Winter woes


Are older travellers taking more risks on the slopes than younger ones?


New research from British travel association ABTA shows that winter sports holidaymakers over the age of 55 are the least likely demographic to check whether they have taken out appropriate insurance for the activities they are planning, including skiing and snowboarding. Well over a third of people over the age of 55 who take winter sports holidays admit they never check that they are covered for winter sports, significantly above the average of 29 per cent. On the other hand, younger generations take most care with their winter sports holiday cover – only one in seven 18-to-24 year olds say that they never check if they have the right insurance.

With almost three in 10 people who take winter sports holidays admitting that they never check if they have the correct cover, this leaves thousands of British skiers and snowboarders at risk of enjoying the slopes without proper insurance – and as 1.75 million Brits of all ages prepare to head off on snow sports holidays this winter, ABTA is encouraging them to stay safe on the slopes and make sure they have appropriate winter sports insurance.

Winter sports holidays have experienced a particular growth in popularity among 55 and 64-year-olds, with ABTA’s research showing that 238,000 people in this age range took a ski or snowboarding trip last year – double the number that said the same in the previous winter season.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reported 118 hospitalisations and 58 British deaths from skiing and snowboarding holidays between 2012 and 2016, with thousands more having suffered injuries both on- and off-piste.


The knowledge gap

Meanwhile, in similar news, new research from consumer advice service Travel Insurance Explained has shown that 54 per cent of holidaymakers do not appreciate that they have to buy a specialist policy if they plan on undertaking winter sports activities on holiday. A study by the firm has shown that although the majority of Brits stick to skiing and snowboarding, alternative sports like paragliding and visiting terrain parks are becoming more popular, and even winter sports policies do not generally cover such activities as standard.

Travel Insurance Explained’s Fiona Macrae has warned about the dangers of travellers making assumptions about their insurance cover, and urged winter sports enthusiasts to check their policy wording and buy additional cover if they are planning on taking part in riskier activities.