While it’s not surprising that run-of-the-mill travel insurance won’t cover a holiday in Syria (here’s how to get travel insurance coverage when traveling to risky locations) you might not be aware that common activities like skiing, generally aren’t covered either. That’s because snowboarding, hiking, and weight training are generally considered adventure sports, requiring specialized coverage.
For those of you who like to stay in shape when traveling, it’s important to get the proper travel insurance coverage; since it is you who is most likely to need it in the first place.
Where Your Limitations Are
Some providers, like World Nomads, cover many sports to varying degrees. They assign a long list of activities here a rating of Level Standard or Explorer, the latter indicating additional coverage needs to be purchased. IMG also has a specialized adventure sports coverage, better for travelers who aren’t participating in organized activities.
Keep in mind that contact sports aren’t covered by World Nomads or IMG so for kickboxing in Thailand or jiu-jitsu in Brazil, your best bet is to extend your current health insurance worldwide. Doing so will probably be more expensive than other sport activities that are covered but gives you protection against some potentially big medical bills.
Some Big Ifs
It’s important to note where you’ll be, say, hiking, can determine if your travel insurance covers you – even if you’ve purchased adventure sports coverage. Climbing any old hillside is one thing but making a trek up Everest puts you out of coverage for most providers. For specific endeavors you need to look for specific coverage, for example, mountaineering insurance.
Start by calling your current medical insurance provider, then your regular travel insurance company. Give them the complete details of your trip (e.g. duration, location) and what you’ll be doing (“motorbiking across the world“) to confirm any existing coverage as well as partner providers who can fill in the gaps for your trip. Getting information from insurance companies over the phone, much like airlines, is usually faster than trying to investigate online.
How Much Does It Cost?
Most insurance providers will tell you coverage costs vary widely depending on your age and activity but in a few tests I ran, monthly coverage for adventure sports comes out to around $75-100 USD. Although a little pricier than electronics coverage – adventure sports travel insurance is a lot less expensive than paying for an twisted ankle mountain biking or fractured wrist during an afternoon of canoeing.
Have you used specialized travel insurance to cover sports activities? If so, who are your favorite providers?