Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Before you wax your skis, brush up on winter activities and your insurance

Snow is starting to fall in Washington state's mountains and in some lower elevations. Before you hit the slopes or backcountry, take a moment to consider insurance implications for winter recreation. 
Snoeshowing at Lake Wenatchee Sno-Park,
courtesy Washington State Parks


Ski and snowboard equipment

Winter sports gear is not cheap, and replacing it in the event of damage or theft can put a crimp in your winter fun. 

Generally, equipment you own will be covered up to a specific amount by your homeowner or renter policy. Check the limit in your policy and decide if that will be enough to replace damaged or stolen equipment. Remember to factor in your deductible. 

If you think you need more coverage, ask your insurance agent about a rider that might allow you to increase coverage (and your premium) for specified personal property.

Snowmobiles

Snowmobiles may be covered under homeowner policies when they are used for maintenance of your insured property. They likely aren’t covered by a renter or auto insurance policy. If you want to be covered, talk to your insurance agent about a snowmobile policy. If you take your snowmobile off your property, carry proof of insurance.

If you are traveling and plan to rent a snowmobile, you may consider rental insurance to cover damage to the snowmobile. Your home or renter insurance might provide coverage for your personal liability while operating a rental snowmobile. Read the contract carefully before signing and ask questions of the agent selling you the coverage if you don’t understand the limits or conditions of coverage.

Travel insurance

Traveling in the winter can be full of surprises. Even if you’re traveling somewhere warm, bad weather en route to your destination can cause delays or cancellations. Travel sites and airlines offer travel insurance when you book your trip. Travel insurance can cover everything from lost luggage to delays and cancellations, but make sure you closely read any policy you consider. Learn more about travel insurance.

Health insurance

If you are out of town without access to your physician or local health care center, review your emergency medical treatment requirements:
  • Are you required to seek medical treatment at a certain hospital or urgent care center that is in your insurer’s network?
  • Will you have a copay?
  • If you need to fill a prescription, do you have to go to a certain pharmacy?
  • If you are traveling in an area that is out of your network, what is the insurer’s requirements for reimbursing your expenses? 
Make a list of these details and carry your insurance card with you when you travel.

Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.