Accident on the piste – are you safe?

10/10/2012 - Selina Sauerland

Luckily the accident rate on the pistes has been decreasing over the past years. This is mainly down to the better understanding of how accidents occur and how helmets and protectors can save lives. However ski accidents still comprise a third of all sports accidents. In Austria, for instance, the annual accident rate lies at approx. 60,000 calls on the piste, whereby only 15 however end deadly.

Most accidents luckily end with no greater damage. However mountain rescue and transport back home can become unbelievably expensive. Also, often not all costs are paid for as private health insurance and general liability insurance don’t take all points of the accident into their coverage. Generally, medical treatment is paid for by the social health coverage or private insurance. A possible transfer home however, is the expensive part and has to be paid privately. This is where insurance with international coverage comes in handy. It is always a good idea to enquire for such an international extension with your private insurance company, as this may be additionally bookable for only a small supplement. The AA also offers great insurance prices for international coverage and being a member may also help with transportation back home.

Slightly more difficult is the situation if a mountain rescue is involved, especially when helicopters have to be called to aid. The costs can explode, and it is not always clear who is the one to cover the bill. Besides a private accident insurance which mainly covers these costs, often the lift offices have information available to add piste insurance on to the lift pass. In some French resorts this can be obtained at the time of lift pass purchase and costs an extra €2.80 per day. Still, of course everybody has to know for themselves if they feel the need for insurance coverage.

Last but not least: the private liability insurance. In principal everybody should be covered by such an insurance, as it is of use in nearly every situation in life and mostly can be obtained for approx. €70 -€100 per year. When taking out the policy make sure the insurance coverage is set very high. If somebody else is badly hurt during a skiing accident, the costs may increase up to millions. It therefore is wise to invest a bit more money in private liability insurance, instead of spending largely greater sums in the aftermath.

Having made sure you are insured adequately, there stands nothing in your way of enjoying great ski holidays.



  • Wednesday, 10. October 2012
  • author: Selina Sauerland
  • category: Winter Sports
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