Look Before You Leap
By Jason Jourdan
Surprise! An average person’s idea of “adventure” or “extreme” sports may differ from those forged in the seas of insurance company cubicles. When it comes to adventure and sports-based travel, some caution and unique concerns may apply. It's impossible to predict what may occur on once-in-a-lifetime adventures, from the mundanity of misplaced luggage to the extraordinary occurrence of a faulty parachute, especially when traveling abroad.
Remaining vigilant of the health and personal safety concerns of a planned destination is a solid first step. The next is finding the proper travel medical insurance policy and knowing the level of coverage needed.
Covered or not covered? Action-oriented sports are commonplace for many vacationers. Injuries sustained while engaging in activities deemed "adventurous" may not be covered. Believe it or not, some travel insurance plans exclude coverage for mishaps related to canoeing, hiking, and even bowling! Advanced planning matters when it comes to insurance coverage, and it's essential to read the details carefully.
What about exotic sports? Listed among Travel Channel’s Six Most Unusual Around the World are sports like Extreme Ironing, which combines the thrill of extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt, and Octopush, a form of underwater hockey popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa. Daredevils drawn to this level of crazy have inspired travel insurance companies to offer policy supplements called Hazardous Sports Riders to amend their lists of general exclusions and remove some activity limitations. After all, no one wants to be without the right insurance coverage in the face of an unexpected Zorbing injury in New Zealand. Look it up; it's a thing.
The list of covered activities varies even though most travel insurers offer coverage for these activities and extreme sports:
· Paragliding & Kitesurfing
· Rock Climbing
· Mountain Biking
Travel Insurance provides peace of mind for adrenaline junkies and nervous worriers alike. For every exclamation of "Yeah, baby!" there's someone asking, “What about Great White sharks? Will my cruise ship sink? How likely is it my parachute fails?” If these concerns sound familiar, relax. The odds of getting attacked by a Great White are 1 in 3.7 million. The chances of a Poseidon Adventure-like cruise ship disaster? According to the New York Times, even Ernest Borgnine could feel safe knowing only 16 ships have sunk between 1980 and 2012. Enjoy jumping out of a perfectly good airplane? Chill; only 1 in 1,000 parachutes fail to open, and most skydiving companies employ professionals trained in emergency response protocol for in-air malfunctions.
Not every risk involves plastic bubbles or rolling cheese wheels. Invisible threats lurk on everyday surfaces in the realm of public health. Travelers of every stripe are vulnerable to the effects of unwanted germs. Luckily, HuffPost has exposed a list of the “germiest” places in the airport and why to avoid them. COVID-19 is still a part of any trip-planning conversation. Travel and Leisure touts a few common mistakes to avoid while traveling abroad:
- Itineraries with numerous countries
- Hastily choosing destinations
- Not checking cancellation or change policies before booking flights
- Ignoring COVID precautions when choosing accommodations
- Not carrying PPE (personal protective equipment)
- Not creating COVID-conscious day trips
As far as what basic travel insurance policies should cover, most plans account for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, delays, medical evacuation, and lost or damaged luggage. A good travel medical insurance plan includes doctor and hospital expenses and outlines any exclusions for pre-existing conditions. The key is to be aware of excluded sports and work with a travel insurance agent to cover any unique circumstances or activities.
- COVID-19 Medical Expense Coverage up to the Policy Maximum
- Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
- Emergency Medical Reunion
- Return of Minor Child
- Emergency Traveler Assistance
Embrace adventures abroad with simple, safe, and secure coverage from Point Comfort® Travel!
CLICK HERE for your FREE quote.