If you are buying travel insurance for the first time – or if it’s been a while since you last needed cover for foreign travel – you’ll probably have lots of questions, such as the type of cover to buy and when to buy it. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common questions we hear – and their answers in relation to our policies.
Q: I have a serious medical condition but am still reasonably active. I want to go skiing with friends – can I still get travel insurance?
A: Yes, maybe. Many policies for people with ‘pre-existing medical conditions’ can be more restrictive than normal policies. However, MPI Don’t Stop Me NowTM is a travel insurance policy specially for people like you – and it uses ‘normal’ policy wording, so you can travel and ski with your friends, without any additional restrictions.
Q: I want to ski ‘off piste’ – how does this affect my ski insurance?
A: Most insurers either exclude ‘off piste’ skiing or insist that you are accompanied by a guide. At MPI Brokers we recognise the impracticality of this, because one can ski ‘off piste’ unwittingly and in certain circumstances it is possible to ski on a ‘pisted’ run that is designated ‘off piste’. So we do not exclude ‘off piste’ skiing – but, as with all insurance, we expect skiers to behave in a reasonable and sensible manner.
Q: I’ve booked a holiday to a country where the people are rioting – what should I do?
A: First, check whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued any warnings about travel to that country. MPI Brokers’ policies allow you to travel to countries where there is an FCO warning in place – but exclude any accidents arising from the situation the FCO warned against.
Q: I’ve got a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – do I still need travel insurance?
A: An EHIC provides a limited amount of cover for emergency medical treatment in national hospitals overseas. There is no cover for repatriation, or personal liability, and many smaller overseas medical clinics don’t accept it. If skiing, there is also no cover for ‘extras’ such as piste rescue.
Q: I’ve bought the French Carte Neige – do I still need Ski Insurance?
A: Yes, the Carte Neige does provide cover for piste rescue, and emergency medical costs, but there is limited repatriation cover and a very low sum insured for medical. Plus no Personal Liability cover. So it should work hand in hand with Ski Insurance.
Q: What happens if the airline goes bust while I’m away – will travel insurance get me home?
A: If you booked your flights through a travel company, it’s their responsibility to get you home. If you booked the flights with the airline yourself, your travel insurance may cover the cost of alternative arrangements to get you home. MPI Brokers policies do provide this cover, but many others do not so check the conditions carefully.
Q: We’ve got an Annual Multi-Trip (AMT) policy for the whole family: why does my son need more insurance for his gap-year trip?
A: AMT policies are normally for short trips, and usually only up to 31 days at a time. Family policies usually cover children under 18 (sometimes under 21 and in full-time education). The main reason is that an AMT is a holiday insurance for short trips, whereas those going on a gap year will usually go from anything from 1 to 18 months without returning home and may participate in working, volunteering or more high risk activities. Gap year and backpacker travel insurance takes these activities into consideration.
Q: I am going skiing, am I covered to ski in snowparks and is it a condition I wear a helmet?
A: If you choose MPI Wintersports cover, then you are automatically covered to ski and/or snowboard in Snowparks. It is not a condition of our policy to wear a helmet, but of course, you may wish to for safety reasons.
Q: I am going skiing, does the policy cover mountain rescue?
A: As long as you purchase an MPI Wintersports policy, there is cover for piste rescue, including by helicopter if necessary.
Q: I plan to take part in ski racing and race training, does the MPI Wintersports policy provide cover for this?
A: There is cover for any ski racing where the entry age of the race is under 16 (national, International or local). There is also cover for racing of any entry age as long as it isn’t an international race e.g. world championships, British championships, combined services etc. There is also cover for the Masters Circuit, the Inferno and interclub racing. If the racing is excluded, MPI can usually include this for an additional premium, please call MPI to arrange.
Q: What is the maximum amount of days I can ski for on an MPI Annual Multi Trip (AMT) policy?
A: With the MPI Main Plan policies, skiing is permitted for 17 days any one trip. You can go on as many trips during the year as you wish. The number of days can also be increased to 31 or 60 days for any one trip.
Q: I might be planning to do some high-risk activities, am I covered?
A: If you are planning to book some high-risk activities prior to your departure and/or they are the reason for going on the trip, then you must inform MPI by phone or e-mail. We can then establish if cover is available. If, whilst overseas, you take part in an activity that wasn’t planned before your trip, then in the majority of cases there is cover – for specific exclusions please see the policy wording.