Posts tagged: hazardous activities travel insurance

Quad biking and extreme sports: Are you covered by travel insurance?

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By , November 8, 2011 12:21 pm
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A recent case of a young boy seriously injured after a quad biking accident highlights the importance of having the right travel insurance cover if you plan to take part in any adventurous sports or activities when you’re away.

Across the desert

Travel insurance for quad biking and extreme sports

The boy, aged 10, from Hampshire was on holiday with his Dad and stepmother in the popular Turkish resort of Bodrum when the accident happened during a quad biking excursion. He sustained bleeding on the brain, a broken arm, broken nose, bruised ribs and a cracked eye socket.

Unfortunately, as quad biking is classed as an extreme sport by his travel insurance provider, the medical costs resulting from the accident were not covered by family’s travel insurance policy. The family now face the prospect of raising the £15,000 required to cover the cost of the boy’s medical treatment in a Turkish hospital.

Why wasn’t quad biking covered by their travel insurance?

Obviously I don’t know the details of this case, who the insurer was and which extreme sports are or aren’t covered on their policy, but I do know that you should always check that the travel insurance cover you have chosen is appropriate for you and your trip.

At first it may sound unfair that quad biking isn’t covered, but think about why you buy travel insurance, it’s primarily to cover the risk of you needing medical treatment abroad and the cost of that treatment. And let’s face it, the risk of you having an accident and needing treatment is greatly increased if you are taking part in quad biking or other extreme sports rather than lying on a beach or sight-seeing. Travel insurance is all about covering risk, the higher the risk of you needing to make a claim for medical treatment abroad, the higher the price of the travel insurance.

Can I get travel insurance to cover extreme sports?

The cover available for extreme sports, or ‘hazardous activities’ as they are often known in the insurance world will vary depending on which travel insurance provider you choose.

Most policies will include cover for some activities as standard and then allow you to upgrade to cover other, riskier sports or activities.

It’s important to get the right travel insurance cover before you travel

If you know what activities you intend to take part in before you travel it’s all relatively straight forward. If you’re going skiing, you buy a winter sports travel insurance policy. If you are going scuba diving you check what depth you will be diving to and whether that is covered – the same goes for quad biking or any other ‘hazardous activity’.

Check whether your travel insurance policy provides cover as standard or whether you need to add extra cover. A few extra minutes spent checking and a few extra pounds spent on travel insurance before you go could save you thousands in the event of an accident abroad.

What if you decide to take part in an extreme sport once you are away?

This is where it can become more tricky. If, once you are away you decided to take part in an extreme sport or hazardous activity, take a minute to check whether it is covered on your travel insurance policy and if it’s not, ring your provider to see if you can extend your policy to cover it. Be aware that not all providers will be able to amend your policy once you have left the UK and in that situation you should consider whether it’s worth the risk.

I’m sorry if I sound like a bit of a kill joy, but if you’re not covered by your travel insurance you should think carefully before taking take part in any extreme sport or hazardous activity. You may think it’s ok, ‘nothing will happen to me’, but these things do happen to some people and how do you know it won’t be you?

It’s also wise to remember that not all countries have the same health and safety regulations as we do in the EU and UK. Just because you’re on holiday and in a relaxed mood, don’t assume that every activity is safe, look at the set up and who runs it, ask questions if necessary, and think carefully before you take part in anything potentially dangerous.

In short, when you are planning your holiday and buying travel insurance cover, just take a moment to think what you will be doing whilst you’re away and check that your travel insurance policy will provide cover.

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