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Susan Care

Susan works as editorial assistant and researcher on personal finance stories. She also writes on a number of breaking news stories, as well as offering great money saving tips to shopping-savvy consumers.

Skiers left out of pocket when Insurance didn’t cover cost of lost skis

If you're hitting the slopes this season, check your travel insurance gives you enough cover for hired ski equipment.

It's worth checking the cover limits and wording of your Winter Sports Travel Insurance policy. A family travelling with Crystal Ski discovered they were under-insured when their hired skis and boots were stolen from their hotel's ski lockers.

Their insurance policy paid out promptly but had a claim limit of £300 per person and an excess of £75. Unfortunately the ski hire company charged them £1,538 for the lost equipment with one set of skis valued at €700, well over the maximum single item claim limit. Overall their insurer paid out £880 leaving them £658 out of pocket.

Their complaint wasn't with their insurer, who had acted properly and paid out promptly within the limits of the policy but with Crystal and the Ski Hire shop they recommended as they felt the valuations unfair. Incidentally, they hadn't taken out travel insurance through Crystal but calculated that they would have lost out even more had they done so. Having complained to Crystal twice without success they approached their local paper.

Intervention by journalist Paul Gosling of the Belfast Telegraph saw more fruitful negotiations between Crystal and the ski hire shop which led to a refund of £460 reducing their shortfall to £200.

Cover, excesses and terms for Ski Equipment do vary considerably between policies and insurers. Some will only pay out a proportion of the purchase price of the equipment allowing for depreciation – fine if it's your own equipment, not so good if the hire shop terms and conditions expect you to repay the full retail value.

If you are a more advanced skier and are willing to pay more for the equipment you hire, you should also upgrade your insurance accordingly if you want to be fully covered in the event of a claim.

For single trip or annual multi trip travel insurance, compare travel insurance quickly with the MoneyMaxim comparison service to find the right policy for your holidays. For those out in the resorts for more than just a holiday check out our Seasonaires Travel Insurance page.

If you've already got Travel Insurance through your bank but it doesn't include winter sports, consider VentureGuard from Sportscover Direct to add cover for your particular sports activity, though this doesn't include cover for equipment.