Insuring ski pass in case injury ends season |

Insuring ski pass in case injury ends season

Cliff Thompson, Tribune News Service

VAIL — If you want to ensure you won’t be wasting money on a ski pass if you are injured, insure yourself.

A new insurance service allows you to get a prorated refund on your pass, the amount of which depends on your date of injury.

It’s good at Aspen and Eldora in Colorado, Mammoth Mountain and Diamond Peak at Incline Village.

Vail Resorts pass holders won’t need the insurance, says spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga, because the resort has a refund policy for injury or pregnancy, provided proper documentation is provided.

The Aspen Skiing Co. has discontinued refunds to season-pass holders injured early in the season and will instead offer an insurance program touted as the first of its kind in the nation.

The optional insurance adds 6 percent to the price of the pass. For Aspen’s $1,029 Premier Pass, for example, the insurance would cost about $62.

“People will need to buy it if they’re afraid they might be injured,” said company spokesman Jeff Hanle.

Under the old system if a skier became incapacitated before February, he or she could usually get a refund prorated to reflect the number of days left in the season. The skier would have to surrender the pass.

The insurance program, offered through Skier Insurance Services of Kalispell, Mont., allows injured skiers to receive partial refunds based on the amount of time they’re incapacitated and still keep skiing after they recover.

Ron Iverson, president of Skier Insurance Services and its parent Tourist Insurance Services, said Aspen is one of four ski areas in the nation to sign up for the pass insurance program. Skier Insurance Services offers resorts a 10 percent cut of insurance sales as an incentive.

Iverson based the plan on a similar program in Canada. Such insurance allows individuals and families to recoup costs if their vacation is unexpectedly cut short.

“We kind of stumbled on this and realized that there’s a lot of exposure here — $1,200 or $1,300 is a lot of money,” Iverson said.

Some activities and circumstances are not covered, including injuries from extreme skiing, helicopter skiing, skiing or snowboarding out of bounds or during any kind of organized competition. Job loss or relocation are also excluded.

The coverage also includes $10,000 dismemberment or accidental death insurance and $15,000 evacuation insurance.

Vail Resorts will prorate the refund according to how many days the pass has been used. It will charge a $50 processing fee, along with $45 for every day it’s used. The rest is refunded, Ladyga said.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort President Tim Cohee said like many ski areas his Alpine County resort is considering the insurance option.

Sierra-at-Tahoe hasn’t considered the option.

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