Extreme Sports Travel Insurances: The Definitive Guide

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on March 30, 2020

You are crazy about extreme sports and you are about to plan extreme sports holidays to practice your favorite sport? You would like to find travel insurance that is tailored for your activity in case something goes wrong?

You’ve come at the right place.

In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about extreme sports travel insurance: what does it cover exactly, which policy you should go for, how much does it cost and other tips.

Stay tuned!

What is extreme sports travel insurance?

You are a big fan of adrenaline and love to take part in adventurous outdoor sports such canyoning or rock climbing?
You should definitely go for an extreme sport travel insurance.
An extreme sport holiday cover is not the same as a standard travel insurance as it will cover you for the specific activity you are doing, even if it is seen as a high risk activity. You will have to pay an inflated premium but will be covered if anything goes wrong while practicing your adventurous activity.

There are two ways to purchase extreme sport travel insurance:

  • you apply for a standard single or annual multi-trip policy and pay for an extreme sport cover add-on
  • you purchase a specific travel insurance for adventure sports.

Note that extreme sports are not always the same for every insurers. If everybody agrees to say that sports such as kitesurfing, canyoning, cliff diving, parasailing, horse jumping, rock-climbing are risky, some others like swimming with dolphins may not be seen as high risk activity by all insurers.

Why do you need travel insurance for extreme sports?

Getting travel insurance for your extreme sports trip is vital.

Just to show you how important applying for travel insurance is, here are a few examples of what an unfortunate and unexpected event might cost you during your extreme sports travel:

What you will need to pay without extreme sports travel insuranceWhat you will need to pay with extreme sports travel insurance
My parasailing equipment has been damaged during the flight£1500£0
I need to cancel my cliff diving trip because of bad weather conditions£5,000 - £10,000
(real cost of trip)
until trip cancellation limit is reached (check carefully cancellation reasons allowed)
I am stuck in the mountains and I need air rescue£3800£0
(if planned in policy)
I got injured while practicing extreme sport and need to stay at the hospital £30,000
(if not covered by European Health Insurance Card)
until medical expense limit is reached
Expenses you may face during your extreme sports holidays if not covered by travel insurance

Good to know

Depending on your destination, you may already have some financial assistance either with European Health Insurance Card (if your extreme sports trip is in Europe) or with healthcare cooperation systems between countries for example UK and Australia or New-Zealand. Note that your EHIC will only cover medical treatment in public hospital (you won't be covered for any air ambulance, surgery in private hospitals etc.). It can't be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.

Compare best extreme sports holiday insurance

To find the right cover for your extreme sports travel, you will need to explore the different options you have. You’ll have to answer a series of questions such as:

  • what exactly you’d like to get covered for
  • the length of your stay
  • the destination
  • how much are you planning to practice extreme sports etc.

We’ve came up with a non-exhaustive list of travel insurers that cover extreme sports breaks abroad as standard or as option:

InsurerPriceOur reviews
logo world first£30,09
  • Offer backpacker policies with great benefits for extreme sports
  • Need to pay extra fee for extreme sports practice
  • Possibility to apply 12 months in advance
  • UK- based customer service and claim team
  • Reimburse within 14 days
logo insure and go£38,86
  • A leader in providing all kinds of sport travel insurance plans
  • Extreme sports included in hazardous activies and submitted to a medical excess of £100
  • Personal accident cover and personal liability cover excluded
  • Cover for a maximum of 15 days
  • Extreme sports travel insurance not available for professionals
logo explorer travel insurance£39,82
  • Some extreme sports covered for an additional fee and medical excess increased up to £400
  • Personal accident cover and personal liability excluded for extreme sports activities
  • Standard compensation: £25000 personal accident, £10M medical, £2M personal liability
  • Only covers recreational sports (professional practice of a sport is not covered)
  • Dedicated customer service according to reviews
Extreme sports travel insurances comparison

Prices above are for a 7 days single trip to Europe with extreme sports cover for a 30 years old people.

What does extreme sports travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for extreme sports holidays should include:

  • specific cover for your sport activity
  • must-have features you need in any travel insurance.

Good to know

If extreme sports is included as standard in your travel insurance policy, carefully check limits and excess amounts that you will get / need to pay in case of claim.

Specific extreme sports cover that you could get

Travel insurances for people practicing extreme sports usually include:

Extreme sports cover optionsAverage amount
Extreme sports equipment damagedDepends on personal belongings cover
Any injuries made to yourself while practicing extreme sportsDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions
Extreme sport trip cancellationDepends on trip cancellation cover terms and conditions
Medical evacuation in moutainsDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions
Non-refundable extreme sports lessons from an experienced guideDepends on trip interruption cover terms and conditions
Specific cover for extreme sports travel insurance

Watch out!

Note that if you injure someone else during your sport practice, you may not be covered unless it is clearly mentioned in your policy booklet.

Must-have features your extreme sports travel insurance should cover

CompensationAverage amountGood to know
Medical expensesFrom £5M to £10M
(depending on your medical situation and your destination)
  • Injury due to my sport practice included
  • Stays in private hospitals included
  • Pay for medical fees upfront
  • Accompanying person fees (extra travel, accomodation, car rental)
  • 24/7 free-of-charge and UK-based assistance landline available
  • Overseas assistance
RepatriationReal fees
  • Transportation mode included (by alternative schedule flight or by air ambulance)
  • Repatriation under the supervision of a nurse or a doctor
Trip cancellation / curtailment£5000 – £10000
(depending on your destination)
  • As standard or as option
  • List of valid reasons for cancellation (e.g. extreme sports competition postponed)
Baggage or personal belongingsMinimum of £1500 limit
  • Valid for return transportation or entire stay
  • Receipts of belongings needed
  • Limit by valuable item
  • Sport equipment (extreme sport equipment) covered as standard or as option
Missed departure, delay Minimum £500 limit (minimum £200 limit for delay)
  • All justified reasons to qualify for compensation?
  • Number of hours of delay to qualify for compensation
Personal liabilityAverage £2 million limit
  • Limit by article or valuable
  • Don’t focus on overall limit only
Legal expensesAverage £15000 limit
  • Lawyer appointment fees included
Must-have features of travel insurance

Watch out!

Always carefully check the age limit and compensation amounts as well as deductibles you’ll have to pay in case you need to make a claim. For medical expenses, always get your insurer to accept them before paying if you need to advance fees.

As nice-to-have features, you may want to get in addition to your extreme sports travel insurance included features:

  • business trip insurance
  • emergency dental treatment
  • loss of passport or documentation
  • gadget cover
  • Schedule Airline Failure (at least £1500)
  • money and cash cover.

Can I get extreme sports travel cover if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

Of course you can.

The best option would be to purchase a pre-existing medical condition travel insurance tailored for your holidays, and add a extreme sports cover option if not included as standard.

Watch out!

If you purchase extreme sports travel insurance or any other insurance without disclosing your medical condition, that is called “fronting”. Your claim can be invalidated by your insurer, such as your entire travel insurance policy.

Can extreme sports travel insurance be included if I purchase an annual multi-trip or a single trip policy?

Short answer: yes, it can be.

Extreme sports, as many other sports, can be included as standard or purchase as extras on both single and annual multi-trip travel insurance policies.

You will need to specifically dig into insurers policy booklets to see which activities are covered as standard.

As a reminder:

Travel insurance typeExplanation
Single trip insuranceThese travel insurance policies are for one-off holidays.
You will be covered from the start of the journey until the end.
You can decide the number of days you want to be covered for.
Annual multi-trip insuranceThese policies are made for frequent people practicing extreme sports going away for extreme sports holidays several times a year.
You would need to check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.
Types of extreme sports travel insurance policies

Do I need to buy specific extreme sports travel insurance?

It depends on the travel insurance policy you purchased. This will be clearly outlined in your policy booklet.

If you haven’t bought your extreme sports travel cover yet, we would advise you to go for an insurer providing specific cover for extreme sports equipment, competition etc. either as standard or as full option for an extra fee.

How much does extreme sports travel insurance cost?

You will find below indicate travel insurance price including extreme sports cover:

Age rangeSingle trip to Europe*Annual multi-trip to Europe
18 - 35£25,16£70,10
36 - 54£34,45£34,45
Extreme sports travel insurance price

*Quotes above are for a 7 days extreme sports holidays.

It is, however, quite difficult to give precise ranges of how much a travel insurance will cost for you as prices are based on a wide range of criteria. It will mainly depend on:

  • How often will you practice extreme sports
  • If you are going on single extreme sports trip or annual multi_trips
  • If you purchase other upgrades in addition to your extreme sports cover such as gadget cover
  • If your teen has pre-existing medical conditions
  • The duration and destination of your stay
  • The financial limits you’d like to get in case of a claim
  • The excess amount you’re willing to pay.

What else should I check before purchasing my extreme sports travel cover?

While shopping around for sport_name holiday insurance, always pay attention to:

  • The compensation amounts you will get for each claim (especially personal belongings compensation limit if extreme sports is included as standard in your policy)
  • The deductible amounts you’ll have to pay in case of claim (don't forget that extreme sports or hazardous activities lovers often need to pay extra medical excess if they got injured whilst practicing their sport) - opt for excess waiver cover if you are practicing adventurous sports
  • The exclusions you may have in your policy
  • The claim process (100% online? How many days do you have to make a claim?)
  • The maximum duration of each trip included as standard (at least 31 days)
  • The upper age limit (if you are a senior travelling).
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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms.

As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.