It’s that time of year again. Resorts across Europe and North America are reporting huge dumps of early season snow and posting amazing Insta photos of lucky buggers enjoying first lifts and freshies on opening day; all whilst we’re left hoping against hope that it might actually snow in the UK this winter.
You’ve read all the early prediction weather reports and apparently, due to unseasonably low highs in counter-rotational stratospheric isotherms there’s a contra-indication that El Niño temperature fluctuations might double the chances of wintery precipitation around the British Isles……or……something like that anyway.
But realistically you know deep down in your heart of hearts that if we’re really lucky then it might just sleet for an hour on the Tuesday before Christmas.
Off to Europe it is then…
Snowboard Travel Insurance
The initiated amongst you have probably had your snowy shred missions booked for ages already, or if you’re reading this then chances are that you’re in the middle of doing it right now, dreaming of empty life lines, slashing balls-deep pow and hucking a cliff or two (after watching The Fourth Phase for like, the umpteenth time).
Or there’s also the possibility that your flight is in 2 days’ time and your mate has just reminded you about travel insurance, so you’ve hopped on the internet-google-machine to get something sorted ASAP.
Well that’s where I can help narrow down the options available. Following up on a recent article I wrote about the Top 6 Travel Insurance Providers for Action Sports, I’ve gone into a bit more depth in this article concerning snowboarding specifically; including breakdowns of the various types of snowboarding covered by each of the 3 policies I’ve cherry-picked.
Like anything though, before you go purchasing any type of insurance cover, read the policy wording that details the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. The last thing you want is to not be covered because you didn’t read the fine print.
Sports Cover Direct
(Check out the Travel Insurance Guru section of my website if you want to know why I know what I’m talking about when it comes to travel insurance).
So why these 3 policies in particular?
The UK travel insurance market is vast even when you dial down to niche areas like snowboarding, so there are plenty of policies to choose from. I have chosen my 3 based on:
- Feedback from friends who have used these policies in their worldwide adventures including experienced snowboard instructors at all levels
- My personal experience as a customer
- My personal experience as a travel insurance industry professional
- Extensive up to date research(November 2017)
- Snowboarding (backcountry/outside of resort boundary/alpine ski touring)
- Snowboarding (by helicopter/snow cat)
- Snowboarding (dry slope)
- Snowboarding (terrain park within resort)
- Simple cover options which still cater for 99% of tastes (but always check the policy suits your needs)
- Can be purchased by British Citizens whilst they are abroad + extended up to a total policy length of 18 months (whilst most other insurance policies need to be purchased BEFORE you start your trip).
- Well known in the snowboard community.
- No competition cover.
- Slightly confusing classification of activities and sports.
- No cover for those over 65 years old.
Dogtag divide their covered sports into 4 levels ranging from cheaper (Sport), to most expensive (Extreme PLUS):
Dogtag Sport: Includes a huge list of sports and recreational pursuits including winter sports (including off-piste)
Dogtag Sport PLUS: Adds more adventurous sports
Dogtag Extreme: Adds cover for more extreme sports
Dogtag Extreme PLUS: Adds cover for the most extreme sports
The 16 variations of snowboarding cover and the risk level they associate with them are:
- Kite snowboarding – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor adaptive/disabled Course – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor Alpine Course – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor Course – Performance Training – Extreme PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor Course – Residential Beginner – Extreme
- Snowboarding Instructor In service Course – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor Mountain Safety Course – Extreme PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor Ski Alpine Courses – Alpine Test – Extreme PLUS
- Snowboarding Instructor teaching on snow or artificial slope – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding – Sport
- Snowboarding Backcountry with a guide – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding Backcountry without a guide – Extreme
- Snowboarding Freestyle/Terrain Park – no inverted aerials – Sport
- Snowboarding Heliboarding – Sport PLUS
- Snowboarding Off Piste (in resort) – Sport
- Snowboarding Slopestyle – Sport PLUS
- Huge range of snowboarding variations to fit your style including various instructor level cover
- Has a simple classification system for each variation of activity which ranges from the lowest level called ‘Sport’, through ‘Sport +’ and up to ‘Extreme’ and ‘Extreme +’. The cost of insurance rising along with the level of danger.
- Offers cover for a wide range of nationalities in various currencies, not just those from the UK.
- In order to be insured with Dogtag UK, you have to have been resident in the UK for at least six out of the last twelve months.
- Reviews on sites like reviewcentre.com suggest the reimbursement process may be extremely slow.
- No cover for those aged 69 or over.
The 10 variations of snowboarding cover offered are:
- Off piste snowboarding – not alone or contrary to local advice. Excludes competition and race training.
- Snow cat skiing/cat boarding
- Snowboard acrobatics including competitions and events
- Snowboard cross including competitions
- Snowboard jumping (in excess of 1m) including competitions and events
- Snowboard racing and race training
- Snowboard stunting including competitions and events
- Snowboarding excluding competitions
- Snowboarding in snow parks with jumps of less than 1m excludes competitions
- Snowboarding snow parks with jumps of more than 1m includes competitions
- Huge range of different options for terrain park, aerials and competition cover
- Top up option to add new activities/sports to your policy whilst you are travelling.
- Huge range of different cover options can be too confusing, especially the specific size of jumps mentioned and the rather ambiguous 1990’s description of ‘stunting’.
- Only covers persons who have been a resident of the United Kingdom for at least the last 6 months.
- No cover for those aged 75 or over.
What have your experiences been with these companies?
Do you have other recommendations for action sports travel insurance policies?
Please also feel free to ask me any questions about the general travel insurance process and what your expectations should be.
Even if I can simply offer you peace of mind that you are being treated appropriately.