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Old 25.09.2020, 21:48
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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REGA however will not garantee to come to your rescue if you choose to go out in very dangerous areas when high avalanche warnings- they have to put their staff safety first.
That goes for any rescue, always conditions dependent!
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Old 26.09.2020, 07:50
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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That goes for any rescue, always conditions dependent!
I have heard of rescues being delayed until conditions improve, but I’ve not heard of anyone being abandoned because it is too difficult.
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Old 26.09.2020, 07:56
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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I have heard of rescues being delayed until conditions improve, but I’ve not heard of anyone being abandoned because it is too difficult.
No! Of course not. Unless maybe you are on the top of Everest and you have no chance of making it. Although, sometimes, by the time conditions are safe it might be too late!
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Old 26.09.2020, 09:58
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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Thanks everyone. So the consensus seems to be that my mandatory accident insurance plus Rega should be sufficient. I'm a little surprised that there isn't just a single insurance product aimed at off piste skiers, but you learn something new every day.
There is no market for such an insurance as everybody has compulsory medical & accident insurance, unlike say the UK.
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Old 26.09.2020, 10:02
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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That goes for any rescue, always conditions dependent!
I know a mountain guide that got caught in bad weather & broke his leg, took 3 days to be rescued. The reason he got caught in the bad weather was because he came across a group of ill equipped skiers on a cliff face who would have died without his assistance.

Last edited by fatmanfilms; 26.09.2020 at 11:47. Reason: adding guide, left off by spell correct
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Old 26.09.2020, 11:33
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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I know a mountain that got caught in bad weather & broke his leg,
Wow, I know you know the mountains well, but I've never met one with legs, broken or otherwise.

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took 3 days to be rescued. The reason he got caught in the bad weather was because he came across a group of ill equipped skiers on a cliff face who would have died without his assistance.
But yeah, it's scary just how many skiers/boarders don't have the foggiest about mountain safety, equipment, routes, weather etc. etc.

I always rated our Ski Club training, with mandatory refreshers every five years. I'm not doing it any more, as the Club's gone to pot, but would always recommend anyone interested in off-piste skiing to get some proper training.

As for Rega, it's perhaps worth pointing out that you don't need to be a 'member' (more correctly a patron) to benefit from their services. Of course, I support the idea that one should contribute, but fundamentally it's your accident insurance that pays them, patron or not, so you won't be left with huge bills just because you're not.
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Old 26.09.2020, 12:56
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

You could actually be left with a big bill for transport and rescue.... if you haven’t had an accident and accident insurance won’t pay. For example, stuck but not injured. Or if you have a heart attack, asthma attack, epileptic seizure etc. Health insurance only covers transport up to 500 francs I believe. That’s why I’m an Air Zermatt member, not for accidents.

Edit: Maybe up to 5000 depending on situation but only 50% of the costs https://www.moneyland.ch/en/health-t...arch-insurance

Last edited by Island Monkey; 26.09.2020 at 13:11.
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Old 26.09.2020, 13:15
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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You could actually be left with a big bill for transport and rescue.... if you haven’t had an accident and accident insurance won’t pay. For example, stuck but not injured. Or if you have a heart attack, asthma attack, epileptic seizure etc. Health insurance only covers transport up to 500 francs I believe. That’s why I’m an Air Zermatt member, not for accidents.

Edit: Maybe up to 5000 depending on situation but only 50% of the costs https://www.moneyland.ch/en/health-t...arch-insurance
Very true, I know someone who had a heart attack on the Tignes Glacier about 15 years ago, he had to pay the helicopter himself.
In France if you 'get stuck' it's often free, as it's much easier to pick up a couple of fools than be dealing with serious injuries or dead bodies
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Old 26.09.2020, 21:10
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

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Check this article: https://www.nzz.ch/finanzen/fonds/we...ung-ld.1419317

Skiing outside the marked piste is explicitly mentioned in the article.
Thank you. That article is so good, that I thought it worth translating (deepl, with a little help). And thank you, too, to the author: Werner Grundlehner, NZZ, 12.09.2018

Wer zu viel wagt, riskiert den Verlust der Unfallversicherung
Wer kopfvoran in trübes Wasser springt, riskiert nicht nur seine Gesundheit, sondern auch ein Loch im Portemonnaie.
Those who dare too much, risk the loss of their accident insurance
Anyone who dives head-first into unclear water, risks not only his/her health, but also a hole in their purses.
Vielen ist das Leben in der Wohlstandsgesellschaft etwas zu dröge, darum suchen sie den gewissen Kick. Beim Freeriding abseits der Piste, beim Basejumping von der Felswand oder beim Kickboxen finden sie den Adrenalinschub. Doch kommt es bei diesen Freizeittätigkeiten zu Verletzungen oder gar zu bleibenden Schäden, kann dies zu bösen Überraschungen führen. Sind zu viele Risiken eingegangen worden, können die Unfallversicherung (UVG) und die IV ihre Leistung kürzen oder gar streichen.
For many people, life in an affluent society is a bit too boring, so they seek a certain kick in life. They find that adrenaline rush when freeriding off-piste, base jumping off a rock-face or kickboxing. But if injuries or even permanent damage occur during these leisure activities, this can lead to nasty surprises. If too many risks are taken, the Swiss state accident insurance (in German UVG) and the disability insurance (in German IV, in French AI) can reduce or even cancel their benefits.
In der Schweiz hält der Arbeitgeber versicherungstechnisch auch in der Freizeit eine schützende Hand über seine Angestellten. Die obligatorische Unfallversicherung, die vom Arbeitgeber abgeschlossen wird, schützt vor den wirtschaftlichen Folgen von Berufsunfällen, Nichtberufsunfällen und Berufskrankheiten. Die Heilungskosten werden von der Versicherung immer übernommen. Aber je nach Schwere des Unfalls muss auch mit erheblichen Einkommenseinbussen gerechnet werden.
In Switzerland, the employer also has a protective hand over its employees in their leisure time. Compulsory accident insurance, which is taken out by the employer, protects against the economic consequences of occupational accidents, non-occupational accidents and occupational diseases. Medical expenses are always covered by the insurance. However, depending on the severity of the accident, a considerable loss of income must be expected.
Additional point: employees who work for less than an average of 8 hours per week are compulsorily insured by their employer for instances only at work (in German BU, Berufsunfallversicherung). Such persons must, by law, buy additional insurance specifically for accidents outside of the workplace. Typically, this is an extra module purchased from the medical insurance company (in German Krankenkasse, in French caisse maladie) whereas those who work for more are also insured by their employer for accidents outside of work (in German NBU, Nicht-Berufsunfallversicherung).
IV kürzt kaum
Ist davon auszugehen, dass der Verunfallte innerhalb von zwei Jahren wieder eine Arbeit aufnehmen kann, spricht man von einer vorübergehenden Arbeitsunfähigkeit. Für diese Zeit entrichtet die Unfallversicherung ein Taggeld. Wird der Patient aber dauernd erwerbsunfähig, entrichtet die IV in der Regel nach zwei Jahren eine Rente. Taggeld und Rente belaufen sich auf 80% des versicherten Einkommens. Wird die UVG-Rente ergänzend zu den Leistungen der IV bezahlt, werden diese auf 90% des versicherten Verdienstes gekürzt. In diesem Fall spricht man von einer Komplementärrente.
IV hardly reduces [the benefits it pays]
If it can be assumed that the injured person can resume work within two years, this is referred to as temporary incapacity to work. For this period, the accident insurance pays a daily allowance. However, if the patient becomes permanently unable to work, the Swiss state disability insurance (in German IV, in French AI) usually pays a pension after two years. Daily allowance and pension amount to 80% of the insured income. If the UVG (accident insurance) pension is paid in addition to the IV benefits, these are reduced to 90% of the insured income. In this case one speaks of a complementary pension.
Wurde der Unfall jedoch durch eine leichte oder grobe Fahrlässigkeit, durch ein Wagnis, ein Vergehen oder ein Verbrechen herbeigeführt, können diese Leistungen gekürzt werden.
However, if the accident was caused by slight or gross negligence, a risk (or risk-taking behaviour), a misdemeanour or a crime, these benefits may be reduced.
Ausser bei Vergehen oder Verbrechen kürzt die IV die Leistung in der Regel nicht. Bei leichter Fahrlässigkeit reduziert auch eine Unfallversicherung das Taggeld nicht.
Except in the case of a misdemeanor or crime, the Swiss state disability insurance (in German IV, in French AI) does not normally reduce the benefit. In cases of slight negligence, even accident insurance does not reduce the daily benefit.
Grobe Fahrlässigkeit, wie etwa das Überfahren einer Sicherheitslinie oder eines Rotlichts, kann im UVG bereits zu Kürzungen bei den Taggeldern führen. Deutliche Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitungen (innerorts ab 25 km/h, ausserorts ab 30 km/h, Autobahn ab 35 km/h) sind grobe Verkehrsregelverletzungen. Diese gelten als Vergehen, welche bei UVG-Leistungen zu Kürzungen oder gar zur gänzlichen Verweigerung jeglicher Taggelder oder Invalidenrenten führen.
Gross negligence, such as driving over a safety line or through a red light, may already lead to reductions in daily benefits under the UVG (accident insurance). Significant speeding (in towns from 25 km/h, outside towns from 30 km/h, freeway from 35 km/h) are gross violations of traffic regulations. These are considered as offences, which, in the caase of benefits paid out by the UVG (accident insurance) can result in reductions or even to the complete refusal of any daily allowances or disability pensions.
Was sind Wagnisse?
Mehr Interpretationsspielraum lassen die «Wagnisse» offen. «Bei Nichtberufsunfällen, die auf ein Wagnis zurückgehen, werden Geldleistungen um die Hälfte gekürzt und in besonders schweren Fällen verweigert», heisst es unter Artikel 50 der Verordnung über die UVG.
What are risks (or what are risk-taking behaviours)?
The concept of a "risk", in this sense, is open to more interpretation. Article 50 of the UVG Ordinance states: "In the case of non-occupational accidents resulting from a risk, cash benefits are reduced by half and in particularly serious cases are refused".
Dabei gilt es zwischen absoluten Wagnissen und relativen Wagnissen zu unterscheiden.
Als Ersteres gelten gemäss Gerichtspraxis etwa ein Kopfsprung aus vier Metern Höhe in unbekanntes Gewässer, ein Motocrossrennen oder eine Reise nach Pakistan. Die Leistung wird hier um 50% reduziert, in besonders schweren Fällen wird sie gänzlich verweigert.
A distinction must be made between absolute risks and relative risks.
According to court practice, the former includes, for example,
  • a dive from a height of four meters into unknown waters,
  • a motocross race or
  • a trip to Pakistan.
The benefit is reduced here by 50%. In particularly severe cases it is refused altogether.
Relative Wagnisse sind mit grossen Risiken verbundene Tätigkeiten, bei denen die üblichen Regeln und Vorsichtsgebote in schwerwiegende Weise missachtet werden. Dazu zählt etwa das Gleitschirmfliegen bei einem Föhnsturm oder das Skifahren abseits markierter Pisten trotz Warnhinweisen. Auch hier können die Leistungen um 50% oder mehr gekürzt werden.
Relative risks are high-risk activities in which the usual rules and precautions are seriously disregarded. These include, for example,
  • paragliding in a hot wind storm or
  • skiing off marked slopes despite warnings.
Here too, the benefits may be reduced by 50% or more.
Aside: the automatic translation said that "Gleitschirmfliegen bei einem Föhnsturm" was "paragliding in a hairdryer storm" which made me think of Mel Gibson in What Women Want.
Die Interpretation von «Wagnis» ist von Versicherung zu Versicherung verschieden. Zwar gibt es Listen; diese sind jedoch nicht abschliessend. Die Unfallversicherung hat das Recht, selbst ärztliche und fachliche Untersuchungen anzuordnen, um den Leistungsanspruch zu beurteilen. Der Patient hat jedoch Anspruch auf rechtliches Gehör und damit die Möglichkeit, Einwände gegen Anordnungen zu erheben.
The interpretation of "risk" varies from insurance company to insurance company. Although there are lists, these are not exhaustive. The accident insurance company has the right to order medical and professional examinations itself in order to assess the entitlement to benefits. However, the patient has the right to be heard and thus to object to the orders. (Additional point: If deemed to be uncooperative, the patient risks losing benefits.)
Mit einer Zusatzversicherung kann die Leistung der Unfallversicherung verbessert werden, was dann etwa die Erhöhung des Taggelds auf 100% des versicherten Lohns oder einen Privat-Spitalaufenthalt einschliesst. Dadurch werden Leistungskürzungen von einem höheren Betrag vorgenommen. Doch Unfälle, die in Zusammenhang mit Alkohol- oder Drogenkonsum, Vergehen oder Verbrechen entstehen oder absichtlich herbeigeführt wurden, sind vom Schutz der Zusatzversicherung ausgenommen.
The benefits of the standard accident insurance can be improved, for example, an increase in the daily allowance to 100% of the insured wage or a private hospital stay, by buying supplementary insurance. This will result in benefit reductions, such as they are made, being taken from a a higher base amount. However, accidents that occur in connection with alcohol or drug consumption, misdemeanor or crime, or that are intentionally caused, are excluded from the protection of the supplementary insurance.
Wer Freizeitbeschäftigungen oder Sportarten mit erhöhten Risiken nachgeht, tut gut daran, sich über den Deckungsumfang seiner Versicherungen sorgfältig zu informieren, wie Christian Messerli, Dozent für Vorsorge am Institut für Finanzplanung, rät. So können unliebsame Überraschungen vermieden werden. Natürlich ist es dann jedem freigestellt, selbständig eine Einzelversicherung abzuschliessen. Dies ist jedoch mit entsprechend hohen Kosten verbunden.
Anyone who pursues leisure activities or sports with increased risks would do well to inform themselves carefully about the scope of coverage of their insurance, advises Christian Messerli, lecturer for pension schemes at the Institute for Financial Planning. Thereby unpleasant surprises can be avoided. Of course it is then up to everyone to take out an individual insurance on their own (i.e. in addition to the basic obligatory accident insurance provided through an employer) . However, this is associated with correspondingly high costs.
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Old 27.09.2020, 01:45
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

Hi, I've been using an insurance program organized by Austrian Alpine Club. It's geared towards mountain sports but also inclusive of other leisure type activities. What is specifically excluded is anything related to active participation in the competition and/or any air bound activity. I have not had a claim yet though so not in a position to give a real feedback. Give it a go here.

https://www.alpenverein.at/portal_wA...fin_screen.pdf
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Old 28.09.2020, 20:17
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Re: Off piste skiing/snowboarding insurance

Adding a few comments from my limited understanding, which is consistent with some but not other comments in this thread.

Rega: for sure become a member. Something like 30.- per year. As mentioned it is not insurance - they are not obliged to cover your rescue cost - but as I understand it they typically (or almost always?) do.

But! Rega does not fly when it is dangerous for them to do so - during a storm or in fog.

Accident insurance: I've been with a private insurer and also with Suva. The private insurer told my that Suva's conditions apply also for their accident coverage. I'm surprised that Allianz said off-piste is not covered, as Suva would cover this (to a degree - see below). I'd seek further written clarification, and if they still have this exclusion, think about shopping for your own extra accident insurance. That part might not cost so much, depending.

What is actually covered? I mentioned the Suva terms.
https://www.suva.ch/de-ch/praeventio...arten-wagnisse
It's worth putting in the effort to understand this original text in the language you most understand, if your insurer follows the Suva approach. Or at least google translate :-). Basically you can be covered for off-piste skiing, but they would reduce your cover to the degree that you behaved irresponsibly in a way that may have contributed to your accident. I've not been able to get more specifics beyond the text at that link.
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