What insurance do students need for ski instructor courses? We encourage all students to take out medical insurance for the full duration of the course which covers them for skiing and ski instructor training. On top of this insurance, we also recommend that they have:
– European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). With this you will benefit from the reciprocal health care arrangements which exist between countries within the EU/EEA or Switzerland. You can apply for this through NHS Online
– Carte Neige. This is available to buy in resort (France and Switzerland) and costs around £40 – £50 for the whole season. This insurance covers you for the cost of mountain search and rescue on and off-piste. We can help you to buy this when you arrive in resort. (What’s more is this insurance donates 50% of its profits to local sports clubs which help to train the local children in mountain sports.)
What do I need to check is covered?
When choosing insurance for your ski instructor courses always read the small print and make sure you know what is and isn’t covered by your policy. We recommend that you check that your insurance will cover you for the following:
– Emergency medical cover – but also you may want to consider that it covers non-emergency medical costs too. (In particular physiotherapy sessions). Often, minor injuries require physiotherapy treatment before you can start skiing again. These are very important to your fast recovery to get you skiing again and joining in the ski instructor courses again and if your insurance company does not cover these costs then this can become very expensive.
– Curtailment of the course (compensation for if your ski instructor training is cancelled or cut short). When considering curtailment cover you should find out for which situations they will reimburse you. Most curtailment packages will reimburse you if it is medically necessary for you to return home. But will they reimburse you if you are injured and cannot ski for the rest of the course, yet it is not medically necessary for you to be sent home for treatment?Also, what will they reimburse you for? Some will just cover flights and accommodation but will they reimburse you for course fees too (which consists of BASI exam fees, New Generation training fees, cost of lift pass)?
<An example: Unfortunately a previous student injured her knee near the beginning of her 10 week residential ski instructor course and was unable to ski for the rest of the course. The doctor recommended physiotherapy sessions which her insurance company did not cover (as they only covered what they deemed to be emergency medical care). These physiotherapy sessions became very expensive. Her injuries were not severe enough to require her to return home for medical treatment though and so although she couldn’t ski or partake in the rest of the course her insurance company would not pay to fly her home or offer her any compensation for the loss of the rest of the course either.>
– Mountain Rescue – If you were to be injured whilst skiing and rescued by a ski patroller in a toboggan, the cost is normally around £500 and a lot more by helicopter! You should check that this cost is covered and what the excess is (if there is one). If your insurance does not cover this or has a high excess then make sure that you buy the Carte Neige in resort as described above.
– Off-piste skiing – If your insurance policy covers you for this whilst skiing with an instructor or guide then this is all you will strictly need for the course. However, if you are likely to ski off-piste in your own time then you should consider that you may be doing this with friends and not a guide or instructor and should make sure that you are covered. The ‘carte neige’ will still cover you for rescue from the mountain if you are off-piste without a guide and your EHIC card may cover some of the medical costs should you need hospitalisation but please be aware that these two may not cover all associated costs.
– Equipment – You may also wish to insure your ski equipment such as skis and boots. These can cost a lot and if they were to break or get stolen you would need to be able to buy replacements as soon as possible to continue with the course.
This is not an exhaustive list as we are not specialists in insurance. These are just some points that through experience we have found would have been good to find out at the time of buying the insurance. We do not specifically recommend any one insurance as we are not experts in this field. But if you don’t know where to start looking then these are some companies that our students have used in the past:
– Mind the Gap (www.mindthegapyear.com)
– The BMC (www.thebmc.co.uk)
– Dog Tag (www.dogtag.co.uk)
– Endsleigh (www.endsleigh.co.uk)
– BASI Insurance (www.basi.org.uk)
Please remember to check the small print, to ask the above questions and know what you are and are not covered for before you pay!
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