What is classed as 'off-piste' skiing?

For the seasoned skier, the lure of the off-piste experience can be a powerful attraction. Before you dive off the beaten track however, here's the low down on what you need to know about off-piste ski insurance

Firstly, it would be a good idea to clarify exactly what most travel insurance companies define as 'off-piste' skiing.

Simply put, skiing off-piste is skiing outside the marked boundaries laid down by the resort. While winter sports insurance packages can cover you for off-piste skiing, this does not mean that you will be automatically covered for any and all forms of skiing activity beyond the resort boundaries. It's always worth checking the policy wording before travelling, as insurers may have varying cover descriptions.

Here are a few handy hints and considerations to help you choose the right level of cover and avoid invalidating any claims you may need to make.

Consider the level of skiing risk

As mentioned, most standard winter sports insurance policies will not cover you for all off-piste skiing activities. If you plan on heli-skiing or ski mountaineering, you will more than likely need to invest in an extreme sports or adventure insurance.

Read up on local skiing regulations

Regardless of the level of risk your policy covers you for, where an activity directly contravenes local law, all levels of policies are rendered useless. For example, in most parts of North America, all forms of skiing activity off-piste are against the law. Consequences for breaching resort regulations can range from having your lift pass confiscated to, in some cases, arrest. Make sure you read up on local ski laws and regulations.

Pre-existing medical conditions

As with applying for any type of insurance policy, you always need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions you may have.

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