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Adventure travel insurance

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  • Get cover for a wide range of adventure activities, including winter sports 

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Covid-19 - Important information 4th October 2021

On 4th October, the travel traffic light system is being replaced by a simplified set of rules for international travel. These rules tell you what you must do when returning to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from a red list country.

Before buying travel insurance, you should think about what could happen if your destination moves to the red list. You may face extra costs and face travel restrictions that won't be covered by your travel insurance policy.

It's important to check both your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there.

If you travel against the FCDO advice, you won't be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.

A few insurers do offer cover if you're an essential traveler, but if you have any questions, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy.

What is adventure travel insurance?

Adventure travel insurance is a policy designed to cover extreme sports or other activities that aren’t included in standard travel insurance.

Planning on doing rock climbing, paragliding or another higher risk activity? Then you’ll need extra cover as a regular travel policy only includes basic activities.

For example, if you’re looking for winter sports cover, select ‘winter sports’ as an extra when getting a quote. This way you’ll only be shown policies that include cover for things like skiing or snowboarding on the results page.

The activities covered, policy features and levels of cover vary by insurer, so make sure you read the small print to see exactly what’s included before you buy.

Do I need adventure travel insurance?

If you’re a thrill-seeker or planning to do some action-filled sports on your trip, it’s probably wise to get cover in place before you go. Adding extra cover to your policy for adventurous activities could help pay for medical treatment if you have an accident or become ill while you’re away.

Statistically, if you’re taking part in an extreme sport, you’re more likely to injure yourself and you don’t want to be stung with high medical costs. According to GOV.UK if you have a fall in Spain and break your hip, hospital treatment and flights back to the UK could cost you £15,000. This is why it’s important to have insurance in place.

Make sure you check your policy documents for the sports and activities that could be covered before getting your travel insurance policy - these are usually listed in the terms and conditions.

What does an adventure travel insurance policy cover?

There’s no set list of activities that are covered under an adventure travel policy. We compare a wide range of travel insurers who offer lots of different levels of cover. It’s up to you though, to check the policy wording before you buy to make sure you’re covered for the activities you plan on doing while you’re away.

Most standard travel insurance policies will include:

  • Medical treatment, hospital transportation and repatriation back home if you fall ill or injure yourself
  • Your holiday and flights could also be covered if you cancel or cut your trip short in an emergency
  • Valuables, documents, money, and baggage cover could also be provided if your items are lost or stolen.

The activities covered in a policy can vary between insurers, but they can include:

  • Paragliding
  • Safari trips
  • Cycling
  • Golf, although golf equipment cover is usually excluded
  • Skydiving
  • Horse riding

What is covered exactly, is listed in the policy documents. It’s important to read all the small print before you buy. If you’re unsure about the level of cover your policy provides, we recommend contacting the insurer. You can also use the defaqto rating to see what level of cover a policy provides.

Depending on the activity, some policies offer personal accident and liability cover as standard, but these could be limited if you’re taking part in more dangerous activities. Contact your insurer to check if you’re covered for your planned activities - be sure to do this in advance.

If you’re planning a golfing holiday, you may be covered by a standard travel insurance policy. It’s important to check this before buying, as not all insurers will offer this type of cover as standard. If you’re going on a ski trip, then a ski travel insurance policy should provide you with the cover you need. Not all policies offer off-piste cover, so bear that in mind when you are choosing the right policy.

Compare adventure travel insurance quotes

What affects the price of adventure travel insurance?

The price you pay for your policy depends on a couple of things:

  • Where you're travelling. If you’re travelling just in Europe, the chances are your policy will be cheaper than if you’re travelling worldwide.
  • Your age, with the older you are, the more expensive your travel insurance policy usually is.
  • What activities you plan on doing. If you have plans to bungee jump or go cage diving on your trip, the cost of your policy could go up. This is because these are usually seen as higher risk activities by insurers.
  • If you’ve got any medical conditions the cost of insurance will usually increase as you need to be guaranteed the treatment for a specific condition or illness. It’s important to remember that certain activities may not allow you to take part if you’ve got a pre-existing medical condition.
  • What type of cover you need, and this depends on how many times you plan on travelling in a year. A cheaper option is usually single-trip travel insurance - perfect if this holiday is a one-off. If you’re going away several times in a year, then an annual travel insurance policy with activity cover will make sure you’re covered, but this type of policy can be more expensive.

Can I get an adventure travel insurance quote if I have a serious, pre-existing medical condition?

If you’re looking for an adventure travel quote and have a pre-existing medical condition, you can still use our site to get a quote. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.

Some insurers may not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have several conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you can’t find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.

You can find their directory of insurers on the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) website or you can phone them on 0800 138 7777 for free impartial advice.

We compare trusted travel insurance companies to find you the best deals

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Need more help?

Are there any activities not covered by an adventure travel policy?

The activities that are covered will vary depending on the policy you buy. Each insurer will have their own list of exclusions, there’s no one size fits all approach. If in doubt, contact the insurer directly.

Can I add activities to my adventure travel insurance at a later date?

The short answer is no. If you decide that you want to do an extra activity that isn’t covered by your policy while you’re away, then you won’t be covered. It’s best that you stick to the activities that are covered in your policy, rather than risk having to foot the bill.

When should I buy adventure travel insurance?

You should buy your policy as soon as you know where you’re travelling to and what activities you’ll be doing. We recommend including all planned activities when getting a quote, to make sure that your insurer will cover all of them in your policy.

What our travel insurance expert says

“When it comes to adventure travel, don’t base your decision purely on price as it could limit the level of cover you receive, and it might have higher excess - it’s best to find the policy that best suits your needs.”

Jac Morris signature

Jac Morris

Travel insurance product executive

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