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Ski resorts open early after record falls

Ski resorts have opened early across Europe and those going to North america will find resorts in Canada and New England doing the same.

Andorra in the Pyrenees is reporting the best start to a season for 40 years with record snowfall. Despite the pound sliding against both the Euro and the dollar, holiday prices appear to be lower than last year in many European countries, as much as 20% cheaper according to the latest survey from Co-operative Travel and in North America, the price of a ski package has also fallen sharply, by 11% in Whistler and Lake Tahoe.

So it’s not all doom and gloom for British travellers trying to make their dwindling pounds go further. For those tempted for a pre-Christmas dash to the slopes, conditions have hardly been better but before doing so, take heed of the advice from tour operators and specialist winter sports providers and don’t forget to take out adequate insurance. Recent surveys still show a high number of people going abroad without any travel insurance at all. Whether this is just forgetfulness or a desire to live dangerously, it shows that many people view travel insurance as an extra expense which can be added or deleted depending on the holiday budget. So what should people be looking for? Most travel insurance providers offer good cover for intermediate and beginners.

This is the vast bulk of the market. Yes, accidents do happen but they are more likely to be in a controlled fashion, by that we mean on well groomed pistes and with assistance and help on hand. The problem area is when the skier or snowboarder gains in confidence and skill and wants to seek greater challenges and with it more thrills. This generally means tackling ever more severe slopes but also to venture into what is loosely termed ‘off piste’. This is where the unwary can very quickly become unstuck and we are not talking about the snow conditions. Most travel insurance policies will have restrictions on ‘off piste’ such as ‘only with a guide’ or ‘only within a specified resort area’ so when seeking that ‘adrenaline rush’ it is important to know what you are getting yourself into first.

What’s more, the increasing popularity of ‘half pipes’ and ‘free style’ means that the potential risk of injury has increased as more and more people are attracted to this immensely enjoyable leisure activity. To make sure you are properly covered for these more extreme sports activities, it is essential that winter sports insurance is obtained that offers protection to this level of activity.

The more expert you are, the more likely you will need more specialist cover than provided by the usual high street provider. Mountain rescue and medical costs are expensive and if this requires repatriation then the costs mount up rapidly. It’s probably too late, as you are being strapped to the rescue sledgeBusiness Management Articles, to wonder whether the travel insurance you bought before the holiday is going to cover you.

Article Tags: Travel Insurance

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Keith McGregor is a partner of Strawberrysoup, a web design agency with offices in Chichester and Bournemouth. Strawberrysoup specialise in creative web design, content managed websites, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing and graphic design

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