6 Things to Know About Travel Insurance for Extreme Sports and Outdoor Adventure Coverage (2023)

skydiving travel insurance for adventurers

We all know friends who are adrenaline junkies. Those who get kicks out of taking crazy risks and going on wild adventures all around the world. Heck, maybe you’re thinking: That’s me.

We all know how important travel insurance is, but if you’re planning a ski trip, scuba diving trip or something even crazier than that, then you need to know which travel insurance cover extreme sports and outdoor adventure.

Here are 6 things you need to pay attention to when buying any sort of adventure sports travel insurance.

Contents

      1. Best travel insurance for outdoor sports
      2. What are the common outdoor adventure exclusions for travel insurance?
      3. What are the common personal accident and personal liability exclusions?
      4. Which outdoor activities are usually excluded?
      5. How much do extreme sports riders cost?
      6. Do you need sports equipment coverage?
      7. Do you have sufficient emergency medical evacuation coverage?

1. Best travel insurance for outdoor sports

Planning your long-awaited trip overseas with your pals for scuba diving, rock climbing, skiing or snowboarding?

Remember to get travel insurance that covers your winter sports, water sports, or mountaineering and rock climbing (usually considered more dangerous).

When browsing travel insurance plans, you’ll realise that sports and adventure are usually split into 3 broad categories:

  • Leisure and recreational outdoor activities: Hot air balloon, scuba diving (up to 30m/40m, guided by licensed instructors, with PADI certification), skiing and snowboarding in resorts, hiking or trekking (up to 3,000m), jet ski, white water rafting, skydiving, paragliding, hang gliding, parachuting etc
  • Other more extreme sports: Bungee jumping, mountaineering, rock climbing (any climbing that involves ropes and equipment)
  • Competitions (not covered across all insurance companies except for Direct Asia): Marathons, ultra-marathons, biathlons, triathlons

This table is a general comparison. Click in to each travel insurance review to see the specific outdoor activities they cover:

Travel Insurance Leisure Outdoor Activities Bungee, Rock Climbing
FWD Travel Insurance Yes Yes
NTUC Travel Insurance Scuba diving (up t0 30m), ski, winter sports, hiking, trekking (below 4,000m) only Yes, but climbing only on man-made walls.
MSIG Travel Insurance Yes Yes, but rock climbing must be done harnessed and on man-made walls
Singlife Travel Insurance Buy rider No
DBS Chubb Travel Insurance Yes Yes, but rock climbing must be done harnessed and on man-made walls
Great Eastern Travel Insurance Yes Bungee jumping only
Sompo Travel Insurance Scuba diving (max 30m, with certification), trekking (below 3,500m) only Rock climbing only if done on man-made walls.
Etiqa Travel Insurance Yes Bungee jumping only
Direct Asia Travel Insurance Buy rider Buy rider
Citibank Travel Insurance (by AIG) Scuba diving (max 30m), trekking (below 3,000m), harnessed abseiling Organised, harnessed rock climbing
Tokio Marine Travel Insurance Yes Yes
UOB Travel Insurance Scuba diving only No
OCBC Travel Insurance Yes Bungee jumping only

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2. What are the common outdoor adventure exclusions for travel insurance?

Even if your travel insurance plan claims that it covers outdoor adventure and extreme sports, there will still be exclusions – aka activities that your insurance company is not willing to cover. Here are a few major examples:

  • Any professional competitions or sports in which you get paid, sponsored or receive any kind of financial reward
  • Any leisurely contact sport or MMA classes such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)
  • Mountaineering or rock climbing that involves ropes and climbing equipment, especially if it’s done unharnessed and outdoors on a wall that is not man-made
  • Expeditions to inaccessible, remote or previously unexplored places
  • Being the pilot or a crew member of an aircraft (except for your commercial flights eg. SQ)

You’ll be surprised that most marathons are not covered by travel insurance since there’s a grand prize you technically can win.

Now, you might say that you’re probably not going to do any of these sports. But between insurance companies, there are different standards as to what’s allowed, so always check your terms and conditions before you buy your travel insurance.

Lazy? Scroll up and you can read through our travel insurance reviews instead. We’ve scoured through policy wordings and terms and conditions for their outdoor adventure and extreme sports coverage.

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3. What are the common personal accident and personal liability exclusions?

While some travel insurance seems to have a comprehensive coverage, you have to make sure that the activity that you are doing is covered under Personal Accident or Personal Liability.

For instance, if you got the Singlife travel insurance and decided to buy the Adventurous Water Sports rider as well, you will be covered for all the usual scuba diving (up to 40m), white water rafting, kayaking, yachting, wakeboarding etc.

You’ll have to scroll to the end of your policy wording to check out the terms and conditions. Singlife travel insurance states that it covers you for:

  • accidental death and permanent disablement
  • emergency medical cover
  • personal liability

In other words, if you get seriously injured during any of these activities, your Singlife travel insurance will cover emergency medical costs, your death, and any damage you caused to the properties in that accident.

However, if you were to look at Etiqa travel insurance, you’ll see that the plan covers you for personal accidental death. When it comes to personal liability, some outdoor activities are excluded, such as:

  • vehicles
  • aircraft
  • watercraft
  • motorcycles, motor cars
  • boats

These are exactly the kind of activities where you’re more likely to suffer an accident. So don’t forget to check the fine print!

Tiq by Etiqa logo

Total Premium

S$37.20

40% OffTotal PremiumS$62
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most efficient claims for flight delay
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Travel Cancelation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$2,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$6240% Off
S$37.20
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[MoneySmart Exclusive]
  
• Enjoy 40% off your Single Trip policy premium and 60% off Covid-19 add-on for Annual Plans. T&Cs apply
• Additionally, receive 2,400 My Millennium Points (worth S$16) with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
  
[Etiqa's 10th Year 2024 Grand Draw]
Stand a chance to win S$10,000 cash or a Singapore Mint Lunar Dragon 1 gram 999.9 fine gold medallion (worth S$173) with eligible Etiqa/Tiq by Etiqa plans purchased. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024

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4. Which outdoor activities are usually excluded?

Some activities will be covered by your travel insurance, but only if it’s within a specific circumstance. Again, this is not being unrealistic. But it does mean you have to be careful that your activities don’t exceed the boundaries set by your travel insurance. These are examples of some activities which aren’t covered by your insurance:

  • Canoeing or white water rafting without a qualified guide or Grade 4 and above (of the International Scale of River Difficulty).
  • Off-piste skiing, or going off trail and skiing outside the officially approved boundaries of a ski resort.
  • Mountaineering beyond the height of 3,000 metres above sea level.
  • Underwater activities involving artificial breathing apparatus for diving deeper than 30 metres.

So while some of these activities are covered by certain travel insurance policies, they do have limits to their coverage. Be careful to stay within the stipulated boundaries.

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5. How much do extreme sports riders cost?

Some travel insurance companies require that you upgrade your travel insurance plan to include winter sports rider or outdoor adventurous activities riders. Although it might seem unfair to incur a steep increase in the premium price, do note that most of the time, this increases your coverage for other categories within the same plan as well.

How much do these winter sports and sports riders cost?

Currently, there are 2 travel insurance plans that require you to buy sports riders: Direct Asia travel insurance and Singlife travel insurance. The latter costs $8.89 per week for Adventurous Water Sports rider or $8.63 per week for Winter Sports rider

DirectAsia logo

Total Premium

S$26.25

40% OffTotal PremiumS$43.75
MoneySmart Exclusive
ALL EXPENSES PAID TRIP |Free coverage for children
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$200,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$43.7540% Off
S$26.25
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Win a Rolex, Dream Vacation & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
 
• Enjoy 40% off your policy premium and 2,400 My Millennium Points (worth S$16) with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$20 via PayNow with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.
 
BONUS: For a limited time only, stand a chance to score over S$10,000 worth of prizes in our Grand Draw.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
All Expenses Paid Trip
2D1N Staycation at any Millennium Hotels and Resorts and 15,000 My Millennium Points (worth up to S$550)
 
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today.
T&Cs apply.

Valid until 24 Apr 2024

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6. Do you need sports equipment coverage?

If you’re a hardcore skier or diver, then this section should not be news for you. If you have your own sporting equipment that you intend to bring on the trip, you have to be aware how much your travel insurance is covering you. When your gear can cost a few hundred dollars, you’ll definitely want to invest in a plan that will insure you don’t lose out if your gear is stolen or damaged.

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7. Do you have sufficient emergency medical evacuation coverage?

This is especially important if you’re planning to go scuba diving, hiking or skydiving. Since you’re most likely not going to be near any decent medical facilities should anything happen, you may need to get emergency medical evacuation.

Check to make sure your travel insurance policy covers you sufficiently for such an occasion. Where possible, choose policies that can give you at least $500,000 cover for medical evacuation, even if you end up paying a little more. Here are some that offer $500,000 or more:

Bubblegum logo

Total Premium

S$46.85

10% OffTotal PremiumS$52.05
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most fuss-free plan
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$150,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Personal Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$52.0510% Off
S$46.85
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Receive your cash as fast as 30 days*]
 
 Enjoy 10% off your policy premium and 2,400 My Millennium Points (worth S$16) with every policy purchased.
 Additionally, receive up to S$25 via PayNow with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Apr 2024
Apply NowApply directly on MoneySmart
MSIG logo

Total Premium

S$40.80

40% OffTotal PremiumS$68
MoneySmart Exclusive
ALL EXPENSES PAID TRIP | Most Comprehensive
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$250,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$6840% Off
S$40.80
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Win a Rolex, Dream Vacation & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
 
• Enjoy up to 40% off your policy premium and 2,400 My Millennium Points (worth S$16) with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$45 via PayNow OR 1 x Apple AirTag (worth S$45.40) with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.
 
BONUS: For a limited time only, stand a chance to score over S$10,000 worth of prizes in our Grand Draw.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
All Expenses Paid Trip
2D1N Staycation at any Millennium Hotels and Resorts and 15,000 My Millennium Points (worth up to S$550)
 
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today.
T&Cs apply.

Valid until 24 Apr 2024
AIG logo

Premium

S$83

Premium
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most Flexible Plan
Overseas Medical Expenses
S$1,000,000
Travel Cancelation / Postponement
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Personal Baggage
S$5,000
Premium
S$83
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Receive your cash as fast as 30 days*]
   
• Receive 2,400 My Millennium Points (worth S$16) with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$50 via PayNow with eligible premiums spent. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 24 Apr 2024

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Do you have any other suggestions for getting the best travel insurance for sports lovers? Share them with us.