Can­celling ski trips when there’s no snow

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - YOUR MONEY - Olivia Rudgard

Thou­sands of hol­i­day­mak­ers go­ing on ski­ing trips are dis­mayed at re­ports of bare slopes, with dry con­di­tions mean­ing many re­sorts have been re­liant on snow can­nons.

It’s been a ter­ri­ble week for skiers, and there are fears en­tire re­sorts will have to close as drought warn­ings mean snow can­nons have to be switched off. A more pos­i­tive fore­cast sug­gests this may now be avoided – but if you have been un­able to ski, can you claim com­pen­sa­tion?

It de­pends on your in­sur­ance pol­icy. If you have a win­ter sports pol­icy then it should in­clude com­pen­sa­tion for days you can­not ski.

How­ever, it is un­likely that a lack of snow will be ac­cepted as a rea­son to can­cel the hol­i­day al­to­gether, though some spe­cial­ist poli­cies pro­vide this.

Many poli­cies also won’t cover you if your re­sort is be­low a cer­tain level, for ex­am­ple 1,600m, or if you took out the cover within 14 days of the hol­i­day, un­less you booked the trip at the same time.

If you haven’t bought in­sur­ance yet, buy­ing it now with a view to claim­ing com­pen­sa­tion will be seen as fraud­u­lent by in­sur­ers, who will check whether the poor con­di­tions were “pub­lic knowl­edge” at the time you bought the in­sur­ance. It de­pends on the pol­icy, but in­sur­ers gen­er­ally pay out around £25 to £35 a day for piste clo­sure.

It’s de­signed to cover the cost of trav­el­ling fur­ther afield to find snow, or of al­ter­na­tive ac­tiv­i­ties.

This only kicks in if it’s been im­pos­si­ble to ski – so will not pay if even a small bit of the re­sort is open.

It may also be scant con­so­la­tion for skiers who have paid out hun­dreds on flights and ho­tels.

For ex­am­ple, Na­tion­wide will pay out £35 a day per in­sured per­son, up to a max­i­mum of £525.

Some in­sur­ers, such as LV, will also pay out for the cost of un­used lift passes, guides, equip­ment hire and tu­ition.

How­ever, the in­surer will not cover you for costs if you can­cel or cut the trip short.

You have to pro­vide ev­i­dence from a tour op­er­a­tor or re­sort man­ager that pistes were closed.

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