Whether you like ski, snowboard, ice fish or snowmobile, winter sports can be a fun and exhilarating way to spend time outdoors during the coldest months of the year. However, they can also be expensive and risky.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 65,000 individuals were injured while snowmobiling, snowboarding and ice skating in 2012 and required treatment in emergency rooms, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute.

So as the 2015-2016 winter sports season approaches, make sure you’re properly covered.

Here’s what you need to know about winter sports insurance:

Equipment coverage

Sports equipment can be pricey, so it’s important to make sure you’re protected from loss, theft or damage before hitting the slopes or heading into the great outdoors this winter. You should take special consideration for items such as ski and snowboard equipment, fishing poles and camping equipment, as well as guns, if you hunt.

This is where floater insurance can come in handy. This type of policy, also known as scheduled personal property, covers items that are easily movable, and therefore may not be fully covered under your homeowners policy due to increased risk of damage or theft.

You may have to schedule each item individually, and the items must be professionally appraised before purchasing a floater, according to the I.I.I. Check with your insurance agent for more details.

Snowmobile insurance

Although snowmobile insurance is required in only 23 states, according to trustedchoice.com, it’s a smart idea to purchase a policy no matter what. Snowmobiles can weigh more than 600 pounds and travel at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour, leading to approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries each year.  

Each state has different snowmobile insurance requirements, and your policy will vary based on what company you choose and what your specific coverage needs are. And here’s some good news – snowmobile insurance is pretty inexpensive, costing an average of $10 per month, according to trustedchoice.com.

Types of snowmobile insurance may include:

  • Liability insurance, which will cover property damage and medical expenses in the event somebody is injured in an accident you cause.
  • Medical payments coverage, which helps pay for you and your passengers’ medical costs in the event of an accident, no matter who is at fault.
  • Collision coverage, which reimburses you for the cost of repairing your snowmobile after a collision with another object.
  • Comprehensive coverage, which covers damages to your snowmobile due to things like vandalism, theft, flooding or other reasons which do not involve a collision with another vehicle.
  • Transport trailer coverage, which covers physical damages to the trailer you use to transport your snowmobile.

If you get into a serious accident that causes extensive property damage or bodily injury, you may exceed the liability coverage on your policy and get stuck footing all the bills. Therefore, it’s smart to be prepared for the worst. Consider buying a policy with higher limits or investing in a personal umbrella insurance policy. Umbrella insurance will kick in once you’ve exhausted your other policies’ coverage, protecting your assets in the case of a bad accident.

 Travel insurance

If you’re planning a ski trip or other winter getaway this season, travel insurance may be a smart investment. It will keep you covered in case a variety of problems arise, including illness, weather or other unforeseen circumstances that interrupt your trip or cause you to lose your vacation investment, baggage loss, and more. Travel insurance also provides medical coverage in case you get sick or injured on your trip, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association.

Make sure to check your health and homeowners policies to see what coverage you have and what coverage you’ll need while on vacation. You should also be sure to choose a policy that specifically covers snow sports, including sports-related injuries, lift tickets and ski rentals.

Equally as important, find out what isn’t covered under your travel insurance policy. You may be denied coverage for exposing yourself to needless risk, such as cliff drops, skiing or boarding under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, and more.

A list of UStiA travel insurance providers is available here.

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