Winter holiday season resurgence sparks optimism for insurers

After a heavily disrupted 2020/2021 ski season, travellers are desperate to get back to the slopes, with many looking for more options for ski holidays this year than they did last year. Air Doctor explores the opportunities ahead for insurers.

Founded in Israel in 2016, Air Doctor is a startup that connects travellers seeking medical attention with local doctors whilst abroad through their intuitive mobile and desktop app. With a global network of over 20,000 medical professionals across 2,000 cities in 74 countries, Air Doctor provides travellers with peace of mind and aims to make healthcare accessible to everyone, everywhere.

The InsurTech was keen to highlight that the winter holiday season, which is already underway, is looking much more optimistic for travel insurance companies than previous years in which travel bans and restrictions were rife.

For example, in Italy, winter sports insurance is now mandatory, and the new law means skiers who aren’t covered face cancellation of their ski passes and fines of €150. As the new law comes into force, insurers the region could see demand for their services go up.

In addition, Italy is the first country to bring in the mandate which states that those embarking on snow sport holidays must have third party liability insurance, which covers claims against them for injury or damage they may cause to another person.

Air Doctor said an astonishing number of skiers and snowboarders admit to hitting the slopes without winter sports insurance. The company pointed to a survey by specialist insurer, Battleface, a quarter of UK skiers and boarders admit to hitting the slopes without winter sports insurance. To make matters worse, previous travel bans mean they’re already feeling a bit rusty about their next ski runs, with 71% of UK respondents stating they feel out of practice following the pandemic. This means there’s a significant portion of insurance company’s potential customer base that has yet to be tapped into.

Emergency evacuations are more costly than people think, Air Doctor said. The Battleface survey reveals that the general public estimates evacuation costs at around €3,553 but actual costs are closer to €11,845. This disparity indicated there is significant scope for insurers covering emerging evacuations or repatriation.

Air Doctor said this year there are high hopes on the slopes. Most ski resorts in Europe and North America are open, and it’s quite the change from the 2020 season when many never opened at all, presenting travel insurance companies operating in the regions a wealth of opportunity.

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