How Travel Insurance Can Rescue a Ski Trip

Look for travel insurance that covers weather delays, injuries and sports equipment.
Meghan Coyle
By Meghan Coyle 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Snow in the forecast can send winter sports enthusiasts flocking to the mountains for some fresh powder. But unpredictable weather doesn't always make for the easiest travel. Inherently, ski trips might be one of the riskiest to book since you can spend big bucks on ski lift tickets, lodging, airfare and equipment rentals, only to lose the money if the weather doesn't cooperate or an injury occurs.

These kinds of travel woes could affect more travelers as skiing and snowboarding grow in popularity. According to the National Ski Areas Association, there were more than 60 million visits to U.S. ski slopes during the 2021-2022 season, the highest since the organization started keeping track in 1978.

To reduce the risk of losing money on an interrupted or canceled ski trip due to adverse weather, travel insurance can be an option to consider. Some of the more common travel insurance benefits, such as trip delay or cancellation coverage, can come in handy for vacations in winter destinations. Plus, some travelers might already have those benefits through a travel credit card.

Standalone travel insurance plans, which can offer more specific coverage tailored to ski trips, are also available. With these policies, travelers can get reimbursed for more particular expenses related to winter sports travel. 

Here are the types of coverage travelers can expect to find when shopping for travel insurance for a ski trip.

Trip delay or cancellation coverage

Trip delay and cancellation coverage is a standard part of most travel insurance plans and can benefit those heading toward winter weather. For example, if flights are delayed because of a snowstorm, this type of coverage can help travelers get money back for days they might've missed at the resort. This usually includes reimbursements for nonrefundable travel expenses such as prepaid lift tickets, equipment rentals and other similar expenses.

Trip delay and cancellation insurance could also pay for extra meals and lodging that travelers may have incurred as a result of a delay.

One important caveat is that this coverage usually kicks in for covered reasons only. An airline delaying a flight would be covered, but a traveler looking at the weather report and wanting to bail on the trip for fear of getting stuck wouldn't be. 

Skiers and snowboarders who want complete flexibility to cancel as they please should consider Cancel For Any Reason insurance. This coverage is a special add-on that costs more, but travelers typically receive 50% to 75% of their travel costs back if they cancel for any reason.

Accidental injury

Injury is another big risk for ski trips. Injured skiers and snowboarders would most likely have to cut their trip short. That's when ski travel insurance with trip interruption coverage would help pay for the costs associated with returning home early.

Note that this coverage differs from travel medical insurance and medical evacuation insurance. Injured travelers will typically have to use some combination of their regular health insurance and travel medical insurance from their winter sports insurance policy (regardless if it's provided through a credit card or bought separately). 

"Depending on where you're skiing, your home health insurance might cover you for an accident. But it also might not if you're outside of your home health network, and certainly not if you're traveling internationally," says Stan Sandberg, co-founder of

Advanced skiers and snowboarders will likely need even more coverage. If adventuring into the backcountry, outside of resort bounds or heli-skiing, consider getting additional insurance coverage for adventure sports. 

Travel inconvenience

This is a vague name for coverage, but it's a good add-on to a travel insurance policy for winter sports trips. "Travel inconvenience," sometimes called "Lost Skier Days," will reimburse travelers if the resort closes because of too much or too little snow.

This type of coverage is typically available from Dec. 1 to March 31 for resorts in the Northern Hemisphere and can reimburse up to $125 in lost expenses per day.

Lost or damaged equipment

Many travelers are familiar with baggage loss or delay coverage, but some might not know that expensive ski or snowboarding gear might not be covered entirely. After all, typical travel insurance policies insure up to a certain dollar amount only. So if the airline loses your expensive skis, you might not be reimbursed for the full value.

Getting ski travel insurance with coverage for items like skis and snowboards can help. With this coverage, if your gear is delayed, the ski insurance provider will reimburse you, up to a limit, for equipment rentals.

Should I insure my ski trip?

If you're worried about losing the nonrefundable costs of your winter sports-focused vacation, ski travel insurance can provide some peace of mind. Look for coverage that reimburses you in case of winter weather delays or accidental injuries. In addition, travel inconvenience or sports equipment coverage are add-ons that can help you recoup the costs associated with lift tickets and equipment rentals.

Skiing and snowboarding are always an adventure, but delays and accidents don't have to be so costly.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Travel Insurance from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.


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Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


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Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

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on Chase's website

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NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.


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Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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