If you have a basic annual policy and only require cover for a few days of higher risk activity, you can purchase a medical and emergency expenses only policy for a short duration. If you require baggage, equipment, techno pack, cancellation, travel delay, missed departure or travel disruption insurance, you must still insure the full duration of the holiday including the travel dates because it is the travel dates that claims mainly occur on.

Please note that top up single trip policies only cover emergency expenses incured within the specified cover dates. Only expenses incurred during the period of insurance will be covered so once the policy has expired, if you still need treatment whilst away from the UK, these expenses would NOT be insured as they were incurred outside of the policy period. For this reason you must think carefully about whether you decide to insure the full trip duration or not at the higher risk level of cover. If you do not have underlying cover for your travel dates, you may find some expenses are uninsured in the event you require a non-emergency repatriation and your Snowcard policy has expired (e.g.you are advised to return on your scheduled return flight but need some assistance with travel).

You are also strongly encouraged to cover the full duration of the.activities you are engaging with on one policy. For instance, if you have a policy that covers trekking upto 3000m, do not just insure the time you think you might be above 3000m with top up cover. You should insure the full time trekking with one company to avoid uncertainty or grey areas around which policy will cover you (see below).

If you do not have another policy in force, you can not buy top up only cover - you must insure the full duration of your trip with Snowcard.

Contact assistance@snowcard.co.uk if you need help with this decision. 

Note: you must be a UK resident and you must be returning to the UK at the end of your trip to purchase Snowcard Insurance. Your policy purchase must be made before you have engaged in any activities that you are taking part in. You can not start a new policy once you have started taking part in any activities you require insurance cover for. 


Some things to think about if you opt to top up another policy for a short duration with Snowcard:


Example 1: You have a standard annual travel policy - you are away for 1 week on holiday but will only be taking part in a specified activity excluded by your standard annual policy for a few days, or even just 1 day. 

  • Your annual policy will cover your baggage and cancellation/travel delay risks as normal. You are looking for medical and rescue cover just whilst doing your activity. 
  • You will need to check that your annual policy covers any baggage loss whilst you are doing your activity, also that if you have to cut short your holiday because of injury taking part in the activity, that those costs would be covered. 
  • If not, you should consider insuring the full duration of the trip with Snowcard. 
  • Any costs incurred outside of the dates specified on your Snowcard policy would not be covered by Snowcard so you would need to check with your other insurer if they are happy to cover ongoing expenses once the Snowcard policy has expired. 
  • If not, you should consider insuring the full duration of the trip with Snowcard. 

Example 2: You are going away for 3 weeks on a long trek and you have a single trip policy (or an annual policy) that covers you for trekking up to 3000m. Policies vary, we have used 3000m for illustrative purposes only and you should check your policy for the altitude applicable on that policy.

You will be going above 3000m for 5 days of the 3 week trek and require medical and rescue cover only above 3000m.

  • The points noted above apply.
  • In addition, you need to think about the uncertainties and chance that itineraries on long treks can change. 
  • The dates that you will be above 3000m might alter, weather might prolong the time you are above 3000m, an emergency situation involving you or another party member might mean the itinerary changes – once you have left the UK you will not be able to change your policy so you need to be certain that the dates on your Snowcard policy will cover the days you will be above 3000m – allow for more time not less.
  • You will need to check with your other insurer that the fact you are going above 3000m for a few days will not invalidate their policy in its entirety.
  • In remote areas, whilst an accident at altitude might occur whilst the policy is in force, it can take several days before you are treated or get to a medical facility. Helicopters are not always available and other external factors like the weather, other rescues taking precedence or time delays in organising rescues (like mechanical or staffing problems which are common in less developed areas) can mean your Snowcard policy has expired before you incur costs that you need to be insured for. 
  • For these reasons it is recommended that you insure the full trek duration with Snowcard and not just the few days above 3000m (or other altitude specified on your other policy).
  • If in doubt, you should consider insuring the full duration of the trip with Snowcard.

Note: this list is not exhaustive and insuring part trips carries risks of grey areas in cover if it is not clear which insurer is responsible for the expenses being claimed for. 

If in doubt, insure the full trip duration with a single insurer.