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Prepare Yourself for a Break on the Slopes

5th March 2010

To help winter sports enthusiasts make savings on their annual skiing holiday, Direct Line is offering a 20% discount on all of its travel insurance policies bought online before the end of March*.

With more than 1.25 million people from the UK expected to go skiing this year**, Direct Line is warning those travellers who aim to save money by going without adequate insurance, that they could be in for a shock should the worst happen and they have an accident.

A common injury on the slopes, such as a lower limb fracture, could result in private clinic surgery costs of up to £5,000. Additionally there is the possibility of up to a further £2,000 for helicopter mountain rescue. Wrist, knee and lower limb damage are the most common injuries seen on the slopes with average medical costs ranging from £750 - £1,500.

Jennifer Thomas, spokesperson for Direct Line travel insurance, says: “People need to be more aware of the costs associated with winter sports when the worst happens. With people becoming more adventurous on the slopes, it is important that they ensure appropriate winter sports and medical expenses insurance cover is in place for whatever type of activity they plan to do."

Most common injuries on the slopes

And average medical costs seen by Direct Line***

Injuries Average medical costs
Fractured wrist £1,000 medical expenses
Damaged medial/ cruciate ligament £750 medical expenses plus medical repatriation costs
Fractured radius/ ulna £1000 medical expenses


Fractured tibia/ fibia £1,500 medical expenses plus repatriation costs

Aside from the above injuries and costs, travellers should be aware that there are other elements of medical care that could be required, resulting in further costs. For example, an intensive care ambulance used for medical repatriation for serious cases such as head injuries can cost, on average, up to £10,000 from Geneva to London. Should you suffer a serious accident whilst emulating your Olympic heroes, costs for an air ambulance from Calgary (Canada) to London could reach £45,000.

Direct Line winter sports cover includes:

  • £5 million medical expenses cover
  • Loss of hired ski equipment up to £500
  • Lost ski passes and fees up to £250 for unused or part of passes, hire or tuition fees for which you can’t get a refund due to: accident or sickness, pass is lost or stolen or the resort closes completely
  • Evacuation from the slopes on medical grounds
  • Piste closure up to £20 per day to a total of £200M

In addition the standard policy benefits include the following:

  • Airline and end suppliers failure cover (A new feature of the policy, fills the gap in consumer protection relating to end suppliers of holidays for direct bookings which may fall outside of the Governments ATOL (Air Tour Operators Licence) and has been included on all Direct Line Travel Insurance Policies)
  • Loss or damage to personal belongings
  • Delayed or missed departure
  • Personal money up to £500
  • Personal accident

For further information, please contact:

Tom Wicks
Direct Line Press Office
Tel: 0208 290 3069

Notes to Editors:

* Offer available on Direct Line travel insurance policies bought online before 31 March 2010 
** According to the Ski Club of Great Britain:
*** Direct Line internal claims data

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting