A skiing watchdog has branded limited cover ski insurance packages a "scandal" because they do not offer off-piste cover.

Martin Bright of the World Ski and Snowboard Association (WSSA) of Sheffield said: "Going skiing without off-piste insurance cover is like taking out third party, fire and theft life insurance. It is a consumer scandal that high street companies are allowed to offer such limited cover."

The Consumers' Association recommends an insurance package should cover at least £2 million of medical expenses repatriation, £1m liability cover, missed or delayed departure and loss of ski pass.

Many policies appear similar, but exclusions often differ and dangerous activities such as heli-skiing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing require specialist cover.

Bright said that WSSA offers off-piste cover from £54, but some insurers offer cover at twice that price excluding off-piste. He added: "Even if you do not intend to go off-piste you may have no choice. European resorts are often poorly signposted so skiers have to find their own route back."