Insurance

Travel insurance at the snow: the only coverage that matters

Reading time: 5 minutes

For some it’s an annual pilgrimage – a chance to exchange Australia’s pristine beaches for powder trails and après ski. For others it’s a way of life – living out of a board bag as they chase the snow from north to south.

Either way, there’s no denying that a trip to the snow can be the trip of a lifetime. You could wind up experiencing the best week of the season, or you could be there during the worst. Snow is fickle and the only thing more unpredictable than Mother Nature is the other enthusiasts you’re sharing the mountain with.

Every year, we receive hundreds of claims from skiers and snowboarders who’ve run into a TID bit of trouble on the slopes – from torn ACLs and broken collarbones, to unforeseen resort closures and stolen gear. So we’ve introduced a special Snow Sports and Activities Option to ensure that our travellers get more protection than just their helmet.

‘Coverage’ is the most important thing on the slopes, so what exactly are you covered for and what’s the fine print?

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What activities TID cover

There’s more to do at the snow than making snow angels, so here’s a breakdown of the activities we cover (some with more ‘gnarly’ fine print than others).

  • Skiing and snowboarding – on-piste and off-piste within resort and terrain park boundaries on groomed or ungroomed runs and marked trails which are patrolled or monitored by the resort
  • Back-country snow skiing and snowboarding including heli and cat-skiing, only when on a guided tour with a licensed operator.
  • Cross-country skiing on marked trails
  • Tobogganing on-piste
  • Using snowmobiles when provided by the recognised piste authority for transport to and from areas designed for recreational skiing within resort boundaries or when on a guided tour with a licensed tour operator;
  • Ice/glacier walking (up to 3,000 metres);
  • Sleigh riding and dog sledding, only when on a guided tour with a licensed tour operator.
  • Doing a ski season? Contact us directly so we can find out more about the work you’ll be doing and the coverage you’ll need.

What’s covered by TID?

When you’re strapping planks of fibre glassed wood to your feet and coasting down an icy hill at speed, there’s a good chance things could go wrong at some point. Here’s what the Snow Sports and Activities Option covers:

Medical expenses and medical evacuation

Take a tumble on the slopes and break a bone, or get struck down with a serious illness? We’ll cover your medical expenses overseas* and medical evacuation to the nearest medical facility.

Our Emergency Assistance team are experts in providing the care you need. They will liaise with local hospitals to give you the best care locally, or, if it’s better to bring you home, then all the arrangements will be made through our assistance professionals. We’ll even arrange medical or non-medical assistance if you are repatriated to Australia and need help. We’ll keep family at home informed so you don’t need to worry.

Being stuck at the snow with sickness or injury is hard enough, so we make it that bit easier by covering the non-recoverable amount for the pre-paid passes, equipment or lessons you miss out on.

Piste-closure

We offer a piste closure benefit of $100 per day, single, and $200 per day, family, for each day you can’t get out on the mountain (up to a total of $1,000/single, $2,000/family).

Your own snow sports gear

We understand how special your skiing and snowboarding equipment is which is why we cover your gear while you’re using it, as well as when you’re not. We cover up to $700 per item or set (boots and bindings are considered one item) if it’s permanently lost, stolen or accidentally damaged. You can obtain extra cover for valuable items up to $4,000 per item by specifying them on your policy and paying an additional premium. If your skis or snowboard are lost, stolen, damaged or delayed in transit, we’ll even hook you up with some hire equipment.

Rented snow sports gear

Renting equipment? We have that covered too. We’ll pay for hire equipment that is permanently lost, stolen or accidentally damaged. That includes skis, poles, ski boots and bindings, ski helmets, snowboards, snowboard boots and bindings.

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What isn’t covered by TID?

We want you to have an amazing time at the snow, but there are just a few things you should be aware of before grabbing your first chair lift for the day.

The snow equipment you’ve had for a few years that are starting to look a bit worse for wear? Don’t get any ideas about ‘writing it off’ to get yourself a more up-to-date deck. We don’t cover your gear if it’s older than three years. We also encourage you to take extra good care of your equipment, as wear and tear (such as dents and scratches) aren’t covered.

Intending on doing some racing, bobsleighing/bobsledding, luge, skeleton, tubing, ski acrobatics, ski jumping, skijoring, snow kiting, snow biking, snow rafting, ice hockey, ice climbing, activities on frozen lakes and rivers, and any form of power-assisted skiing? Sorry. Not covered.

If you are injured or fall ill on your snow trip, our Emergency Assistance team will work with the staff at the medical facility to find the best course of action. If that involves bringing you home for treatment and physical therapy, any medical expenses in Australia will be covered by your own health insurance or Medicare. This is due to the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 where we are not permitted to reimburse medical costs in Australia.

If you decide to get adventurous, go off-piste into a closed section of the mountain and get stuck in the wilderness in -20 degrees, unfortunately we won’t be forking out the bill to cover the search and rescue team.

If you knowingly expose yourself to a needless risk or you don’t take reasonable care of yourself, you won’t be covered, and a Hot Toddy headache will be the least of your problems.

Tips for staying safe on the slopes…

  • Check your gear Whether you’re hiring or bringing your own, always check your gear for damages before heading up the mountain.
  • Protect yourself Put a helmet on your head.
  • Been hurt before? List any pre-existing sprains or previously broken bones on your insurance policy and wear protective guards to prevent further injury.
  • Know your limits Since 2012, TID has received close to 1,000 medical claims for skiing and snowboarding accidents. Take it easy and leave the Double McTwist 1260s to Shawn White.
  • Take lessons If you’re feeling a bit like Bambi on those skis, book in for a lesson. Even if it’s just a refresher course, a bit of instruction can go a long way and help you make the most of your trip.
  • Emergency plan Before you head to the chair lift, grab a trail map and familiarise yourself with the mountain and the out-of-bound areas. If you’re with a group, make sure you have each other’s contact numbers and meet up regularly.
  • Insure valuable items In the last 36 months, TID customers have made hundreds of claims for lost or damaged belongings while on the mountain. Ensure you insure any valuable items you plan on taking on the mountain itself, such as a GoPro, mobile phone or camera.
  • Get travel insurance It’s the only coverage that matters.

Full terms, conditions and exclusions are available in the PDS.


Author

Kristen Hyde is a freelance wordsmith from Sydney who now lives in London because she heard the weather was awesome. You can follow her adventures in ol’ Blighty at Where in the World is KH. For more instantaneous updates of her travels, what she eats, and what she sees on the Tube, you can follow her on Instagram.

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