Could You Afford to Break a Leg in Canada?

The latest travel insurance claims analysis from Allianz Global Assistance UK and Ski Club of Great Britain reveals staggering emergency medical assistance costs for injuries on the slopes. The largest cost, treatment for a head injury in Canada and repatriation to the UK, racked up a bill of over £145,000. With winter sports’ season in full swing, Allianz Global Assistance is reminding travellers to make sure they have insurance which provides adequate cover for their needs.

Barry Smith, Underwriting Manager for Allianz Global Assistance UK, comments, “We have analysed data from hundreds of claims from the past few years and the results are enough to give you a chill even when you’re not on a ski slope.

“Looking at the average costs of medical assistance we provided for Ski Club of Great Britain travel insurance policy holders, we can see that by far the most expensive countries are Canada and the USA, each averaging over £11,000 in costs per claim. In addition to the £145,000 bill in Canada, the remainder of our top five costs were all from the USA, ranging from £33,000 to £81,000 for various bone fractures.”

After Canada and the USA, Austria and Switzerland are the next most expensive countries for medical assistance, with the average costs in these countries of over £2,000 and £1,200 respectively.

“Looking specifically at different types of injuries also revealed some interesting results, and makes scary reading for the uninsured winter sports holidaymaker,” Barry Smith continued. “The USA topped our lists for both leg and arm fractures, with the average cost of treatment for a leg fracture a painful £26,107, and for a fracture in the arm an eye-watering £40,950.

Concludes Frank McCusker, Chief Executive of Ski Club of Great Britain: “Whilst most skiers and snowboarders do of course return home in one piece, it doesn’t take much to cause a serious, and seriously expensive, injury on the slopes. The high costs we’ve seen in the past few years could leave an individual in financial difficulty if they did not have travel insurance to cover the bills on their behalf. It could be a real false economy to cut out insurance to save a few pounds, and we urge those booking winter sports holidays this season to make sure they purchase good quality insurance to avoid being landed with any unaffordable medical bills. As with any type of insurance policy, individuals should read the details carefully to ensure it provides the cover they require.”


Analysis of Ski Club of Great Britain travel insurance medical assistance cases between September 2009 and May 2014.

Ski Club Travel insurance is arranged by Perkins Slade Limited and issued and fulfilled by P J Hayman & Company Limited. Cover is underwritten by AGA International SA and is administered in the United Kingdom by Mondial Assistance (UK) Limited, trading as Allianz Global Assistance. Ski Club of Great Britain Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Perkins Slade Ltd, Tricorn House, 51-53 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 8TP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority


Average emergency medical assistance costs incurred by Allianz Global Assistance UK
Country Average cost incurred
CANADA £11,216.81
USA £11,025.00
AUSTRIA £2,056.18
FRANCE £862.77
ITALY £658.16
BULGARIA £348.68

Largest costs incurred by Allianz Global Assistance UK 
Country Diagnosis Cost incurred

CANADA Trauma - Head £145,290.23
USA Fracture - Arm £81,630.53
USA Fracture - Hip £39,378.27
USA Fracture - Rib £33,619.33
USA Fracture - Tibia £33,188.53

Average cost to treat a fractured leg (femur/fibula/tibia/foot/kneecap/ankle/hip/pelvis)

Country Average cost incurred
USA £26,107.36
CANADA £14,974.93
NORWAY £10,070.28
AUSTRIA £4,214.71
FRANCE £1,615.30
ITALY £1,434.69

Average cost to treat a fractured arm (humerus, wrist, elbow, forearm, hand, radius)
Country Average cost incurred
USA £40,950.62
AUSTRIA £5,164.40
ITALY £2,086.21
CANADA £931.56
GERMANY £601.57
FRANCE £415.50