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Welcome to the Pentagon Ski Club!

2023-2024 Trip Insurance Information

Skiing involves considerable expense and the inherent risk of injury.  We strongly encourage our members to evaluate their individual need for insurance in the event they have to cancel from a trip or become injured while skiing.  Our experience has been that these situations arise each ski season.

Numerous companies offer travel insurance.  This insurance falls into two general categories: 

  • Medical insurance generally provides for payment of expenses associated with treatment, medical evacuation and repatriation. 
  • Cancellation insurance provides coverage in the event an individual cannot make the trip because of unforeseen circumstances.  While the club will attempt to recover as much of the trip cost as possible for the individual, there is no guarantee that this will be successful. 

You must read the details associated with each insurance package to determine exactly what is being covered and the amounts and limitations of that coverage.

Medical Insurance for Trips Outside the U.S.

Most of our skiing and non-skiing trips heading outside the U.S. include basic emergency medical & evacuation/ repatriation insurance coverage, for all participants, as part of the basic trip cost.  Note that this is emergency medical coverage only.  It is not cancellation coverage and will not provide any relief if you have to cancel from the trip before it begins, whether for medical or other reasons.  The following 2024 trips have the Basic Plan, provided through Myra Altschuler of Travel Protectors LLC, included as part of the trip:

  • Our January 2024 ski trip to Cervinia, Italy
  • Our February 2024 ski trip to Fernie, Canada
  • Our March 2024 ski trip to Whistler, Canada
  • Our March 2024 ski trip to Engelberg, Switzerland
  • Our March 2024 ski trip to Revelstoke, Canada
  • Our April-May 2024 Pure New Zealand vacation trip
  • Our May-June 2024 bike trip to Switzerland, Germany & France:
    The Black Forest & the Alsace Wine Route
  • Our September 2024 Scuba Diving & Beach Trip to Dominica
  • Our Sept-Oct 2024 vacation trip to Northern Spain & Portugal:
    Pilgrimage into the Past

This is being done primarily to deal with the potentially difficult situation where a member is not able to board the airplane to return with the group.  A severe injury requiring hospitalization could result in one of our members being alone in a foreign hospital after the group has returned home.  This is the point at which having medical insurance that includes evacuation and repatriation becomes invaluable.  The insurance company may provide support to assist the member while hospitalized and assist in arranging the trip home.  This may include a medical escort if that is necessary.  Such insurance would also normally provide coverage for the expense of medical treatment which could be significant.

Cancellation Insurance Upgrades 
You may upgrade the club-provided Basic Plan to include cancellation insurance.  A flyer describing the Basic Plan and the upgrade options is available on this link:  Group Travel Insurance for 2024 Trips

  • The Option 1 cancellation plan provides all the benefits of the Basic Plan, but also covers you for cancelling for a number of "basic" reasons such as illness, injury or death to you or to your traveling companion/ roommate.  You must purchase it within 14 days of putting down your very first dollar towards the trip in order to waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion.
  • The Option 2 "Cancel For Any Reason" (CFAR) plan provides all the benefits of the Option 1 plan, but also covers you for cancelling for any "non-standard" reason, or if you just don’t want to go, but you must purchase it within 14 days of putting down your very first dollar towards the trip.  If you cancel your trip for a non-standard reason, your refund will be limited to 75% of your insured trip cost.

Special Note on Trips to Canada

We're including insurance coverage for our ski trips to Canada.  Previously, the prevailing wisdom had been that emergency medical insurance wasn't needed in Canada, the thought being that evacuation/repatriation risks were much less than in Europe and that your normal medical insurance would provide adequate protection.  However, experience has shown that medical services within Canada typically require paying on-the-spot and then seeking reimbursement from your insurance company once you return home.  This could be an onerous and time-consuming process and may result in your paying substantial out-of-pocket unreimbursed costs.  The insurance we're including should ease the financial and administrative burden.  It may also be upgraded to include trip cancellation benefits as mentioned above.

Trip Insurance for Domestic Trips

The club's Council has also decided not to deal directly with insurance for our trips within the U.S.  This is necessary to avoid potential liability issues arising from possible misrepresentation of insurance coverage or omissions in processing insurance payments and applications for individuals.

Our tour operators offer, as a convenience to trip participants, various types of insurance coverage. The fact that this coverage is being offered by the tour operators does not imply that this coverage is endorsed by the club.  Our trip leaders will not become involved in arranging insurance coverage or in processing any potential claims:

Travel Protectors LLC, with Myra Altschuler as our agent, offers group travel insurance that could be purchased for any of our trips.  Click on the link to see Myra's flyer which describes the available coverage options.

Sportours is our tour operator for this-winter's trips to Snowbird and Beaver Creek.  Effie Rubinstein is our travel agent.  In conjunction with these trips, insurance is available from Travel Guard. The Travel Guard insurance could also be purchased for other trips, e.g., trips taken as individuals or those coordinated by tour operators other than Sportours.

Group Travel Simplicity (GTS) (aka Winter Ski & Sport - WSS) is our tour operator for this-winter's trip to Winter Park Mike & Sheri Agnew are our travel agents.  In conjunction with the trip, insurance is available from CSA TravelThe CSA insurance could also be purchased for other trips, e.g., trips taken as individuals or those coordinated by tour operators other than GTS.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Coverage for pre-existing conditions can be particularly tricky.  It is best to purchase insurance at the same time you initially sign up for a trip, not only to have the best chance of covering pre-existing conditions, but also so that you are covered during the weeks and months prior to the trip.  The key thing to remember when dealing with insurance issues is to read the details of the policy.  You should request these from the company providing the insurance.

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