More than a third (38%) of winter sports holidaymakers admitted that they don’t always take out travel insurance, and 31% don’t always check their policy to ensure they are covered for winter sports activities1.
The ABI advises anyone travelling abroad this winter to:
Aidan Kerr, the ABI's Assistant Director, Head of Property, Fraud and Specialist Lines, said:
"Before setting off to the slopes for the busy ski season, avoid skipping on essential cover and ruining your winter escape.
"The cost of medical treatment for ski injuries could leave most people with horrendous medical bills, so it's vital to ensure you have adequate winter sports cover."
What should I do if I need emergency medical treatment abroad?
Your policy documentation will provide a telephone number for an emergency medical assistance company, who should be your first port of call should you require medical treatment abroad. They should be able to deal with enquiries 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and can:
You should make a note of the telephone number before travelling abroad, and keep it easily to hand (e.g. store it in your mobile phone).
If you are in a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you should present your EHIC on arrival for medical treatment and request that treatment is provided under the reciprocal health scheme that the UK has with that country.
What if I don’t have time to contact my insurer before seeking treatment?
Whenever possible, you should contact your insurer’s appointed emergency medical assistance company. However, in urgent circumstances, you should just get to the nearest appropriate medical facility as soon as possible and contact your insurer as soon as you can.
If you are in a public medical facility in a country within the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you should present your EHIC on arrival, and request that treatment is provided under the reciprocal health scheme that the UK has with that country.
How will my treatment be paid for?
If you are in a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, and you present a valid EHIC, you will entitled to receive treatment on the same basis as a resident of that country. This means that some of the treatment you receive may be provided free of charge.
However, there may still be some costs to pay. Your policy will normally stipulate an amount below which you should pay for the treatment received – usually £500 – and then claim that back from your insurer when you return to the UK.
Where the cost is above the amount stipulated in your policy, your insurer will normally be able to settle the bill on your behalf.
If you have used your EHIC, most insurers will normally waive the excess.
What should I do if I run into problems with the hospital?
It can be difficult to deal with hospital personnel in other countries, particularly if you don’t understand what you are being told. However, don’t allow yourself to be bullied into taking any action that you’re not happy to take. If you need support any time of the day or night, call the emergency medical assistance company.
You shouldn’t be asked to hand over your passport in order to receive medical treatment, but if your passport is confiscated, you should contact the British Embassy or Consulate.