Adventure Sports Travel Insurance – The Ultimate Guide
Feeling a little lost as to what to look out for when buying adventure sports travel insurance for travel quest? Look no further, WWB writer, Praveena, is here to help!
Say the word travel and most of us picture calm blue oceans, long stretches of white sandy beaches, endless massages, and buffet breakfasts. However, there is indeed a whole different class of travellers – the adventure sports traveller! If you get your adrenaline rushes and satisfaction from mountain-climbing, white-water rafting, camping out in the wild, or skydiving, then this article is for you!
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What is Adventure Sports Travel?
Adventure sports travel usually involves going to faraway, remote locations, and more often than not, involves physical activities that are challenging, sometimes grueling and, even dangerous.
Despite this, adventure sports travel has seen a substantial increase in the past few years and is once again gaining momentum now that some countries are opening up their borders to tourists and holidaymakers.
Adrenaline rushes being a-plenty, it cannot be denied that there is always the chance that something could go wrong. In more traditional travel experiences, it could be a missed flight, lost, damaged or stolen baggage or a minor accident while touring a place.
With adventure sports travel, however, things going wrong most certainly takes a more serious turn. Not to put a damper on the excitement and rush of it all, but being inherently dangerous activities, adventure travel undoubtedly comes with much higher stakes.
Common injuries that tend to occur during adventure sports travel include:
- Broken bones
- Abrasions, cuts and lacerations
- Strains and sprains
- Neck and back injuries
This is where adventure travel insurance becomes useful, and sometimes even mandatory.
What is Adventure Sports Travel Insurance?
Generally, basic travel insurance protects you from any unforeseen and unfortunate events that occur during your travels. So if you missed your flight or lost your baggage and you signed up for travel insurance, the insurance company will reimburse you for the entire value of those losses, or at the very least a part of it, depending on the type of insurance plan you signed up for and the insurance premium that you have agreed to pay in exchange for such benefits and coverage.
Adventure sports travel insurance, however, tends to be more specific and perhaps even a little more expensive. This is because in aiming to protect you against any possible injuries while you’re getting your adrenaline pumping, your insurance provider takes on a higher risk of something going wrong and as such, a higher chance of your provider having to pay out for any losses or injuries that you may sustain.
This may all seem a little overwhelming and morbid but fret not! There are plenty of insurance companies out there that have worked up affordable detailed insurance plans that are tailor-made to your needs and your specific type of activity.
What should I look for in an adventure sports travel insurance policy?
Insurance documentation can be bulky and tedious to read. Many of us are undoubtedly guilty of merely skimming through them and signing off so that we can get it over and done with. However, as small as the fine print on your policy is, you need to read it before you agree to sign up with your adventure sports travel insurance provider. Here are a few key things to look out for when purchasing your adventure sports travel insurance:
Make sure that your provider of choice is available to be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Accidents can happen at any time, so you don’t want to be in a position where you have a broken leg from scaling a mountain and the hospital in the country you are in won’t admit you simply because they cannot contact your insurance provider to confirm that you are covered.
When you’re signing up for your travel insurance, make sure that the destination you are headed to is covered by your insurance policy. There are some providers that only cover injuries that occur in the USA and Canada.
Some providers explicitly exclude injuries that occur in specific countries. Whether you are entitled to coverage also depends on your country of residence. Clear these details up with your provider before agreeing to the terms of your policy.
High coverage limit
Let’s face it – wherever you go around the world, medical care is not cheap. Expenses can pile up very easily, and in most countries, the cost of care is more expensive for foreigners and tourists. In situations like this, it is worth it to pay more for higher coverage for medical expenses.
Don’t be cheap when it comes to this and try to ensure that you have the highest coverage possible, especially if your adventure is of the more extreme kind like skydiving or free climbing. The last thing you would want is to run out of coverage benefits before the doctors are done taking care of your injuries.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
If going to remote places out in the wild tickles your fancy, then it is extremely important to confirm that your adventure travel insurance coverage lists medical evacuation as one of its benefits.
Essentially, this allows you to contact the relevant persons in charge to come to your location and transport you to the nearest hospital or medical facility in the event you sustain any injuries during your adventures.
Even the best and most expensive insurance coverage have their limits. Almost all adventure sports travel insurance providers are unlikely to reimburse you for any medical expenses that you may incur during your travels for pre-existing conditions.
To take it a step further, they are also unlikely to cover any injuries sustained directly as a result of any pre-existing conditions that you may have. As a result of these fine lines, do make sure that on top of your adventure travel insurance, your regular health insurance covers these events during your travels.
It goes without saying that your travel insurance provider is not going to cover you for any carelessness or recklessness on your part. Whether you have been careless or reckless will depend on how each provider defines these actions. So, if you leave your expensive camera on the edge of a cliff while being distracted by a cute little fox nearby, and the camera falls over the edge, you are unlikely to be reimbursed for its value.
Where Can I get my Adventure Travel Insurance?
To help you narrow down the plethora of providers out there, we explore some of the best adventure sports travel insurance that you can look at for your next adventure.
World Nomads is one of the leading adventure sports travel insurance providers around the world. Their mission is to help adventure travelers to make the most out of their travels to give them as much support as possible in the event that things go wrong. More importantly, their insurance plans are easy to understand and flexible, so you decide what is best for you, depending on your activity and the intensity of it.
Here is a quick peek at the extremely wide range of adventure travel activities that World Nomads covers.
Among other things, World Nomads covers you for emergency medical expenses, dental treatments, stolen passports, money, credit cards and they also cover you in the unlikely event of death.
World Nomads offers 2 broad plans:
- The Explorer Plan and
- The Standard Plan
The Explorer plan is its premium plan and offers unlimited emergency overseas medical insurance benefits.
However, your coverage will depend on the amount of premium that you pay which in turn will depend on the type of adventure you plan to embark upon. World Nomads allows you to easily figure this out just by inserting a few details of your trip in the provided form and the site instantly generates a quote for you and you can have your travel insurance sorted out within a matter of minutes.
Big Cat Travel Insurance specializes in adventure sports travel insurance and they cover an extensive range of adventure activities. They pride themselves in giving thrill-seekers the best value for money and are able to give the best coverage for every budget.
They have a whopping 7 different plans (or packs as they call them) to choose from as you can see from a quick view of their site and each pack has different levels of cover depending on the age of the traveler.
Big Cat Travel Insurance also appears to cover rather unique activities, such as battle re-enactment, camel trekking, falconry, and zorbing. That ought to open your eyes to all the adventure options available out there! Personally, I did not know that battle re-enactment was eligible to be covered at all!
International Medical Group or IMG provides travel insurance for all types of travelers. Their adventure sports travel insurance is their iTravelInsured Travel LX Insurance and is specifically tailored for those who are wild and free and enjoy exploring exotic locations around the world. They also provide coverage for search and rescue and up to an impressive USD 1,000,000 coverage for any emergency medical evacuations.
If you’re looking for a straightforward, no-fuss, and comprehensive adventure travel insurance plan, then this comes highly recommended.
AXA is a household name when it comes to insurance. In recent years, they have also entered the adventure sports travel insurance arena and boasts three levels of cover that allows you to include its sports and activities coverage. They even have a separate plan for winter sports and ski adventure. Some of their benefits include rapid emergency treatment in the event of an injury and coverage of any legal expenses you may have to incur. Perfect for the cautious explorer in you!
Holiday Extras is definitely extra alright! They cover over 100 adventure sports and activities such as white water rafting and high-altitude trekking and even some of those extra hazardous sports adventures. They have four levels of coverage with a substantial focus on medical cover.
Holiday Extras provides coverage to most popular travel destinations worldwide, including New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
As the name says, this one-stop center specializes in adventure sports travel activities. They pride themselves in providing coverage for over 400 activities for both amateur and professional adrenaline junkies. They boast first-class services and have a detailed policy selection process.
As you can probably tell by now, insurance providers are very much on board the adventure sports travel train. They are able to cater to most of your needs and are open to offering flexible plans and packages to try and meet all your adventure sports travel insurance needs. That being said, don’t jump on board the first plan that you come across. It is well worth it to look at the various options available and decide which one gives you the best coverage for your adventure, at the best value for money.
In the excitement of planning your adventure sports travel extravaganza, technicalities and contracts are surely to be the last thing you want to look at. However, it is one of those necessary things that you end up being eternally grateful for just in case you take a fall, or your equipment fails or if you sustain more serious injuries in a remote location.
It is an undeniable fact that anything can happen at any time, no matter how organized, careful, and meticulous we are.
As much as we would all like to think that we can handle anything that comes our way, it is always good to have a plan in the event of some unfortunate occurrence.
The peace of mind that comes with that is invaluable, and it is guaranteed to allow you to truly immerse yourself in your adventures, completely worry-free.