European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) and comprehensive travel insurance before they leave. Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card for example includes a worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance policy, including winter sports cover, as just one of its many benefits.

Analysis of expenses paid on winter sports injury claims reveals that currently the average claim in the USA and Canada during 09/10 was around £4,750, the highest claim value compared with the other top winter sports destinations.

Between winter 07/08 and winter 09/10, the average cost of travel insurance claims linked to winter sports injuries has increased most in Italy where it has jumped 106% from £679 to £1,400. The cost of claims in Bulgaria remain the lowest, but have still increased by about a quarter (24.2%) over this period.


Country Average value of travel insurance claim linked to winter sports injuries winter 07/08(2)  Average value of travel insurance claim linked to winter sports injuries winter 09/10(1) Percentage change
USA/Canada £2,991 £4,750 +58.8%
Italy £679 £1,400 +106.2%
Austria £1,023 £1,300 +27.1%
Switzerland £919 £1,250 +36.0%
France £760 £850 +11.8%
Bulgaria £604 £750 +24.2%


Stuart McKeggie, Head of Sainsbury’s Credit Cards said: “Even the most accomplished skiers and snowboarders can get themselves into a tricky spot, racking up huge medical bills from winter sports-related injuries. So, it’s especially important they make sure they have both an EHIC and travel insurance. While the EHIC will provide access to the state-provided healthcare in the country you are visiting you still need travel insurance to pay for any private medical treatment, to be airlifted from the slopes or repatriated back home.”

As well as benefiting from worldwide travel insurance for all the family(3), Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card customers can also take advantage of no foreign exchange transaction fees, interest-free cash withdrawals (if the whole balance is paid in full and on time each month) and no cash advance fees in the UK as well as abroad. The card’s benefits could deliver a value far in excess of £300, for its £5 per month fee.(4):

Sainsbury’s Finance also reveals that the most common travel insurance claim related to winter sports activity is for a knee injury (37%) followed by a shoulder injury (15%) and a wrist and hand injury (10%).

The most expensive injuries to treat are those relating to the upper leg/hip/pelvis, where the average cost of a claim is £10,000. Sainsbury’s Finance recalls one particular case where a pelvis injury sustained in the United States resulted in a £30,000 insurance claim after the patient had been sent home with a medical escort.


Top ten most common winter sports related travel insurance claims Percentage of winter sports related Sainsbury’s travel insurance claims(1) Average cost of claim
Knee 37% £1,000
Shoulder 15% £700
Wrist / Hand 10% £700
Lower leg 8% £3,000
Head injury 7% £1,500
Back 5% £2,500
Upper arm / elbow 5% £1,500
Ankle / foot 5% £1,000
Contusions / lacerations 3% £1,000
Upper leg / hip / pelvis 3% £10,000

The Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card covers the card holder’s family, including up to six children, with worldwide multi-trip travel insurance that includes winter sports.

To find out more about the Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card call0800 030 4429 or log onto  or pick up a leaflet in your Sainsbury’s supermarket.  Customers applying for a Sainsbury’s card will need to have their Nectar card ready when they apply.

Sainsbury’s Finance also provides good quality travel insurance, and is offering a 25% discount available to Nectar card holders applying for Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance online. Non-Nectar card holders offered 10% online discount

To obtain a Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance quote you can log or call 0800 316 1452.  Lines are open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am – 7pm Saturday, and 9am – 5pm on Sunday.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:
Holly Clark / Sophie Woodcock
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

Notes to editors:
1) Research commissioned by Sainsbury’s Finance and carried out by FirstAssist Services Limited, October 2010
2) Research commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank and carried out by FirstAssist Services Limited, November 2008
3) Worldwide travel insurance covers up to two adults and six children including travel to the USA, Personal Baggage, Winter Sports and Independent Traveller cover.
4) Travel insurance policy worth up to £250, savings on fees and charges of £16, rewards worth £52 based on £50 spend in Sainsbury’s each week.

Sainsbury’s Finance Travel Insurance is administered by FirstAssist Insurance Services Limited and underwritten by Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Sainsbury’s Finance:

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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Finance provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Finance recent awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Direct Personal Loans Provider, Best Online Credit Card Provider, Best Online Life Insurance Provider at the Your Money Awards 2010.

Sainsbury’s Finance is a joint venture between J.Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.

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