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In most cases, the "piste closure" section of Winter Sports cover (if you have it) will usually provide a daily benefit if you can't ski because there's no snow and the piste is closed. Below we discuss what's typically covered by piste closure and how much you can expect to claim back.
- What is Piste Closure Cover?
- How Much Can You Claim if There's No Snow?
- When No Snow Isn't Covered by Ski Insurance
What is Piste Closure Cover?
Piste Closure cover lets you claim up to a certain amount per day (subject to a maximum amount per trip) if you can't ski or snowboard because the piste has been closed. Valid reasons for piste closure vary from plan to plan but may include:
- Too little snow
- Too much snow
- Avalanche risk
- High winds
The money you claim back for piste closure can be used to transit to another ski resort with more favourable conditions and an open piste; or to pay for alternative activities. Piste closure is a component of most Winter Sports travel insurance plans, although some plans do not offer this benefit.
How Much Can You Claim if There's No Snow?
Piste closure coverage ranges from £10 per day (maximum £100 total for your trip) up to £50 per day (maximum £500 total) or more; for the most part you'll find piste closure plans offer around £20 per day. Unfortunately these amounts are far less than most lift ticket fees.
Coverage levels vary from insurer to insurer and even from plan to plan, as some insurance providers offer higher piste closure coverage benefit on their premium plans than on their budget plans. In the table below we've gathered information on piste closure benefit from over a dozen US travel insurance providers, to give you an idea of what to expect.
For companies with a standard level of no-snow cover we show their data only in the first column; we've displayed data for companies offering different levels of no-snow cover across multiple columns.
|Piste Closure Coverage Levels Available||Max Total||Max/day or 24hrs||Max Total||Max/day or 24hrs||Max Total||Max/day or 24hrs||Max Total||Max/day or 24hrs|
|Fortify My Travel||£200||£20|
|Just Travel Cover||£200||£20||£400||£40|
|OK to Travel||£400||£30||£400||£40|
Sometimes the benefit from piste closure cover is transportation to an alternative ski resort (instead of money back). It's worth checking the Policy Wording so you understand how no snow is handled by your Winter Sports cover.
What's Not Covered
There are a few circumstances when your Winter Sports cover might not cover lack of snow. While terms will vary from policy to policy, here are some common reasons that a "no-snow" piste closure claim might not be valid:
- If "no snow" is not listed as a valid piste closure claim: Some insurance companies are quite prescriptive as to valid reasons for a "piste closure" claim, but in most cases piste closure due to lack of snow is covered
- If piste closure is not a component of Winter Sports coverage on your policy (although it usually is)
- If your holiday/travel insurance were booked when poor conditions were common knowledge then you might not be able to claim for piste closure
- If your ski holiday is in certain times of the year, e.g., before 1 December or after 15 April in the Northern hemisphere
- If your ski resort is located at a low altitude, e.g., under 1,000 metres above sea level
- If you don't have a written letter from the ski resort manager detailing the reason for the piste closure and how long it lasted
As terms and conditions vary significantly across the industry, be sure to read through your Policy Wording so you understand how you're protected, what's covered and what's not covered. With insurance policies in general, the devil is in the details.