Taking a ski trip? Pack your Medical Travel Insurance!

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In Canada, most skiing (and snowboarding) accidents happen where there are ski hills: Alberta, B.C. and Quebec. For the adventurous, even those gorgeous terrains may not be enough, so many travel farther afield to Aspen or Squaw Valley in the U.S. — or they may even take the big trip to the Alps in Switzerland.

When you are away from home — out of province or out of the country — your provincial medical coverage doesn’t pay for your healthcare expenses. That is why it’s vital to have travel medical insurance in place.

Enjoying an exhilarating sport is a thrill, but there are risks that can result in a costly trip to the hospital.

Whether You’re Advanced or Novice, Get Travel Insurance

The majority of tourists who go skiing or snowboarding are beginners, eager to experience something new and exciting. But that inexperience on the hills can result in unplanned medical emergencies. Travel insurance is the best way to put your mind at ease so you can focus on enjoying your vacation. Many travel medical plans cover winter sport activities like skiing and snowboarding, as long as they are not done on a professional basis or outside of marked boundaries.

Why do skiers land in the hospital?

Here are just a few of the injuries that can happen.

Knee damage

Tears to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) that connects your thigh bone to the shin bone are quite common when a skier falls and twists his knee by reaching uphill or squatting to break the fall. They also happen when a ski jump goes wrong and the skier lands on one leg, causing the tibia to push up against the femur.

Skier’s Thumb

Skier’s thumb is a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) at the base of the thumb, typically caused when a skier falls on an outstretched hand while holding a ski pole, putting force on the thumb.

Wrist Fractures

When we are falling, we instinctively reach out to brace ourselves against the fall, but this reflex can result in a wrist fracture.

Ankle Injury

Falls can lead to a sprained or fractured ankle, with some requiring surgery to repair.


A concussion results when a fall causes in an impact to the head. Concussion can be extremely serious.

And remember, men are much more likely to be hospitalized from a ski or snowboard accident than women, a pattern that holds true for most outdoor sports and activities.

Emergency Medical is a Must, But Play It Safe

You need to make sure that you and your family are covered for treatment at the nearest medical facility if your skiing adventure doesn’t go quite as planned. If you’re outside of your home province but enjoying the Canadian slopes, provincial healthcare doesn’t cover ambulance services, or some other expenses!

If you are outside of Canada, your provincial healthcare plan can cover less than 10% of your medical costs.

Besides covering any accidents on the hill, travel medical insurance covers mishaps on the trip to the resort and home again too.

Know what is and isn’t covered in your policy, so you can enjoy your snow vacation accordingly. And remember that your travel insurance claim can be denied if

  • an accident happens as a result of intoxication (so go easy on the après-ski!)
  • an emergency results from intoxication by an illegal substance (If it’s illegal no insurance company will cover you.)
  • you’re a professional or competing without the proper professional sports coverage.

Start planning your ski trip now!

What’s the first step to a great ski vacation? Calling us to get your travel medical insurance coverage!


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