2022-2023 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 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.
▪ Our October-November 2022 trip Riches of the Mekong to Vietnam and Cambodia
▪ Our January 2023 ski trip to Meribel, France
▪ Our February/March 2023 ski trip to Lech Zurs, Austria
▪ Our March 2023 ski trip to Banff/Lake Louise, Canada
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.
For any traveler who wants to upgrade to “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance, they must contact Myra Altschuler at firstname.lastname@example.org within 14 days from the date they write their first deposit check or make first deposit by credit card.
Special Note on Trips to Canada
We're now 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 coverage options:
- Basic Plan ($0 Trip Cost, no cancellation coverage and trip interruption limited tp $500)—A premium of just $16-60 depending on age, covers primary medical, medical evacuation, trip delay, (partial) trip interruption, and baggage delay. Age is determined by the date you buy the policy and not the date of travel. This option, which does not provide any pre-trip cancellation coverage, would be for the person that wants to be protected during the trip but is not overly concerned about pre-trip cancellation risks.
- Cancellation Insurance—Provides all the benefits of a basic plan plus pre-trip cancellation coverage. Premiums depend on the cost of your trip. Pre-existing condition clauses are waived if you purchase the coverage before (not coincident with) making your final trip payment, although the coverage should be purchased earlier—perhaps as soon as you've booked your trip—in order for the cancellation coverage to start. The benefits apply only if you cancel or interrupt your trip for the following standard reasons: illness, injury or death to you or to your traveling companion/ roommate, or illness, injury or death to an immediate family member.
- Cancellation Insurance with CFAR— The “Cancel for any Reason” (CFAR) upgrade allows you to cancel for the reasons listed in Option 1 and for any non-standard reason such as Pandemics (COVID-19), Epidemics, War, Civil Unrest, Hurricane Warnings, Tornado Warnings, if Your Pet Is Sick, or if you just don’t want to go, but purchase of CFAR must be within 14 days of the day you pay your very first trip deposit, even if it is to hold a place on the trip! (If paying by check, the date written on the check starts the count down. If paying by credit card or Pay Pal, the transaction date starts the countdown). CFAR trip cancellation must be 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. If you cancel your trip for a non-standard reason, your refund will be 75% of your trip price.
Sportours is our tour operator for this-winter's trips to Banff/Lake Louise, Big Sky, Mammoth and Whitefish. Effie Rubinstein is our travel agent. <<Update 6/9/2022:>> In conjunction with these trips, insurance is available from Travel Guard. Several plans are offered, including several that provide trip cancellation coverage. Note the requirement to purchase the insurance within 21 days of making your initial deposit on the trip in order to waive the pre-existing medical condition exclusion, and to be eligible to purchase the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) option. 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.
Winter Ski & Sport is our tour operator for this-winter's trips to Jackson Hole and Crested Butte . Mike & Sheri Agnew are our travel agents. In conjunction with these trips, several levels of insurance are available from CSA Insurance. Click on the links to see a flyer; a summary; or to purchase insurance. You should deduct the value of your lift ticket from the trip price when figuring the cost of coverage, as that is typically a refundable element of your trip. For the regular plan (i.e., "Option 1" which includes pre-trip cancellation protection), pre-existing conditions are waived if the insurance is purchased prior to final payment, but you should purchase it early-on so that your coverage will take effect. "Cancel For Any Reason" coverage is temporarily unavailable (as of 5/20/2021; we'll post an update here when confirmed). The insurance may be purchased for other trips than those listed, whether for skiing or non-skiing travel.
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.