Ski Travel Insurance

Discussion in 'Passport' started by wat17, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    I'd be interested in how many claims are being made.

    12 years of ski travel using insurance.
    Zero claims.
    Heli and backcountry included.
    More often hurt myself on piste.
     
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  2. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Skiing for 32 years, 25 years of those overseas.

    One claim for a small car accident, no other claims. No ski injuries that have required medical attention.

    Somebody must be using up my claims.
     
  3. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Dedicated Member
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    Yep - a long time of skiing OS and only a bunch of claims

    One in NZ as a child.

    a couple other small stuff (an SLR camera) and totally unrelated to skiing!
     
  4. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Dedicated Member
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    I do have mate who has a medical claim almost every OS trip...

    However she usually does it slipping on ice etc. Or the last one was falling down two steps and needing surgery on the way to the breakfast dining room!

    Never seen her her herself on skis!
     
  5. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    20 years of travel insurance.

    1 x claim for broken leg of master (~$12,000)
    1 x claim for broken leg of missy (~$2000) , there was more attached to this although the hospital delt direct with insurance and no over night stays required.
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old And Crusty
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    Around 35 years of ski travel. A few claims for lost/delayed luggage, expenses resulting from flight delays, and for doctor visits and medication when sick. Nothing though actually directly related to skiing. Did have a couple of knee injuries heli-skiing in NZ requiring visit to medical centre but that was all covered by ACC.
     
  7. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    A woman went on a 8 day ski holiday.
    On the first day, she broke her leg.
    She said to the doctor "Why couldn't this have happened on the last day of skiing?"
    The doctor said "This -is- your last day of skiing."
     
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  8. kirktab

    kirktab Active Member

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    Just read AAMI's travel cover PDS & supplements - no mention anywhere that they will cover any search/rescue costs. I'd guess this is also true of the other general insurers. Something to keep in mind if you're hoping to find cover for all the costs of an accident in true wilderness areas. For a lot of us that mightn't matter (it's adventure, right?). But if you've got a mortgage/dependents/cute puppies, I guess you'll need more than big cajones....
     
  9. Chillybin

    Chillybin Active Member

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    Ironically the insurance industry standards like many other industries operate on the "if it's not excluded" than you're covered. I have always been a sceptic though and much prefer things in black and white from the outset. Ouch ran using that policy and while I never claimed, they have recently added many "exclusions". I bet this was because of the number of claims they received....
     
  10. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member
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    First overseas trip 1994. 11 ski trips. I've never claimed anything.
     
  11. sli1

    sli1 Dedicated Member

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    Skiing OS for 15 years. Unfortunately would have racked up about 40K in two claims. We had a huge bill in Japan 4nyears ago when skiing outside the boundary with a heli lift and 3 week hospital stay. Insure 4 less covered the expenses
     
  12. Sydlouise

    Sydlouise Active Member

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    As someone who had to make a medical claim from Allianz last year for a big accident overseas kite surfing in Sri Lanka- a few tips to be prepared for the worst, which hopefully you never ever need but just small things that will help if you do and I'll be doing for all trips now I've learned my various lessons. Insurance companies bureaucratic processes are understandable but can be a nightmare when you actually need to use it to get home urgently. I've claimed medical and evac off Allianz and trip cancellation from AAMI, both pretty similar processes.

    Suggestions
    - Carry a printed copy or at least scans in an email folder of PDS, certificate of cover, flight itinerary, passport, travel companions passport and itinerary, credit card statement for things you paid for (if needed in your policy). I wasted a good 24 hours in agony trying to chase these things up and they wouldn't start talking to my hospital before received.
    - Travel with an unlocked phone and get a sim card with phone and data at the start of trip so you can contact insurer and send files if needed (and Facebook updates of course!). Lucky I had a non injured friend with me to go and get these things but had I not I would have been completely trapped in hospital unable to contact them. Even if they have a reverse charges number no guarantees you'll have a working phone in hospital or one that will allow international calls.
    - Try and nominate people to talk to insurer for you as soon as things go wrong.I was in a very bad state but got grilled at least 10 times on exactly how the accident happened when I could barely talk. I assume that's a standard strategy to try and find a way out of paying the claim. As soon as I got my sister home in Syd and friend with me on the case it was far less traumatic.
    - On that topic, be very wary of what the PDS wording is about safety equipment, guides, consumption of alcohol etc. Any thing that can void a claim. Fortunately for me I was completely sober and wearing safety equipment I would never usually wear because I was in a lesson at the time of the accident so the claim was watertight. Believe me they're going to ask, and ask over and over again to see if the story slips. Put a helmet on! Read the PDS carefully and never assume (eg I've seen a lot of people wisely say on here to get e-mail confirmation about anything unclear, I got this from AAMI for backcountry skiing but fortunately never needed to rely on it).
    - Google translate ap is very, very helpful in hospital. Another 24 hours wasted because the hospital didn't understand what my insurer wanted in order for them to get the ball rolling to get me home. Things that seem obvious in Australian healthcare setting may not be the norm overseas (eg an admitting doctors report saying what your injury is).
    - One day get a prescription for strong pain killers and assuming its legal in the country you're visiting, carry them on your trips for emergencies. You might run into cultural differences where doctors don't believe in pain relief (something I was definitely not expecting or prepared for).
    - Do a bit of digging into cultural norms. I almost always do this but as a last minute mostly unplanned trip it would have helped a lot to know that for that country people including doctors and nurses always say yes even if they don't understand you.
    - Insurers will naturally do anything to save money so fact check and stand up for yourself. Even after my insurer confirmed I needed prompt medical evacuation for treatment I was told there were no flat bed flights out of the country for a number of days. A quick fact check on Skyscanner and email to a travel agent mate confirmed that was not true, with my sister as advocate we railroaded them on this and got home to medical assistance much sooner than I would have. If any suspicion they're being difficult start taking notes of times and content of calls and remember their calls are recorded so call them out on it if needed. They were trying to cover that one up saying I said I wanted to rest for longer before flying, when reminded there should be a recording of that phantom call they immediately backed down and booked the alternative flight.
    - Likewise if they recommend a particular hospital, I'm not sure on this one if you can just choose anywhere but I have serious regrets about the one they sent me too which was presumably the cheapest option. A quick google on expat forums etc would have turned up 5 better suggestions.
    - I assume all insurers have medical staff/nurses assigned to each case, my one was pretty good I asked to talk to her every day with questions I couldn't get answered in situ due to lack of medical care. Just a small example there was a high risk of spinal fracture but no scans or assessments were done, we were able to self diagnose over the phone that it was most likely a muscular injury from the accident. Ask for a nurse :)
    - In an insurers mind everything can be a pre-existing illness or injury, including broken legs and exploding appendixes (my two most recent experiences). Insurer will expect you to have a regular doctor to vouch for you after the incident that there was nothing wrong before you booked the trip. If you don't have that sort of GP relationship perhaps get a check up with someone so you've got it on file. And always get medical clearance before the next trip.
    - This one seems obvious but I've seen friends caught out. Buy insurance at the same time you buy flights, not weeks later when you sort out the rest of the details. Then you've got cover for cancellations if something goes wrong beforehand.
     
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  13. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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  14. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Dedicated Member
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    I can be a HUGE advocate of the using the voice recordings against them.

    Long story short. my car insurer wasn't goign to pay out on my written off car. Due to the fact that I had a policyy that had lapse. I authorized the payment which they didn't do - guess what proved it?
     
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  15. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Just ran the ruler over Insure 4 less and their off-piste and back country option. They will Insure you for this, but comes with caveats as per below. Their premium went from $131 for 7 days skiing in Japan without Off-piste, to $280 inc off-piste.


    Insure 4 less off-piste policy below.

    Off-piste (or backcountry) skiing or boarding means 'going out of bounds', i.e. outside the resort boundary (if there is a boundary) or off the marked pistes if within the resort area. If you are going out of bounds or outside marked areas of the resort, we recommend you do so with a fully qualified local guide. If you state that you want off piste cover you are insured for off-piste without a guide provided that you are not going alone or going against advice. Some areas within a resort may be considered out of bounds because they are hazardous. In most parts of North America, going out of bounds contravenes local law and therefore there would not be any cover in place.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that on any particular day you are aware of and obey local advice, information and instructions given by the resort authorities and that you obey any signs and information you encounter on the mountain - it is your responsibility to find out. If a section is marked 'closed' there will be a very good reason for it (e.g. high avalanche danger) and ignoring such signs or advice may invalidate your cover. You should be aware that under the terms of cover, needless self-exposure to peril except in an endeavour to save human life may invalidate your cover. It is a condition of cover that you abide by the International Ski federation – Snow Sports Rules as shown here .

    International Ski federation – Snow Sports Rules
    1. Respect for others
      A skier or snowboarder must behave in such a way that he does not endanger or prejudice others.
    2. Control of speed and skiing or snowboarding
      A skier or snowboarder must move in control. He must adapt his speed and manner of skiing or snowboarding to his personal ability and to the prevailing conditions of terrain, snow and weather as well as to the density of traffic.
    3. Choice of route
      A skier or snowboarder coming from behind must choose his route in such a way that he does not endanger skiers or snowboarders ahead.
    4. Overtaking
      A skier or snowboarder may overtake another skier or snowboarder above or below and to the right or to the left provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier or snowboarder to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.
    5. Entering, starting and moving upwards
      A skier or snowboarder entering a marked run, starting again after stopping or moving upwards on the slopes must look up and down the slopes that he can do so without endangering himself or others.
    6. Stopping on the piste
      Unless absolutely necessary, a skier or snowboarder must avoid stopping on the piste in narrow places or where visibility is restricted. After a fall in such a place, a skier or snowboarder must move clear of the piste as soon as possible.
    7. Climbing and descending on foot
      A skier or snowboarder either climbing or descending on foot must keep to the side of the piste.
    8. Respect for signs and markings
      A skier or snowboarder must respect all signs and markings.
    9. Assistance
      At accidents, every skier or snowboarder is duty bound to assist.
    10. Identification
      Every skier or snowboarder and witness, whether a responsible party or not, must exchange names and addresses following an accident.
     
  16. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Wow!
    @Beerman
    That policy wording actually shows that someone in the policy office has half a clue!!
     
  17. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Yep good to see it's available and worded well. No grey areas.
     
  18. markopolo

    markopolo Naughty Corner Resident
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    Written by someone who has actually skied or boarded!
     
  19. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    to be honest that wording does have holes:

    "it is a condition of cover that you abide by the International Ski federation – Snow Sports Rules as shown here ."


    and then:

    4. Overtaking
    A skier or snowboarder may overtake another skier or snowboarder above or below and to the right or to the left provided that he leaves enough space for the overtaken skier or snowboarder to make any voluntary or involuntary movement.


    so if you crash into someone, you are not covered
     
  20. Beerman

    Beerman Dedicated Member
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    Reminds me of a time in Les Arcs where two of us got crossed up together, both of went down and only one got back up:)The other guy got rescued by his medical mates and found he had broken his collar bone.............oops!!!
    I said au revior and continued to enjoy my holiday.
     
  21. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Thought I'd move this discussion across to here since it wasn't really appropriate in the Happo One thread.

    Your posts bring up a very interesting point. I'm discovering there's a big difference between Australian travel insurance policies compared to those issued overseas, even when it's the same company. As shown above the BUPA Australia travel insurance is very different to the BUPA Global, and I've seen the same with Allianz policies. It seems Australians are once again been offered an inferior product.
     
  22. dkasper

    dkasper Active Member

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    Seventh year of ski travel insurance
    First claim this year - MCL tear on piste in Japan, insurance covered medical bills, expensive brace and change of flights home (~$4k).
     
  23. mcguyver

    mcguyver Active Member

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    Just had a claim refused by Worldcare insurance (underwritten by Alliance).
    Flying JETSTAR BNE-CNS-TKY Arrive CNS to learn ongoing flight cancelled due to technical issues.

    Jetstar arrange flight down to Melbourne and overnight accom then Next Qantas flight to Tokyo.

    Missed our transfer Bus to Hakuba and unable to fare to next day.
    Lost 1 nights accom Hakuba, ! days skiing, 1 day ski hire.
    Had to pay Train Narita to Tokyo, then Shinkosen to Nagano and bus transfer to Hakuba.

    All out of pocket expenses denied.

    Jetstar gave us a $100 voucher PP that has to be used within 6 months.

    Wont be using Jetstar or Worldcare again.
     
  24. person s

    person s Old And Crusty
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    we've used Southern Cross travel insurance for a few years
    in 2015 our car was looted in Toulouse, France - nearly everything went
    no issues settling a subtsantial claim
    last year in Zermatt person a injured herself in Zermatt - Southern Cross again, medical costs no problem
    interestingly, the unused part of the skipass was refunded at the ticket office on presenting the medical certificate - contrast to Australian practice
    last year I had to cancel a 10-day trip to Jindy and Perisher, and Amex covered my accomm costs
     
  25. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    I took a newbie friend to Thredbo about 5 or 6 years ago who injured her foot in skiboots. She was seen by the doctor who told her she could not continue and gave her a medical certificate to take to the ticket office. They refunded the unused portion of her 7 day ticket. No problem.
     
  26. dkasper

    dkasper Active Member

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    What was the reason given for rejection?
     
  27. mcguyver

    mcguyver Active Member

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    They dont cover expenses caused by technial issues.. Neither do the airlines apparently.
     
  28. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    I used to use Southern Cross (so cheap!) until I realised they don't cover off-piste skiing, a big no no.
     
  29. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member
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    I book flights on credit card and use that insurance to cover cancellations.

    I claimed for a broken ski through AAMI. They only wanted to cover for one ski due to wording in their policy, but I got a letter from a ski shop saying it is impossible to buy a single ski so therefore the replacement value for a single ski is in fact the value of two skis.
     
  30. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Dedicated Member
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    The vexed issue of travel insurance covering car rental excess amounts may have been covered earlier in this thread, in which case please bear with me. There has been discussion in one of the Canada threads that I started about this issue, and it certainly appears that some companies clearly cover the rental excess for any damage to the car (eg Columbus Direct). However, others are less transparent. Insure&Go SEEM to offer it, however buried in their PDS is a clause stating that this only applies if the vehicle is hired for less than 15 consecutive days. They specifically exclude excess coverage if the car hire exceeds this period. On a related issue, they also flatly refuse cover if anyone included under the policy has had any mental health condition in the past 5 years. So look out if you have a child with ADHD or an anxiety disorder, or if you have been diagnosed with depression, PTSD, etc. I think that is incredibly broad and discriminatory, but that's another matter.
     
  31. LMB

    LMB Part of the Furniture
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    Wow that's harsh!
    I can understand them denying cover for THAT preexisting condition under those circumstances but what on earth does an anxiety disorder have to do with slipping on ice and breaking your ribs?
     
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  32. hipo

    hipo Dedicated Member
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    @Lady Penelope I found using a credit card to pay for your car hire, the credit card insurance covers car hire excess. Worth checking out..and also what CC travel insurance is included when purchasing airline tickets with CC
     
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  33. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Part of the Furniture
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    I once bought the excess insurance from the car company. I dinged the car (icy drive into a car space). I took it back and walked away because I had bought the cover. If I hadn't bought the insurance I would have paid the excess then claimed it back from travel insurance. Do your sums factoring in your aversion to hassle, not just the bucks.
     
  34. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Dedicated Member
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    Exactly. If anything, one would think that an anxiety disorder would lead to risk averse behaviour: "ooh, err, I think I'll stick to the easy green runs", etc
     
  35. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Dedicated Member
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    Yes. This is a factor that I'm giving serious consideration to. $250 for excess waiver versus the hassle of lodging claims with all the supporting documentation with the insurance company ....
     
  36. SnowflakesRule

    SnowflakesRule New Member

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    Trawling through multiple pds documents to try and find one that covers everything we need.

    Question - Tree skiing (we're going to Silver Star) is that classified as off-piste? I've been thinking that it was so looking for something that cover off piste within resort boundaries and came across this in the FAQ's on fast cover and now I'm not so sure:

    Is Off-Piste skiing within a resort's boundaries covered?
    Yes, as long as it is on a marked trail. This applies even if the run is not groomed.

    and

    What is the meaning of 'Off-piste' in the PDS?
    'Off-piste' means areas within the boundaries of a ski resort that are not:
    • groomed terrain; or
    • marked slopes; or
    • trails that are open, maintained, monitored and patrolled by the ski resort.
    Their pds has this definition for Snow sports:

    Snow Sport Activities” means the following amateur activities that do not involve any form of racing, acrobatics, jumping, aerial, stuntingor freestyle:
    • skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing, or tubing conducted on groomed ski slopes within ski resort boundaries;
    • skiing or snowboarding off-piste (but not backcountry);
    • heli-skiing;
    • snowcat skiing;
    • cross country skiing on groomed and marked trails;
    • glacier walking with hiking equipment under appropriate supervision;
    • snow shoeing on groomed and marked trails;
    • snowmobile riding on groomed and marked trails under appropriate supervision;
    •ice sailing

    We just need cover for groomed/ungroomed runs, tree skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, and skating. So this was looking good until I wondered about the trees.

    Any ideas?
     
  37. Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member
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    That sounds pretty comprehensive and should cover you for all skiing within the resort boundary (including any tree skiing). I would definitely ask them about the ice skating though?
     
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  38. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    wow....don't do any Ice climbing though. Funny I have never checked if it covered us for that.
     
  39. SnowflakesRule

    SnowflakesRule New Member

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    @Froff Life Thanks for the advice. Yeah it does sound pretty good and covers a lot and it's great that it includes tubing. I've come across quite a few that don't cover it, which is a bit rough when there's quite a few resorts out there that have special supervised tubing parks. It's also a pretty good price $640 for family of 4 for 33 days and it's got pretty extensive coverage from what I've read so far. Most are either more expensive and exclude within resort off piste or are cheaper but have vague pds details. Ice skating is actually included in the standard cover, not the snow sports pack so we're good to go with that.

    @Crystal Ice climbing isn't mentioned but they have an adventure pack as well. I guess it depends on whether it can come under something else like the glacier walking or hiking at altitude. Definitely not clear though with this insurer.

    Thanks.
     
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  40. SnowflakesRule

    SnowflakesRule New Member

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    For those considering Fastcover, they currently have a click frenzy sale of up to 30% off which I think ends at midnight tonight (17/05/2017). Note: Not financial advice just for information for those already interested.
     
  41. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Dedicated Member
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    Their policy looks very good for snow sports cover. However, like many travel insurance policies, they don't cover cancellation fees incurred if you have to cancel or re-schedule your trip due to the illness or death of a close relative who is over 85. My mother is older than this so this was a deciding factor in going with the more costly (but comprehensive) SureSave.
     
  42. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    mmm something to note about the pre-organized transfers. Sometimes it is that sort of detail that I would never think to check that makes a difference.
     
  43. SnowflakesRule

    SnowflakesRule New Member

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    Beware, Fastcover appear to have changed underwriters from today. (21st May 2017)

    Snow sports now defined as : (copied from the new pds effective 21/5)

    Snow sports means recreational skiing and snowboarding; big foot skiing and snowboarding; cat skiing and snowboarding; cross-country skiing and snowboarding (along a designated cross-country ski route only); glacier skiing and snowboarding; heli-skiing and snowboarding (provided by a commercial operator and available to the general public only); ice hockey (not competitive); ice skating; lugeing (on ice and provided by a commercial operator and available to the general public only); mono skiing and snowboarding; off-piste skiing and snowboarding with a professional snow sport instructor/guide; snowmobiling; tobogganing.

    Beware the big change appears to be regarding off-piste (bolded by me above) from what I posted above just a week ago. It now reads needing a instructor/guide!

    Looks like I got in just in time on Friday! Price also appears to have jumped - Now quoting me $731 instead of $640.
     
  44. mijs

    mijs Active Member

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    Hi there, I've just booked a guided tour with Whiteroom Tours to Japan in 2018. Most of the skiing will be off piste (with guides). I've spent days looking into travel insurance (on this site and reading various PDSs) and I believe that AAMI covers what I require and looks to be reasonably priced - BUPA Global looks to be a bit pricey. Before I go ahead and book the insurance does anyone have any comments/criticisms of the AAMI policy?
    Cheers
     
  45. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    You would think your tour operator would be able to recommend something that covers where they take you. In fact I am surprised thay don't offer travel insurance as an add on to their product. It would be so easy for them to do and save you lots of time.
     
  46. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    I wish this ski forum would put together a decent ski insurance policy, they could make a motza. Nudge nudge wink wink...... @Ian D , @Richard
     
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  47. mijs

    mijs Active Member

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    My bad. They did suggest a few but the best policy covers
    "backcountry snow skiing and snowboarding, including heli-skiing and cat skiing, only when on a guided tour with a licensed tour operator "

    This would cover the tour but we are planning on a few days skiing unguided in Kiroro after the tour.
     
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  48. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    :thumbs: My thoughts were it would make sense for them to do this as they would probably get a commission as well as help their customers. Win win!
     
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  49. Olgreg

    Olgreg Dedicated Member
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    @mijs I went with AAMI in February this year and corresponded with them by email in detail. I haven't checked recently but they assured me they would cover all sorts of out of bounds, guided, cat, unaccompanied. Luckily I did not have to test their service.
     
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  50. mijs

    mijs Active Member

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    Thanks for your feedback Olgreg