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Old 19.12.2010, 09:56
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Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

If I am skiing or boarding off piste and get injured and need rescuing, is this covered by my

a) accident insurance
b) health insurance
c) not covered because i am off piste

I do have rega insurance by the way.
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Old 19.12.2010, 10:21
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

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If I am skiing or boarding off piste and get injured and need rescuing, is this covered by my

a) accident insurance
b) health insurance
c) not covered because i am off piste

I do have rega insurance by the way.
If the insurance was based in the UK you would need to read the policy, almost certanly excluded.

I ski off piste 50 days a year, I have the French Carte Neige that does cover off piste. Pretty sure that normal Swiss accident insurance would cover as well.


However if the avalanvhe risk was 5/5 I think you would have a problem. FWIW when it's 3/5 the majority of people die! approx 65% in France nearer 80% in Switzerland.

Due to low snow fall & very low temperatures the snow pack will remain very dangerous for the entire season, the base has 'goblet' Ice crystals, so expect many avalanches down to ground level.

The risk is lower on slopes below 30 degrees.
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Old 19.12.2010, 10:38
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Good advice here. Problem is so many quickly reach the technical ability to go off piste, but do not have basic mountain knowledge, general and local, and do not understand how layers affect risk. You really need to check with your Insurance, as read the small print very carefully. REGA is an amazing organisation, but are becoming very wary of of piste boarders/skiers who do not study local conditions, do not seek local advice from experts re the season's history/layers. A young doctor from the REGA was killed last year by an avalanche. And in recent years many have been killed rescuing people who were taking just stupid risks in extreme avalanche warning areas.

Take care , enjoy.
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Old 19.12.2010, 11:19
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

As far as I know, only REGA would be of use, at least as far as paying for the rescue.

Tom
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Old 19.12.2010, 11:30
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Hi,

Picked up my Cham/Verbier season pass and desperate to get out on slopes.

As Ive been out of the UK for more than 6 months no UK company will insure me for unlimited days/off piste.

Most grateful for any advice on companies that will insure unlimited days/off piste for adventures in both Switzerland and France, I'm chomping at the bit to get out and play, but to do it properly and be covered. Arrrgghhh!
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Old 19.12.2010, 12:08
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

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Hi,

Picked up my Cham/Verbier season pass and desperate to get out on slopes.

As Ive been out of the UK for more than 6 months no UK company will insure me for unlimited days/off piste.

Most grateful for any advice on companies that will insure unlimited days/off piste for adventures in both Switzerland and France, I'm chomping at the bit to get out and play, but to do it properly and be covered. Arrrgghhh!
I have a Cham/Verbier pass, great Value!
Are you working in CH? if so you have compulsary accident insurance, as I said earlier I have annual Carte Neige it covers rescue, reptaruation, some medical & liability.
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Old 19.12.2010, 18:53
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

There are three things to consider, Rescue, Injury and Public Liability.

Rescue = Rega
Injury = Compulsory accident insurance if you live in Switzerland
Public Liability = Third Party Liability insurance (Haftpflicht in the German speaking part) NB your third party policy may not cover you if you are shown to be negligent. i.e if you release an avalanche and cause injury or damage to someone else when the risk is 3 or above and you were riding in an area specifically warned about in the avalanche bulletin.

As a matter of interest how many people who go off piste can read the regional avalanche bulletin? It's in the language of the region.
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Old 19.12.2010, 18:59
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

So is there a risk that if I am injured and require extensive medical treatment, that none of these three insurances will cover it?

by the way, i do take note of the avalanche level given at the resort.
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Old 19.12.2010, 19:14
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Thanks for the replies, just to clarify:

Rescue = REGA - This is sufficient to get me rescued off the mountain, by helicopter OR sled, in any resort in Switzerland?

Injury - Compulsory accident insurance - I have this, will this really cover me for accidents in skiing on/off piste environment?


To be honest Im feeling uncomfortable that the above is enough. Do the swiss themselves rely on the aboe as sufficient cover?

And then what if you pop over to France for the day, as far as I understand Carte Niege is just a top up for the E111, to get you to a doctor in-resort.

I would prefer some specific cover, wonder if the likes of AXA do it, will find out tomorrow.
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Old 19.12.2010, 19:24
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

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Thanks for the replies, just to clarify:

Rescue = REGA - This is sufficient to get me rescued off the mountain, by helicopter OR sled, in any resort in Switzerland?

Injury - Compulsory accident insurance - I have this, will this really cover me for accidents in skiing on/off piste environment?


To be honest Im feeling uncomfortable that the above is enough. Do the swiss themselves rely on the aboe as sufficient cover?

And then what if you pop over to France for the day, as far as I understand Carte Niege is just a top up for the E111, to get you to a doctor in-resort.

I would prefer some specific cover, wonder if the likes of AXA do it, will find out tomorrow.
Check with the personal department where you work. They will be able to give you the definitive answer on what your accident insurance covers.

I don't know of any Swiss person with extra insurance to cover them riding off piste and nearly all of my Swiss friends do so. Some of them have injured themselves while off-piste and been covered when they went to the hospital. Fortunately none that I know of have required rescue but all of us have Rega cover too.

Incidentally, I have heard some people say that your accident insurance may also cover rescue. But even the people who say this still have Rega because at only 35CHF a year its a good cause to support.

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So is there a risk that if I am injured and require extensive medical treatment, that none of these three insurances will cover it?

by the way, i do take note of the avalanche level given at the resort.
The regional bulletin give more information then what is on the flashing board in the resort. It states specifically what to avoid and what altitude/exposure etc the risk is at. The regional bulletin may for example warn specifically of drift snow accumulations above 1800m on all north facing slopes. It will also give the wind direction, strength, temperature and amount of new fallen snow for the area so you can estimate how the risk might change during the day.
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Old 20.12.2010, 05:52
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

my normal swiss health insurance covered my medical costs when I broke my leg off-piste in Zermatt a couple of years ago and I used Austrian Alpine Club insurance for the rescue costs, which included a helicopter (I use them instead of Rega for the discount in huts in addition to rescue cover)
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Old 20.12.2010, 15:22
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Hi,

Thanks all for the advice and info.

I've checked with my employer, they reply that with my accident insurance that is deducted from my salary Im "covered for both professional and non-professional accidents" i.e. skiing/boarding.

They also advised, as have you guys, that I top up with REGA, which I have also done today. Indeed it is a good cause too (I supported Great North Air Ambulance back in UK which picked up a lot of bikers and other RTA's).

So chuffed to bits, it would appear Im now covered and good to go

Thanks again. And yes fatmanfilms, the season Cham/Verbier pass is great value. Done season in Cham before and been many other times, have yet to go to Verbier, very much looking forward to it!
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Old 20.12.2010, 15:56
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Are you going off piste often ?

in provision for that, as I am not reading this forum often :

Farewell, ô dear krlock, it was a pleasure to have met you, may your soul rest in peace.
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Old 20.12.2010, 16:05
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Remember though that NO insurance will cover you for reckless off-piste in avalanche conditions. Get to know the area where you board well - talk to the locals about local conditions, historical data and study your layers carefully. Have fun - stay safe.
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Old 21.12.2010, 00:12
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

I lost a very close friend in an avalanche in Switzerland many, many years ago. She was an innocent victim. To this day, I still do not understand the need to ski off piste.
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Old 21.12.2010, 13:09
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

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I still do not understand the need to ski off piste.
It's enjoyable, the snow is better, no hard worn pistes!
I hate skiing on crowded pistes where people ski fast & often out of control. I have seen some really nasty accidents on piste.
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Old 21.12.2010, 14:32
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

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It's enjoyable, the snow is better, no hard worn pistes!
I hate skiing on crowded pistes where people ski fast & often out of control. I have seen some really nasty accidents on piste.
It WAS enjoyable...back then.
FWIW and to give some context my first snowboard dates 1985 (!).
Back then you'd snowshoe 2 hours up the hill and ride down in 20 minutes. Finito....

Nowadays people get killed by mini avalanches when snowshoeing above Bellagio (lake Como, Italy) or Monte Bré (Lugano). Hardly what I call "extreme" slopes / hills / whatever. As much as I love boarding (long story) I am very reluctant to go off-piste anymore. And yes...

hardpack+snowboard= major suckage

Peace,

Paul
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Old 21.01.2020, 09:49
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Resurrecting an old thread.

It's interesting that most/all folks in this thread assume that if you become a Rega patron, Rega will rescue you for free.

On their website it states ...

Does Rega patronage count as an insurance?

No. Rega is a privately run, non-profit organisation that depends on voluntary funding. Patronage contributions are deemed to be donations. In grateful acknowledgement of patrons' support, Rega can, at its own discretion and within the bounds of its resources, waive or reduce the costs of any emergency services that it has provided or organised on their behalf, in the event that insurance companies or any other third party are not liable to pay and thus not required to reimburse the costs of the rescue operation, whether wholly or in part.

Regardless of the above, I am a Rega patron
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Old 21.01.2020, 10:17
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

Me too. What the insurance company won’t pay, Rega will cover. Their repatriation service is second to none, on the same basis.
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Old 21.01.2020, 11:05
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Re: Off piste boarding / skiing : am i insured?

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Resurrecting an old thread.

It's interesting that most/all folks in this thread assume that if you become a Rega patron, Rega will rescue you for free.

On their website it states ...

Does Rega patronage count as an insurance?

No. Rega is a privately run, non-profit organisation that depends on voluntary funding. Patronage contributions are deemed to be donations. In grateful acknowledgement of patrons' support, Rega can, at its own discretion and within the bounds of its resources, waive or reduce the costs of any emergency services that it has provided or organised on their behalf, in the event that insurance companies or any other third party are not liable to pay and thus not required to reimburse the costs of the rescue operation, whether wholly or in part.

Regardless of the above, I am a Rega patron
I wouldn't blindly assume on REGA being free. There have been a few examples were REGA "Gönners" were rescued and left with a hefty bill.
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