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#SkiSafe Event with Post Office Travel Insurance & top 10 tips to Ski Safe!

Every year, hundreds of thousands of UK skiers and snowboarders jet off to worldwide winter resorts to enjoy some time in the snow. From gliding down the slopes, to enjoying time in an Après Ski bar, there are a variety of ways that us Brits like to enjoy our time in ski resorts. With so many ways to enjoy their holiday, people can easily forget the potential dangers that come with taking part in winter sports activities.

To help raise awareness and educate the British public on dangers they could face on a winter sports holiday, The Post Office held a ‘Ski Safe’ event in London and invited attendees to come and learn more about what measures they can take to keep themselves safe, before they jet off on their holiday and what to look out for when purchasing the right ski insurance, prior to packing their thermals.

As part of the campaign #SkiSafe, Post Office held a ski-themed event in London. Our guests took part in a VR ski challenge, where their reflexes were tested to the maximum on the virtual slopes, before and after drinking alcohol. Our challenge to the guests attempted to mimic the effects that Après Ski drinking can have on your ability to get down the rest of the mountain slopes on your skis. Considering that 1/3 of British skiers sustain some form of injury while on a winter sports holiday, it’s easy to imagine how many more people pick up an injury when combining their skiing with alcohol.

Whether it’s not taking a class before heading to the slopes, failing to purchase the right safety equipment or overindulging in alcohol while you are on the slopes, it’s easy to get injured while you’re away on your winter holiday.

A survey commissioned by The Post Office found that more than one fifth (19%) of British skiers sustained serious injuries on a ski holiday, including broken bones, sprains and concussions. To add to the pain, the survey also found that over 48% of British skiers didn’t have any travel insurance what so ever before going away, which meant some costly trips to the local hospital. If you get seriously injured on the slopes, and need to get taken down the mountain in a helicopter, it can cost you around £2,500 alone, before you’ve even reached a hospital room!

A lot of holidaymakers assume they are covered for winter sports as part of their general travel insurance policy, only to find out they aren’t covered at all, until it’s too late. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is important to carry on you when traveling abroad, but this only actually covers some of the costs when it comes to medical expenses, and this cover can vary depending on which country you are in. Furthermore, most holidaymakers don’t know that their insurance claim can be rejected if they pick up an injury off-piste, or if their medical report finds that alcohol has been found to play a part in their reason for injury.

Post Office's #SkiSafe event to educate the British public on risks they could face on a winter sports holiday.

Post Office #SkiSafe - a blogger from our ski safe event testing the effects of drinking and skiing via a VR headset

Post Office travel insurance tips to #skisafe

With *1 in 3 people having some sort of misadventure on a winter sports holiday and **48% not having travel insurance there are some simple steps you can take to improve your chances of a staying safe when skiing and protecting your wallet.

  1. Get fit so you can enjoy your holiday to the max and remember to warm up before hitting the slopes. Both can decrease the chance of injury and ease the level of sore and achy muscles in your first few days.

  2. Take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you’re travelling within Europe - if you have one already, check it hasn't expired. If you have an accident or become ill the EHIC allows you to receive state-provided medical healthcare at the same rate as a citizen of that country. However, you will still need winter sports insurance, as an EHIC may not cover the cost for you to be rescued from the piste and does not cover medical costs in a private hospital or clinic or any additional costs to return to the UK.

  3. Take lessons / a refresher lesson lesson particularly if you only take skiing / snowboarding trips occasionally. A quick refresh on skills will help refocus your mind on the area, suitable runs for your level and staying sage on the slopes.

  4. Check whether your ski insurance policy requires you to wear a helmet on the slopes as it may be an extra condition, even if it is not a local legal requirements.

  5. Know your limits. Many people look forward to a toasty vin chaud at the end of the day but if partaking during the day remember alcohol impacts judgment, coordination and reaction time. If you injure yourself or others after drinking to excess you can even invalidate your insurance cover so take a sensible approach to protect your health and your wallet.

  6. Don’t head off-piste without checking your ski insurance. Some insurance policies won’t cover accidents that occur when off-piste. Those that do, may still require you to be with a qualified guide or within the resort boundaries.

  7. Check the snow report especially if you are planning a run between resorts. Snow reports provide daily updates on the snow conditions, snow depths, piste and off-piste conditions including avalanche risk levels and the number of open ski lifts so you can make an informed decision about your route before you start.

  8. Prepare for sun. Many people forget that UV rays are much stronger at altitude so appropriate strength sunscreen is a must to avoid sunburn. It should be worn along with goggles or sunglasses offering 100% UV protection and helping decrease glare from the slopes.

  9. Study the environment. At most resorts there are colour coded slopes suitable for all abilities classified to indicate their difficulty - green or blue runs are easiest, red, more challenging and black are the hardest to navigate. A common mistake people make is taking a ski lift and not checking there are appropriate pistes they can comfortably take to get back down and how long it will take. Doing your research before you set off will prevent you getting in to difficulty.

  10. Stay in control. It’s easy to pick up speed as you grow in confidence or unintentionally if the conditions are icy. Even if you enjoy the adrenalin rush, if you feel you don’t have control - pace yourself, take a rest or unclip and walk to a more comfortable section of the slope.

* Survey of 4,544 GB adults was conducted by YouGov between the 16th and 19th February 2018 - of which a sample of 809 were winter sports holidaymakers.

** Percentage calculated from a total of 809 winter sports holiday makers of which (43%) and (9%) said they did not know or could not recall.

 

Post Office #SkiSafe event - the importance of following the ski safe guidelines.

As part of the campaign #skisafe, Post Office held a ski-themed event in London.

We challenged guests to mimic the effects that Après Ski drinking can have on your ability to get down the slopes on your skis via VR headsets.

A survey commissioned by The Post Office found that more than one fifth (22%) of British skiers sustained serious injuries on a ski holiday.

Bloggers from Post Office's #SkiSafe event talking about the importance of ski safety

If you’re unsure about the best way to stay safe while on your winter sports holiday, visit our ski insurance page to find all the information you need.

Small print

Post Office Money® Travel Insurance is arranged by Post Office Limited and Post Office Management Services Limited. Post Office Money® Travel Insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, and administered by Collinson Insurance Services Limited, FRN 311883.

Post Office Limited is an appointed representative of Post Office Management Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 630318. Post Office Limited and Post Office Management Services Limited are registered in England and Wales. Registered numbers 2154540 and 08459718 respectively. Registered Office: Finsbury Dials, 20 Finsbury Street, London EC2Y 9AQ. Post Office Money and the Post Office Money logo are registered trademarks of Post Office Limited.

Great Lakes Insurance SE is a German insurance company with its headquarters at Königinstrasse 107, 80802 Munich. Registered number of HRB 230378 in the commercial register. UK Branch office: Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3AJ. Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, is authorised by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority under FRN 769884. Details about the extent of its regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority is available on request.

Collinson Insurance Services Limited is registered in England & Wales, registered number 758979. Registered Office: Cutlers Exchange, 123 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7BU. Collinson Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 311883.

The above details can be checked on the Financial Services Register by visiting the Financial Conduct Authority website and searching by Firm Reference Number (FRN).