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ABTA: Ski helmet use on the rise, but insurance still inadequate

An estimated one million Brits will be going skiing in Europe this season, with February half-term being one of the busiest weeks on the slopes.

The good news is, is that ABTA has reported an increase in helmet use amongst skiers and snowboarders in Europe and beyond – indicating that winter sports enthusiasts are putting safety first. The Sochi Winter Olympics highlighted just how important it is to take additional safety measure as snowboarder Sarka Pancochova took a bad fall. Fortunately she was unharmed but the back of her helmet had split in two.

Last year the National Ski Areas Association in the US reported that 70% of skiers and snowboarders wore a helmet. You can expect to find a similar number of people taking extra safety measures on the European pistes, with 76% wearing a helmet in Switzerland. Rather than experienced skiers and snowboarders heeding to the latest safety advice, it is younger people driving the trend forward – they’re also the group mostly likely to hit the slopes this season.

While they might be cautious about head trauma, the younger generation are the least likely to take out adequate winter sports travel insurance. Almost half (47%) of under 35s do not invest in winter sports insurance. This is 11% higher than the average among Brits, which stands at 36%. Victoria Bacon of ABTA said: “Having the right equipment is an essential part of any winter sports holiday and ABTA urges all skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet.

“We want people to be able to make the most of their time on the slopes, and knowing you have the right kind of equipment is one thing less to worry about.” She went on to emphasise the importance of taking out appropriate insurance:

“It is still alarming to see the numbers travelling without adequate insurance, however,” she added. "Along with arranging the right safety equipment, purchasing the right level of travel insurance, and checking that annual policies are extended to cover action sports like skiing should be a top priority.” Wherever you are heading off on holiday it is important to put measures in place to ensure your safety.

Date Created: 13 February 2014

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