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Nature reserves, heliskiing and insurance
Posted: 16 December 2010 03:28 PM  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

Someone has just pointed out another possible exclusion in some winter sports policies. The lack of potential cover if you are breaking the law at the time. Some policies talk about “local authority advice”, others such as a policy I’ve just looked at talk about “areas where skiing is against the law”.

This raises a couple of points. Are you covered if you are skiing in a nature reserve where skiing is forbidden, or forbidden for certain users. An obvious example is the backside of the Aiguille Rouge in les Arcs?

Another grey area is “heliskiing” in France. Journalist Le├»la Shahshahani pointed this one out to me. Heliskiing, being dropped on summits, is illegal in France but some companies get around the law by proposing heli-pickups from the base of the mountain. In zones above 900m this is covered by the mountain law and the pickup has to be made at a heliport specifically designated by the Prefet. This is not always the case. In addition some companies drop people on the French side of summits and cols where a drop is not possible on the Italian or Swiss side of the border. It would appear in both cases that your sports insurer would have grounds for refusing cover.

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