Will Wintersports Travel Insurance Cover Ice Skating or Tobogganing?

February 19, 2024

Are you heading to the mountains this winter, not to ski but to simply take in the scenery, do a bit of wildlife spotting and drink in the culture?  That’s amazing, but what other things might tempt you when you get there?  What might lead you to have to call on your travel insurance policy or wish that you’d bought the right one, with wintersports travel insurance included?

A sudden snowfall at Easter, or a little later, might just, for instance, create a huge temptation for you, in the form of tobogganing.  The allure of throwing caution to the wind and reliving childhood memories could soon lead to you grabbing a sled and lugging it up a mountainside.  But would you be protected by your winter sports travel insurance cover, if you subsequently found you’d lost all your childhood ‘braking’ skills and suffered an accident and injury?

Additional wintersports insurance needed


The answer is probably ‘no’, if you only have standard travel insurance cover.  Europesure Travel Insurance’s view on sporting activities is pretty comprehensive, with many included within our standard policy.  Tobogganing is not, however, one of them.  Unless you have bought a wintersports add-on policy, any claim would not be covered.

That’s because tobogganing can be pretty dangerous.  In Canada, 2000 children a year are injured whilst tobogganing – figures that underpin advice to always wear a helmet, as head injuries are fairly commonplace.  Although tobogganing is technically the fourth most dangerous winter sport, ranking behind ice skating, the cost of the types of injuries it can lead to can often outweigh those of ice skating.  Severe brain damage and head trauma are just two of them.

Picture by Patrick Robert Doyle, courtesy of Unsplash

Lowering risks when tobogganing

The chances of causing a serious injury to a third party are probably also greater, with it being hard to control a toboggan that has picked up speed and is hurtling down a hill.  If taking part in this sport, you should choose a toboggan that can be steered.  You should also  avoid one mounted on skis.  Make sure the handholds are secure to the sled and avoid wearing scarves or other clothing that could catch on something.  Do not toboggan where there are trees or other obstacles that you could hit and only toboggan when visibility is good.

Travel insurance and ice skating

But what about ice skating? Many ski resorts now also have outdoor ski rinks, with these including: Les Houches, Megève, Montgenèvre and Les Sybelles, in France; Nassfeld in Austria; Vail, Sun Valley, Sugar Mountain Resort and Beaver Creek in the USA and Big White in Canada.  But will you be skating on thin ice if you can’t resist slipping on the blades?

Well, with Europesure Travel Insurance, ice skating is covered on your standard travel insurance policy, so you do not need the wintersports add-on, unless also intending to engage in another wintersports activity that is not covered. 

What you should do, however, is take good note of the rink’s rules and be alert to other skaters at all times – so no wearing of headphones or talking on your phone whilst skating.  You should also ensure the skates are a good fit and supporting the ankle well. Do some lunges and stretches to warm up the muscles before taking to the ice and wear protective clothing – at least a helmet, but knee and elbow pads and also wrist guards, if you can.

If you prepare well for the rink and do not overstretch yourself by taking on moves you are not confident enough to make, you should be able to have fun and stay safe.

Picture credit: weston-m-1QKC4PqKXzE-unsplash.jpg

Covering participation in other wintersports activities

Of course, if you are heading to one of these ski resorts specifically to ski or snowboard, rather than sightsee, you will need the wintersports add-on policy from Europesure.  Other wintersports activities are also only covered if you have this specific additional protection, so do check things out.

Should you simply wish to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Torvill and Dean winning ice dance Gold in Sarajevo this year (February 14, 2024), by taking a few steps on the ice, you should be OK, however.

To check what sporting activities are covered by our standard travel insurance policy – either single trip or annual – head here.  To view the additional cover that wintersports protection offers and the policy that you will need if you see W/S against an activity’s name, the policy you need is here.

If you have bought an annual policy from Europesure already and did not realise you needed a wintersports add-on at the time, you can add that, as long as your annual policy is still valid and as long as you do so whilst you are in your country of residence.  You cannot buy an add-on policy whilst you are travelling.  With single trip cover, you can only buy the add-on at the time of policy purchase.

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These travel insurance products are brought to you by Europesure Insurance. For EU and EEA policies: Status Europesure Insurance Cyprus is a trading name of Status Insurance Agents, Sub-Agents and Consultants CY Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Insurance Companies Control Service in Cyprus, number 5015. Incorporated in Cyprus, Number HE394801: 5 Rafael Santi, 1st Floor, Office 101, 6052 Larnaca, Cyprus. Status Insurance Agents, Sub-Agents and Consultants CY Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Status Insurance Management Ltd. For UK and Gibraltar policies, Europesure Insurance is a trading name of Status Insurance Management Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Their FCA number is 305697. Registered in England Number 1785590: First Floor, Jebsen House, 53-61 High Street, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 7BD.
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