European Rescue Insurance?
December 13, 2005
Planning a trip to Austria. I've read John and Jim's trip reports, very informative. We're planning to try Saalbach. I'd like to make sure we have adequate rescue insurance. I know John has mentioned joing the Austrian Ski Federation, I can't figure out how to do that online (my German is pretty lame). Could someone give me guidance as to where I can purchase rescue insurance. We don't need trip cancellation insurance, just coverage that will get us off the hill and pay for emergency services. Thanks very much!
Can't comment on rescue ins as didn't purchase it. But one thing about Saalbach, it's a very civilized ski area. Lots of intermediate groomers. Quite like many US resorts. Lots of lifts, rest stops, on mtn restaurants, bldgs and lodges at the base of many slopes. Many folks sharing the slopes with you. If you stay on piste (which there are a lot of) you will never be too far from help.
I guess what I'm saying is that unless you pull a Chris Reeve, you probably won't be needing a helo to get some help in case of injury.
You can purchase the insurance for a couple of extra Euros when you buy your lift pass. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Why? Because most rescues in the Alps involve helos and most U.S. insurance companies, including travel insurance companies, will not pay for a ski related medvac.
Did some more research and learned that some Travel Insurance covers in-bounds accidents, including medvac, but not off-piste. Since it's so easy to go off-piste in Europe (1 meter beyond a trail boundary is considered off-piste), it might be worth paying for the extra insurance for peace of mind.