Drunk Skiers Pay The Price

 January 2009


Up to 400,000* young Brits risk invalidating their travel insurance by drinking excessively on the slopes this season, warns EssentialTravel.co.uk.

This winter's heavy snowfall, plus deeply discounted ski packages and the perennial lure of the après-ski party scene, means significant numbers of 18 - 28 year olds are booking last minute winter sport breaks across Europe. But EssentialTravel.co.uk is concerned young British skiers and boarders who hit the bars then hit the slopes, don't realise their insurance will not cover them if they are found to be over the limit.

Snowboarders and skiers generally travel with expensive equipment and realise they risk injury, so - after families - are the group most likely to take out travel insurance' says Stuart Bensusan, Director at leading British insurance specialist EssentialTravel.co.uk, ‘But what most fail to realise, is skiing or boarding whilst drunk invalidates their insurance. This means if they have a few drinks then are injured - or injure someone else - on the slopes, it's as good as having no insurance at all.”

Recent Foreign Office figures predict that a third of young people will have an alcohol related accident on the slopes this season and as Stuart Bensusan points out: ‘Winter sport injuries tend to be serious and very expensive: a broken leg can cost up to £25 000 to treat, an airlift to hospital will set you back around £6,000 and repatriation up to £50,000. If you're drunk on the slopes - you're going to end up badly out of pocket. And there's also the serious issue of liability if you are found to have negligently injured another skier'.

What makes the après-ski culture particularly hazardous is that many winter sports enthusiasts don't realise that alcohol is more intoxicating at high altitudes. It also causes body temperature to drop at an accelerated rate, increasing the likelihood of hypothermia. “We're not saying that people should abstain from drinking altogether' says Stuart, ‘But people should take responsibility and know their limits: and if they are over the limit - don't take to the slopes'.

EssentialTravel.co.uk 's Après-ski Safety Tips:

  • Be aware alcohol affects you more quickly at altitude - drink less than your usual limit; keep hydrated with plenty of water; alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks.
  • If you've had a heavy night, don't rush straight out on the slopes in the morning. Remember that alcohol is still likely to be in your system and if you're suffering from a bad hangover, your judgement and performance on the slopes will be impaired.
  • If you have an accident or injure someone else whilst drunk - your travel insurance will almost certainly NOT cover you. So think twice before you order another.
  • In some resorts you can be fined and have your lift pass confiscated if you're found to be drunk on piste.
  • If you intend to drink on piste make sure that you stick to slopes that are suited to you level of experience. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can affect your judgment.
  • If you've got an iPod or iPhone it might be worth investing in the new iBreath - a breathalyzer you can simply plug into either and which will give you a reading within minutes to tell you whether or not you're over the legal alcohol limit.
  • * Based on figures released by the FCO

    - ENDS -

    About EssentialTravel.co.uk
    EssentialTravel.co.uk is the UK's leading independently owned, online travel essential's company, offering competitively priced, fully comprehensive travel insurance, airport car parking and hotels. For further information, travel tips and advice visit www.essentialtravel.co.uk

    EssentialTravel.co.uk Limited 21 Ganton Street, London W1F 9BN is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority No: 300175 Company Number: 4331342

    SEE ALSO :

    Consumers deceived by price comparison websites warns Essential Travel 70% of travel insurance policies deemed worthless - December 2010

    Don't Get Caught In The Gap Year Trap - Essential Travel - September 2010

    Essential Travel Receives Travolution Award - October 2009

    Holidays End 1 In 10 Friendships - April 2009

    Essential Travel.co.uk Protects Channel Island and Travel insurance to be required for Channel Island visitors March 2009

    Drunk Skiers Pay The Price - January 2009

    Tourists risk card theft - Travel News August 2008

    Travel Insurance News - Online Reporting February 2007 - COVER PRICES WILL MAKE ESSENTIAL TRAVELS ANNUALS A BEST SELLER IN 2007

    Travel Insurance News myfinances.co.uk March 2007 - Supermarket travel insurance not cheapest

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