Protection on the Piste: Start by Packing Your Abbey International Visa Infinite Card

Dec 17, 2010, 05:28 ET from Abbey International

ST HELIER, Jersey, December 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- High Incidence and Cost of Skiing Accidents Often Ignored

- Comprehensive Medical Coverage for Skiing Available Free With Abbey International Visa Infinite cards

- Service Provided by AXA

The thrill of the piste, the exhilaration of a fast run, the chill of the snow and the warmth of the apres-ski gluwine - all these contribute to making the holiday ski slopes one of the most sought after places to be, particularly at this time of the year. But as you hurtle down a snow-capped mountain or tentatively try your new skill on skis for the first time, remember that skiing is not without its dangers. It's easier than you think to go from ski lift today to hospital bed tomorrow!

In reality skiing accidents happen all too frequently and injuries, ranging from serious breaks to minor scrapes, are common. According to the Association of Mountain Doctors in France (Medecins de Montagne Resultats Nationaux), there were 140,000 injuries in the 2008/2009 season in France alone. Their findings show the importance of preparation, alertness, and of course the importance of a good winter sports insurance, as the cost of mountain rescue and medical assistance are both payable in France, as is the case in virtually all of the major skiing centres. As an expatriate planning a well earned break on the ski slopes, it pays to check if you have good quality private medical policy with you at all times.

For Visa Infinite cardholders with Abbey International ( http://www.abbeyinternational.com/), the Jersey based subsidiary which is part of the global division of Santander Private Banking, comprehensive medical coverage abroad is one thing you will not have to worry about. Holders of the card enjoy a range of free benefits, of which global private medical cover is one. The Visa Infinite travel assistance programme (http://www.abbeyinternational.com/VisaInfiniteCard.asp) has been designed to protect cardholders from a range of eventualities, from the mundane to the more serious, including all forms of skiing accidents. If a hospital stay is required, the cardholder's treatment is monitored, as is their recovery and the quality of their medical attention until their safe return home. This peace of mind support extends to providing updates to friends, family and employers or business colleagues.

The Visa Infinite travel programme is provided by the insurers AXA, with advice provided by AXA Assistance's Medical Director or the AXA Medical team and is it based on their medical expertise or that of their support staff of qualified physicians and nurses. AXA has a global database of every type of healthcare professional it can call on behalf of Visa Infinite cardholders, all of whom are well regarded in their field of expertise. The cardholder will be given contact details of the appropriate professional together with key information such as languages spoken, for example.

Although safety standards on the piste are generally very high, most experts believe that ski accidents are more likely to happen at the end of the day, when the weather is colder, skies are darker and skiers more tired. Add to this the fact that most skiers do not wear head protection and the risks are very real.

Typical costs, if you are unfortunate enough to be caught in an accident, can be sobering too. A simple fracture can cost upwards of GBP3,000 after X-rays and accident and emergency care is taken into account, whilst a serious breakage, such as a leg or collarbone could easily result in a hospital stay running into weeks, and at a daily cost of some GBP300 for accommodation and nursing alone. Fees therefore can and do rise quickly following even the most innocent of accidents. Other expenses to consider could include a close family member having to fly back to accompany you home and physiotherapy which can easily set you back GBP500 per week.

Medical benefits need not just cover hospitalisation and physical injury. The service can also assist with GP visits, emergency dentistry and it can help cardholders replace lost or misplaced medication or eyewear, for example, by first endeavouring to find a local resource for replacement or, if necessary, by arranging a fresh shipment to your location.

Few people realise what a little careful research into offshore banking providers and the services they offer can yield. Simply by agreeing to hold an agreed minimum balance, clients could be eligible for a range of lifestyle benefits, including free insurance, all of which have been designed to make the life of the globally mobile individual and his family flow more easily.

For the discerning ski enthusiast, then, packing your Abbey International Visa Infinite card is a must, if you want your skiing holiday to run smoothly this winter. The Abbey International Visa Infinite card is available to clients with at least GBP100,000 on deposit, but if there is over GBP250,000 in the account, all card membership fees are waived.

Jane Matthews, Head of Client Experience at Abbey International said: "Skiing can be tremendously exciting and reinvigorating, but like any dangerous sport, it has its risks too. Our Visa Infinite cardholder can relax, safe in the knowledge that they can get the best from their trip and that Visa Infinite card with its lifestyle service and comprehensive range of benefits is second to none in its attention to detail and coverage. We are confident these services will help make our clients' trips to the slopes easier, more fun and more relaxing."

For further information on banking with Abbey International in Jersey call +44(0)1534-828-828 or log onto http://www.abbeyinternational.com

For media use only and not to be relied on by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors:

Abbey International is located in Jersey, a secure, well-established and politically stable financial centre, which is renowned internationally for its high standards of regulation. Jersey's unique constitution and relationship with the British Crown dates back hundreds of years. This provides for a unique legal and neutral tax system that can provide significant wealth planning opportunities for the international investor.

Abbey international has a minimum balance entry requirement of GBP50,000 (or currency equivalent) across our portfolio of products. The minimum balance amount can be spread across a range of accounts, subject to the minimum opening deposit for each account being met.

All deposits carry the full and unconditional guarantee of Santander UK plc, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the Santander Group.

Santander has more than 150 years' experience in banking and more branches worldwide than any other international bank.

About Banco Santander

Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with presence in 10 main markets. At the end of 2008, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and third in the world by profit. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1,271 billion in managed funds at the end of 2008. Following the acquisition of Sovereign Bancorp. of the U.S. in January 2009, Santander had 90 million customers, around 14,000 branches - more than any other international bank - and over 170,000 employees. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America, with leading positions in the United Kingdom and Portugal and a broad presence in Europe through its Santander Consumer Finance arm. In the first half of 2009, Santander registered EUR4,519 million in net attributable profit.

In the UK, Santander operates two retail businesses - Santander, which was formed out of the Abbey and Bradford & Bingley retail network, and Alliance & Leicester. Together they have over 1300 branches, around 4,500 cash machines and they provide a full range of retail and corporate banking services to 25 million customers.

    Alliance & Leicester will become known as Santander by the end of 2010.

    Media Contacts:

    Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy
    Nacelle Ltd
    +44(0)20-8333-9125
    gstephenson@nacelle.co.uk

    Jane Matthews, Abbey International, Head of Client Experience
    +44(0)1534-828137
    Jane.matthews@abbeyinternational.com

SOURCE Abbey International