Cost for ski patrol rescue – France?

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  • Cost for ski patrol rescue – France?
  • timba
    Member

    I haven’t seen the paperwork yet, but our boy sprained his ankle snowboarding in France. He had to be brought down on a sledge by (he says) the ski patrol… €430
    X-rays and treatment at the local clinic was “only” €150
    He’s also been banned from the slopes because he’s injured
    Is this normal?
    He’s insured and has an EHIC
    TIA

    Yep seems quite cheap. They don’t like injured skiers going back on the slopes, I’d hate to think what costs might be incurred by ignoring the “ban”.

    A broken wrist is usually plastered beyond the elbow to stop you returning to the slopes.

    docrobster
    Member

    Dunno about “normal” but sounds about what I’d expect to be billed. Insurance obvs will cover it. Ehic won’t help. Was he even asked for his ehic (my daughter wasn’t when she broke her thumb boarding)
    The banned from the slopes bit is the hard part. My daughter was about 11 I think and the accident happened on day 2. Was in a cast. After a day or so of making snow angels she realised she could hold a ski pole so she wore one of my gloves and got back on the piste.
    You will be able to get a refund on the unused portion of the ski hire lift pass and lessons as well I should think. Silver lining etc.

    docrobster
    Member

    My daughter’s cast was tiny. She could bend her wrist. It was a tiny flake fracture though. Would have been a sprain in an adult but kiddy bones are soft. Healed up in 2 weeks.

    nickjb
    Member

    A few years back a friend of mine fell over and did something to his shoulder. He got strapped up and went out again. Fell over again and did the other shoulder. The rescue team turned up, saw the strapped up shoulder so tried to pick him up by the one he’d just broken. Hurt quite a lot. He then spent the rest of the week with both arms strapped up drinking beer through a straw.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Sounds about right to me – where we go has a €300 charge for any engagement with ski patrol.
    In contrast Miss OTS broke her leg at Cairngorm and got stretchered/skidoed off the hill and into an ambulance for free.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I would guess the 150 was because of the EHIC card.  Would probably have been more otherwise.  Be glad you weren’t in the US

    430 sounds ok for ski patrol.  That’s what your insurance is for

    hammerite
    Member

    You need one of these to avoid on slope rescue fees. https://carreneige.com/en/

    Jnr fell and whacked his head (cracked his helmet) but was guided to a lift to download rather than on a blood wagon. He was then treated at the medical centre (observed and given air), so those were the only charges we got. About €90, bit this was in Andorra.

    footflaps
    Member

    A broken wrist is usually plastered beyond the elbow to stop you returning to the slopes.

    How does that stop you skiing? A few years back I was hit by a boarder who wrecked my shoulder, couldn’t use my right arm at all. Still skied the rest of the week; didn’t make any real difference bar some discomfort.

    430 euros sounds like a bargain
    Lends weight to the viewpoint that insurance is a bit of a ripoff and a bit unnecessary.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I think if you need a helicopter it can go up to 5000ish.  For getting skied off a mountain and delivered to a hospital it sounds amazingly cheap

    shifter
    Member

    Four years ago my then six year old was wiped out by an elegantly carving skier at AdH. She was splinted up and sledged behind a skidoo to an ambulance that took her about a km to the local clinic. Fortunately X-rays revealed no damage. Bill came to about £200 all in.

    EHIC isn’t worth the plastic it’s written on in ski resorts.

    Premier Icon feed
    Subscriber

    Most clinics (all ?) in French ski resorts are private, not state, so they don’t care about EHIC. You can claim back off your holiday insurance (less any excess) assuming you have ski cover. I think the optional ski cover you can buy at the ticket desk covers cost of getting you off the mountain including helicopter lift if required but not clinic costs.

    timba
    Member

    Thanks all. Concerned that our lad was being over-charged, but obviously not. Bring on the claim form, that’ll be his job 🙂

    mashr
    Member

    thegeneralist

    Member
    430 euros sounds like a bargain
    Lends weight to the viewpoint that insurance is a bit of a ripoff and a bit unnecessary.

    Until you have a proper crash, get flown to Grenoble, kept in hospital for a week until you’re in a position to be repatriated. At which point the insurance co either have to book a row of seats at short notice or just a private jet, along with the medical staff they need to fly with you. Then you get papped off to the NHS as soon as you hit the UK of course

    Stoner
    Member

    This is a good value insurance product to cover a family especially if you ski often or other mountain sports in France.

    https://www.assursport.fr/

    At the main ski station you should see a schedule of prices for rescue in the resort. There are prices for ski patrol assistance, sled evac, heli evac etc.

    mashr
    Member

    I can’t open that link, but with it being a French company make sure that they’d repatriate you back to the UK

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    Repatriation would be my worry if I used Carte Neige.

    My understanding with EIHC is that you pay the French hospital and reclaim from the relevant UK department when you get home. Insurance often says that if you don’t have and use an EIHC, you’re not covered for the amount you could claimed with it.

    savoyad
    Member

    Price for rescue sounds about right. What resort were you in? Rescue costs are published at the start of each season.
    Here are some for comparison: https://www.laclusaz.com/medias/images/prestataires/31759-tarifs_secours_18_19.pdf

    Ban from the slope is a bit unusual. Who issued it? How did they know about the injury?

    savoyad
    Member

    Also, as greybeard is worrying, carte neige does cover repatriation within Europe (geographical, not just the EU; and if you live outside that they’ll still take you somewhere nearer home / to a friend if you want).
    https://carreneige.com/en/faq/
    https://carreneige.com/static/documents/2018-2019/depliant-cn-saison-en.355a3cfd6c66.pdf

    nealglover
    Member

    430 euros sounds like a bargain
    Lends weight to the viewpoint that insurance is a bit of a ripoff and a bit unnecessary.

    £20 to save yourself paying €430 seems sensible not a ripoff at all.

    And as mentioned above, if you need any serious treatment or a helicopter and you tried to be “smart” and self insure, you’re screwed with a bill for £thousands.

    I know someone that broke his leg (quite badly as it turned out) in a tumble on his skis. His trip from a Swiss piste to a French hospital included sled, 2 x helicopters, and ambulance.

    Apparently the day after his surgery, the parties involved in this transport adventure were lined up at his bedside with credit card machines at the ready. So I would say that insurance is probably sensible.

    With that being said – always read the exclusions on the Winter Sports part of the insurance (whatever it may be) carefully. Ski manufacturers are keen for you to get ‘All-Mountain’ and ‘Freeride’. Insurers, not so much.

    footflaps
    Member

    I had stitches in Zermat after a skiing accident, 400 Euro IIRC. Just paid by CC and claimed it back on work’s travel insurance policy (which also covers holidays).

    Premier Icon Steelsreal
    Subscriber

    2011 managed to destroy a vertebrae with a camelbak lid after a unscheduled launch across a slope!

    Got stretchered off and that was about €700 i think, followed by €195 for an x ray. Then €300 for the ambulance to grenoble.

    As soon as i got to hospital all they wanted was my ehic no insurance at all. One spinal fusion surgery, one spinal cage surgery and three week stay all done on ehic.

    travel insurance covered everything else including repatriation is a twin engine plane with peter the pilot and an ambulance from airport to home.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Subscriber

    Euros in Zermatt?

    £20 to save yourself paying €430 seems sensible not a ripoff at all

    Where the **** can you get off piste ski insurance, which also includes park, for a family for twenty quid?

    Dream on

    mashr
    Member

    Has anyone even mentioned off-piste and park cover until right now? No you’re not likely to get Winter Sports cover for £20, but given the potential size of the bills (and also don’t undervalue how useful Assistance Companies can be as part of the policy) you’d have to be mad/stupid to not have cover

    nealglover
    Member

    Where the **** can you get off piste ski insurance, which also includes park, for a family for twenty quid?

    Dream on

    Wow. You seem tense.

    You’ve also imagined a lot of scenarios there that weren’t mentioned in the op.

    Was the op’s son off piste or in a park?
    and does he have a family of four ?

    Only one of us is dreaming things up 👍

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    EHIC just guarantees the same public health care treatment as the locals get to any EU resident. French public health care isn’t that great and certainly doesn’t cover rescue from ski resorts or probably most locations unless you happen to get a public ambulance.

    Likewise the hospital care depends where you’re taken. Not all are public or may only cover basic public care.

    EHIC also doesn’t necessarily mean free like UK. If the locals have to pay for stuff under public care, then we do also.

    Travel insurance with ski cover is vital but the small print varies a lot between them. Some may not even cover rescue from slopes. Outside of accidents, stuff like piste closure is pathetic cover compared to the cost of ski passes, as is flight delays (thank god for EU rules allowing you to get much better compensation from airlines*).

    p.s. Usually you need to have contacted your travel insurance company before any chargeable treatment / recovery etc. They may refuse if you put in a claim they didn’t agree to up front.

    You still need EHIC though as insurance companies may insist you have one and made attempts to use it prior to racking up costs you’ll be claiming.

    Post Brexit, EHIC is gone. * – and that flight delay compensation.

    ajaj
    Member

    “EHIC isn’t worth the plastic it’s written on in ski resorts.”

    I got two days in hospital, surgery, lots of X-rays and some nice titanium mods for less than my insurance excess (€100) thanks to EHIC.

    “My understanding with EIHC is that you pay the French hospital and reclaim from the relevant UK department when you get home.”

    Not how it worked for me, the hospital just charged the EU citizen rate on production of the card.

    The EHIC scheme is awesome, shame…

    shifter
    Member

    That’s impressive Ajaj, which resort?

    ajaj
    Member

    Bourg-Saint-Maurice

    TheDTs
    Member

    Going back a decade or two, piste patrol in Val d refused to take any action for my mum until a credit card had been handed over. (ACL as it transpired after getting to Hospital)

    Maybe just the people I ski with, but ski insurance that doesn’t cover OP/ park is a waste of time. Who the heck does their skiing wholly on piste?

    Travel insurance is a pet peeve of mine. Everyone knows someone with a disaster story to tell but nobody ever tells the other side. For example, from my list of acquaintances off the top of my head:
    * Broken foot in Norway kayaking. Hospital treatment. X-ray, bandages, crutches.
    * Bladder reflux and bad kidney infection in a 5 month old child. 3 weeks on a drip on hospital for both mother and baby. Repatriation back to Britain.
    * snowboarding injury in St Anton requiring x-ray, plaster cast, investigation etc etc
    * sorting a detached toenail. Cleaning, bandaging, creams, medicine etc
    * doctor treatment with antibiotics in saalbach

    Total cost of all the above treatments was far less than a couple of years’ travel insurance premium.

    timba
    Member

    Son’s rung the insurance company, they’ll cover his medical costs and sledge ride. I don’t think that the medical centre was interested in his EHIC, and would only accept cash immediately after treatment for the medical bill. Ski patrol gave him a week to settle up

    Less clear is reclaiming the unused portion of his ski pass, but he’s been given formal paperwork for his ban which will help, hopefully

    Just to clarify; he’s over there with some friends and we’re in the UK never having skied or snowboarded. In the context of ignorance €430 seemed a bit dear, but obviously not 🙂 I think that they had group insurance, about £35 each

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    If you want to see where your money goes watch this

    https://www.redbull.com/int-en/tv/show/AP-1N849ESGS2111/the-horn

    It’s a full series not just a 5 minute youtube job

    Just amazing how busy they are. I think they peak at nearly 40 helicopter rescues per day, this is in Zermat

    taxi25
    Member

    Price for rescue sounds about right.

    Maybe it is, but is it the normal
    price to be rescued from a sprained ankle ??

    mashr
    Member

    Yes, because it doesn’t matter what the injury is, if you need carted off the hill it’s always going to cost around the same amount for them to do

    taxi25
    Member

    Yes, because it doesn’t matter what the injury is, if you need carted off the hill it’s always going to cost around the same amount for them to do

    True, I was having a little dig at someone being rescued from a sprained ankle. But if it’s covered by insurance ir doesn’t matter if the cost was €430, €4,300 or €43,000.

    timba
    Member

    I was having a little dig at someone being rescued from a sprained ankle

    Life’s an experience, maybe he’d do it differently with that experience? Or maybe it’s a grade 3 sprain? It isn’t, but I think you get the point 🙂

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