If adventure travel gets your heart pounding, be warned. Not all extreme sports are covered by travel insurance.
Does your holiday consists of as many thrill-seeking activities as you can find? Reign in your enthusiasm for a moment and consider your cover. Travel insurance may not be the first thing on your mind but picture the consequences of going without it. Injuries sustained whilst traveling can lead to enormous costs. Emergency medical costs, evacuations, flights and accommodation cancellations can send your budget soaring. Now those are thrills you could do without!
Should you be injured whilst partaking in an adventure sport, standard travel insurance should cover the costs listed above. However, you would not be covered if the activity is listed as a general exclusion in your chosen policy. Want to know if your preferred action sport is covered by travel insurance? Keep reading!
Activities covered by travel insurance
The activities usually covered include recreational sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis, paintballing, rowing, cycling, windsurfing, trekking, surfing, fishing, horse riding, kayaking, golfing, ice-skating, swimming and way more! Other, more pulse-pounding activities vary slightly in the fine-print which we’ve highlighted below:
Abseiling and rock climbing
Some companies such as Ace and 1Cover will only cover for mountaineering or rock climbing activities that don’t require the use of ropes or guides. World Nomad covers for free climbing (climbing without ropes) an added cost.
Snowboarding and skiing
Provided the insurance policy you purchased includes snow/ski cover, most travel policies will cover for snowboarding and skiing. Most companies will exclude any risky behaviour on the slopes including racing, skiing recklessly or performing stunts. World Nomads will cover for skiing off-piste, provided it is designated as safe and inside the resort’s boundaries by ski resort staff.
Ready to dive for your life but haven’t found the right cover? Most insurers won’t cover for a solo dive, however MSIG Insurance and AXA will cover a tandem dive, provided it is with a licensed commercial provider.
If you’re planning to get acquainted with the deep blue sea, be aware of the restrictions your policy could have in place. An open-water diving certificate will get you covered by most insurers whilst first-time and inexperienced divers may require the supervision of a qualified diver. Want to reach the sea bed? Don’t sink your cover by diving below a restricted depth!
Thrill-seekers, you’re in luck! Whilst an elasticated free-fall surely isn’t for everyone, most travel insurers do include bunjee jumping on their list of covered activities. As always, be sure to check with your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before taking the plunge!
This activity may be a snow-go under most basic policies. 1Cover allow for heli-skiing when you purchase a ski insurance, but be warned that you must be on a guided tour with a licensed tour operator in order to be covered.
Motorsports and racing
Calling all revheads! Most travel policies list motorsports as an off limit activity, so any high-speed car races are strictly off limits. If you’re planning a road trip, be sure to lock-in insurance with your rental company before zooming off.
Riding a motorbike
If you’re in the market for a low key ride (around a 50-125cc capacity engine), you can take cover with most insurers at no added cost, provided you hold a Singapore driver’s license. To ride a larger capacity engine you must carry the appropriate bike license which must be both valid at home and for the country you are travelling to. Other factors that could jeopardize your cover are; not wearing a helmet, and riding as a passenger with an unlicensed driver.
This high-flying activity is considered high-risk to most travel insurers. Cover-More and World Nomads do cover it, whilst 1Cover will only cover for parasailing but not for parachuting.
White or black water rafting
Ready to ride the waves? 1Cover will cover you providing you are planning to take a Grade 4 and under kayak. Take note you won't be covered for canoeing or white water rafting without a qualified guide or Grade 4 and above (of the International Scale of River Difficulty).
Risky business no one will cover
Increased adrenaline usually means increased risk and there are some activities that insurers simply will not cover.
Base-jumping is a very high risk activity so you will struggle to find cover from any travel insurer in .
Motorsport and racing
Motoring is one of those activities that doesn’t tend to be covered by any insurers. If you’re planning on renting a sports car on holiday you’ll probably have insurance with the company you’re renting from – but always check before you hit the road.
Running with the bulls
Running with the bulls in Spain, is what it says on the tin. It’s a festival where 12 bulls are let loose in the streets of Pamplona Spain and you have to run in front of them! It’s very dangerous and every year, between 200 and 300 people are injured during the run. For this reason it’s too risky for providers to insure this kind of reckless activity. So before you submit your claim for being bucked by a bull in Pamplona, or plan to ‘run with the bulls’, know that you’re not covered if you get injured.
Riding a motorbike (under certain conditions)
Many insurers will cover you for no additional charge for a bike up to 125cc. However if you’re riding a moped or motorcycle with an engine capacity of more than 200cc, without a helmet, or without a valid licence for the country you are operating in, you won’t be covered.
Expeditions to inaccessible, remote or previously unexplored places
Planning a Bear Grylls style adventure? If you're hankering to be a first ever pioneer of some yet unexplored territory or zone, you may have to dig very deep to find an insurer that will cover you. As far we know, there are no listed travel insurers that will cover you for expeditions to inaccessible areas.
Being the pilot or crew member of an aircraft
Just as you are not covered for any type of professional activities, you wouldn't be covered to fly or work as crew on any type of aircraft.
Remember that what each policy does and does not cover varies between insurers so it is important to read the policy document before purchasing or contact your insurer directly if you’re unsure. If you had a sport or activity planned that didn’t get a mention, it may have slipped under our radar or it may not be covered. Be sure to contact your insurer to check if your planned activities are covered.
While it is always good practice to shop around and compare travel insurance policies, your priority should be making sure you are fully covered for your planned adventure activities rather than just snapping up the cheapest quote.