‘Silver skiers’ aged 55 and over are least likely to check whether they have taken out appropriate insurance for winter sports holidays, new Abta research reveals today.

More than a third of people (38%) over the age of 55 who take ski and snowboard breaks admit they never check that they are covered for winter sports, significantly above the average of 29%.

However, younger generations take most care with their winter sports holiday cover, with only one in seven (14%) 18 to 24 year olds saying that they never check if they have the right insurance.

With almost three in ten people who take winter sports holidays admitting that they never check if they have the correct cover, this leaves thousands of British skiers and snowboarders at risk of enjoying the slopes without proper insurance.

As 1.75 million (3.4%) people prepare to head off on snow sports holidays this winter, the travel association is encouraging participants of all ages to stay safe on the slopes and to make sure they have appropriate winter sports insurance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office reported 118 people being taken to hospital and 58 British deaths from skiing and snowboarding holidays between 2012 and 2016, with thousands more having suffered injuries both on and off the piste.

Abta’s study shows that 238,000 people aged 55 to 64 reported taking a ski or snowboarding trip last year – double the number that said they took this type of holiday the previous winter season.

The association is joining forces with the FCO and The Ski Club to provide advice, from pre-departure to après ski, is a ski safe campaign.

The move comes amid predictions that winter sports could be set for an even greater surge in interest this season due to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9-25.

Abta destinations and sustainability director Nikki White said: “Good preparation is the key to a successful ski holiday.

“With so many Brits looking to hit the slopes this winter it’s important they get ski ready in order to be ski safe – including getting the right equipment, making sure they are physically fit and that they have the necessary insurance cover.

“Many holidaymakers wrongly assume they’re automatically covered for winter sports as part of their travel insurance – but it is often not the case, meaning thousands of people could be heading to the slopes without any cover.

“It is a costly business if you have an accident on the slopes and don’t have the right insurance to cover your medical bills. We advise people of all ages to check that they are covered for everything they plan to do and have the right preparations in place to help them enjoy their time on the slopes.”

FCO head of consular assistance Philippa Makepeace said: “As the ski season gets under way, we encourage anybody heading for the slopes to make sure that they are well prepared so they have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

“Abta’s research suggests that British nationals don’t always check they’ve taken the right insurance before they travel.

“We’d encourage everyone who is travelling to take just a few minutes to check that they are covered for all the activities they have planned and any medical conditions have been declared.

“This small step can help ensure that you get the support you need should anything go wrong, and avoid potentially huge costs if you are not appropriately covered. Please #SkiSafe this winter.