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Extreme Sports Insurance: Staying Safe While Adventuring

Travelers planning on participating in adventure sports should stay safe by securing extreme sports insurance. This will offer coverage for medical expenses incurred if you get injured during the activity. Some providers who offer this benefit are IMG, Geoblue, VUMI, and April International.

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Are you an adventure sports enthusiast heading on a trip where you plan to rock climb, skydive, ski, or paraglide? Are you wanting to protect your health by getting adventure sports coverage but don’t know where to look? Are you unsure if adventure activities are covered by travel insurance?

Pacific Prime has designed this guide for you! In it, we will introduce what extreme sport insurance is, some questions you should ask yourself when picking a plan, who some great providers are who offer this benefit, and what the most popular sports are that need coverage.

Inevitably, you’ll likely still have questions after reading this article. If this is the case for you, reach out to our travel insurance experts to get their experienced advice about how to find the extreme sports insurance that’s right for you. We’re here to help!

What is Extreme Sports Insurance?

Snow Glider: Daytime Adventure.

Extreme sports insurance is an insurance benefit that provides medical coverage for injuries or accidents that are the result of an adventurous sport performed while traveling. This benefit is often not included in a basic travel insurance plan and must be added on through a Hazardous Sports Rider.

An adventure sports benefit typically provides coverage for:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Medical Evacuation if necessary
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Repatriation

What to Consider When Picking Adventure Sport Insurance

You must consider several things when picking adventure sports insurance. Some questions include cost, coverage amounts, customizability, which activities you’ll do, if more medical insurance is necessary, the location of these activities, and if your planned transportation is deemed “risky.”

1. How Much Does The Hazardous Sports Rider Cost?

You’ll need to consider just how much the hazardous sports rider costs and if there are different coverage levels for this rider at a higher price point. It is a delicate balance to dance between affordability and comprehensive coverage. You’ll have to weigh the difference for yourself.

2. What Are The Coverage Amounts For Your Activities?

It is worth comparing how much coverage is allotted to each activity when comparing multiple plans. Just because an activity is covered, doesn’t mean you can’t find a higher monetary protection for the same activity somewhere else.

3. Is Your Extreme Sport Add-On Customizable?

It is worth considering how customizable the extreme sports add-on is. The more flexible the plan, the better it may be for you.

4. What Activities Do You Expect to Do?

Which adventure activities do you expect to participate in on your trip? Having coverage for your planned activities is essential. 

5. Do You Have Sufficient Coverage?

Even after getting coverage for an extreme sport, you need to decide if it is enough coverage. Sometimes getting an additional medical insurance add-on is also essential if you know your adventure-seekers will be pushing their limits.

6. What Sports Are Covered In Your Destination?

Be sure to make sure that your extreme sport is covered in the destination you will be participating in that sport. It may seem obvious, but reading through your whole policy and knowing the benefit inclusions and exclusions can help you make sure you’ll actually be covered.

7. Are Your Transportation Methods Considered Adventurous?

Some insurance policies will consider certain types of transportation risky behaviors and will exclude them from coverage. Mopeds and scooters, for example, may be excluded unless their exclusion is specifically waived by an extreme activity waiver. Be sure to double-check!

Top Extreme Sport Travel Insurance Providers

Man Cliff Climbing, Tonsai Beach

The following sections introduce these top providers who offer extreme sports coverage in their travel insurance plans:

  • IMG
  • Geoblue
  • April International
  • VUMI
  • MSH International
  • Battleface
  • Travelex
  • Tin Leg
  • John Hancock
  • HTH Travel Insurance
  • Seven Corners
  • World Nomads
  • Trawick International
  • Atlas American and Atlas International

Pacific Prime’s 5 Favorite Hazardous Sport Providers

IMG, Geoblue, April International, VUMI, and MSH International are our 5 favorite hazardous sports providers, in no particular order. We partner with them and can help you compare their plans and negotiate your benefits to get the adventure sports rider you need.

1. IMG

IMG’s Patriot Travel Series Plans have an optional Adventure Sports Rider. This rider has a lifetime maximum benefit amount relative to your age that can be as high as $50,000. This rider can be added to both the Patriot Lite and Patriot Platinum plans.

Depending on your age, you can receive the following lifetime maximum benefit:

  • Age 1-49: $50,000
  • Age 50-59: $30,000
  • Age 60-64: $15,000

2. Geoblue

Geoblue’s Xplorer Essential Plan has unlimited coverage for adventure sports. For less coverage, consider Geoblue’s Single Trip Voyager Choice or Annual Multi Trip Trekker Choice plans.

Both of these include a maximum benefit of up to $25,000 for claims resulting from downhill skiing and scuba diving at a depth of 20 meters or less.

3. April International

April International offers Sport and Leisure Benefits in their Premium Travel and Holiday Insurance plan for skiing, scuba diving, and more. This covers sport and leisure equipment, search and rescue expenses, hyperbaric chamber costs, and more.

4. VUMI

VUMI offers coverage for the treatment of injuries received during the training or practicing of hazardous hobbies and/or non-professional sports. This benefit has 100% UCR coverage in the following plans: Direct VIP, Access VIP, and Absolue VIP plans.

For VUMI’s Optimum VIP plan, the benefit includes US $100,000 per lifetime for polytrauma or severe burns.

UCR stands for payment that is usual, customary, and reasonable in the region where treatment is given.

5. MSH International

MSH International provides Special Risk Insurance that covers extreme sports and activities in high, medium, and low-risk locations.

Additional Extreme Sport Coverage Providers

Alpine Paraglider

Now we will discuss 7 additional providers who also offer extreme sports coverage.

Battleface

The Single Trip Discovery Plan by Battleface includes coverage for Adventure Activities up to $100,000 for medical emergency costs ($50,000 for residents of NH). A $50 deductible applies. This covers skiing, scuba diving, and hiking activities.

Travelex

The Travel Select plan by Travelex has an Adventure Sports Upgrade and an Additional Medical Coverage Upgrade.

Tin Leg

Tin Leg has an Adventure plan with its most comprehensive adventure sports coverage. It includes $500 of sports equipment delay coverage per person, sports fees covered in cancellation & interruption benefits, lost sports equipment, and basic sports and activities medical protection.

Tin Leg also has varying levels of extreme sports coverage in their Standard, Luxury, Silver, and Gold plans.

Seven Corners

Seven Corners’ Travel Medical Basic plan and Travel Medical Choice plan have an optional Adventure Activities add-on that offers coverage on sports such as bungee jumping, caving, and hang gliding up to the medical maximum for the travel insurance plan.

World Nomads

The Standard and Explorer plans by World Nomads cover over 200 adventure activities, including scuba diving, mountain biking, surfing, bungee jumping, and skiing. Benefits include protection for your sports gear up to USD $3,500 in the Explorer plan and USD $2,500 in the Standard plan.

Trawick International

Trawick International’s SafeTreker plan has coverage for 450+ sports and activities and includes sports equipment rental, search and rescue, and non-medical evacuation. It also has an option for Extreme Sport riders with up to $25,000 trip-only excess maximum for listed sports.

Atlas America and Atlas International

Atlas America’s travel medical insurance plan automatically covers adventure sports activities as long as the activity is not performed for professional gain, money, or prize.

Skier In Brown Jacket: Snow Ski Blade Trick.

This is a list of some of the most popular sports that need hazardous sports coverage while traveling:

  • MotoCross
  • Paragliding & Kitesurfing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Skydiving
  • Trekking
  • Surfing
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Caving
  • Hang Gliding
  • Kayaking
  • Motorcycle, Motor Scooter, and Electric Scooter Riding
  • Parachuting
  • Snowmobiling
  • Spelunking
  • Wakeboarding
  • Water skiing
  • Windsurfing
  • Zip lining

What Does a Travel Medical Insurance Plan Cover?

A travel medical insurance plan is designed to cover emergency medical expenses while traveling. The emphasis is usually on medical fee protection which is different from a travel insurance plan that is focused on travel expenses, such as canceled trips and lost baggage.

Man On Motocross Dirt Bike

Frequently Asked Questions

Does travel insurance cover extreme sports?

Most travel insurance plans exclude coverage for extreme sports, such as scuba diving, skiing, surfing, and mountain biking. If you plan to participate in a hazardous activity while traveling, getting a plan with an adventure sports rider that includes coverage for your activity is essential.

Is extreme sports insurance different from travel insurance?

Extreme sports insurance is not a stand-alone plan; instead, it is one benefit that can be included in or added to a travel insurance plan. Many travel insurance plans have exclusions for extreme sports, however, so you’ll need to carefully select a provider and plan that offers sports coverage.

What types of activities need adventure sports coverage?

Some activities that need adventure sports coverage because they are excluded from most travel medical benefits are MotoCross, Paragliding & Kitesurfing, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skydiving, Trekking, Surfing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Bungee Jumping, Caving, and Hang Gliding.

Is scuba diving considered an extreme sport?

Scuba diving is often considered an extreme sport in terms of medical insurance coverage for a travel insurance plan.

Are skiing and snowboarding considered an extreme sport?

Skiing and snowboarding are often considered extreme sports in terms of medical insurance coverage for a travel insurance plan.

Is skydiving considered an extreme sport?

Skydiving is often considered an extreme sport in terms of medical insurance coverage for a travel insurance plan.

Is motorscooter riding considered an extreme sport?

Motorscooter riding is often considered an extreme sport in terms of medical insurance coverage for a travel insurance plan.

What is the definition of an extreme sport?

An extreme sport is one where you are at risk of losing a life or limb if it goes wrong, even for the highest-skilled participant. Extreme sports require additional medical insurance coverage for travelers.

Conclusion

You’ve now learned all about adventure activities coverage, what to consider when picking the plan for you, and who is among the top 12 providers.

If you found value in this article, you’ll also want to read our articles Health Insurance in Australia: Navigating the System and Expat Insurance in Germany: Coverage for Expatriates.

To get a travel insurance quote go here, and to get a health insurance quote go here.

Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Serena Fung is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, a global insurance brokerage and employee specialist serving over 1.5 million clients in 15 offices across the world. With 2+ years of experience writing about the subject, she aims to demystify the world of insurance for readers with the latest updates, guides and articles on the blog.

Serena earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Canada. As such, she is an avid advocate of mental health and is fascinated by all things psychology (especially if it’s cognitive psychology!).

Her previous work experience includes teaching toddlers to read, writing for a travel/wellness online magazine, and then a business news blog. These combined experiences give her the skills and insights she needs to explain complex ideas in a succinct way. Being the daughter of an immigrant and a traveler herself, she is passionate about educating expats and digital nomads on travel and international health insurance.
Serena Fung