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Extreme sports travel insurance

Everything you need to know about extreme travel insurance

Collette Shackleton
Written by  Collette Shackleton
Saarrah Mussa
Reviewed by  Saarrah Mussa
5 min read
Updated: 27 Mar 2024

Looking to take part in extreme sports while you're on holiday? Standard travel insurance may not cover activities such as sky diving or rock climbing. Find out everything you need to know about extreme sports travel insurance in this guide.

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What is extreme sports travel insurance?

Extreme sports travel insurance is essential for adrenaline junkies who love to take part in heart-racing activities such as sky diving or rock climbing.

However, most standard travel insurance policies won't provide the cover you need to protect yourself when taking part in these activities.

There are hundreds of activities and sports that are considered extreme by insurance providers, so if you have any doubts, check your policy before you commit to anything or start making travel plans.

Once you find the right travel insurance for your extreme sport or activity, you can set off on your trip having full peace of mind that you're completely covered.

What activities are labelled as extreme sports by insurance companies?

Each insurance provider has its own definition of what is classed as extreme, which is why it's so important to check that your planned activity is covered.

Here are some activities that most travel insurance providers consider extreme:

  • Assault courses

  • Bungee jumping

  • Canyoning and gorge walking

  • Hang gliding

  • Kite surfing

  • Mountain biking

  • Quad biking

  • Rock climbing

  • Sea kayaking

  • Shark diving

  • White water or black water rafting

  • Sky diving

  • Paragliding

For some sports and activities, it all depends on the risk level. For example:

  • Canoeing or kayaking on rivers classed above or certain grade

  • Yachting outside of territorial waters

  • Scuba diving below a certain depth

And hiking above a certain altitude are all considered extreme.

It might even surprise you to learn that activities such as swimming with dolphins, horse riding, inflatable water rides, and even rugby may be considered extreme by certain travel insurance providers.

Activities that aren’t covered by your policy can be negotiated with your provider by contacting them directly. If no cover is available, you may need to find specialist cover.

Certain sports that require specific cover include golf, water sports, and winter sports.

What is included in extreme sports holiday insurance?

Most extreme sports travel insurance policies will cover:

  • Medical expenses: including the cost of medical treatment and hospital bills if you’re injured or fall sick. You're also covered for ambulance or air ambulance fees

  • Repatriation: covers the cost of getting you home safe if necessary, or if you miss your flight after receiving hospital treatment

  • Holiday cancellation: offers protection if you need to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen circumstance such as an injury or illness

  • Missed flights and connections: if you miss a flight or connection in circumstances out of your control, such as extreme weather or public transport delays

  • Loss and theft: this will cover you if you lose your baggage or if your possessions are stolen

  • Personal liability: covers the cost of compensation if you injure someone else, or damage or lose their property

  • Personal injury: if you have an accident on your trip that leaves you permanently disabled, you will receive a lump-sum payment

Most policies also offer COVID-19 related disruptions.

What to do if you're unsure about the activities you'll be doing whilst on holiday?

It's perfectly understandable that you might not always plan activities in advance, and may wish to spontaneously take part in sky diving or rock climbing whilst you're away.

In this instance, it's highly recommended that you take your policy documents with you or have them readily accessible on your phone. This way, you can check if the activity is on the list.

If you discover this isn't included on your policy, get in touch with your insurance provider to see if you can add it or buy additional standalone insurance on the day.

It is strongly advised that you do not take part in any activity without the right insurance in place.

Can I get extreme sports travel insurance if I have a health condition?

It is possible to get extreme sports travel insurance with a health condition. However, it's likely to be more expensive if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, as you may need to go with a specialist provider.

It's crucial you disclose any condition when taking out travel insurance. Lying means your claim will be rejected if you need to make one.

Comparing travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions on the MoneySuperMarket website means we'll only show you quotes from providers who will cover you, with no exclusions.

Is off-piste skiing covered by winter sports insurance?

Some providers offer cover for off-piste skiing within a resort, whereas others won't cover it whatsoever. As always, it's best to check your policy wording and shop around to find the best type of winter sports cover.

Is travel insurance necessary if you have a GHIC or EHIC card?

Yes, travel insurance is recommended in addition to GHIC or EHIC. GHIC or EHIC provide access to public medical treatment in the EU, but don't cover private medical costs, mountain rescue, stolen luggage, cancellation, or repatriation .

Because of this, they should not be considered an alternative to travel insurance.

What should you consider before getting extreme sports travel insurance?

Similar to any form of insurance, there are specific terms that apply to your extreme sports travel insurance. For example, your cover isn't valid if:

  • You don't follow the safety instructions

  • You're under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • You have behaved dangerously or recklessly

Some policies only offer insurance when there is an instructor present, while others have a medical excess for certain activities.

Make sure you check your policy documents and understand any exclusions and limitations before you undertake any extreme sports or activities.

Are some activities too risky for travel insurance coverage?

Activities like base jumping, wing-suiting, and free solo climbing are often considered too risky and may not be covered. Specialised policies might be needed for high-risk sports like mountaineering, caving, or ice-climbing.

Which insurance providers offer extreme sports travel insurance?

Many major travel insurance providers offer adventure sports travel insurance, including specialised extreme sports insurance.

It's also worth looking at your existing travel insurance policy, as extra coverage can be added for specific activities. As always, it pays to compare different policies to ensure you find the best coverage and prices to suit your needs.

Why compare travel insurance with MoneySuperMarket?

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