Winter Sports Insurance
Many skiers and snowboarders choose not to purchase winter sports insurance before hitting the slopes every year. For those who do choose to purchase it, it is often a carefully deliberated decision based upon experience during past winters.
If you just plan on going skiing once this winter and will be participating in a class, winter sports insurance is probably not necessary. However, if you are a more serious winter sports participant, winter sports insurance is a worthwhile investment.
For example, if you go snowboarding often during the winters, it is likely that you have seen one too many accidents that involve paramedics or, at the very least, first aid personnel. A majority of the accidents on the slopes occur when skiers and snowboarders collide. Even if you feel pretty confident on your board or skis, getting winter sports insurance will give you plenty of peace of mind.
If you do decide to invest in winter sports insurance, you want to be sure that you know what you are getting. Unfortunately, all insurance policies are created equally. Be sure to read the fine print to ensure that you are getting the coverage you need for the type of activity you will be doing, as well as the location of the activity.
Some insurance companies group their insurance packages into levels of expertise. For example, a company might have beginner, semi-pro, and professional. Beginner typically refers to skiers or snowboarders that stick to the lower level, well-groomed runs. However, if you plan to go off the beaten path but want to take a guide with you, you will need to remember to get the professional insurance.
You also want to be sure to read the fine print on your insurance to see what injuries your insurance package covers. For example, it may cover head injuries, (snowboard helmets on sale 35-50% off) but not injuries that occur when a board or a ski malfunctions.
Another item that winter sports insurance packages don’t include is an accident that occurs while the skier or snowboarder is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While skiing or snowboarding under the influence is clearly dangerous, you can also be deterred by the fact that nothing will protect you in the event that you are injured while on the slopes.
Insurance companies also regulate where the skiing/snowboarding takes place. The piste is what is in bounds at the ski resort or place that you are skiing or snowboarding. Off piste is any area that is considered to be out of bounds. Some insurance packages may not cover accidents in these areas, so you need to be sure to read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.
Thinking about red tape and fine print can be kind of a bummer when you are getting ready to go on vacation, but preparation is important. You can never be over-prepared when it comes to semi-dangerous activities such as skiing and snowboarding. Sadly, ski and snowboard accidents are on the rise. If you are caught in the middle of one of these accidents and you forgot to buy insurance, you are looking at some seriously costly bills.
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Guest blogger Josh Davidson is a Clearwater lawyer. By nature, he is a cautious person so he always invests in winter sports insurance before hitting the slopes. His professional experience has led him to become a master of understanding the fine print.MORE MOUNTAIN WEEKLY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: