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Holidays in the mountains: should you take out ski insurance? Visa Premier, off track... The answers to your main questions


Every winter, 8 million people frequent the slopes of French ski resorts and areas, half of them during the 4-week winter vacation. A popular but sometimes dangerous hobby, which deserves to be well insured against injuries.

Skiing remains a pleasure for its millions of practitioners, especially during the winter holidays, provided they take a few precautions to first avoid injury, and then ensure that they are well covered in the event of an accident. accident on the tracks.

Collision, falls... The 2021-2022 winter season was marked by high attendance at mountain resorts and slopes, but also by a significant increase in the number of interventions by the slope service (+13%) and the number of injured (+8%, or nearly 150,000) compared to the average of the five years before Covid, according to the report of the National Mountain Safety Observation System (SNOSM).

In addition to wearing a helmet and good physical preparation, here is what you need to know about ski insurance, a service that the

Read alsoRanking of the 200 French ski resorts: ski pass prices, snow cover... which one is right for you?

Is it necessary to be insured for skiing?

Insurance for the practice of winter sports is not obligatory but highly recommended.

This protects you and your family against financial costs if you suffer an accident (fall, collision, fracture, etc.).

Are we already covered by other contracts, with the risk of duplication?

Indeed, some contracts already cover part of the risks associated with winter sports.

“The Multi-Risk Home (MRH) contract includes Civil Liability coverage which covers the costs if you cause an accident to a third party.

The Life Accident Guarantee (GAV) or “Individual accident” contract allows you to be covered yourself in the event of an accident (fall for example).

But you should check your contract carefully to make sure that the practice of winter sports is not excluded”

, recommends Catherine Dibouès, Head of the Mobility-Leisure Market in the Marketing & Digital Department at Allianz Partners.

The Individual accident generally covers bodily injury, medical expenses and the lasting consequences of the accident on the life of the victim and that of his family (disability/death benefits, family assistance, etc.).

It is often offered as an option in MRH contracts.

Finally, if you have a mutual health insurance, it will cover the costs of hospitalization and care if you have an accident.

Key figures

40,000 rescue service calls/year in French ski areas3/average cost of ski insurance: 3 euros/daySources: France Insurers, Allianz, Insurers of Prevention and Winter Sports Accidentology - Mountain Doctors

And bank cards (Visa, MasterCard...)?

Your credit cards contain insurance and assistance guarantees, as well as the reimbursement of accommodation costs in the event of an accident or cancellation.

But the conditions of intervention and especially the ceilings differ according to the cards.

"Top-of-the-range bank cards include payment for search costs, on-track rescue, as well as repatriation and damage to rental equipment, provided you have used your bank card to pay for the rental of your equipment. and its ski lift pass"

explains Catherine Dibouès.

Read the fileTravel insurance: information and advice from Le Figaro

Will I be rescued on the slopes even if I am not insured?

In the mountains as elsewhere, it is up to the municipality to organize rescue on public property.

But it can then turn against you to obtain reimbursement of the costs incurred.

However, the average cost of mountain rescue in France varies between €180 for an evacuation at the bottom of the piste and €3,000 for an evacuation by helicopter.

Even if you think you are insured, be careful about mountain rescue costs (travel from the ski slopes to the hospital), which are often excluded from Individual accident contracts and classic bank cards, which only offer repatriation (from hospital to home).

A “peak” of accidents between 11 a.m. and noon and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

According to data from the National Mountain Safety Observation System (SNOSM), the "peaks" in the activity of the resort rescue services are between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and to a lesser degree between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., this being linked the level of attendance of the ski slopes.

What is the point of taking out specific insurance for skiing?

The different guarantees being fragmented in different insurance contracts, having an overall view of your protection before leaving is sometimes difficult.

If you are not sure of the guarantees included in your insurance contracts, it is more reassuring to take out "all-inclusive" winter sports insurance for the duration of your stay, in order to avoid possible "holes in the racket ".

Its average cost is estimated at €3/day of skiing.

Packaged solutions such as the Snow Card or the Snow Square (see below) have the advantage of compiling all of the aforementioned guarantees, as well as theft and breakage of equipment, loss or theft of the ski pass, reimbursement ski lessons, equipment rental and unused ski passes.

We also mention the

AssurGlisse insurance offered at the counters of Orion Ticket Neige resorts with the ski pass (risks covered by WTW Montagne and Mutuaide Assistance).

Some insurers also offer to take out daily insurance before departure, such as ski insurance from APRIL International and Voyageo Neige from Axa (which also includes a stay cancellation guarantee, added since the Covid).

Carte neige and Carré neige: 2 card formulas

The Snow Card (with the FFS).

Proposed by the French Ski Federation, the Snow Card License is mainly intended for regular practitioners (leisure or competition).

It covers the practice of skiing in all its forms (including off-piste), all year round and anywhere in the world.

It can be subscribed via internet on the FFS website.

The risk is carried by Europ Assistance and Allianz, via the insurance broker Verspieren.

Le Carré Neige (with the ESF).

Created 30 years ago, and proposed by the Savoie Ski Committee, the Carré Neige is geared towards occasional amateur practice.

It can be taken out directly at the ticket offices of the resorts when purchasing the pass, as well as in most French Ski Schools, on site or when booking online.

The assistance risk is carried by Mutuaide assistance, via the broker Diot Montagnes.

In what cases am I responsible if I hit a skier?

You are responsible if:

  • you arrive from upstream and you refuse priority to a downstream skier;

  • you ski or ride too fast on a slope reserved for beginners;

  • you take a break in a place with no visibility;

  • you make a dangerous overtaking;

  • you lose one of your skis which injures another skier.

Is off-piste skiing covered?

“Practiced outside the marked or supervised paths of a resort, off-piste skiing is not always covered by insurance contracts.

You should carefully check the clauses of your contract if you want to practice it,”

explains Catherine Dibouès.

Snowboarding, assimilated to alpine skiing, is covered, as is the practice of sledding, cross-country skiing or hiking.

Where and when to take out ski insurance?

For MRH, Individual accident and Mutual health insurance contracts, it is possible to take out all year round with the various insurance companies, online or in an agency.

For specific ski insurance, you can subscribe when purchasing your stay in the mountains, with a travel agency or an online agency, or once on site when purchasing the ski lift pass directly in the resort or even online.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-12-17

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