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New, affordable Insurance option for off piste in Japan?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by grantn, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    Just getting some online quotes for insurance for our upcoming Japan trip. Family of four, 2 adults & 2 kids. I normally go with Ouch (cheaper online version of QBE?) to cover me off piste, and they are normally pretty affordable. Quote this time is $324 for the family, for 17 days, which I think is great.

    Just got an even cheaper quote from a new Aussie insurer (started end of 2014) - No Worries Insurance (is it just me or is that a terrible name for an insurer? Why not "She'll Be Right Mate Insurance"?). Underwritten by Lloyds. PDS says they won't cover "Extreme" winter sports, and include heli skiing in their examples of what they consider that to be, but I rang them in Sydney and they said they definitely cover off piste/trees/outside resort boundaries. The online quote for my family was $210 for 17 days, which is stellar.

    Of course, I asked if I could email them and describe exactly what I am doing, and get it in writing from them that snowboarding outside of boundary ropes/off piste is covered. They said that would be no problem (ie "No Worries") I'll keep you posted how it goes. Might be another option for those of you heading off piste.
     
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  2. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    Does that include the cost of paying ski patrol to drag you out ?
     
  3. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    I fear cheap insurance.
     
  4. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture

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    I would get whatever assurances you need in writing.

    I too subscribe to the view that generally "you get what you pay for". Even with identical policy wordings if one is markedly cheaper than the other then there's a good chance they have a much more aggressive claims philosophy (and pay less claims). Most insurers have much the same cost base (measured by method of distribution - on line only vs on line only, broker vs broker etc). If there's a material difference as I say you'll only see it at claims stage.
     
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  5. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    I fear expensive insurance, it means they're ripping me off.
     
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  6. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interested to know as well.
    Noz man, do you know what the charges are likely to be for this at Nozawa, had any discussions with patrol in the past?
     
  7. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local

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    Minimum 100,000 yen
     
  8. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I would be interested in hearing how you went with respect to claiming for your "incident". Especially if you have any info on what it cost to be retrieved from in the trees and if there were any dramas because of where you were.

    We had 2 incidents last season where guests were injured and the experiences were quite different. Both were on piste so no issue with where they were rescued from. But one the resort took them to hospital, the other they found their own way. And then we had a little drama getting a report from ski patrol for the insurance claim. But it all worked out ok in the long run.
     
  9. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Reading through cover, Taken from wesite
    Emergency Evacuation
    We’ve got you covered with our 24/7 Emergency Assistance protection provided by Intana Assist. If you have an accident on the slopes and require an emergency evacuation we provide you with a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year emergency hotline. Intana Assist are world leaders in providing Emergency Assistance to travellers worldwide.

    Question, is Ski patrol search and rescue classed as evacuation
     
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  10. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or if they didn't have to search (your mate showed them ) is that then classed as evacuation
     
  11. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I asked similar questions of AAMI a few months back (over phone so nothing in writing). I was asking specifically about search and rescue as opposed to a medical emergency requiring search and rescue in the BC. In the first instance you are lost only and only need search and rescue because you are lost and unable to get yourself out. In the second, you need S&R because you are lost with a broken leg under a slide etc. The man on the phone said that scenario B would be all covered as the S&R component is due to the broken leg no matter where it occurred. In the first example however, S&R might not be covered as it's not a medical emergency. I suggested that if S&R wasn't initiated at an appropriate time, that your predicament would become a medical emergency just due to exposure etc but he didn't sound convinced. I stopped asking then as I did not want a definitive "no" answer but I suppose I should clarify it before getting lost in the boondocks somewhere.....

    My take home message was, If you are going BC either stay safe, intact and geographically located OR mess up big time. If you get a bit lost or a bit hurt or a bit of both, you might end up footing the bill if the Insurance company decides the costs were not medically justified. o_O
     
  12. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Maybe I was lucky. Well, not the hitting the tree bit but from there onwards.

    All of the resort is essentially legal "off-piste" (so not off-piste?). As I was within the resort I didn't pay anything for the very many ski patrollers who rescued me (high fives to them, they were amazing). The only drama was in actually extricating me from the area, no dramas with claiming at all. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital, I guess organised by the resort. I thought the hospital was good but others have had different experiences there.

    I had insurance from both the Austrian Alpine Club and medical-only from QBE. In the end, I claimed on QBE. The reports were easily obtained - thanks to the effort of the lodge owners who were great stand-in parents in terms of worry and responsibility. As the reports had to be translated before QBE would okay the claim, I just paid for everything and booked myself on a flight home. I was home within 48 hours and QBE refunded everything a few weeks later.

    QBE were great to deal with but now I use IHI Bupa as it's the only one I've found that covers both backcountry as well as the pre-existing injury.
     
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  13. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    I was involved in an oob broken leg rescue at nozawa in 2014. Full cost of the rescue was less than 40,000 yen and it was a 5 man job, took probably 3 hours.
     
    #13 BobGnarly, Jul 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
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  14. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Should add, I paid about $600 for 2 hospital visits (xrays, CT scan, 5 stitches in the knee, 15 stitches in my face and then clearance to fly on the plane) and $50 for a set of crutches.
     
  15. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    If you want to bang yourself up Japan is pretty cheap lol
     
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  16. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Some travel insurance policies for a few weeks could cost that much, and some of the expensive ones a lot more.
     
  17. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    you are closing in on my life theory that insurance is second only to religion when it comes to conformation of the masses induced by fear.
    That and I had an ex gf who wrote the pds' for IAG and she was a ****ing cold heartless biatch lol
     
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  18. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Insurance is a pure financial proposition based not on emotion. That's the way it should be judged, a form of mitigation against large out of pocket expenses. That's why the profession of Acturists exists, the determination of cost to pay out for a given probability of occurrence across a mass of people.
     
  19. BobGnarly

    BobGnarly One of Us

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    But how do you explain my evil ex gf?
     
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  20. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    ^ Blame her parents.
     
  21. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    Yeah. Nah. Add in business flight back home for a start. Had I stayed in Tokyo for surgery as I was supposed to that wouldn't have been cheap.

    The joy of making one's own decisions though. I know plenty of people who travel without insurance. I'm risk averse (and far more prone to doing stupid things) so insurance helps me sleep at night. So does whiskey. But that tends to void my insurance.
     
  22. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    That is cheap. My mogul skier was a passenger in a car accident in USA. He had a cut to his head that required 3 staples and a sore shoulder from putting his arm to brace himself that required an x-ray or mri. He did not actually receive any treatment apart from the 3 staples. He paid $200 on our credit card at the time. We have received 2 more bills and the total has been over $3k. The American medical system is nothing but extortionate.
     
  23. smackies

    smackies A Local

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    I would've paid that for a green whistle or two.

    Painkillers in Japan, or the complete absence of: shithouse.
     
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  24. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Our guest with the broken knee relates to the complete lack of painkillers as he wasn't given any. And got himself to the hospital - no ambulance or anything like that even.

    And you made a valid point about lodge owners as stand in parents. It does not actually take that much effort to do some of the little things that can make a huge difference. A bit of re-assurance, a couple of phone calls and emails and we had sorted all the issues with airlines, insurance, ski patrol reports, stressed out mum etc. Just made life so much easier for this guy when he was struggling.
     
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  25. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    Our lodge manager in Niseko went to extraordinary lengths, regularly throughout the season supporting guests getting to/from hospital, acting as translator with doctors - sometimes til 2am. More often for non-mountain related incidents of falling on icey pathways. It's a much appreciated service, that you wouldn't typically consider before you really need it!

    Personally I use insure4less as their snow policies are very transparent.
     
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  26. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are quite a few places that will do lots of stuff above and beyond for guests. And lots that would if language were not an issue. and as said above:
     
  27. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A mate who is an accountant (recently retired) would concur.
    He has never bought any kind insurance.
    Owns own home, a rental property, car, motorbike, travels O.S. each year !!

    Reckons he's that far ahead it's not funny...
     
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  28. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    I have a South African mate like that. Had his HiLux stolen once, but he reckons he's still ahead.
     
  29. almontyrat

    almontyrat One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My main reason for insuring my travel is to protect my family from having to foot the bill if I do something silly or come to grief. My net worth is 4/5ths of sweet Fanny Adams so I definitely could not cover an air evacuation, large medical bills or the cost of repatriation should something go big time amiss. OAP mum would sell her house to get me home and patched up but that really isn't a scenario my conscience would allow.
     
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  30. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    exactly @almontyrat

    A guy on Boardworld was saying "i have mates i travel with who would look out for me if i got into strife"

    I was all "wow nice mates dropping 100 grad to repatriate you home!"
     
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  31. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    If someone doesn't buy the correct travel insurance when going overseas to ski, then they truly are a ****ing idiot.
     
  32. TACKIE

    TACKIE One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Had one guy in Hakuba a few years back broke his leg quite badly needing surgery etc. The hospital and other medicals was up to $60,000 aud before they could even think about getting him back to Aus (don't know what that entailed). Did not have insurance. :eek:
     
  33. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    my mate doesn't ski (here or O.S.) . and I do take out appropriate insurance for O.S. skiing :thumbs:
     
  34. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Everywhere in the world should just have ACC like we do in NZ.
    Best.system.ever.
     
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  35. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Sure she didn't work in the claims department?
     
  36. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Everything is all well and good, until it goes wrong, that's when people understand the value. A wooden box back from the US is a very expensive exercise.

    If you can't afford insurance, then then need insurance.

    There's probably three lots of people who should have insurance.
    1. Those with dependant kids
    2. Those who travel OS
    3. Any one with a car, you may be able to afford your Hilux but you might not be able to afford fixing a Ferrari that's not even yours.
     
  37. smitty484

    smitty484 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most of us will never need insurance. That doesn't make those that don't insure themselves any less of a ****ing idiot.
     
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  38. SkiMountaineer

    SkiMountaineer One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I played reverse lotto with comprehensive car insurance once. Totalled the car and continued paying off the loan for the next two years, as well as having to buy a new one. I don't play reverse lotto any more.
     
  39. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    Comprehensive is for everyone who loans money to buy a car.
     
  40. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    I always have insurance for the potential big costs in life. Don't want to rebuild my house after it burns down, buy a new car or pay $100k in hospital bills in the USA.
    But don't care about all those little extra insurances, like insuring the fridge or credit card insurance.
     
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  41. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well it is only compulsory if the loan is secured, if you just get a standard unsecured personal loan then you aren't required to insure it.

    I knew someone who had a loan and had to pay it off after the car was stolen...

    I also totaled my car when i had a secured car loan... insurance tried to tell me i let the insurance lapse... i won that fight!

    I always say to people.

    Yeah your car might not be worth much but think of how much it would cost you to replace it!

    I had two cars get written off - and the cash i got really helped replace them.
     
  42. Snorkler

    Snorkler Part of the Furniture

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    I didn't quite mean compulsory in a literal sense, it was more that if you had a loan on the car, be it secured or unsecured, private etc, then you must have insurance or be a fool.
     
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  43. SkiMountaineer

    SkiMountaineer One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I chose the latter. Saved $3000 in insurance, but cost $5000 in repayments whilst insuring another car with a loan. I remember my budget had $50/month of "play money" left in it after all my necessary bills. In 1997. Never again. I was in a self-induced world of hate.
     
  44. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    "Guard thy treasures from loss"
    Lesson 4.
    Richest man in Babylon.
    George Clason, 1926

    Great read for kids or financial basket cases to point them in the right direction.
     
    #44 BoofHead, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
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  45. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    ...

    Thank you for contacting us.



    Please be informed that our travel insurance covers skiing, including off-piste and backcountry skiing as long as it is legal in the destination country.


    Please note that the insurance does not include cover for Search & Rescue. In case you need medical rescue we must know your exact location.

    Also be informed that sports equipment is not covered by the insurance
    For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.


    Best regards

    Betina Hall, Senior Customer Expert, ihi Bupa travel


    Bupa Global Market Unit, ihi Bupa Travel, Palaegade 8, DK 1261 Copenhagen K, Denmark


    T +45 70 20 70 48 F +45 33 32 25 60 opening hours 9 am - 5 pm CET
    W ihi.com


    ETravel@ihi-bupa.com
     
  46. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think it was Kerry Packer that said, if you can't afford to lose something, insure it. That just about puts it in a nutshell
     
  47. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Did you get a reply to that email ?
     
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  48. grantn

    grantn Addicted

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    Hi Born2Ski. Yes, I got 2 replies (thanks for the reminder!). Read them and see what you think.

    Hi there. Just wanted to clarify something before going ahead with taking out insurance with No Worries. In the PDS, you list a bunch of examples of “Extreme Winter Sports” that are not covered, but also say that it includes all those sports named, but that it is “not limited to” those named.



    We are primarily taking out cover to snowboard in Japan for 2 weeks. My family will mainly be on-piste, but sometimes heading through treed areas off piste.



    I will be snowboarding off piste, but also at times snowboarding outside the defined boundary ropes of the resort. I may even snowboard at areas where there is no resort. I will not be heli skiing, and will not be doing any kind of jumps or tricks (I am too old for that!). If I take out cover with No Worries will you cover me for the type of snowboarding I will be doing?



    On another note, if I were to have an accident and sustain an injury and need medical attention, are my expenses covered in the 25,000,000 limit, or in the 20,000 limit (personal accident)? If they are covered under the 25,000,000 limit, then what does the 20,000 limit per person for a “personal accident” mean?



    Many thanks.



    Grant

    Dear Grant,

    Thanks for your email.


    We cover off-piste skiing subject to it not being an extreme winter sports activity. The activities listed within our Extreme Winter Sports exclusion are intended to provide customers with examples of what we consider an extreme winter sport activity.

    I can confirm that we cover off-piste skiing including outside of resort boundaries subject to our extreme winter sport exclusion. Based on your description of snowboarding activity we would provide cover for the activity as described.

    Please ensure however that you understand you are at all times subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of our policy.

    If you would like to contact us you can call us on 1300 400 123 or email us at customercare@noworriesinsurance.com.au.

    Kind regards,

    Tony

    NoWorries Insurance Customer Care Team.
    Dear Grant

    Further to you query in respect of our coverage provided for Medical Expenses & Personal Accident.

    Our Policy provides up to $25,000,000 Sum Insured for each Insured Person in respect of Overseas Medical Expenses & Evacuation.

    In addition our policy provides $20,000 in Personal Accident benefits which is a lump sum benefit in the event of Death, Loss of Sight, Loss of Limb or Permanent Total Disablement as a result of an accidental bodily injury sustained during your insured trip.

    Hopefully this clarifies the difference in cover provided under each section.

    If you would like to contact us you can call us on 1300 400 123 or email us at customercare@noworriesinsurance.com.au.

    Kind regards,

    Tony

    NoWorries Insurance Customer Care Team.
     
  49. conradskis

    conradskis One of Us

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    That certainly can be true but also another thing that can inflate the premiums of some insurers (and other products) is their very expensive advertising campaigns. Marketing costs can be a major part of the costs base of insurers. The advent of online purchasing means that companies can run much leaner operations without the marketing expense. Beware in particular of products sold to you through travel agents/booking sites at the time of purchasing tickets that offer a slight discount - the aim is to get you to purchase then and there without shopping around.
     
  50. Kelly van den Berg

    Kelly van den Berg Hard Yards

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    Im guessing everyones experience is different. My partner banged himself up really good. Helicopter ride and 2 months in hospital plus ongoings. If it wasn't for insurance we'd be screwed. The bill so far is close to half a million including numerous surgeries. I will happily pay my insurances every year for the rest of my life
     
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