If you're an extreme sports enthusiast, or you want a bit of adventure on your holiday, be sure to double check your travel insurance before you head off.
Thrills not spills on holiday
You don't have to be a base jumper or an ice climber to be a fan of extreme sports. Many popular activities, such as scuba diving, snowboarding and mountain biking are also considered 'extreme'.
Whether you're a novice or an expert at your chosen sport, you'll know there's a risk involved. After all, that's part of the thrill. But accidents do happen, so go prepared with travel insurance that suits the activities you plan on doing.
There are some sports that you may consider mainstream, but your travel insurance company will consider extreme.
Travel insurance is not one size fits all
Things to think about before you go
What extreme sports are you doing?
There are some sports you may consider mainstream, but your travel insurance company will consider extreme. For example, trekking or hiking is not usually considered an extreme sport or an adventure activity if you're below 2,500 metres. But above this height, you may need to enhance your cover. And if you're trekking above 6,000 metres, you'll probably need specialist insurance, although these limits may vary depending on the insurer.
Also, if you plan to kayak, windsurf and parasail during your holiday, check that all activities are covered. Some water sports are only covered if you're within a certain distance of the shore. There may also be exclusions if a qualified instructor doesn't supervise your activity.
And be mindful of spontaneous decisions to bungee jump or go zorbing for example. Even if the activity organiser offers you their insurance, check if you have your own extreme sports cover. If in doubt, call your insurance provider to check.
What does your policy cover?
The main reason for taking out travel insurance is to make sure you can pay for medical treatment if you have an accident when you're taking part in an extreme sport.
Part of the appeal of extreme sports is that they're often more of a risk than your everyday activities. While you accept a few bumps and scrapes playing footie, if you get into difficulties 30 metres down when scuba diving, the consequences can be life changing.
Your travel insurance policy needs to cover a high level of emergency medical care, including repatriation in an air ambulance if you can't travel on a regular flight.
If you plan to take part in any winter sports, you can get additional cover that allows you to ski or snowboard as long as you follow certain rules. For example, LV= allow skiing and snowboarding off piste, as long as you stay within the ski area boundaries of the ski resort.
Is your kit covered?
Not all travel insurance companies include cover for baggage and personal belongings automatically.
Ski equipment, climbing kit, sailboards and surfboards can cost hundreds of pounds. If your kit gets stolen or damaged, you want to know you can claim for it and if necessary, cover the cost of having to hire a replacement while you're on holiday.
Check the level of cover you have is enough to pay for replacing all your kit, as insurance companies will often impose an overall limit. Also, check whether your sports equipment is covered whilst in use.
At LV= we provide an overall limit for baggage which is £2,000 on our Essential policy and £3,000 on our Premier policy. There is a single item limit of £300 on Essential and £500 on Premier. The total valuables limit is £300 on Essential and £500 on Premier.
What about personal liability?
With extreme sports, check if you have personal liability insurance for those activities. Be aware though that activities involving motorised vehicles will usually be excluded from this type of insurance