Does your travel insurance cover being adventurous?
You might think you would have to be really unlucky to be injured while abroad, but we Brits rack up an average of £55million in medical bills while playing sport on holiday.
Recent research suggests that Brits are actually quite a dynamic bunch when they are abroad, with 31 per cent of Brits having taken part in sporting activities on holiday. Being active – especially if there is a competitive element – has its own hazards: one in four of these sporty holiday-makers have sustained an injury of varying severity, and the vast majority of these injuries (78 per cent) needed medical attention at the time. While a sprained ankle might be an uncomfortable inconvenience on your trip, having to foot the medical bills yourself is only going to add insult to said injury. The research also reveals that over half of the injured had to cover the cost of treatment themselves, with 12 per cent paying more than £100 and four per cent more than £250.
So where does the danger lie? Cycling is the most popular holiday sport for Brits (9 per cent) with tennis a close second, and it is most likely that your insurance will cover these activities. Also in the top ten are golf, skiing, go-karting, horse riding and quad biking – but these are not necessarily covered by your standard travel insurance policy.
If you are travelling the world and seeking thrills, the chances are you won’t be restricting your activity to a bicycle or a tennis racquet. Backpackers’ insurance usually covers bungee jumping – but some providers limit it to two jumps, others more. Your cover may include kayaking or white-water rafting – but the level of cover will dictate what grade of difficulty is open to you. And with many of these riskier sports, there will be conditions: are you using a reputable and safe operator? Are you wearing safety gear and being supervised by someone in the know? If you’re not in the agreed region, or have exceeded your number of skydives, you won’t be covered should something go wrong.
The message is: check the small print. If you know you are going to do a particular activity and it is not listed in your policy booklet, call up your insurer and check; they may well be willing to cover you for an additional premium. The last thing you want to be worrying about as you bungee jump off Sydney Harbour bridge is: ‘just what did it say in my insurance small print?’