Planning to paraglide on your travels? Find travel insurance that covers you in flying colours
Paragliding or parasailing over a foreign land can be a visual experience like no other. However, before you fly up and away make sure your travel insurance covers for medical expenses if anything goes wrong.
How do I make sure I'm covered?
If your policy says it covers a range of sports including paragliding, it’s important to check if there are any conditions that affect when cover will apply. Conditions may include:
- You must be a passenger. You will need to be paragliding in tandem with a licensed instructor and be a passenger rather than in control of the aircraft.
- A licensed operator is required. The paragliding equipment and service must be provided by a licensed commercial operator.
- You may need to buy an extra sports option. You may need to take certain steps when taking out your policy, such as applying for cover over the phone or purchasing a special adventure sports pack.
- Understand what your policy covers. There is a difference between paragliding and parasailing and some travel insurance brands may only cover parasailing.
What is the difference between paragliding and parasailing?
|Paragliding is a flying sport where participants use their feet to launch a free-flying aircraft off a high cliff and experience the feeling of soaring through the sky like a bird. It’s often confused with the similarly named sport of parasailing, where participants are attached to a vehicle.||Parasailing is also a recreational flying sport, but the key difference is that participants are towed behind a vehicle, generally a boat. The vehicle generates the momentum needed to provide lift, and the participant is attached to a special type of parachute known as a parasail.|
If you’re thinking of paragliding or parasailing while on holiday, be aware that travel insurers apply different definitions of what constitutes paragliding and what constitutes parasailing. Check with your insurer to confirm whether you will be covered before you participate in either sport.
Top places to paraglide in the world
You won’t find many more spectacular places in the world to paraglide than the French Alps. Read the guide to travel insurance for France.
Ölüdeniz, Fethiye, Turkey
Taking off from the 2,000m high Mt Babadag and marvelling at the stunningly clear blue water below is one of the highlights at this great paragliding destination. Read the guide to travel insurance for Turkey.
Seiser Alm, Dolomites, Italy
These world famous rocky cliffs make for some pretty spectacular scenery and are best enjoyed from above. Read the guide to travel insurance for Italy.
Danyang, South Korea
This extremely popular site for paragliders and hang-gliders allows you the opportunity to soar over breathtaking mountains and valleys. Read the guide to travel insurance for Asia.
Castelluccio, Umbria, Italy
This high-altitude village lets paragliders take in the remarkable vista of colourful flowers that bloom in spring and summer.
Top places to parasail in the world
Denarau islands, Fiji
This part of Fiji offers one an amazing parasail experience along it's beautiful ocean. Read the guide to travel insurance for Fiji.
Key West is another one of Florida's parasailing hot spots, known for its captivating view of the sea. Read the guide to travel insurance for the USA.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town's mountainous yet coastal terrains make for a unique parasailing experience. Read the guide to travel insurance for South Africa.
Goa's famous Anjuna and Calangute beaches are known to attract parasailers from around the world. Read the guide to travel insurance for India.
Although parasailing is not ultra popular here, Patong beach offers cheap parasailing experiences with a great view. Read the guide to travel insurance for Thailand.
When won’t you be covered?
There are certain situations when you won’t be able to receive any cover from your travel insurer for paragliding or parasailing. Some of these are specific to the sport itself, including:
- No cover if you don’t satisfy all policy conditions, such as flying in tandem with a licensed instructor when you paraglide
- No cover unless you specifically arrange for the sport to be covered when arranging your policy
- No cover for personal liability while paragliding
- No cover if you operate the equipment
In other cases, you may not be covered for paragliding-related claims under some of the general exclusions of your policy, such as:
- If the insurer excludes paragliding from cover altogether
- If your claim arises because you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Make sure you read the fine print of your policy to work out when you will and will not be covered.
Am I covered for hang gliding?
Hang gliding is a similar activity to paragliding but the main difference is the design of the aircraft that makes it harder to control than paragliders. For this reason, many travel insurance policies will exclude hang gliding.
Paragliding and parasailing safety checklist
- Paragliding requires a high cliff for launching and the right conditions. Paragliders should never take off into winds over 25km/h unless they are highly trained and experienced. Paragliding should also never be undertaken in wet conditions.
- Life jackets if the vehicle is a boat. Life jackets are essential if the sport is being done over water.
- Route should have no obstructions. There should be no obstructions in the vehicle’s path.
- Wear a helmet. All paragliding and parasailing participants should wear a helmet to prevent injury.
- Research the provider. Before hiring a tandem glider pilot, do your research and make sure you will be taking to the air with someone you can trust. Find a licensed instructor with a licensed commercial paragliding provider. Ask the instructor how long they’ve been flying for, how many tandems they’ve done and what advice they can give to beginners. Watching them take off first is another good way to gauge their skills.