At DOGTAG we’ve tried to set the benchmark for clarity and make DOGTAG as clear and easy to understand as possible. Before you decide to contact us, please read through the topics below to ensure your question hasn’t already been answered.
Our FAQs are arranged in sensible topics to make the info easy to find but if you can’t be bothered looking through the FAQ topics, try the search facility below.
If you still feel you need help or advice, you’re very welcome to contact us. The best method is to email us, it’ll save you hanging on if the phones are busy. Our telephone numbers are displayed at top of your browser window and our full contact information is available here.
Who’s Eligible For Cover?
Can non-UK residents purchase your DOGTAG travel insurance?
As far as our UK program is concerned, other than members of the British Forces Posted Overseas (BFPO), we can only offer travel insurance to residents of the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. What’s important here is your country of residence rather than your nationality. If you are a non-UK citizen resident in the United Kingdom or the Channel Islands with a UK address and have not spent more than six months out of the UK during the year before the policy is issued then you can be covered by Dogtag.
What is the maximum age limit on your policies?
Dogtag can offer Annual Multi-trip and Single Trip cover for anybody up to the age of 69.
How do you define a couple?
To be able to take advantage of the lower joint travel insurance premiums offered to couples, you have to have been living permanently together, in a relationship, at the same address for at least 6 months. You do not have to be married nor do you have to be of different genders.
Can people with an Annual Multi-trip travel insurance policy travel independently?
Yes, you can travel independently, although children will only be insured if they are accompanied by one of the insured adults.
If you cannot accompany your child, you’ll have to purchase an individual adult policy for that child. See the question below regarding minors travelling alone for help with that.
Is cover provided for minors travelling alone?
It is a stipulation of the policy that a child cannot travel without one of the named insured adults even if you already have a Family or Single Parent policy, unless it has been agreed in writing with us. If you would like to discuss a trip where your child is travelling without one of the named adults on your policy it’s best to phone our sales team. This is because our online system is designed to prevent children from buying their own policy.
If your child requires their own individual policy, just call 0333 005 1085. Under your Dogtag policy, an insured person is considered a child if they are under the age of 18.
Do I have cover for cancellation when this results from a Pre-existing Medical Condition affecting someone I am arranging to stay with, a travelling companion, a relative or a business associate?
This policy will NOT cover any claims under Section A1 arising directly or indirectly from any Pre-existing Medical Condition, (known to you prior to the commencement of the Period of Insurance) affecting any:
- Close relatives who are not travelling as an Insured Person under this policy; or
- Travelling companion who is not insured under this policy; or
- Person with whom You intend to stay whilst on Your Trip,
If during the 90 days immediately prior to the commencement of the Period of Insurance they had:
Required surgery, in-patient treatment or hospital consultations; or
Required any form of treatment or prescribed medication; or
If they were on a waiting list for or had knowledge of the need for, surgery, inpatient treatment or investigation at any hospital or clinic at the commencement of the Period of Insurance; or
If a terminal diagnosis had been received prior to the commencement of the Period of Insurance.
What is meant by an existing medical condition?
An existing medical condition means any serious or recurring medical condition which has been previously diagnosed, investigated or treated in any way, at any time prior to travel, even if this condition is currently considered to be stable and under control.
You can declare any existing medical conditions by contacting our customer service team on 0333 005 1085.
What questions should I ask myself to help me define whether or not I will be considered to have an existing medical condition?
Here are some questions that you might be asked by an underwriter in the event of a claim:
1. Have you, or anyone travelling with me ever had treatment for:
- any heart or circulatory condition?
- a stroke or high blood pressure?
- any type of cancer?
- any type of diabetes?
- any type of irritable bowel disease (such as Crohn’s, or diverticulitis)?
- a breathing condition (including asthma)?
2. In the last 2 years – have you, or anyone who is travelling with you, been treated for any serious or re-occurring medical condition, asked to take regular prescribed medication, or referred to a specialist or consultant at a hospital for tests, diagnosis or treatment?
3. Are you waiting for tests, test results or treatment of any description?
4. Has your doctor altered your regular prescribed medication in the last 3 months?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the four questions above, you must tell us. We may be able to offer cover for your medical condition, although an increased premium may be required or increased policy excess applied. To enable us to consider your medical condition please contact our customer services team on 0333 005 1085.
If your answers were “NO” at the time of booking insurance but change to “YES” prior to departure, you will need to contact our customer services team to ensure that full cover for your condition is available. Please contact us on 0333 005 1085.
What do I do if I have an existing medical condition?
First of all, in brief, we can usually help most people with an existing medical condition but you should declare it before you buy your cover otherwise you will not be covered by any claim relating to your known pre-existing condition. So don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the helpline on 0333 005 1085.
Now here’s the information in detail: As we’ve mentioned above, you can declare existing medical conditions by contacting our customer service team on 0333 005 1085. All travel insurance companies require the policyholder to disclose any material fact that may influence them in their decision to accept or decline a risk. When obtaining a quotation please read all the terms and conditions which will guide you through the simple process.
This insurance operates on the following basis:
- To be covered, You must be healthy, fit to travel and to undertake Your planned Trip;
- The insurance will NOT cover You when You are travelling against the advice of a Medical Practitioner (or would be travelling against the advice of a Medical Practitioner had You sought his/her advice);
- The insurance will NOT cover You when You are travelling with the intention of obtaining medical treatment or consultation abroad.
- The insurance will NOT cover You if You have any undiagnosed symptoms that require attention or investigation in the future (that is symptoms for which You are awaiting investigations/consultations, or awaiting results of investigations, where the underlying cause has not been established)
No claim arising directly or indirectly from an existing medical condition affecting You will be covered unless:
- You have declared ALL existing medical conditions to Us; and
- You have declared any changes in Your health or prescribed medication; and
- We have accepted the condition(s) for insurance in writing.
For the purposes of this insurance, an existing medical condition is considered to be any serious or recurring medical condition which has been diagnosed previously, investigated or treated in any way, at any time prior to travel, even if this condition is currently considered to be stable and under control.
You can declare your existing medical condition(s) by contacting our customer service team on 0333 005 1085. If you have bought your insurance and have declared your existing medical condition retrospectively you can have it added to your policy details simply by emailing us at email@example.com or contacting us on 0333 005 1085.
Do I have cover to claim for cancellation or curtailment when this results from a Pre-existing Medical Condition affecting someone I am arranging to stay with, a travelling companion, a relative or a business associate?
This policy will NOT cover any claims under Cancellation (A1) & Curtailment (B7) arising directly or indirectly from any Existing Medical Condition, (known to you prior to the commencement of the Period of Insurance) affecting any:
Close Relative who is not travelling as an Insured Person under this policy; or
travelling companion who is not insured under this policy; or
person with whom You intend to stay whilst on Your Trip,
If during the 90 days immediately prior to the commencement of the Period of Insurance they had:
required surgery, inpatient treatment or hospital consultations; or
required any form of treatment or prescribed medication; or
if they were on a waiting list for, or had knowledge of the need for, surgery, inpatient treatment or investigation at any hospital or clinic at the commencement of the Period of Insurance; or
if a terminal diagnosis had been received prior to the commencement of the Period of Insurance.
What else should I declare aside from my pre-existing medical condition?
Very occasionally a customer will declare a medical condition but not tell us what it is they intend to do on holiday. Of course, it’s up to you but it might be sensible to discuss with your doctor whether what you’re planning is a good match for the medical condition from which you suffer.
There have been cases where people declare that they have a heart, cardiovascular or breathing condition but fail to tell insurers that they intend to do something very challenging, say, climb Mt Kilimanjaro. Such a climb, which is to a very high altitude, is a very challenging endeavour for a person of good health let alone somebody with health problems.
Even if you have declared a pre-existing medical condition it is not enough to assume that you will be covered for that in every circumstance. Remember, in every instance, you are the commander of your own safety and taking unnecessary risks might affect how an underwriter will look at a subsequent claim.
What is the situation if I discover I am pregnant before travelling?
If you will be no more than 28 weeks pregnant by the time your trip is due to start (or 24 weeks for multiple births) a medical practitioner or midwife will need to confirm that you are fit to travel. If you are confirmed not fit to travel, or if you will be more than 28 weeks pregnant at the start of your trip, (24 weeks for multiple births), you can make a claim under “Cancelling Your Trip” provided you purchased this policy/booked a trip before you were aware you would not be able to travel.
From the start of week 29 to week 40 of the pregnancy, there is no cover for any claims relating to pregnancy.
What should I do if taken ill overseas?
Contact the Emergency Medical Assistance team as stated on your policy documents. Their role is to guide and advise you and liaise with the treating doctors where appropriate. If you have to make any payments relating to sickness overseas remember to hold onto all the receipts as you’ll need these when making a claim.
Duration Of Cover
If I am rushed home in an emergency at what point does my cover end?
Regarding the ongoing care of travellers when they return home to the UK when sick or injured, the simple answer is that Travel Insurance is designed to get people home and into the care of the NHS or perhaps a private healthcare scheme if the person involved is a member.
Even if the situation called for the evacuation of a casualty back to the UK by air ambulance, you would be met on arrival by an ambulance (paid for by the insurance company) to take them to hospital, at which point the cover ends.
What’s the difference between an Annual Multi-trip and a year’s Single Trip?
The following are the maximum durations for each trip taken:
Annual Multi-trip travel insurance policies:
- Maximum Trip Duration 31 Days (62 days if additional premium paid)
- Maximum optional Winter Sports Trip Duration: 17 Days*
*Please note that on purchasing our Multi-Trip Travel Insurance policies, you will have 17 days Winter Sports cover it will provide you with that maximum number of days winter sports cover during the term of the policy (not an unlimited number of winter sports trips of 17 day durations).
Single Trip travel insurance policies:
You can purchase a Single Trip policy for any duration from 1 day to 12 months.
Winter sports cover is an optional add-on to single trip policies and must be selected at the time of purchase. For shorter single trip durations you will select cover for the whole period.
What is the maximum length of any one trip I can take on an Annual Multi-trip policy?
The following are the maximum durations for each trip taken that are covered by our Annual Multi-Trip travel insurance policies. If you wish to make a trip that extends beyond the limits shown here then you should consider purchasing a Single Trip policy which is designed to provide cover for lengthy stays overseas.
Annual Multi-trip durations:
- Maximum Trip Duration 31 Days as standard
- Maximum Winter Sports Trip Durations of 17 days dependent on the option chosen and additional premium paid.
* IMPORTANT WINTER SPORTS INSURANCE NOTE *Winter sports cover is an optional add-on and must be selected at the time of purchase. Please note that on purchasing our Annual Multi Trip Travel Insurance policy, you may select Winter Sports cover and that will provide you with that maximum number of 17 days winter sports cover during the term of the policy (not an unlimited number of winter sports trips of 17 day durations).
When does cover commence with an Annual Multi-trip policy?
When you purchase an Annual Multi-trip travel insurance policy you will specify a start date and until that date, you will not have any cover. If you are leaving on a trip in say one month’s time and wish to have cancellation cover etc then set your travel insurance policy to start the day you purchase the policy.
When does cover commence with a Single-Trip policy?
A Single Trip travel insurance policy is designed to protect you whilst travelling between the start and end dates of your policy. Specifically, you are covered from the time you leave your home to commence your journey until your arrival back home.
However, from the moment you purchase the policy, you do have Cancellation cover for the cost of your trip, up to the limits of your chosen policy level. You can check those cover levels on the Cover Details page in the top navigation bar.
Tricky Situations Abroad
Which countries are excluded from your policies?
In the wake of current affairs and health situations, there may be heightened tension and some disruption to travel worldwide. All travellers must take into consideration the advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
Our policy does not provide cover under any section of the policy if your travel is to an area where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has advised against ‘all travel’. If you are not sure whether there is a warning for your destination, please check with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Tel. 020 7008 5000 or visit their website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice )
What happens if my baggage is lost when I arrive?
Immediately obtain, from the airport authorities, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) and pass this with all other appropriate documents to validate your claim upon your return to the UK. An amount can be claimed if your baggage is mislaid on your outward journey beyond a certain period (usually 12 hours) for you to obtain replacement essential toiletries and clothing etc.
Cancellation & Delay
What happens if I have to cancel my trip?
Cancellation cover applies if you have booked a trip to take place within the period of insurance but you are forced to cancel your travel plans because of circumstances outside of your control and of which you were unaware at the time of booking the trip. The specific scenarios in which your policy will cover you if you are unable to go on your trip will be outlined in your policy wording.
As soon as you are aware you have to cancel your travel plans, you must inform your tour operator/booking agent immediately as cancellation charges change depending on how close the cancellation is to your travel date.
What happens if I have to come home early from my trip?
Curtailment (cutting short) of your trip is covered if you have to return home because of unforeseen circumstances. Cover is limited to certain circumstances specified in your policy and you should check the policy’s fine detail to ensure your policy has the right level of cover. If you need to curtail or cut short your trip you must contact the Emergency Medical Assistance company before you make any plans. Their contact details are shown in the policy wording document.
What happens if my journey is delayed?
All Dogtag policy levels provide compensation for delayed departure on your outward journey.
What happens if my flight is delayed beyond the insurance period?
Obtain a confirmatory note from the airline confirming the reason for the delay, together with scheduled and actual departure times and pass this to our claims office. We will also extend your policy free of charge in the event your flight is delayed beyond the period of insurance.
General Cover Information
What are the full policy details?
What is Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) and is it included?
Insurance Premium Tax (or IPT) is a mandatory tax set by the government (currently 20% on travel insurance) applied to the selling price of all travel insurance policies. Like VAT you have no option but to pay IPT and as such our quotes already include it. However, IPT is unlike VAT as you cannot reclaim it if your purchase is a business purchase.
What is a policy excess?
An excess is the first amount you will have to pay in the event of making a claim. For example, if your claims settlement figure is £500 and the excess is £75 your payment would be £425.00
An excess is applied per person, per incident and per section under which the claim is made.
What is meant by “taking reasonable care”?
With any insurance, the policyholder should always act as though he has no insurance at all and take all measures to protect their property and themselves.
What do I do if I am travelling with valuables?
Dogtag includes cover incase your personal possessions are lost or stolen. All of our policies include cover for personal possessions up to £2,000 depending on which cover level you choose (Base, Pro or Max).
As you can see, the personal possessions cover offered with travel insurance is really designed to cover the sorts of ordinary things that you’re likely to have in your suitcase when you travel and isn’t really designed for very high-value possessions such as very expensive jewellery, smartphones, iPads etc or sports equipment. Our policies carry a total item limit for valuables of £250, so please ensure that you have appropriate cover for any valuables that are likely to take you over the total amount. If you are travelling with possessions of a higher value than the limits offered by your chosen level of cover or if you are concerned about an item which does not fall under any of the above categories, it may be wise to have appropriate alternative cover for items whose value exceeds the cover limits. You can often add cover for high-value items such as expensive jewellery under your household contents insurance for very little extra so try to do that prior to departing. High-value leisure and sports equipment can be covered very economically by going to a specialist insurer.
When in resort use the safety deposit box or safe in the room for any valuables, cameras, passports, money etc. as your policy will not provide cover for the loss or theft of valuables left unattended unless in a locked safe or out of sight in your locked trip accommodation.
What happens if the airline trash or lose my baggage?
Under the terms and conditions of your policy (check HERE for a cover summary and HERE for the full policy details), there is no cover for valuables left unattended. For the purposes of this insurance ‘unattended’ includes items left in the care of a third party such as your airline.
The reason for this is fairly plain when you think about it. If airlines were in a position to truthfully tell passengers that the luggage that they’ve damaged or lost can be claimed on your travel insurance then there would be little incentive for them to make any effort to look after your bags properly.
Warning about airlines! Some airlines may believe that you can claim on your travel insurance for loss or damage to your luggage whilst it’s in their custody. In fact, under the Montreal Convention, airlines have a statutory duty to compensate you up to a maximum of 1,131 Euros for loss or damage to baggage.
Delayed Baggage All Dogtag policies do provide some compensation for delayed baggage to help you until the airline gets it to you.
Finally: Don’t put your valuables such as money, jewellery, travel documents or your passport in your check-in baggage, take them on board in your carry-on hand luggage. If the airline loses your bag then your problem will be many times more complicated without those items. It’s a good idea to keep your mobile phone with you as well; it’s probably the most valuable tool in the event of a lost bag.
How do I know that Dogtag are able to sell travel insurance?
Dogtag is a trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN306537. You can check these details on the FCAs Register, or by visiting the FCA website http://www.fca.org.uk/register/, or by contacting the FCA on 0207 066 1000.
Changes and Upgrades
I have bought a policy but now wish to change my details or cover.
In the first instance please email us including your policy number and the required alteration. In the vast majority of cases, the change is a simple correction of personal details and we will simply update and re-send your plain text cover letter by email.
If you need to extend your cover then there may be an additional premium to pay, in which case this needs to be done on the phone as for security reasons we do not hold your credit card number.
I have lost my policy details, or my computer crashed whilst purchasing.
Don’t worry! Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org including your surname and the date that you purchased your policy and we’ll resend your policy by email.
What happens if my baggage is lost?
Your baggage is covered within the limits stated in your policy document while it is in your care. However, we need to be aware of the situation once you have entrusted your baggage to the airline:
Airline Baggage Responsibilities
Under normal circumstances, the airline is responsible for your baggage while it is in their care. If your bags go missing or are damaged between checking them in at departures and your arrival, immediately obtain, from the airport authorities, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) and pass this with all other appropriate documents to validate your claim upon your return to the UK. An amount can be claimed on your travel insurance if your baggage is mislaid on your outward journey beyond a certain period (usually 12 hours) for you to obtain replacement essential toiletries and clothing etc.
NOTE: Once your bags are in the care of the airline it is their legal responsibility to get you and your luggage to your destination airport intact. It is very common for airlines and baggage handlers to dismiss passengers whose luggage has been damaged or lost in transit by informing the passenger that ‘you should claim it on your travel insurance.’ In some instances, airlines may try to make it challenging for you to get them to accept liability. However, you should stand your ground, they know the rules and will eventually comply with them.
Plainly, paying out on every lost or damaged baggage claim could lead to a rise in incidents of airlines not handling luggage appropriately, as there would be no financial penalty against them if they don’t. This could mean more people suffering the distress of loss or mishandled bags. Accordingly, once you have entrusted it to their care, it is the airline’s responsibility and it is they to whom you should address claims for compensation.
Here’s what BA have to say on their website. As you can see, they are quite aware of an airline’s responsibilities:
Baggage delays – Incase of baggage delay, the air carrier is liable for damage unless it took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures. The liability for baggage delay is limited to 1,131 SDRs (approximately £1,000 or EUR1,230).
Destruction, loss or damage to baggage – The air carrier is liable for destruction, loss or damage to baggage up to 1,131 SDRs (approximately £1,000 or EUR1,230). In the case of checked baggage, it is liable even if not at fault, unless the baggage was defective. In the case of unchecked baggage, the carrier is liable only if at fault.
Higher limits for baggage A passenger can benefit from a higher liability limit by making a special declaration at the latest at check-in and by paying a supplementary fee.
Complaints on baggage – If the baggage is damaged, delayed, lost or destroyed, the passenger must write and complain to the air carrier as soon as possible. In the case of damage to checked baggage, the passenger must write and complain within seven days, and in the case of delay within 21 days, in both cases from the date on which the baggage was placed at the passenger’s disposal.
How do I make a claim?
If you need to make a claim please refer to the Claims section within our ‘Contact Us’ page. There you will find all of the appropriate contact details (which can also be found on your cover letter and on the policy document).
Is there a cooling off period?
Yes, all our policies carry a cooling off period of up to 14 days after purchase as long as you have not yet travelled or have made or are looking to make a claim
What do I do if I have a dispute with the insurer and want to make a complaint?
If you have a complaint regarding the sales literature, the way in which your policy was sold to you, the Medical Screening Service or regarding information about your policy, please contact:
Complaints Manager DOGTAG Complaints 1 Tower View Kings Hill Kent ME19 4UY
Telephone: 0333 005 1086
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday
If your complaint relates to a claim or assistance you received whilst travelling, please contact:
Quality Department Collinson Insurance Services Limited Sussex House Perrymount Road Haywards Heath West Sussex RH16 1DN
Email: email@example.comTelephone: 0333 333 9702
If your complaint relates to the end supplier sections of cover or claims, please contact:
End Supplier Complaints (IPP) Compliance Officer Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3AW. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTelephone: +44 (0) 203 758 0840
However, should you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to ask the Financial Ombudsman Service to review your case. You should write to the Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR, telephone 0800 023 4567 or email email@example.com. You can visit their site at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
Is my sports equipment covered?
We frequently get asked if travel insurance will also cover for high-value sports equipment. At present we can only provide additional cover for sports equipment if you purchase one of the following cover extensions: Golf Extension, Dogtag Winter Sports Extension, Scuba Diving Extension, Motorcycle Extension, Cycling Extension, Sailing Extension or Mountaineering Extension. Each of these provides additional equipment cover for the sport in question.
With regards to other personal possessions, Dogtag does provide cover for the sort of personal possessions that you might carry with you in your luggage when you travel but no cover is provided as standard for high-value sports equipment or high-value electrical equipment. Items such as these are often already covered under your household insurance or can be added to your household cover, or you can acquire cover from specialist insurers.
How do I find out if my sport is covered?
Dogtag provides sports travel insurance for a comprehensive list of sports. The list of sports is huge and the easiest way to see if your sport is covered is to check the Sports List.
Certain sports are Excluded and we do not cover these under any circumstances.
When you go through the purchase process, the system will ask you to enter which sports you’d like to have covered. Just type in a few letters of your sport and its name will appear. If you select it, the system will select the correct level of sports cover for you.
Do you provide Winter Sports Insurance?
Winter sports cover is an optional add-on to all of our policies and must be selected at the time of purchase. The duration options for winter sports cover vary from product to product:
ANNUAL Multi-Trip Travel Insurance. You have 17 days Winter Sports cover under our multi trip policies and it will provide you with that maximum number of days winter sports cover during the term of the policy (NB: this does not provide an unlimited number of winter sports trips of 17 day durations).
Single Trip Travel Insurance Winter sports cover is an optional add-on to SINGLE TRIP policies and must be selected at the time of purchase. For single trip durations, you will have winter sports cover for the whole period.
Individual types of winter sports such as say, Langlauf, Heli-skiing or Ski Mountaineering are categorised according to the Sport, Sport+ or Extreme categories, so as well as selecting Winter Sports at the quotation stage, you should check the Sports list to find out which category (Sport, Sport+, Extreme, Extreme +, or Super Extreme) that your particular winter sport falls into. That’s the sport level you must choose. It is your responsibility to ensure that you choose the correct level of cover.
Does Dogtag offer ‘Extreme Sports Travel Insurance’ and what’s the definition of extreme sports?
Dogtag does cover a whole range of ‘extreme sports’. There is no specific definition of ‘extreme sports’. Each sport is rated as either Sport, Sport+, Extreme, Extreme+ and Super Extreme according to its own merits. Sports and activities falling into Sport+, Extreme, Extreme+ and Super Extreme categories command an additional premium. Each of these categories also covers all of the sports listed in the categories below it.
Certain extreme sports are considered so high-risk that we specifically exclude them from cover. To check which category your sport falls under, click Sports List. If you do not see your sport listed you should contact our Customer Services team.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you choose the correct cover level for your sport.
What about cover for Adventure Sports Travel Insurance and other adventurous activities?
We can arrange travel cover for most sports and activities without additional premium and these would fall into our ‘Sports’ category. However, as with ‘Extreme Sports’ above, the more high risk the activity, the more likely that there will be an increased premium or that we will not offer any cover for that sport or activity. If you are unsure, you must contact our Customer Services Team to clarify either by email or by phone.
Do you provide Scuba Diving cover and what does it cover?
Dogtag provides scuba diving cover as standard in its minimum level of sport cover (Sport) to a maximum depth of 30 meters. Cover for diving to a maximum depth of 50 meters is provided under our Extreme level of sport cover but to dive to this depth you must be PADI (or equivalent) qualified or be under the tutelage of a PADI (or equivalent) qualified instructor.
Do you cover Off Piste Skiing and what is the definition of Off Piste?
Going ‘off piste’ is generally understood to be simply leaving the groomed trails within the resort. If you want to ski outside the resort, we would term this going ‘out of bounds’ or ‘back country skiing ‘ and it requires a higher level of cover. These activities require different levels of cover:
Skiing Off Piste (within the resort):- Sport
Skiing Back Country (outwith the resort) with a guide:- Sport+
Skiing Back Country (outwith the resort) without a guide:- Extreme
Skiing ‘off piste’ within the resort, in most cases, will offer you as much scope as if you go outside the resort boundaries. However, if you are going out of bounds or outside marked areas of the resort, we recommend you do so with a fully qualified local guide because, in our view, you will then be taken to the best areas and you’ll have a higher degree of comfort concerning your safety; the choice is yours but you will need to make sure that you have the right level of sport cover.
And remember, even some areas within the overall resort may be considered out of bounds because they are hazardous and they will probably be marked as such. You are in charge of your own personal safety and ‘going under the wire’, where you knowingly compromise your own safety, may compromise your insurance cover.
In most parts of North America, going out of bounds contravenes local law whether you have insured for it or not and you may, at best have your lift pass confiscated or worse, face arrest and have an overnight stay courtesy of the Sherriff’s office. Normally there is a physical fence with warning signs so you shouldn’t be in any doubt.
It is your responsibility to ensure that on any particular day you are aware of and obey local advice, information, and instructions given by the resort authorities and that you obey any signs and information you encounter on the mountain – the source of this information will vary resort to resort and country to country and it is your responsibility to find out. If a section is marked ‘closed’ there will be a very good reason for it (e.g. high avalanche danger) and ignoring such signs or advice may invalidate your cover. You should be aware that under the terms of cover, needless self-exposure to peril except in an endeavour to save human life may invalidate your cover.
Obviously, you must never ski off-piste alone.
Will I get rescued by Helicopter?
Whether you are on the ski slopes, in the rainforest or in the Himalayas, the rescue system used is the choice of those attending an injured or sick person at the scene, or more likely, the rescue organisation dealing with your case.
Ski Resort Medical Rescue:
In ski resorts, ski patrollers are generally very well trained and experienced in assessing injuries and managing the evacuation of an injured person off the mountain and to a hospital in the manner most appropriate to the patient’s condition. It is they who will decide what is appropriate for the circumstances regardless of your insurer. Serious cases occasionally involve helicopters but more often a combination of sled, ski lift and ambulance is more immediate and appropriate.
We often get asked by people going to remote locations and especially by mountaineers and trekkers going to the Himalayas whether a helicopter or other rescue services can be called in without first contacting us.
Here’s our position:
Summoning helicopter rescue: With DOGTAG, medical rescue is covered as part of the emergency medical section of cover. Where it is possible, you, someone travelling with you or your representative should contact us before calling in a 3rd-party evacuation services, this is because we may be able to arrange appropriate assistance for you straightaway. Where it is impossible to contact us before calling in a 3rd-party evacuation services, then as long as the evacuation is for emergency medical reasons only, cover would be considered.
We define emergency medical treatment as “Any ill-health or injury which occurs during your trip and requires immediate treatment before you return home or to enable you to return home”.
Claiming for helicopter rescue: Claims for helicopter rescue will only be considered by our insurer if the situation is caused by and linked to an emergency medical situation for which the helicopter rescue was required.
Other factors such as weather, remoteness and the local availability of rescue systems are also taken into account. Again, it is not uncommon to be asked for proof of insurance whilst on the mountain or in a remote location. Therefore, please ensure that you have your DOGTAG insurance information on you at all times.
Please be aware:
We will only provide cover for medical rescue if it is medically necessary. No cover is provided for any additional costs incurred to find you if people don’t know where you are, for example, we don’t cover the cost of Search and Rescue. If this is a possibility due to the activity you are taking part in, such as Offshore Sailing or Remote Expeditions/Marathons, we strongly recommend that you have 3rd Party Search and Rescue Cover in place for the entire time that you will be taking part in the activity.
What is meant by ‘taking reasonable care’?
With any insurance, the policyholder should always act as though he has no insurance at all and take all measures to protect their property and themselves. You should not knowingly put yourself in harm’s way and you should be aware that under the terms of cover, needless self-exposure to peril except in an endeavour to save human life may invalidate your cover.
What is the definition of ‘Offshore Sailing’?
Offshore sailing is defined for the purposes of this insurance to be sailing 12 Nautical miles from the coastline. Inshore sailing is, of course, sailing within 12 Nautical miles of the coastline or in inland waterways.