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British skiers lose £31.5 million of belongings a year

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British skiers lost more than £31.5million worth of belongings on holiday abroad this winter, as new research has revealed the staggering extent to which items such as gadgets, glasses, cameras and clothing are misplaced or stolen whilst on the slopes.

A study, carried out by the Post Office’s Travel Insurance department, found other common items which were lost or nabbed by light-fingered thieves included jackets, boots, watches and keys, while the average cost of the items was around £219.

Paul Havenhand, head of travel at the Post Office, which polled 1,000 adults who lost items on the slopes this year, said:

”Taking a winter break can be costly and should be as worry free as possible.

”Losing valuable items on the slopes can be a stressful experience for many and as our research shows can spoil the holiday.

”Having the right winter sports cover in place can ease the strain when it comes to replacing precious personal possessions.”

Ben Jones, owner of La Taverne in Meribel commented:

”We get lots of people coming in upset about losing their belongings on the slopes.

”If customers lose anything in our bar we do our best to reunite them with it, but there isn’t much we can do if it’s gone missing out on the piste.

”A zip pocket is a must for anyone heading out in the powder.”

The slopes themselves are the biggest black hole for valuables, with 43% claiming their item was lost while hitting the runs.

For nearly a fifth après ski proved to be a slippery slope when trying to hold onto their belongings, while 17% said they watched their valuables disappear from view while on a ski lift.

Many polled were red in the face, citing the worst thing about losing their belongings is the embarrassment (16%).

This was followed by not having the money to replace the item (16%) or being forced to ditch the slopes all together (8%).

A further one in five went as far as to say that the loss ruined their entire holiday.


1. Glasses
2. Phones
3. Money
4. Socks
5. Cameras
6. Keys
7. Tablets
8. Ski jacket
9. Boots
10. Watches

* The £143,960 figure and the £31.5m figure was calculated on the basis that Crystal Ski’s Ski Industry Report in 2012 revealed that 899,750 UK residents went on a winter sports holiday in 2012. The Post Office study of 1,000 people found 15.9% of UK residents lost something on a skiing holiday last year. 16% of 899,750 is 143,960. 143,960 x £219 = £31,527,240.