Wash. Skiers Warned on Pass Coverage

January 16, 2004

Washington skiers should reportedly be aware of and wary about specialized insurance coverage that promises to refund the pro-rated cost of season ski passes if skiers suffer serious injury or illness that keeps them off the slopes.

A recent Associated Press story getting national circulation – including publication in at least one Washington daily newspaper – reportedly touts the innovative coverage marketed by a Montana company. The coverage promises to refund part of a skier’s investment in a season pass if the skier misses 30 consecutive days on the slopes because of an injury or illness.

“This is a clever idea,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “But it’s a problem here because the insurance company backing this product isn’t authorized to sell it in Washington.”

Companies authorized to sell insurance products in Washington fall under the regulatory authority of Kreidler’s staff at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

An OIC call to offices of Skier Insurance Services near Kalispell, Mont., reportedly resulted in the company posting a notice on its Web site that the product was not available in Washington.

“The lesson here is that consumers should always check with the Insurance Commissioner’s Office to be sure that what they’re buying has been approved for sale here,” added Kreidler.

Insurance-related questions and inquiries can be directed to the OIC at 1-800-562-6900 or via the agency’s Web site at www.insurance.wa.gov.

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