Winter sportsters covered by Ski-surance |

Winter sportsters covered by Ski-surance

With or without insurance, emergency treatment for ski and snowboard injuries can cost a fortune.

So how about a little peace of mind before hitting the slopes?

For as little as $6 a day, Ski-surance founder John Gleason provides accident coverage up to $5,000. All you need is a credit card and a finger to dial the toll-free number.

So where’s the catch? There is none, said Gleason, who is a certified insurance broker.

“There is no co-payment, no deductible and no preexisting clause,” Gleason said. “Ski-surance fills a gap. If someone gets injured on the slopes, insurance co-payments and deductibles can reach upward of $4,000 to $5,000. Nowadays you’re easily looking at a $30,000 bill just to get an injured knee worked on – the co-pays on that are pretty big.”

Another problem, Gleason noted, is that HMO’s usually operate within a network and offer very limited coverage for out-of-area services. This leaves many South Lake Tahoe visitors footing mammoth bills for emergency care.

“Foreigners and people visiting Tahoe from out of state will benefit from Ski-surance the most,” Gleason said. “It’s not for season-pass holders or people who ski or snowboard every day. It’s for beginners and people who go out several times a season.”

Those who will benefit the most are the hundreds of skiers and boarders who don’t have any insurance coverage.

“All you have to do is dial the toll-free number and about 30 seconds later you’re insured,” Gleason said. “You give your name, address and credit card number and you’re set.”

The plan began as a spin-off of the Buddy Werner ski program, where Gleason implemented a low cost insurance plan for participants.

“The Buddy Werner program took kids ages 7 to 14 skiing every weekend at Sierra. They got to compete and race,” Gleason said. “The idea there was that everyone should have the opportunity to be insured at a reasonable cost.”

Ski-surance flyers and applications are available in motels and sports stores. The toll-free number is 1-888-SKI-9009.

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