What is the difference between ski touring and ski mountaineering?

Off piste skiing is any skiing or snowboarding activity away from marked and controlled slopes. However, ski touring is a ski journey that includes the use of skins, sometimes ropes or crampons for safety but ascents of peaks that are walking ascents that do not include technical mountaineering in the climbing or alpinism style of ascent. Often the terms 'ski touring' and 'ski mountaineering' are used interchangeably but from the insurance perspective, we differentiate 'touring' from 'mountaineering' because technical alpine ascents that combine climbing with ski touring approaches present higher underwriting risks. The ski mountaineering option should therefore be used if you are engaged in alpinism, technical alpine ascents, in winter conditions where you are using traditional ski touring travel to approach your climbs.
Note: snowboarding and split boarding are included within these definitions if accessing back country areas outside of normal resort boundaries.

What is an excess?

Insurers usually ask you to pay the first part of a claim to keep claims administration costs down. The excess is per person claiming under each section of the policy. If you make multiple claims under different sections, the excess will apply to each section as specified in the policy wording. When you order your policy, you can select your own excess from zero to £250.

What happens if I need to cancel my trip or come home early?

• The health statement is relevant to the cancellation section as well as to the medical expenses section.
• You will need a doctor’s certificate to make a cancellation claim.
• Familiarise yourself with the definition of a close relative.
• We do not cover the financial failure of your travel agent, tour operator or airline.
• Ensure you only book travel services with a company holding a bond to protect your money.
• If you have to cut short a trip, you must seek agreement with Assistance International before making return home arrangements.

What are the main exclusions for baggage and equipment cover?

• You must always take proper care of your belongings and not leave things, particularly valuables, unattended. Leaving something behind is not covered.
• Valuables like cameras, jewellery, money (see definitions) are not covered when unattended except in locked accommodation.
• Fragile items are not covered against accidental damage.
• For equipment, we specifically exclude damage whilst being used for racing or competition.
• Damage in use of mountain bikes and cracking, scratching and denting of canoes or kayaks in use are not covered.

Terrorism - travel against Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice.

It is a general condition of cover that you follow FCO or government advice, which is available from www.fco.gov.uk
If FCO advice is that ‘they advise against all travel’ or ‘they advise against all but essential travel’ then you will not be covered for claims directly or indirectly connected to the reason for the FCO advice.
Where caution is advised, you must follow more specific suggestions like using the services of professional guides or local agents.
The FCO often advise against travel to certain areas in a country that they otherwise do not advise against all travel to. Please ensure that you have read the FCO advice and you understand these restrictions prior to travel. If in doubt, you should contact the British Embassy at your intended destination for advice.
In the event that it becomes too dangerous to visit a country you have booked to go to, in the first instance you must seek either a refund or an alternative holiday from your tour operator. It is normal that where it becomes impossible to provide travel services because of hostilities or negative FCO advice that tour operators provide such assistance.
Where you make independent travel arrangements or book directly with service providers overseas, you may not have such protection and it is advisable to use a tour operator where there is a higher than normal risk of terrorist activity interfering with your journey.

Non UK residents

Snowcard Insurance Services Limited are only authorised to insure UK residents whose journey starts from and returns to the UK.

Snowcard are not authorised to transact insurance in countries other than the UK.


Mountain biking categories

For details of levels of cover for mountain biking please refer to this link:





Mobile phones, Video recorders and Laptops – are they covered?

Electronic/Techno Pack equipment, as defined here: see definitions, is covered upto the amount specified on your Insurance Schedule. High value items should be insured separately under a home contents insurance. Theft of unattended electronic/techno pack equipment is excluded, see Small print – Personal belongings and equipment for cover limitations.

Is third party liability cover included?

All Snowcard policy levels include £2 million personal liability (also called third party liability) cover as standard.

Personal liability cover is included under the Medical and Accident Expenses section of cover. Confirmation is provided on your insurance policy schedule issued when you purchase your insurance.

Is theft of ski or snowboard equipment covered from outside restaurants?

Yes, your ski equipment is covered if you leave it outside a restaurant/bar whilst you stop for a break. If you leave your skis outside, unattended and unlocked overnight, you may not have your claim paid. It is advisable to use ski locker rooms at your accommodation. Do not leave skis unattended in public areas for extended periods of time without locking them away. A useful loss prevention measure is to split your skis with another member of your group to deter theft. Report thefts to the police immediately.


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