Research by adventure and backpacking travel insurance specialist Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk has shown that thrill seeking skiers this season will be more safety conscious than ever before, with 82% of its customers more likely to wear helmets after last season's Michael Schumacher accident.
However the survey showed more experienced people on the slopes (who classified themselves as 'pros') seem to be more complacent, with 1 in 5 respondents saying that they are not concerned by accidents and do not wear all safety gear.
The survey results show that attitudes towards safety are changing. Almost 40% of 'pros' admitted that they do not wear all safety equipment, whereas less than 20% of beginners stated the same. While they may be more comfortable on the snow, 'pros' are perhaps more likely to take increased risks, with the survey data showing that of the people that had suffered an accidents on the slopes, 40% of them were by people who consider themselves 'pros'.
Accidents on the slopes can be extremely costly, especially when skiing off-piste in remote areas that are difficult to reach. Piste rescue can cost between £1000 and £3000, while remote areas may require a helicopter which can cost up to £15,000. In extreme circumstances, repatriation from Europe can cost up to £10,000, depending on what is required.
However, while 85% of respondents said that they always take out travel insurance, 11% said that they would choose a policy based on the price of the premium over what is actually covered, potentially putting themselves at risk of not being adequately covered and only finding out when they need to make a claim.
Chantelle Dadd, Brand Manager of Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk, commented:
"The results of our recent survey have highlighted the changes in attitude to winter holidays, with high-profile celebrity accidents on the slopes clearly having an impact on people's attitudes towards safety."
"Whatever level of experience you may have, an accident is always possible. While Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk hopes that everyone enjoys themselves on the slopes this season, travel insurance is always important, and becomes even more essential when taking part in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding."
"We recommend that all people taking part in winter sports this season make sure that they take out a ski-specific product which will cover emergency assistance as well as the costs of any lost, damaged or stolen equipment."
*Research conducted by Alphatravelinsurance.co.uk surveyed 1,000 customers of which 835 consumers responded.
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