Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Angus Robertson MP supports FCO and ABTA campaign to highlight importance of adequate travel insurance.

Local Moray MP Angus Robertson has warned constituents about the dangers of travelling uninsured when hitting the slopes this winter, with new research from ABTA showing that nearly a third (31%) of all UK travellers do not check whether they have the correct insurance to cover winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding.

The SNP’s Mr Robertson is supporting a campaign run by ABTA – The Travel Association, in partnership with The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), urging holidaymakers in Moray to be prepare for their travels abroad and ensure they have bought suitable insurance cover.  

ABTA’s research shows that the problem is even more widespread in Scotland, with two fifths (40%) of people across Scotland failing to check whether they have the correct winter sport insurance cover, far exceeding the national average. This is particularly concerning with winter sport holidays becoming ever more popular.

Taking out the correct winter sports insurance is more important than ever. There were 45 British deaths from skiing and snowboarding holidays reported to the FCO in the last three years, with thousands more having suffered injuries both on- and off-piste. To help raise awareness, ABTA and the FCO have also teamed up with former British Olympic skier, Chemmy Alcott, to provide the latest travel advice from pre-departure to après ski.

Commenting Angus Robertson MP said:

“Winter sports holidays are popular with many people in Moray, as they provide an opportunity to combine a holiday with something more active. However, medical costs arising from uninsured accidents abroad can be very significant indeed.

“In addition to the worry over a sick or injured relative, it is often families who are presented with the bills, and the added stress of covering these. It is crucial when we do travel overseas, we are covered in case of something going wrong. Travel insurance really is a travel essential - that is why I am very happy to support this campaign and urge all my constituents to take out travel insurance and if they have travel insurance to check that it covers winter sports.”

Chemmy Alcott’s top ten tips for a safe trip this winter:

  1. Take out comprehensive travel insurance with winter sports cover and check what it covers

  2. If heading to Europe, travel with a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get free necessary treatment at public hospitals

  3. Make sure your passport is valid before you travel

  4. Check the FCO’s travel advice for the country you are visiting

  5. Keep up to date with the local weather conditions before you go and while you’re in resort.

  6. Stick with your mates when walking back to your hotel or chalet and follow the signed paths

  7. Only ski off-piste if you are a confident skier, aware of the risks and are with a qualified guide

  8. Wear a helmet

  9. Remember the effects of drinking alcohol increase at altitude – your judgment, coordination and reaction times may be affected

  10. Make sure you and your friends know that in an emergency, the number to call is 112 in Europe and 911 in USA.

ABTA has more advice for people heading on a winter sports holiday on its website:


As well as preparing for winter sports holidays, ABTA is also reminding people of the importance of buying insurance for their summer holidays in 2016, ahead of the peak January booking period.

ABTA research indicates that around one fifth of UK holidaymakers regularly do not purchase travel insurance for their trips abroad.

What can the Foreign & Commonwealth Office do for people who have problems when travelling abroad?

  • Issue you with an emergency travel document

  • Provide information about transferring

  • Provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime or are ill or in hospital

  • Give you a list of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors

  • Contact you if you are detained abroad

  • Contact friends and family at home for you if you wish

  • Provide help in cases of forced marriage

  • Assist people affected by parental child abduction