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Travel insurance for extreme sports holidays

Make the most of your holiday with the right extreme sports cover

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 well-known sports, such as scuba diving, snowboarding and mountain biking are also considered 'extreme'.

Whether you're a novice or an expert at your chosen extreme sport, you'll know there's a risk involved. After all, that's part of the thrill. But accidents do happen, particularly when the sport gets riskier; so go prepared with the right travel insurance that suits your needs.

Travel insurance is not one size fits all

Different insurance companies include or exclude different extreme sports and adventure activities, depending on how they perceive the risk of the activity. So it's very important that before you head off on your extreme sport holiday, you check the small print.

There are some sports that you may consider mainstream, but your travel insurance company will consider extreme.

Things to think about before you go

What extreme sports are you doing?

There are some sports that 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, makes sure 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 good 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 sports. Whilst you accept a few bumps and scrapes playing footie, if you get in to 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're going skiing or snowboarding whilst you're on holiday make sure you add winter sports cover to your LV= travel insurance. We'll also cover expenses for mountain search and rescue services if you're injured or lost whilst doing a winter sport.

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 belonging 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 whilst you're on holiday.

Be sure to check that the level of cover 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 and valuables cover of £2,000 for the essential policy, the limit for a single item is £300. With the premier policy the baggage and valuables limit is set at £3,000 and £500 for a single item.

What about personal liability?

If you cause an accident that ends up with someone being hurt or property damaged, you could find yourself liable for the cost of putting things right.

With extreme sports, we highly recommend that you make sure 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.

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