One In Three Winter Sports Holidaymakers Won’t Take Out Appropriate Insurance Cover

20 January 2014

Research1 from Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance reveals that one in three people planning to take a winter sports holiday do not intend to take out winter sports insurance.  One in four said they planned to take out a general travel insurance policy, however 9% said that they do not intend to take out any insurance whatsoever.

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance is encouraging anyone planning to do this to check that the policy has adequate cover for the holiday they are planning, as many policies require winter sports cover to be added on.

With three of the top five skiing destinations in the EU, including France (22%), Italy (14%) and Austria (9%), winter sports enthusiasts should consider obtaining a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The Bank is highlighting however, that anyone relying on their EHIC for full medical cover should be aware that the card only entitles you to the same state-provided medical treatment as the host country’s residents, which may not be free.

Some countries do not provide free healthcare such as the US which is notoriously expensive. It’s also worth remembering that simply relying on an EHIC card will not cover emergency transportation should you need to be airlifted off the slopes, taken to hospital by ambulance and repatriated, costs which could easily reach into thousands of pounds. .

Scott Gorman, Head of Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance, said: “Whilst most ski and snowboard trips go without incident, winter sports carry risks, which is why good quality winter sports cover as part of a travel insurance policy is so important.”

Just less than a quarter (23%)1 said they plan to take out winter sports insurance without off-piste cover.  Off-piste cover is an important addition to any winter sports insurance policy, especially when there is a direct intention to ski or snowboard off the recommended slopes.  Any claim as a result of participation in off-piste skiing when you are not accompanied by a qualified ski instructor who holds the appropriate liability insurance may not be covered. Without such cover, an injury and the resulting emergency medical care could cost thousands of pounds.

Claim costs vary from country to country but the US tops the table with the highest average claim at £3,9112, with Austria (£1,849) and Italy (£1,474) in second and third place respectively.

In addition the research1 revealed that damaged knees are the most common injury amongst winter sports enthusiasts with shoulder and wrist/hand injuries following in second and third place respectively.


Top five skiing destinations 2013/20141


Five most common winter sports injuries2

France 22% Knee 40%
US 16% Shoulder 14%
Italy 14% Wrist/hand 9%
Switzerland 10% Lower leg 7%
Austria 9% Head injury 5%


To obtain a Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance quote you can log onto 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:

Amrit Nijjer / Tom Wilson Citigate Dewe Rogerson: 020 7282 2803 / 2842
Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank: 0131 338 2863

Notes to editors:

1 Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned ICM on behalf of its travel insurance division. ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,003 adults aged 18+. The interviews were conducted via an online omnibus survey between 27th and 28th November 2013.

2 Sainsbury’s Bank travel insurance claims data from 2012/2013

Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance is administered by FirstAssist Insurance Services, which is a trading style of Cigna Insurance Services (Europe) Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is underwritten by Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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