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Travellers Urged to Check Winter Travel Insurance by ABTA and FCO

ABTA, The Association of British Travel Agents, have teamed up with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), to urge travellers to check their travel insurance policies before heading to the slopes this season.

The partnership conducted research as part of their #SkiSafe Campaign. The research asked travellers whether they check their travel insurance policies or not, to see if they are covered for the winter sports activities they plan to take part in.

The British FCO’s #SkiSafe campaign is part of their #TravelAware campaign, which looks to ‘...advise all British nationals travelling abroad, encourage responsible travel and reduce preventable consular cases.’

The research shows that 33% of those asked never checked whether they are sufficiently covered for their snow based sports.

The over 55’s age group were found to be the most likely to not have adequate travel insurance. With the generic average of travellers confessing to not checking their policies at 33%, the over 55’s category had a far greater average of almost 50%.

Over the last four years, as a result of skiing or snowboarding incidents across resorts in Europe, 58 deaths of British nationals were reported to the FCO, along with 118 hospitalisations. Thousands more have been injured, both on-piste and off-piste.

Speaking to ABTA, the Head of Consular Communications at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Michael Vibert, said:

“As the ski season gets under way, we want to ensure that everyone is adequately prepared for their winter sports holiday. The research from ABTA suggests that not enough British Nationals are checking they have taken out appropriate insurance before they travel. We want to emphasise the importance of taking responsibility and preparing for your trip so you can #SkiSafe this winter and enjoy your time on the slopes.”

ABTA’s Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, said:

“People heading off to the slopes this winter should make sure they are covered by the appropriate travel insurance. Winter sports holidays often include activities that may not be covered by the usual insurance policies, so we would advise holidaymakers to check that they are covered for everything they plan to do.

“Unfortunately, accidents can happen and can lead to costly medical bills, but having appropriate insurance means people can rest assured that they are adequately covered and can make the most of their time on the slopes.”

ABTA and the FCO also partnered up with Graham Bell, a British Winter Olympian, and a campaign ambassador for #SkiSafe, in order to issue their top winter sports tips, and to prepare travellers for the slopes.

Speaking in regards to the campaign, Bell told ABTA:

“It’s fantastic to see so many Brits heading off each winter to take part in the sport I love.

“Most of the time, nobody will run into any trouble, but to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, it’s important to stay vigilant on your winter sports break.

“But far from wanting to discourage people from going away this year, I just want to make sure that everyone is taking necessary precautions to make their trip as fun as possible.”

Bell’s top tips include making sure your travel insurance policy covers you for all of the winter sports activities you are wishing to do, and remembering to take your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).

More information on the #SkiSafe campaign can be found here, as well as Graham Bell’s top tips to have a safe winter sports trip. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/brits-urged-to-get-travel-insurance-for-winter-sports-abroad

Don’t forget, you can get your travel insurance, with additional winter sports cover, from Direct Travel at either www.direct-travel.co.uk or ring our friendly UK based team on 0330 880 3600.