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Sunday February 12, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The insurance company Aviva says February half-term is the most dangerous time of year for a trip to the slopes. It's offering advice on staying safe as the holidays begin. NEW

There are almost twice the average number of winter sports claims compared to the rest of the ski season, according to Aviva claims data.

The most expensive winter sports claim paid out by the travel insurer in recent years was for a customer who suffered a hip injury while skiing in Austria, the cost of which was over £17,000.

Aviva TwitterAviva's tweet about helmets

















The USA is the most expensive place to have an accident with the average cost of a claim there being over £2,000.

  • One in five parents said their children do not wear helmets
  • The average cost of a skiing or snowboarding claim is around £900
  • Most accidents on the slopes happen in France, followed by Austria and Italy

"Even the most competent skiers and snowboarders are injured in collisions which take place every day on the slopes," the travel underwriting manager for Aviva, Kate Niven, said.

"The cost of medical treatment for an accident on the slopes - even for minor injuries - can run into the hundreds and thousands of pounds. The cost of bringing someone with a damaged spinal cord home to the UK by air ambulance could be in the region of £20,000 from Europe, or even as much as £80,000 from the United States."

In a survey by the travel insurance company, of parents who take their family on a winter sports holiday, one in five said their children did not wear a helmet on the slopes.

"If your children are hitting the slopes this half term wearing a helmet should be essential," Kate continued.

"Getting them used to it early will ensure it becomes standard practice. Some resorts enforce the use of helmets for children so it's well worth checking their guidelines."

Helmets for kidsHelmets for kids



















Aviva's advice for staying safe on the slopes

1.    Check your insurance covers you for winter sports

2.    Take lessons if you've never skied before

3.    Check your skiing equipment is in good order and fits you correctly

4.    Wear a helmet

5.    Carry a fully charged mobile phone with you

6.    Ski or snowboard to your skill level

7.    Obey warning signs - especially during avalanche season

8.    Only go off-piste if you are authorised to do so and are with a qualified guide

9.    Don't drink and ski

10.  Take an EHIC card

Aviva has published a guide to 'ski hacks' on its website, which you can read here.

It aims to help families prepare before hitting the slopes.

See here for information on Aviva insurance company:

 Check out PlanetSKI here for more on ski helmets and more here on how areas of the USA have tried to make them compulsory.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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