A recent travel insurance survey suggests that people planning to take a skiing holiday this winter should check their policies carefully. The research, conducted by Defaqto, suggests that 13 per cent of policies taken out for a single trip do not cover winter sports, and the type of cover that is offered can vary widely.

Of the policies looked at, 80 per cent offered customers less than £1,000 to cover the loss or theft of equipment, while some offered no cover at all. More than half of the travel insurance provided less than £500 for the cover of equipment hired while on holiday.

If a piste is forced to close due to a fatality or because of extreme weather, 56 per cent of insurance provided for no more than £20 per day. A maximum amount of no more than £200 was offered on 43 per cent of the policies analysed in the study; there was no cover on 5 per cent.

In the event of an avalanche, 16 per cent of the policies were good for £500 or more. However, a third provided £200 or less, and 20 per cent had no cover at all for such natural disasters.

Defaqto’s general insurance insight analyst Mike Powell said the company had found that policies varied widely when it came to winter sports’ cover. He added that people needed to work out exactly what they needed to be insured for before purchasing a policy, and that the cheapest insurance could end up being expensive in the long run.