What counts as an adventure holiday?
The word “adventurous” is subjective. But in the travel insurance industry, there are certain leisure activities that are deemed higher-risk and (depending on the insurer) may not be covered.
These so-called “adventurous activities” commonly include:
- Rock climbing
- Mountain biking
- Scuba diving
- Water sports
- Bungee jumping
- Hot air balloon
You may be surprised to learn that even common activities like scuba diving and hiking count as there is always risk for injury!
So if you have anything like the above planned, you’ll want to make sure that your travel insurance covers you during those activities.
Does travel insurance cover adventurous activities?
There is no industry standard when it comes to coverage for adventurous activities or extreme sports like the above.
Depending on the insurer, you might encounter travel insurance plans that:
- Impose certain limits to qualify for insurance coverage (e.g. scuba diving up to 30m or hiking up to 3,000m)
- Exclude by default, but allow you to add coverage at extra cost
- Automatically cover ALL or MOST outdoor sports (Bubblegum included!)
How can you tell if your insurer covers your plans?
To start with, you’ll often (but not always) find a note on the policy brochure or website saying that adventurous activities are covered.
A safer way to check is to look at the policy wording of the insurance plan. If the plan does not cover specific activities, those activities will be listed in the “Exclusions” part of the policy wording.
Still not sure? It’s best to live chat or contact the insurer to check before you buy.
Do note that adventurous activity coverage is typically only valid if you play your part to minimise risks. This includes participating through a licensed operator, wearing all safety attire and following all safety guidelines.
Another exception to note is that you will not be covered if you are taking part in the activity on a competitive or professional basis.
What type of coverage should you look out for?
When planning an adventure holiday, health and safety are paramount. So look out for the following areas of coverage.
Overseas Medical Expenses: Allows you to seek medical treatment in the event of an accident or illness arising from your activities.
Medical Expenses in Singapore: This covers any follow-up treatment you need after your trip. If you have sought treatment during your holiday, it is valid for 30 days following your return.
Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation: Should the worst happen, this covers the cost of sending you or your remains back home by air ambulance.
Personal Accident: Compensation in the event of accidental death or disablement.
Personal Baggage Loss or Damage: If travelling with expensive sporting gear, you may appreciate this insurance coverage of up to $3,000.
Whether they do or don’t cover extreme sports overseas, most travel insurance plans are structured similarly.
Being covered for adventurous activities simply means that you are allowed to claim even if your expenses arise from those activities.
On the other hand, if the policy specifically excludes your planned activity — let’s say it’s scuba diving — then you won’t be able to claim if anything happens (a) while you’re diving or (b) as a result of diving. Obviously, it’s so much safer to be covered.
What else should you prepare before you travel?
Apart from sorting out your travel insurance, you’ll want to spend some time on the following before embarking on your adventure holiday.
Emergency contacts: Have a list of emergency contacts handy on paper on your phone (or both), including your next-of-kin, the local Singapore embassy, local emergency hotlines as well as your travel insurance provider’s 24-hour hotline.
Your destination’s medical facilities: Understand the medical treatment options available in your destination, and plan where to go if anything happens. Bear in mind that some destinations can be very remote and do not have nearby healthcare facilities.
Professional guides or operators: Ensure that you book your travel experience with a properly licensed operator and/or hire a guide (such as divemaster or trekking guide) if you need one.
Travel insurance limitations (if any): If your travel insurance plan has height or depth limits on the covered activity, you may want to discuss that with the travel experience operator ahead of your trip. Note that Bubblegum does not have height or depth limits for our coverage.
Appropriate safety gear & preparation: Purchase any appropriate gear that would keep you safe, and make sure that you’re physically fit for the activities you have planned!
Now you’re all ready to embark on your next adventure holiday.