It is getting close to the new season and the end of the year. In the office we are currently checking our annual subscriptions: ski magazines, avalanche bodies, clubs and of course ski insurance.
We have prepared an article looking at why you should insure for off-piste skiing in France, the modalities of search and rescue, who pays hospital treatment costs and which is the best package for you.
The situation regarding rescue in the French backcountry is quite complicated. A revision to local government legislation gave communes the right to charge backcountry travellers for search and rescue costs. Most of the communes of the two Savoie departments have adopted this revision, much to the consternation of the backcountry community. Although it has been applied only to skiers and snowboarders and quite sparingly, there is a worry by both insurers and the mountain community that its use will be extended by a government grappling with budget deficits. At the end of May a senior civil servant delivered a report on the current situation and recommended repealing the law. The French senate has also voted to modify the current law. However at present it remains a possibility that you will be charged for off-piste rescue outside of ski areas and you should carry appropriate insurance.