Medical insurance policies – The Durango Herald

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Telluride passes will cover up to $ 25,000 in medical expenses

Members of the Purgatory Resort ski patrol load a training patient, a fellow ski patroller, onto the AirCare helicopter in 2020 (Durango Herald file)

The season pass war that has reshaped the resort industry in recent years is developing a new tactic: injury insurance.

The Telluride Ski Area has partnered with Spot, a start-up insurance provider, to offer $ 25,000 in insurance policies to injured mountain skiers. Spot insurance coverage with no excess will be included in the price of each lift ticket and season pass sold by Telluride. (Telluride has not released ticket and pass prices for the upcoming season.)

Spot is working with many other stations for the coming season, said CEO and co-founder Matt Randall.

“We plan to be live on a number of mountains next season,” he said.

Spot also provides on-demand injury insurance policies directly to consumers – for $ 25 to $ 30 per month – as well as through partnerships. The company provides injury coverage to members of USA Cycling and the National Ski Patrol as well as racing, cycling and motorcycle athletes participating in races.

The Austin, Texas-based tech startup announced in July that it had raised $ 17.5 million in funding to help create new partnerships and grow its workforce.

Medical bills are the number one reason Americans seek bankruptcy protection. Randall said that spot insurance is “a huge opportunity” for resorts and skiers.

Resorts can differentiate their passes with an added benefit. The policies cover up to $ 25,000 in medical expenses in the event of an accident on the Hill, with no cap on the number of accidents covered. Thus, a skier can explode his knee at the start of the season, have his bills paid and be covered in the event of an accident when he returns to the slopes in the spring.

“Think how often we all see people ski down the mountain on a stretcher. Instead of being stuck with these medical bills, they’re covered, ”Randall said. “Telluride is the first to say, ‘We need to add more value to our lift tickets and packages beyond just going skiing. We believe that more and more resorts will want to give this value back to their customers. “

Spot, which launched a year ago, initially worked with Telluride to provide coverage for athletes involved in mountain running, skiing and mountain biking events. Conversations eventually progressed to cover all the skiers on the mountain.

Last season, the traditional benefits of seasonal passes waned as pandemic-related restrictions reduced traffic to resort restaurants, rental shops and ski schools.

“It’s a very clean way for us to start adding value to our products again,” said Carson Taylor, Mountain Sales Manager at Telluride Ski & Golf Resort.

Matt Thomas, director of ski area risk management, said resorts cannot eliminate the risks inherent in skiing. People get hurt, he says.

“But having a product like Spot helps our customers if they get hurt… just knowing these bills are taken care of with a zero dollar deductible,” Thomas said.

Ten years ago, a handful of resorts started offering insurance policies for seasonal passes so that skiers could be reimbursed for ski passes if an injury or unforeseen move prevented them from using their pass. Now, it’s rare to find a resort that doesn’t offer pass insurance. Randall expects Spot accident insurance to follow the same path.

Colorado-based professional skier Julian Carr, who holds a 210-foot cliff-back jump world record, is a Spot Ambassador. He used it last year to cover over $ 2,000 in medical bills for a broken pinky finger. “This is the real deal,” Carr said. “I think a majority of resorts will partner with Spot over the next three to five years. “

The Colorado Sun is a non-partisan, reader-funded news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. For more information, visit coloradosun.com.


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