You could be on a slippery slope.
In January last year I organised a ski trip for my friends and I to the Northern French Alps. I’d been skiing for about three years and was looking forward to a week of skiing and catching up with friends, sharing a few beers and laughs, and certainly hadn’t envisaged winding up in a hospital.
On the second morning of the ski trip I was warming up on a blue run. As I descended the slope, all of a sudden, bang! My left knee gave way. I fell to the ground and couldn’t get up again; the pain was excruciating. Luckily my friends managed to lift me carefully onto a sledge and tow me safely back to our chalet.
At first my friends thought I had twisted my knee. A rest and a couple of painkillers would see me right, they said. After an hour, the pain wasn’t any better. I knew it was time to pick up the phone to my insurer, Mutuaide, who I could contact as part of my NFU Mutual travel insurance policy.
As a Senior Agent at NFU Mutual in Welshpool, I had been advising customers of the right insurance products for years. It was finally time for me to be on the receiving end of making a claim to my provider.
Mutuaide provided a top service, and sent a taxi to my chalet to collect me and take me directly to a medical centre for assessment. I was examined by a doctor who confirmed that I had snapped my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the core ligaments that hold the knee together and stabilise it when turning.
I was provided with a leg brace, painkillers, anti-inflammatories and crutches, and left the centre with confidence that I had been examined thoroughly and had the right medication to ease the pain. Mutuaide organised a taxi to collect me and take me back to my chalet, and called me everyday after to ask if I was comfortable and if I needed any help or transport. They even arranged extra leg room for my return flight home, and transfers to the airport in France and back home once I was in the UK.
Since the incident I’ve undergone two operations and have regular physiotherapy sessions to regain strength and movement in my knee – I’m still in the rehabilitation process. Receiving a high level of care when I needed it most has undoubtedly made a huge difference to my recovery. That's why I feel so strongly about having the right cover in place for winter sports holidays. I am, thankfully, able to do a light jog now and have (believe it or not) started planning my skiing holiday next year.
Top tips for making sure you’re adequately protected on a skiing holiday:
- Check all equipment is in full working order
- Ensure skis are set-up correctly
- Make sure ski boots fit correctly
- Make sure when skiing to wear a helmet
- Speak to your insurer to ensure your travel insurance is confirmed and you are clear on the details of the policy and the level of cover you will receive
Mutuaide has a robust procedure in place to deal with incidents like mine. Quite often it’s only when you need support that you realise what’s on offer.
- Always carry your travel insurance details with you
- Have a contingency plan
- If you are on holiday with a group, share insurance details so that you are prepared in the event of an incident