Silver skiers take more risks

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New research from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has found that UK skiers over the age of 55 are least likely to check whether they have taken out the appropriate cover for their holiday.

ABTA said that over a third of skiers (38 per cent) over the age of 55 admitted in a survey that they never check to see whether their policy contains winter sports cover before going away on a trip. For comparison, ABTA found that the average was 29 per cent. In an even starker contrast, those aged between 18 and 24 – who are often thought of as more reckless travellers – take more care, with only 14 per cent saying that they did not check whether they had winter sports cover.

With around 1.75 million UK travellers getting ready to head off on winter sports holidays in the next few months, and the number of people aged 55 to 64 going on these kinds of holidays doubling between 2015 and 2016, ABTA has warned travellers to check their policies.

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

“Many holidaymakers wrongly assume they’re automatically covered for winter sports as part of their travel insurance – but it is often not the case, meaning thousands of people could be heading to the slopes without any cover,” said Nikki White, director of destinations and sustainability at ABTA. “It is a costly business if you have an accident on the slopes and don’t have the right insurance to cover your medical bills. We advise people of all ages to check that they are covered for everything they plan to do and have the right preparations in place to help them enjoy their time on the slopes.” 

ABAT has also announced that it is partnering with the FCO and Ski Club to provide helpful advice for skiers, from pre-departure to après ski.