Actresses death highlights need for protection
The tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson following a ski accident highlights the need for holidaymakers to take extra care when taking to the slopes.
Though serious injuries among skiers are thankfully rare, they are on the increase. Austria alone has recorded 30 ski-related deaths so far this season and Ms Richardson's fatal head injury has reignited the debate about whether wearing a helmet can save a skier's life.
Ms Richardson was apparently not wearing a helmet when she fell on a nursery slope. Some medical experts believe they should be compulsory for skiers while others say they do nothing to prevent serious injuries.
Whether or not you choose to wear a helmet when skiing or snowboarding, taking out travel insurance is essential. Even a minor injury such as a twisted knee ? which is far more likely than a serious head wound - could bring a sudden end to your ski holiday and leave you with thousands of pounds in medical bills and repatriation costs.
Look for a travel insurance policy that provides emergency and medical assistance, plus cover for loss of equipment and ski passes and compensation for piste closures due to bad weather or the risk of avalanches.