Your insurance policy is there to cover any unexpected, undesirable and even unaffordable costs, like lost baggage or injury. Hopefully it will be a purchase that you’ll never actually use but before your trip we’ll ask for your policy details so that we can assist you in the event of an emergency.
One this page we'll cover:
1. When to buy your insurance
2. Things to consider
3. Insurance providers
WHEN TO BUY INSURANCE?
It is highly recommended - and some travel insurance providers require it - that you purchase your policy at the same time as you book your Nonstop course. However, at the very latest you should have purchased cover two months or more before your trip starts.
If you are a resident of Canada or the USA then you may feel your regular health insurance is sufficient cover. It is still really important that you take out travel insurance so that you can recoop course fees etc in instances such as if you were to get injured and had to miss all of / part of the course, your equipment being stolen etc.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Whatever you decide, please be sure the policy you are purchasing covers you sufficiently for your course. It is down to you as the consumer to research individual policies, find one that provides adequate cover for your needs and select one of your own accord. If you are aware of what is and what is not covered, you will avoid problems and undue stress should you need to make a claim. Here’s hoping it will never come to that!
Here are a few prompts past Nonstop participants have found helpful when researching the insurance policies on the market.
Ensure your policy covers snow sports in ‘North America’ as well as continuous skiing for your entire trip duration. Ensure the policy covers “off-piste skiing with a guide”, and decide if you need cover for activities such as cat-skiing, snowmobiling, or heli-skiing.
Frustratingly not all insurance companies have the same definition for "off-piste" which means that you must do thorough research to ensure that you're covered. On a Nonstop course you'll be skiing/riding throughout the resort both on groomed and on ungroomed slopes (which may or may not have trail names). Some of those areas will be in amongst the trees. Additionally, for some optional activities such as our avalanche awareness courses, our ski touring, and our winter camping, you'll be skiing/snowboarding with a guide in the "backcountry" which is ungroomed and unpatrolled terrain outside of the resort boundaries.
In some countries (e.g. UK) if the policy stipulates that off-piste skiing/snowboarding with an instructor/guide is covered, then the cover may be sufficient because in Canada, "off-piste" is the area outside the resort boundaries, not covered by ski patrol. When you do go outside these boundaries on a Nonstop activity you will be with a guide, therefore covered. If you choose to go out-of-bounds without a guide, you could invalidate the policy and not be covered.
In other countries (e.g. Australia) we've found that different companies have different definitions of "off-piste" so it is essential that you describe what you will be doing and get a written confirmation of what their policy covers. This should include a written definition of how your insurance company defines “off piste” and any other activities they have as exclusions.
WHAT WILL YOU RECEIVE IF YOU LOSE YOUR EQUIPMENT?
It’s important to take into consideration two factors. One, what is the total amount paid out in the event of loss of baggage (e.g. £2000) and two, what is the single item cover amount? Your skis are considered one item and if they are worth £500 and your single item cover is only £250 you will be in for a shock when you claim for the full amount! The total amount is what the company will go up to, comprised of the combined amount of all single items claimed for.
WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION COVER?
It is worth noting how much you will get back should you have to cancel your course (before it has started). Some will pay 50% some will pay 100%. Make sure you understand exactly how much your policy will cover and in what scenarios.
It is important that all our participants understand that Nonstop cannot provide any refunds in the event of an injury that prevents them completing their course.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET BACK SHOULD YOU GET INJURED WHILE ABROAD AND NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE COURSE?
This part is vital and needs careful consideration. One company we asked said they would pay £75 per day! Sounds good hey? But they followed it up by saying £75 a day up to £450. So basically you get money for a total of six days. If you get hurt on the first day that leaves ten weeks you will not receive money for. Some companies will cover you for more than this but it will come at a cost. The more cover you want, the more you will have to pay for it.
Please note, we cannot recommend any particular provider or policy and we ask that you check insurance provider’s terms and thoroughly research their cover to ensure that you buy a policy that adequately covers your needs. Pay particular attention to curtailment and medical cover.
An insurance provider who has been popular with our past clients:
We've researched a lot of insurance policies and, surprisingly, most companies don't include cover for "off-piste skiing/snowboarding in North America". Clearly, if you're going on a Nonstop course you'll be skiing/riding powder within, and outside, the resort boundaries (e.g. cat skiing). Luckily, World Nomads “Third Level Adventure Sports” policy is more comprehensive than most. Before purchasing a policy remember to thoroughly check that the cover is suitable for you. If in doubt, contact the Service Team at World Nomads.
Many, many providers have suspended travel insurance due to covid-19 travel restrictions. Here are a couple that we know are still offering policies. Now that the borders have re-opened we expect more and more to reinstate their travel insurance policies.
Covers for most COVID eventualities. Currently valid for FCDO travel warning but COVID cover will be removed in this instance. Winter sports cover includes off piste (but within resort boundary). Can Cover for some terrain park activities but with exclusions for jumping. Covers for a ski/snowboard instructor course. Several options for different levels to include cancellation and curtailment costs. DOES NOT: include cover for jumping in the park
Offers cover for a ski/board course, similar to true traveller but does NOT cover for anything COVID related at the moment. Should be adding COVID cover in the coming weeks but then expect to be a similar price to True Traveller. Valid for FCDO travel warning. Need to add extra cover for playing in the park, but will include small jumps in the park, one of the very few to provide this.
We will continue to add other options here if and when we hear about them.
In recent years we have also had clients use the following insurance companies and comment on how satisfied they were with the service they received:
Fast Cover – Snow Cover
1 Cover Travel Insurance
Defence Health Travel Insurance
Europeesche Verzekeringen Netherlands
Allianz Global Assistance
Chartis South Africa
ERV / ERGO (use ERGO10 for 10%)
Ski Club Great Britain
United Health Care
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Allianz Global Assistance
Allianz Global Assistance
While we are not authorised to recommend any particular policy, we can help with questions you might want to ask insurers so get in touch if you have any concerns about insurance. Please contact us if you have any questions.
We look forward to speaking with you.