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Frequently asked questions

 

Access to ski travel insurance

 

Is ski travel insurance available to people of all ages?

 

Skiing Travel insurance is available to customers of all ages. The typical travel insurer provides single trip cover up to around age 85 and annual cover up to between 70 and 75. There are also many specialists and some mass market insurers who provide ski holiday insurance at any age. In 2009, there were around 66 different policies available for people aged 85 and over, and 23 annual policies.

 

A person’s age is an important factor in helping travel insurers to determine the level of risk they pose.

 

Existing medical conditions and changes to health

 

Can I get travel insurance to cover an existing medical condition?

 

If you have a disability, health condition or illness, or have had one in the past, this could affect your premium and the level of cover available. An insurer’s assessment of risk is based primarily on claims experience built up over many years. Evidence shows that medical history can affect the likelihood of the person making a claim and the potential cost of that claim.

 

Finding travel insurance when you have had certain medical conditions can be difficult, but cover is normally available and many insurance companies are now looking at cases individually rather than refusing to insure everyone who has had a particular illness or excluding it from the policy.

 

Do I need to inform my insurer about any change to my health?

 

It is important that you tell your insurer about your health history. If you disclose something that does not increase your risk of making a claim, your premium will not be affected. But if you had a condition before your trip and did not tell the insurance company, your insurer may not pay for medical treatment or the costs to get you home for any claim related to that condition. To make sure this does not happen, tell the insurance company about any changes to your health before you go. They will reassess the situation and confirm whether or not the condition would be covered.

 

Finding cheap ski travel insurance when you have had certain medical conditions can be difficult, but cover is normally available and many insurance companies are now looking at cases individually and there are also a number of ski insurance policies designed specifically for people with existing medical conditions.

 

Terms and definitions

 

What does ‘reasonable care’ mean?

 

You need to take all reasonable care to protect yourself and your property, as you would if you were not insured. So if you put ‘valuable’ items in your suitcase and check it in or if your drink far too much and decide to dive into the swimming pool at midnight, the insurer is within their rights to refuse to pay out.

 

What does ‘excess’ mean?

 

You will have to pay an excess under most sections of the policy. This means that each person covered under the policy will be responsible for paying the first part of the claim for each incident. In some instances the excess may be waived – for instance, if you need medical treatment while on holiday in Europe and use a valid EHIC.

 

Is there a standard definition for a ‘family’? Does it include nieces, nephews and step children?

 

There is no standard definition of family used by all travel insurers. If you want a policy to cover nieces, nephews, step children or members of your extended family contact your insurer to be certain. To cover members of your party that aren’t defined as ‘family’ members, you will need purchase an individual ski insurance policy.

 

Before your departure date

 

Where can I find travel advice on the country I am going to visit?

 

Check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for up-to-date essential travel information or call them on 0845 850 2829.

 

While you are away

 

What should I do if my passport is lost or stolen abroad?

 

For details of the nearest FCO call +44 20 7008 1500 or visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. After reporting the loss or theft to the FCO, you will need to complete a lost or stolen declaration form LS01, which is also available from the FCO website. You can also obtain the form from local FCO posts.

 

If your passport has been stolen you will need a police report with crime reference details to complete the LS01 form.

 

When you have completed the relevant paperwork, the FCO will record the loss of your passport and it will be cancelled to prevent someone else from using it. A new passport will then be issued to you so that you can continue your travels.

 

For more information, visit the Identity & Passport Service website.

 

What should I do if I cannot report a loss, theft or damage to my possessions?

 

It is important to obtain an official police report as evidence to support a claim in normal circumstances. This minimises the risk of fraudulent claims. Where you are not able to contact the police or obtain a written report, a report should be made either to your tour representative, accommodation provider or carrier – for example, the airline or ferry company. You should also be prepared to explain why you could not report the loss to the police.

 

Passport theft or loss should also be reported to the nearest British Consulate or Embassy. If you need to make a claim you will need to provide a record of the crime and proof of receipts.

 

Claims and complaints

 

How do I make a claim?

 

Your ski insurance policy will give you details of how to make a claim. Importantly, it will also contain emergency numbers for you to ring when abroad.

 

How do I make a complaint?

 

Travel Insurance – A Guide for Consumers 40

 

Your ski travel insurance policy will have in it a complaints procedure which tells you what steps you can take if feel your claim has not been handled fairly or efficiently. If you are not satisfied with how the business has dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to look at it for you. You will need to fill out a complaint form with the details. For more information visit the FOS website.