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Italy makes winter sports insurance mandatory for skiers

Italy has become the first country to insist on winter sports travel insurance for anyone visiting its ski resorts.

From this month, anyone found not to have an adequate policy in place will be fined €100-150 (£84-125) and have their lift pass removed.

Travellers who haven’t already arranged specific winter sports cover before their trip will be able to buy the insurance with their lift pass, Planet Ski reports.

Decree 40, which was passed by the Italian government last year but came into effect on 1 January, reads: “The skier who uses the alpine ski slopes must have valid insurance covering his civil liability for damages or injuries caused to third parties.

“It is obligatory for the manager of the equipped ski areas, with the exclusion of those reserved for cross-country skiing, to make available to users, at the time of purchase of the transit permit, an insurance policy for civil responsibility for damage caused to persons or things.”

The rules apply to anyone partaking in winter sports of any kind in Italy, including snowboarding and tobogganing.

However, it is unclear as yet how the new law will be enforced.

The UK government and Foreign Office already advise British travellers to take out specific winter sports insurance for ski travel, but Italy is the only country to insist on it for all skiers.

A study of more than 1,000 British skiers and snowboarders in October, by insurance provider Battleface, showed that 25 per cent did not take out winter sports cover on their last trip.

In the same study, most respondents drastically underestimated the cost of being airlifted off a mountain – around £10,000 – with most guessing that it was around £3,000.

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