World Nomads Travel Insurance

Between the Lines

Following are a number of items that are NOT COVERED by general ski insurance:
  • Heliskiing
  • Catskiing
  • Off-Piste skiing (inside and outside of the resort boundary)
  • Extreme skiing (which includes skiing double and triple black diamond runs beyond your ability)
  • Parachuting/skydiving, hang-gliding and virtually any airborne activity not in a licensed passenger aircraft (ballooning is often an exception). This may also include some "fun park" type activities such as bungy jumping.
Most operators of high-risk sports and activities have their own insurance to cover you which usually comes as part of your fees. In some cases, they may require you to pay a few extra dollars on the day to cover insurance. It is essential that you ask if you are covered for insurance for these activities if not already covered by your ski travel insurance.

General INCLUSIONS in a ski insurance policy:
  • Trip Disruption - usually additional costs of transport and accommodation are covered where your travel plans need to be altered due to unforeseeable circumstances such as a natural disaster, major injury, fire or family death.
  • Trip Cancellation - usually covered for travel related costs in the case of an unforeseen circumstance as above.
  • Travel Provider Insolvency - generally covers you if an airline or accommodation (that you have booked in Australia and paid for) goes broke. This generally only  provides  cover to the same value as you have paid. Check that this is included given these tough economic times.
  • Travel Delay - usually covered for delays in transportation due to such things as inclement weather conditions e.g. flights to your destination resulting in reduced holiday time and additional costs such as accommodation.
  • Medical / Dental - generally covers cost of hospitalisation and emergency medical / dental treatment. This can be a very grey area and requires careful reading of the fine print.
  • Rescue - which includes transport to the nearest hospital (it would usually cost extra if you needed to be transported by helicopter).
  • Liability - injury to any person or property outside of your travelling party (if occurrence is accidental).
  • Snow Skiing Piste Closure - you will be covered for a few days of closure due to lack of snow or inclement weather if all of the lifts are closed. Check your policy carefully however as many of them have a minimum altitude e.g. if the resort is below 1,000m of elevation (which in the case of Japan is virtually all of the resorts) it is not covered and the "shoulder" season is also not necessarily covered.
  • Inability to ski due to illness / injury - if you get sick or are injured as a result of skiing and you are unable to use pre-paid lift tickets, ski hire and ski school, this is generally covered.
  • Luggage & personal effects - loss up to a specific value. You may want to consider covering items like laptops & cameras separately.
  • Vehicle Excess - some policies cover the difference between your vehicle rental policy coverage and the excess you have to pay in the event of an accident (again providing you are following the guidelines of use according the the vehicle rental company).
  • Loss of Income - generally this is limited and only short-term. You should look at your personal / life insurance policy to make sure you are covered for the long-term.
Other EXCLUSIONS to look out for:
    • High value items such as computers, mobile phones, cameras, MP3 players etc require an additional cost to a policy for these to be covered in the event of damage or theft.
    • If high value items / personal effects are stolen from a vehicle (whether locked or not), they are generally not covered. This also applies if lost or damaged where placed in the cargo hold of an airline or other means of transport such as a bus. Always carry these items with you and /or leave them in a secure place in your accommodation.
    • Theft of skis - this is generally covered however many policies do not cover this if skis are left in a public place such as ski racks outside of a day-lodge (whether they are locked or not).
    • If you break your skis, there are often age restrictions on the policy e.g. skis that are 3 years and older are not covered.
    • You will not be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions (including pregnancy) should these be the reason for your claim.
    • Any loss due to acts of war, terrorism or other uncontrollable circumstances particularly where official travel warnings have been issued.
    • Any loss due to any non-law abiding activity including being detained by customs or getting involved in a brawl.
    • Any activities where you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    The bottom line is, make sure you are covered for the extra activities you want to do such as heliskiing etc on your holiday and understand the implications if you try in any way to hide or mis-lead your insurance company.