Compare Adventure Travel Insurance Policies

What Exactly is Adventure Travel Insurance?

When you’re tearing down the slopes of Whistler, the last thing you want running through the back of your mind is, “Uhhh, am I insured for this?” Don’t leave your mind wandering when you’re supposed to be enjoying the moment. Taking out an adventure travel insurance policy will ensure that your mind is right where it needs to be — focused on enjoyment.

So, what is classed as adventure travel?

Not all insurers cover adventure sports. While you may be covered for an activity such as abseiling with a travel insurance company on their comprehensive policy, you may not be with their basics option. The devil is in the details.

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Who covers adventure travel?

What is covered will vary with each travel insurance brand. Below is an overview of what you can expect covered.

Adventure Travel Insurance with 1Cover

  • Surfing
  • Bungee jumping
  • Water-rafting
  • Black water rafting
  • Zorbing
  • Parasailing
  • Scuba diving
  • River rafting
  • Canoeing
  • Jet boating
  • Kayaking
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice fishing
  • Sleigh rides
  • Backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Trekking
  • Go-karting
  • Rock climbing (indoors)
  • Moped biking
  • Motorbike riding
  • Mountain bike riding
  • BASE jumping

Adventure Travel Insurance with AIG

  • Snow skiing
  • Bungee jumping
  • Para-sailing
  • Water skiing
  • White water rafting
  • Trekking
  • Cycling
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Sky diving
  • BASE jumping
  • Rock climbing
  • Hunting
  • Racing other than on foot
  • Polo
  • Professional sport
  • Mountaineering or rock climbing using ropes or climbing equipment (other than hiking)
  • Pot holing
  • Travelling in international waters in a private sail vessel or privately registered sail vessel

Adventure Travel Insurance with Budget Direct

  • White or black water rafting, canoeing or kayaking (grade 5 or higher not covered)
  • Rock climbing (Indoor and harnessed)
  • Sky diving

Adventure Travel Insurance with Columbus Direct

  • Rafting involving white water rapids grades 4 and 5 is covered provided you have paid the additional Sports/Leisure Activities Pack premium
  • Rafting involving white water rapids grades 1, 2 and 3 is covered without the need to pay for the additional premium
  • Sky diving is not covered
  • Rock climbing

Adventure Travel Insurance with CoverMore

  • Skydiving is covered under all plans
  • White Water Rafting is covered under all plans
  • Rock climbing using ropes, rock climbing equipment or oxygen

Adventure Travel Insurance with Go Insurance

  • White/Black Water Rafting or Canoeing (to Category 3 and with a licensed commercial operator)
  • Rock climbing
  • Contact sports
  • Motor sports
  • Hunting
  • Pot-holing or caving
  • Rodeo
  • Hang gliding
  • Paraponting/parapenting
  • Microlight flying
  • BASE jumping
  • Skydiving
  • High diving
  • Mountaineering

Adventure Travel Insurance with InsureandGo

  • 90+ sports and adventure activities
  • Skydiving
  • Bungee jumping
  • Kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Rafting - white or black water (grade 1,2,3 and 4 rapids)
  • Rafting - white or black water (grade 5 or higher)
  • Rock Climbing (Indoor and harnessed)
  • Rock Climbing (outdoor)
  • Skydiving

Adventure Travel Insurance with Travel Insuranz

  • Sky Diving - Tandem (Provided by a licensed commercial operator)
  • Rock Climbing (indoor)
  • White Water Canoeing / Rafting (up to Grade 4)

Adventure Travel Insurance with Virgin Money

  • Outdoor rock climbing
  • Sky diving
  • White water rafting

Adventure Travel Insurance with YouGo

  • Skydiving
  • White water rafting
  • Rock climbing using ropes and equipment

Compare sport activities by travel insurance brand

What to look for When Choosing a Policy

When you’re taking out an adventure travel insurance policy, it is important compare the different policies available. For instance, if you are booking a ski holiday and plan on going off-piste, only a handful of policies will cover you. This is why reading your policy document is so important. When choosing a policy you should take into account the following:

    • What is included? Go through the inclusion and limits of the policy document. Have a look at what is included and also to what extent. Some policies will set limits on how much cover they will provide you with.
    • What is excluded? This is the nitty gritty of the policy document. Don’t be bamboozled by the insurance talk or by the dryness of the content, this is the most important step in choosing a policy. Work out whether or not you are covered for the activities you plan on participating in.
  • Will they require proof? This will differ between providers, which is why you will need to check before you take out a policy. Your provider may want to see receipts if you are trying to claim for damaged equipment, or detailed medical records. Being able to produce these items will help to expedite your claim in most cases, so even if it is not a requirement by your provider, keep detailed records.
  • Premium or excess? Some providers will allow you to pay a lower premium if you choose to pay a higher excess. In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar, “IT’S A TRAP!” While this may save you a few dollars in the beginning, you could be leaving your future self with a massive excess to pay should something go wrong. Play it safe and pay the higher premium.
  • How do you contact your provider? This is a crucial consideration when it comes to choosing your provider. Just say something does go wrong, you will want to have an adventure travel insurance provider who you can contact 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world.

What does Adventure Travel Insurance Cover?

Depending on your policy and provider you will be able to take out cover for activities including:

  • abseiling
  • backpacking
  • biking
  • black/white water rafting
  • bungee jumping
  • camping
  • caving or potholing
  • deep sea fishing
  • hang gliding
  • horse riding
  • hot air ballooning
  • kitesurfing
  • river rafting
  • sea kayaking
  • scuba diving
  • sky diving
  • wakeboarding or waterskiing
  • winter sports.

If you plan on riding a moped or motorcycle you may need to take out additional cover as these are considered to be high risk activities. Each policy is different but in general you will be able to get cover if:

  • you are not participating in a race
  • you are wearing a helmet
  • you hold a valid license
  • the engine capacity is at or lower than a predetermined amount.

Winter Sports Insurance

Sample ImageDon’t just think that because you have taken out a travel insurance policy that you will be covered if you are planning on participating in a winter sport. In fact, most travel insurance policies will have hidden away in their exclusions statements a clause about skiing, snowboarding and other winter activities. So don’t get stung. Winter sports insurance covers a whole range of activities including:

  • Skiing. Depending on your policy you can be covered for all manners of skiing such as recreation skiing and ski racing, mono skiing, heli skiing, cross country skiing, glacier skiing, cat skiing, off piste skiing and big foot skiing.
  • Other activities. Other winter sports covered include the luge, snowmobiling, no-competitive ice hockey, snowboarding and ice skating.

Find out about winter sports insurance

Adventure Travel General Exclusions

As mentioned earlier, the general exclusions is the section where you take particular care when choosing a policy. Common exclusions include:

  • Luggage and personal belongings. If you’re heading off on an adventure holiday, chances are you will have a lot of expensive gear and accessories. It is important to check whether you will be covered for these items or if you will need to take out additional cover. Items such as snowboards and skis can be pricey to replace so make sure you have the right protection.
  • War. War as an umbrella term covers all manner of insurrection, civil unrest, terrorism, revolt and revolution. You will find that most policies will be void in the event of war.
  • Underwater. If your claim is the direct result of you diving underwater while using an artificial breathing apparatus, and you are not licensed to do so, it may result in your policy being void.
  • Air supported transport. If your claim is the result of your travel in an air supported device in any capacity other than that of as a passenger, your policy may be rescinded.

How is My Premium Calculated

How your premium will be calculated depends upon a number of variables. Considerations your insurer will make when it comes time to calculating your premiums include:

  • Types of activities. Your insurer will assess the level of risk associated with whatever activities you are planning on participating in — the higher the risk they attach to your nominated activity, the higher the premium.
  • Age. It’s a good idea to check out whether there are any stipulations surrounding the age of the policy holder. This extends to whether your children will be covered by your policy or whether you need to take out specific cover because you are over 65 years of age.
  • General health and fitness. Like most insurance policies, your general health and wellbeing may be a factor in determining your premium. This is especially true when it comes to adventure sports as poor health can pose serious concerns.
  • Pre-existing conditions. Just like with general health and fitness, pre-existing conditions are a major factor when it comes to travel insurance premiums and how they are calculated.
  • Region. A lot of policies will stipulate that you need to take heed of any travel advisories made by the
    Australian Government. If you are travelling to a high risk area you may need to purchase additional cover, which will in turn affect how much you are paying for your premiums.
  • Type of cover.
    • Single-person or multi person: Whether you are planning on taking out cover for just yourself or for a group will greatly impact how much you are paying for your premium.
    • Single trip or annual multi trip: If you are a serious adrenaline junkie and are planning multiple adventure holidays throughout the year, then you may want to consider taking out an annual multi trip policy as it will save you in premiums in the long run. However, if it is just a one off trip the a single trip policy is for you.
  • Additional cover. If you are planning to participate in any activity that is not explicitly mentioned in the policy document, check with the insurer to see if they will cover it. Generally, your insurer will allow you to purchase additional cover but this will affect how much you are paying for your premiums.

Danger of Being Under Insured

Being under insured is like trying to remove snow from your skis by bashing them together while you’re on the chair lift … sure you may get away with it but sooner or later one will fall off and you’ll be stranded.

Being underinsured can happen for various reasons, the most common being because of costs. A lot of the time, travellers looking to save some cash go for a basic cover option without reading the fine print. If you are planning on participating in any kind of adventurous sport while you’re away, chances are you won’t be covered. So, not only are you wasting money on a useless policy but you are opening yourself up to a multitude of potentially costly risks.

It’s also advisable to check the limits of the policy. If you are skiing or snowboarding, you should check to see how much you will be covered for if your board is damaged or lost while in transit. It’s best to go with a comprehensive policy as the limits it these situations are far higher.

Apply for Adventure Travel Insurance

No matter if you are planning of jumping out of a plane, summiting a mountain or skiing down the side of one, you need to make sure your adventure has the right protection. Comparing the different adventure travel insurance policies available will help you to find the right cover and ensure your trip is an adventure rather than a misadventure.

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Find out more about specific sports travel insurance cover

Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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2 Responses to Compare Adventure Travel Insurance Policies

  1. Default Gravatar
    john | December 20, 2014

    Going over to London to compete in Taekwon Do world championships. Want travel insurance and cover for the competition. What do you suggest ?

    • Staff
      Shirley | December 29, 2014

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that we don’t recommend specific products, services or providers. If you’d like, we have a guide on sports travel insurance that you may be interested in to have a look at your options.


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