Piste of mind on the slopes

Article date: 16 February 2006

  • Norwich Union reveals the cost ofbroken legs can vary dramatically from country tocountry

Broken legs are the most common injuries on theslopes, but where the accident takes place can make a hugedifference to the medical bill, according to new research releasedtoday.

The USA is by far the most expensive ski destination to fracture aleg, setting uninsured ski enthusiasts back a whopping £20,000,while in Canada it comes to £13,000.

In Europe Switzerland comes out top. Breaking a leg there will costaround £6,000. Meanwhile a broken leg in Italy, where the 2006Winter Olympics are currently taking place, comes in at£4,000.

Norwich Union has compiled a list of the top five most expensivewinter sports destinations for injuries such as broken legs:

‘Don't break a leg here’ Top 5


Average cost of a broken leg

1. USA


2. Canada


3. Switzerland


4. Austria


5. Italy and France


(Norwich Union claims statistics 2006)

Dawn McMullan, travel product manager, at Norwich Union said: "Withall eyes on the Turin Winter Olympics, there's an increasedinterest in winter sports and people should remember to take outtravel insurance with winter sports optional cover before hittingthe slopes."

While other favourite ski destinations can come in cheaper,ultimately, says Norwich Union, it's not just about the medicalbills.

Dawn McMullan, added: "People want peace of mind when they're onholiday - they need to know that they'll be looked after in case ofan accident. If you do happen to break a leg or incur any othersort of injury, it's stressful enough having to go to hospital,worry about your health and change all your holiday plans withouthaving to think about the financial aspect of your injury."

Ski enthusiasts travelling to the slopes of the EU can now benefitfrom the recently introduced European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)but Norwich Union advises caution to holidaymakers who rely on itto cover them for an accident.

"People should bear in mind that the level of cover provided by theEHIC card depends on the country visited and may not cover alltreatment costs and services like mountain rescue and repatriation.The EHIC should be seen as complementary to travel insurance, notas an alternative”, said McMullan.

And while the Olympic athletes in Turin will no doubt make it downthe pistes without too many problems, uninsured ski enthusiastscould expect to pay a fair amount for injuries on the slopes ofItaly, as the following table compiled by Norwich Unionshows:

Average cost of ski injuries in Italy


Average cost in medical bills

Broken leg


Broken ankle


Broken pelvis


Broken nose


(Norwich Union claims statistics 2006)
Unless otherwise specified, all data has been provided by CEGAgroup


Media contacts:
Emilie Lien atLexis PR on 020 7908 6421 or 07956 106 987
Rebecca Holmes at Norwich Union Press Office on 01603 354 346 /07800 690731
Adam Cracknell at Norwich Union Press Office on 01603 684916 /07800 699517

Notes to editors:

Norwich Union Travel Insurance

  • Premium Examples for Individual cover as at February2006:
    - Annual (Europe) no baggage cover = £42.82 / Annual Worldwide,(including USA and Canada) no baggage cover = £58.35
    - Annual (Europe) with winter sports cover, no baggage =£54.70.

Norwich Union Travel Service

  • Available to all Norwich Union Direct travel insurancecustomers, providing a travel booking service with a price matchpromise for hotel and flight bookings from expert travelconsultants. Also provides extras such as car hire, airport carparking and commission free travel money
  • Annual travel insurance customers get additional benefitsincluding: 
    - 7.5% discount off the lowest high street prices for holiday andflight bookings
    - discounts of up to 60% on more than 20,000 hotels through anonline booking service
    - access to a holiday planner service
    - free card protection cover.

About Norwich Union Insurance

  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14%
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    - one in five households
    - one in seven motor vehicles
    - more than 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct
  • Aviva, Norwich Union’s parent company, announced itsacquisition of the RAC in 2005. The acquisition brings togetherthe RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise ofNorwich Union Insurance – a market leader in motorinsurance
  • Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images areavailable on the Aviva internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

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