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If you intend to do more than just lie on a beach when you go on holiday in 2020, then the chances are that you and your family will probably take part in physical activity which, although you may not think of it as such, is classed as sporting activity by your insurer. Part of the pleasure of being on holiday is being able to do things spontaneously, but will your standard travel insurance necessarily cover you?
In this article about sports travel insurance we will look at:
- The sporting activities that are covered by standard travel insurance
- Why it is important to read your insurance documents
- The types of sports insurance available
- The range of cover provided by sports insurance
Standard travel insurance and the cover it provides for sporting activities
Your standard travel insurance policy will probably cover you for low risk activities such as camping or river fishing. Each insurer will have a different definition of what is classed as an extreme sport. You might be surprised to learn that some insurers will class horse riding or riding on an inflatable banana as extreme sports and consequently any injury incurred would not be covered by the standard policy. Specialist sports equipment, which is lost or stolen, is also unlikely to be covered by a standard travel insurance policy.
Medical insurance via your E111 / EHIC card
If you are a sports traveller it could be argued you are at a higher risk of an accident while on holiday therefore it is of greater importance, if you are a British citizen, that you possess a valid E111 card, also known as an EHIC card. This will cover you for basic medical treatment in the event of an accident while abroad, such as breaking a leg while skiing in the alps. There are many restrictions on what the E111 or EHIC card will cover, read our article on how to renew your UK E111 card for more detailed information.
Always read your travel insurance documents
If you don’t read your insurance documents, you could be in for a nasty surprise if something goes wrong. Only 12% of British travellers read all their insurance documents. Many people assume that activities like swimming with dolphins and golfing are covered by standard travel insurance but in most cases they are not.
If you decide to do something spontaneous on holiday, double check your insurance policy and if necessary, call your insurer for clarification.
Sports travel insurance questions
While standard travel insurance can cover a wide range of low risk activities while you are on holiday, sports travel insurance provides cover for more adventurous or extreme types of sports. Apart from the cover it provides you with any incidents relating to your health while you partake in these types of activities, you are also covered for any damage, loss, or theft of your sports equipment.
There are certain activities and sports that insurance providers consider extreme, and therefore they do not provide cover for these through their standard travel insurance policies. Some of these activities are: bungee jumping, rock climbing, caving, rock climbing, scuba diving, skiing, snowboarding, and hand-gliding amongst others.
When taking out sports travel insurance, it is crucial that you declare any preexisting medical conditions to your insurer. Failure to do so is very likely to lead to the rejection of any claims related to sports related injuries while you travel. Furthermore, with regard to keeping the costs down for your sports travel insurance policy, you should consider whether you need a single or annual policy, depending on how frequently you partake in sports while travelling.
What sort of sports insurance is best for you?
If you and your family are planning a sporting activity whilst on holiday, there may be a specific type of policy that is right for you. There are separate insurance packages that cover water sports, winter sports and extreme sports. These can be arranged as single trip packages or if you intend to make regular trips, as an annual package.
For extended trips, a backpacker’s travel insurance will cover you for more than sixty consecutive days and can be tailored to your sporting activities. Sports insurance can be purchased as individual cover or as family or group cover.
What is covered by sports insurance?
The details of your cover will depend on the type of sports insurance that you purchase. Most extreme sports, such as climbing, will be covered by a Winter Sports Insurance, which will cover you for rescue and medical costs, which in some cases could be as high as £90,000. It will also cover loss or damage to your equipment and several things which you may not have considered, such as piste closure, avalanche delay, loss of your ski pass and personal liability insurance should you accidentally injure someone else.