Travel Insurance for Dangerous Sports
When it comes to travel insurance, most standard policies won’t touch sports industries.
Some brave companies might cover skiing or scuba diving, but most either exclude extreme sports or want customers to buy special sports riders, or options, in addition to their basic travel insurance to cover medical emergencies or losses connected with sports that subject the athlete to considerable risk.
What exact activities are covered by extreme sports riders varies. Many will cover rock climbing, mountaineering, scuba diving and all manner of other adventure behaviors — to a point.
World Nomad’s plan for U.S. citizens includes elephant riding and rugby, skateboarding, bungee jumping, surfing and snow mobiling. Patriot Extreme allows flying planes and hang gliding and scuba diving to 50 meters, and whitewater rafting up to class V. It depends on the policy you choose.
What Isn’t Covered
Plans have their own rules about what is covered. World Nomads does not cover parasailing, American football, elephant trekking, sleigh rides, running with the bulls at Pamplona, Spain and expeditions to Greenland and the North Pole, among other things.
International Travel and Health Insurance does not cover horse, motorbike or any kind of motor racing. It does not cover scuba diving below 50 meters, and it does not cover ski jumping.
What Coverage Pays For
Coverage varies according to the plan. World Nomads covers accidents up to $10,000 and loss of equipment up to $1,000. International Travel and Health Insurance Plans covers medical costs up to $50,000.
Atlas Travel covers emergency health expenses up to $500,000. But this does not cover everything. For example, International Travel doesn’t cover organ or tissue replacements or any injury suffered from reckless endangerment or needless peril.
For three months’ coverage, World Nomads charges an individual $197 as of February 2011.
International Travel and Health Insurance plans offers Patriot Extreme for $94 for up to six months for someone 18 to 39 years old.
The price is a little lower for younger people, a little higher for older ones. Atlas International offers up to a $1 million policy for people aged 18 to 29 for three months for $142 as of February 2011. That includes the 20 percent extra sports rider.