06 January 2016

Are you protecting yourself on the slopes this season?

As you prepare for your ski holiday this winter you may be thinking about how many layers of thermals you need to pack, booking some lessons for when you get there or mastering your après-ski wardrobe, but have you thought about how you’ll protect yourself on the slopes?

Our recent survey1 shows that 22% of people still refuse to wear any protective clothing or equipment and less than half wear a helmet, despite the survey showing that more than one in ten winter sports injuries are to the head.

Ski and snowboard injuries

According to our survey, 18% of people are injured whilst taking part in winter sports, with two thirds needing medical or hospital assistance. Most injures can be attributed to three main factors – overconfidence, inexperience and competitiveness. But over a third said they’ve actually been clattered by someone else on the slopes, so accidents can happen to even experienced skiers.

The most common injuries whilst skiing aren’t major. So if you’re heading to the slopes for the first time this winter, be prepared for a few bumps and bruises. These injuries could be caused by a lack of caution, rather than a lack of protective equipment, but wearing a helmet can help to make sure it isn’t any more serious.

Protecting yourself on the slopes

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, who is most famously remembered for his valiant efforts in the 1988 Winter Olympics, talks about the importance of wearing protective gear on the slopes: “As someone who has done a few jumps in my life, I can vouch for the merits of wearing a helmet as I’ve crashed out more times than I care to remember. In simple terms, it can be a life saver, so stick one on. But even with all the gear, sliding around on snow and ice carries a risk."

“Anyone not taking out a decent insurance policy is chancing their arm as the stats speak for themselves. If you go skiing, snowboarding or sledging, you’re going to get a few bumps and scrapes. But if the worst happens and you require treatment or need to come back home early, you could be on a slippery slope if you’re not properly covered”.

Dan King, who heads up Nationwide’s FlexPlus current account said: “As the snow season kicks in, the last thing we may be thinking about is buying a helmet or travel insurance. Consider getting both as they could serve as vital protection. Regardless of skill levels, we would always recommend getting adequate travel cover – for the sake of a relatively small outlay it really isn’t worth the risk. Aside from the chance of injury, there’s also the risk of unexpected issues such as piste closures and avalanches. With our FlexPlus current account, a range of benefits are on offer for just £10 a month. This includes worldwide family travel insurance, which covers winter sports as standard.”

FlexPlus Worldwide family travel insurance is provided for FlexPlus by UK Insurance Limited.

Exclusions and limitations apply to all FlexPlus insurances, see full details.

1The research was carried out by OnePoll and questioned 1,000 adults that have ever taken part in a winter sport. It was conducted between 27/11/2015 and 01/12/2015. A separate poll, also conducted by OnePoll questioned 2,000 adults. It was commissioned between 27/11/2015 and 01/12/2015.

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