What is adventure travel insurance will be answered here. After the question is answered, you will possess the exact information you need in order to pick the right adventure insurance for your specific trip.
To begin, adventure insurance will be defined, analyzed and broken down to its various parts in three different sections. Let’s start with a definition.
1. The Definition of Adventure Travel Insurance
In general, insurers may consider most any physical activity in a questionable location as an adventure or sporting activity that needs insurance coverage.
To make matters more puzzling, different insurers may disagree on what is adventurous. So your first action in picking an insurer is to be certain that the policy covers your particular adventure. That will be determined through definitions of adventure by insurers. And these definitions may vary from insurer to insurer.
You might also hear adventure travel insurance referred to as sports and travel insurance. So be aware of that.
2. An Analysis of Adventure Travel Insurance
The word adventurous brings to mind activities like downhill skiing and paragliding, while a horseback ride may or may not be classed as adventurous.
Let’s break it down a bit more. A horseback ride from your vacation villa to the town square on a shopping trip will probably not be considered adventurous. This kind of activity will be considered non-sporting and not in need of additional adventure insurance. In all likelihood, your comprehensive travel insurance will cover it.
However, if you plan to travel on a horse caravan to the heights of the Swiss Alps, you should ask for additional insurance that would cover the risk. Remember the definition of adventure as any physical activity in a questionable location.
A Closer Look at Adventure
Let’s look at this issue a tad closer. Suppose you plan to rock climb a 500-foot escarpment and then paraglide down to a valley floor. We can be darn near certain that insurers will classify that as an adventurous pursuit in a risky area.
From reading various adventure travel insurance pamphlets, you can be pretty sure that the following activities are considered adventurous or sporting:
5. Rock climbing
6. Hang gliding
7. Scuba diving
8. Jet skiing
This list is only a sampling. Ask your insurer if your activity is covered.
Hidden Risks You Haven’t Thought Of
Insurance companies tend to see the risk coming at you in countless directions, some of which you probably never thought of. Risk is obvious in such activities as winter skiing, mountain climbing and scuba diving. Risk can also come at you by eating native food in backcountry locations.
Here’s one example of a hidden risk as reported by CBS news:
“A Mongolian couple has died of the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot kidney, triggering a quarantine that left tourists stranded in a remote region for days, officials said…”
It will be up to you to analyze your trip and pinpoint which activities an insurance company might classify as sports or adventure. This analysis of adventure will help you buy the right coverage specifically designed for you, your trip and your planned activities.
3. Breaking Adventure Travel Insurance into Tiny Pieces
Now we’ll cover some of the nuances and small print in these adventure travel insurance policies.
Leisurely activities like walking, boating and bus tours will likely be seen as soft adventures and covered by your comprehensive travel insurance policy. Launch that boat in river rapids, though, and you have a different thing. Again, check with your insurer to be certain your planned activity is covered.
Do Not Climb Too High
Read your policy to understand exclusions to coverage. Your policy will specifically list activities that are not covered by the travel insurance. If the activity you want to engage in is not listed in the insurance fine print, you are not covered.
Be aware, too, of coverage restrictions. For example, mountain climbing may be covered only to a specific height of 12,000 feet. One foot beyond that – 12,001 feet – and you’re not covered.
Don’t take unnecessary risks beyond your coverage. If a friend has a harebrained idea to bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower, try to resist. You won’t be covered by insurance. Even if adventure or sporting activities are covered by insurance, that coverage can be nullified if the activity is illegal or performed while high on drugs or alcohol.
Emergency Medical Insurance
Make sure your limits to cover emergency medical treatment are adequate. You need to cover the following:
1. Hospital rooms
2. Emergency medical treatment
4. Doctor visits
5. Prescription drugs
If you don’t have adequate insurance to meet emergency medical treatments, you’ll need to pay cash. Policies are available to cover this. Buy one. They’re not expensive.
Emergency medical travel insurance is covered in detail here.
Imagine a monkey bites your toe off, and the local village clinic doesn’t have a surgeon to sew it back on. This is where you need medical evacuation insurance. Medical evacuation insurance will move you from a facility that doesn’t have adequate medical emergency treatment to a facility that can address your medical emergency.
Medical evacuation is not cheap. The costs can run from $25,000 to $200,000 or more. Buy adequate evacuation coverage for the country you plan to visit.
Consider Adventure Coverage as Special Sauce
Adventure coverage is designed to cover injuries that may rain on you while engaged in sporting or risky behavior. These assorted injuries conceived while sporting or engaged in an adventure are not covered on a normal travel policy. You need to order this coverage separately. It’s like special sauce; you gotta order it separately because it’s special.
Not every insurer will offer this special sports and adventure insurance. An insurer may cover rock climbing but not paragliding. Another may cover paragliding and not rock climbing. Read your insurance for excluded coverage. That means that if skiing is excluded, you won’t be covered for a broken collar bone suffered while skiing.
Read the insurance policy certificate that will list exclusions. The certificate is the legal document that defines the agreement between you and the travel insurance company.
Buy the Right Adventure Travel Insurance
Buying the right adventure travel insurance is on you. It’s your responsibility. Get it wrong, and you will not be covered if something happens.
You are a unique person with a unique travel plan, so you will need a plan designed just for you. If rock climbing is in your travel plan, you don’t need insurance for para-gliding. Buy rock climbing insurance.
Three Steps to Buy the Right Adventure Insurance
In order to buy the right adventure insurance, you are required to do three things:
1. First, ask your insurer to define adventure or sports coverage. Not your definition, but the insurance company’s definition.
2. Second, determine if the sports or adventure is covered by your insurer. If it’s not covered, you’re not covered. Read the insurance policy certificate.
3. Third, buy the coverage that will insure your planned sports or adventure activity.
Once you buy the correct adventure travel insurance, you can be assured that you’re covered and will be reimbursed if something doesn’t go as planned.