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 travelling 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 Southern Cross Travel Insurance, Cover-More, and 1Cover will only cover for mountaineering or rock climbing activities that don’t require the use of ropes. World Nomad covers for free climbing (climbing without ropes) an added cost. Additionally we found that ACE’s NZ alpine club’s leisure travel policy provides cover for free climbing at an extra premium.
Snowboarding and skiing
Provided the insurance policy you purchased includes snow/ski cover, most New Zealand 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, WorldNomads and Cover-more 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 and Travel Insurance Direct 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 New Zealand 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? Southern Cross Travel Insurance will cover you if you’re participating with a licensed operator. Worldcare, NZ Travel Insurance and STA will cover you for white-water rafting in rivers grade 4 or less.
It’s key to remember that all insurers will differ in what they cover. Finding the best travel insurance is just as important as mapping out your itinerary. Whilst we’ve covered as many sports as possible, one or two may have slipped our attention or simply will not be covered. Always contact your insurer directly to confirm that your activities are covered.
Adrenalin junkies may thrive on risk-taking but not buying cover is simply not a gamble worth taking. Be sure to do your adventure travel research and compare policies now.