Allianz Global Assistance has seen a significant increase in snow-related injuries and claims, with 20-25 year olds making the most claims.
Every year, many Aussies don their ski boots and scoot across the globe for snow adventures in countries including Canada, the United States, Japan, New Zealand and France. Unfortunately the hazards of skiing means Allianz Global Assistance attends to a number of severe, potentially life threatening situations involving medical repatriations each year.
The most common injuries in the snow are:
- Ligament sprains & other soft tissue structural damage
- Fractured bones
- Skiers are much more likely to damage knees
- Snowboarders are more likely to damage wrists and hands.
You can take better care of yourself as you hit the slopes by being aware of the potential risks and taking necessary precautions. To help ensure a fun and safe snow holiday consider the following:
- Ski and snowboard lessons: Even though it might look easy, lessons are essential for beginners to make sure you master the right techniques and if you’re not a beginner, don’t forget the value of a refresher lesson if you haven’t skied in a while.
- Weather conditions: Wanting the next adrenalin rush can be tempting, even when the weather is poor, but don’t put yourself at risk. Check conditions before you leave and ensure you stay close to the resort if conditions are due to deteriorate.
- Physical form: Snow sports are physically draining so fatigue can affect even the most experienced skiers. If you’re feeling tired take the morning or afternoon off, rest up and hydrate. Most accidents happen when people are tired and lose concentration.
- Know your runs: Familiarise yourself with the resort and runs before you set off and only go off-piste if you’re experienced or with an instructor.
- Ski equipment: Depending on different countries and resorts, wearing helmets may be mandatory. Even if they are not, wear a helmet and ensure you have appropriate, well-fitting equipment and clothing.
- Après-ski: Ski resort nightlife is very much part of the snow culture but know your limits and use common sense when necessary.
- Right insurance: It’s important to do your research to find the right insurance for what you need.
Taking precautions and ensuring you have adequate travel insurance can pay off. Take the example of Nathan Evans, who was skiing in Japan when he broke his leg. The accident resulted in overseas medical expenses totalling $13,000 that included: car transfers, flights to send him home, and a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) injection. Fortunately, he was covered through Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance.
Terms, conditions, exclusions and limits apply. AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL No. 245631 trading as Allianz Global Assistance issues and manages this product as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (Allianz) ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL No. 234708. We do not provide any advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision please consider the Product Disclosure Statement . If you purchase a policy, we receive a commission which is a percentage of your premium – ask us for more details.