Now this is probably something you’ve thought about but you never looked into. It’s pretty simple: When I buy travel insurance as a Canadian, how do I know if I’m covered for extreme sports that I plan on doing when I’m on the road? Sounds like a basic question, right? Wrong! It can be complicated so I’m here to help guide you through making a decision on sports insurance coverage.
How do you ensure you have extreme sports insurance coverage?
Cheaper isn’t always better
The devil is in the details, right? Now if you’re like me, your natural inclination would be to try to find the cheapest insurance coverage for your needs. In the travel insurance world, that’s just not the right way to go because of all the variables involved for what is and isn’t covered under a policy.
Here are a few basic things to think about when it comes to travel insurance:
- Type of policy – Single trip? Multi trip? Annual?
- What is covered – Lost/stolen luggage? Personal liability? Pre-existing medical conditions? Cancellations? Delays? Extreme sports and sports insurance coverage?
- Exclusions – What is in the fine print? Are all countries covered?
- Deductible – How much do you have to pay in order to make a claim
- Coverage amounts – How much in total are you covered? 10 million? 2 million? For specific instances, what is the coverage (i.e. car rental, meals, and other things called incidentals)
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide but just from these few bullet points alone, your head is probably already spinning. Yes, it’s that complicated but I think for you and I, the main thing at the end of the day that you want to know is “am I good?” and “I’ll be covered, right?”
Personally, I think the big reason why insurance is complicated is because there are too many choices. When you’re looking at a laundry list of policy choices all ranging in all the variables above, and then there’s price in the mix, how are you supposed to make the “best” decision for you?
What’s considered to be extreme sports?
For those with an adventurous spirit, you’re almost guaranteed to be doing some sort of extreme sports. If you can figure out whether you need this or not then you’ll be able to narrow down the types of insurance you’re looking for.
In insurance-policy-speak, extreme sports or adventure sports are called “high-risk activities”. These as sports that are often NOT covered by insurance providers:
- Skiing or snowboarding out bounds
- Ski jumping
- Scuba diving (except if certified by internationally recognized and accepted programs such as NAUI or PADI, or if the diving depth does not exceed 30 metres)
- White water rafting (except grades 1 to 4)
- Street luge
- Skeleton activity
- Participation in any rodeo activity
So, based on this it looks like diving is good as long as it’s not a deep dive or if you have open water diving certification. White water rafting is OK too as most operator-run trips are typically within rapids of grades 1-4. However, if you want to do sky-diving, bungee jumping, Running of the Bulls, contact sports, ice climbing, hang gliding, canyoneering or shark cage diving (did it in South Africa!), you may or may not be covered.
When in doubt, always ask.
Is credit card travel insurance enough?
The short answer is…questionable.
Every credit card is going to be different but it really comes down to the fine print. You really should check what activities you’re covered for and what value of coverage is included. Your age and the trip length might affect your coverage also! Check the levels of coverage provided for medical issues or illnesses, trip delays or cancellation or lost baggage. Don’t forget to check the more serious items too, like flight accidents and accidental death coverage, which might not be available with credit card insurance.
My take? Credit cards can be handy for the one-off “low-risk” trips. However, if you really just want the comfort of having care-free comprehensive coverage then an insurance policy is the best investment.
Buying adventure sports travel insurance from a trusted source
So, you get it…travel insurance is complicated. If that’s the case, where would I recommend that you search for your perfect policy?
My pick is to go somewhere that is transparent and very clear on giving you all of the pertinent information to make your choice. travelcuts is somewhere that offers travel insurance with a great price and coverage that is really good for the modern-day traveller.
Popular amongst Canadians, especially students, one of their unique selling points is their price. With policies as low as $1.36 a day, they also cover many extreme sports that competitors don’t even touch.
Here are the extreme sports the travelcuts travel insurance covers:
- Bamboo rafting
- Beach volleyball
- Bungee jumping
- Camel trekking
- Elephant trekking
- Gliding, Hiking
- Horseback riding
- Marathon running
- Mountain biking
- Scuba diving (only if you hold a SCUBA designation from a certified school or a PADI, NAUI or SSI certification)
- Shark cage diving
- Surfing, Trekking
- Whitewater rafting
Make sure you’re covered on your next trip
With policies under $1.36/day, find a policy that fits YOU.
Get travel insurance. What you’ll find is that the coverage you get isn’t expensive at all when you compare it to other types of insurance like auto. The key is to pay attention to the line items that you get for the policy you ultimate select and even if you remotely suspect you’ll be doing some outdoor activity, make sure you’re covered. If you’re not sure, make sure to ask or just go with travelcuts travel insurance because you know extreme sports are included.
As travelcuts says, life without travel insurance would look like this:
If you live in the US or elsewhere in the world, check out insurance from World Nomads to make sure you have the right extreme sports insurance coverage.
What’s been your experience with travel insurance and extreme sports? I’d love to hear your stories. Just drop a comment below!