Choosing the Right Travel Insurance for Adventure Sports


Ru Chen

- Updated June 13, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Travelers engaging in adventure sports need specialized insurance
  • Insurance can cover injuries, medical evac, and liability costs
  • Choosing the right policy can save travelers thousands of dollars
  • Adventure sports include skydiving, kayaking, scuba diving, and more
Choosing the Right Travel Insurance for Adventure Sports

Bungee jumping, paragliding, and rafting are just examples of adventure sports. Many people enjoy participating in adventure sports while traveling. However, because extreme sports come with high chances of injuries, they are excluded from the standard travel insurance policy.

This guide goes over how to secure travel insurance for adventure sports, what add-ons to consider, and how policy limits can affect your coverage.


Understanding the Basics of Travel Insurance for Adventure Sports

Travel insurance providers consider some activities too high-risk to be covered by the standard travel insurance policy. This means that if you want adventure sports-related expenses to be covered by travel insurance, you may need specialized insurance.

Limitations in standard travel insurance policies

The typical travel insurance policy covers trip cancellations, lost baggage, and emergency medical expenses. However, injuries and incidents that arise from adventure sports will often be excluded. For example, if you break a bone while rafting, the standard travel insurance policy will not accept your claim for emergency medical expenses.

The gap in insurance leaves travelers vulnerable to significant out-of-pocket medical expenses in case of an adventure sports accident. Because of this, it is highly recommended for thrill-seeking travelers to obtain specialized travel insurance for adventure sports.

Why choose adventure sports travel insurance?

Adventure sports travel insurance can cover a significant portion of urgent medical expenses in case of a high-risk activity accident.

Let’s take a look at the average costs of emergency medical expenses without insurance.

  • Wound repair – $600 to $4,000
  • Broken arm – $16,000
  • Broken leg – $17,000 to $35,000
  • X-rays – Up to $1,000
  • Medical evacuation – $70,000 to $100,000+
  • Amputation – Up to $70,000

With insurance, you may only need to pay up to the deductible of the plan. This could mean reducing your medical expenses to only a few thousand dollars, which can mean a world of difference to your financial stability.

Adventure sports travel insurance also offers valuable peace of mind to travelers who might be stressed about the potential risks. No one enjoys traveling and adventuring with the worries of financial security looming over their heads. Travel insurance can reduce your stress by adding a solid layer of financial protection as you engage in high-risk activities. Whether it’s skydiving or river rafting, the right insurance policy can go a long way in alleviating financial concerns.

Types of Adventure Sports Covered by Insurance

Adventure sports can give an adrenaline rush like no other, making them popular for travelers looking to have fun. Examples of adventure sports include:

  • Bungee jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Mountaineering
  • Paragliding
  • Scuba diving
  • Jet skiing
  • Kayaking
  • Ziplining
  • White water rafting
  • Skiing and snowboarding

What do insurance providers consider?

When underwriting policies for adventure sports, insurance providers need to assess a variety of factors. These include:

Levels of risk: The danger level of an activity or sport will need to be assessed before an insurance provider can decide whether they insure that specific activity. Some activities may have less oversight, safety measures, and regulations. This leads travel insurance providers to charge higher fees for coverage, if they do decide to offer coverage for that activity at all.

Injury potential: The types of injuries that are associated with an extreme sport or hazardous activity will affect the treatment costs. Travel insurance companies need to consider the injury potential of activities when deciding the scope of coverage, limitations, and travel insurance costs.

Coverage type: Adventure sports insurance coverage can be purchased with additional travel insurance options, such as accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance and repatriation coverage. Your policy price can vary depending on the scope of coverage provided by the policy.

What to Look for in Adventure Sports Travel Insurance

Travelers and extreme sports enthusiasts should take note of essential elements when choosing travel insurance. Here are the key features of an adequate adventure sports travel insurance policy.

Medical coverage

Your travel medical insurance needs to have inclusions for adventure sports injuries. The insurance provider will designate a list of what types of injuries are not covered. Be sure that your insurance policy covers the type of high-risk activities that you’re planning on participating in.

Ideally, your travel medical coverage should also come with high coverage limits, emergency evacuation, and hospital stay coverage.

Equipment coverage

Some extreme sports require you to use equipment. For example, you might bring your own snowboard to the mountain for snowboarding. Unfortunately, sports equipment can easily get lost, damaged, or stolen, especially when traveling.

Travel insurance can cover equipment that you bring with you on your trip.

Personal liability

When enjoying a high-risk activity, there is a chance of accidentally injuring someone else or damaging property. This may result in someone filing a liability claim against you. This is where personal liability insurance can protect you from serious expenses.

Experts tend to recommend a personal liability coverage limit of at least $100,000 for bodily injuries per person and $300,000 per accident. This $100,000/$300,000 personal liability coverage is typically adequate insurance.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is essentially life insurance. Since adventure sports do come with serious risks, it is important to consider the possibility of death and dismemberment in the worst cases. AD&D insurance would let you name beneficiaries that would receive the insurance payout.

AD&D insurance could be helpful if you do not already carry life insurance, or if you find additional insurance beneficial.

Medical evacuation, repatriation, and return of mortal remains

Many travelers are caught off guard by the high expenses associated with medical evacuations and transportation. Here are some additional types of coverage you may want for your travel insurance policy.

Medical evacuation: Covers transportation costs for emergency medical treatment, such as air ambulance fees. Air transport can cost over $100,000 without insurance, depending on your destination.

Repatriation: In case of a severe injury that requires you to be returned to your home country for care, repatriation coverage can cover the transportation fees to bring you back home.

Return of remains: In the case of death due to adventure sports, the costs of returning remains can be significant. This type of coverage can reduce the financial burden and stress of loved ones in the unfortunate case of death while traveling.


Coverage limits, types, and recommendations can vary by sport and your trip destination. Before purchasing travel insurance and liability insurance, it’s a good idea to research the risks that are associated with your sport and destination.


Comparing Providers and Policies

How to effectively compare travel insurance policies

Travelers who are about to engage in high-risk adventure sports abroad should take the time to compare different travel insurance policies before committing to a plan. Here are the key factors to compare when shopping for travel insurance for adventure sports.

Inclusions: The number one deciding factor is whether your travel insurance policy covers your desired high-risk activity. If you aren’t completely sure of your travel itinerary yet, it’s advisable to do early research about your destination to see what activities you might partake in.

Liability coverage: Consider your risk tolerance to see whether you want personal liability coverage. This covers expenses in case you get into an accident involving third-party bodily injuries and property damage.

The importance of reading the fine print regarding adventure sports coverage

As with all types of insurance, read the fine print of your insurance policy beforehand. There may be important exclusions and requirements that are relevant to your adventure sports activities. Certain activities and acts may exclude you from travel insurance coverage.

For example, your travel insurance policy may include a clause that excludes claims from being accepted in the associated activities involve drug use.

Helpful tools and resources

Travelers can use travel insurance agencies and expert reviews to better determine what policy suits their needs. For example, you can use TravelInsurance.com to easily compare quotes for both international and domestic travel insurance.

Additional Considerations and Costs

Insuring high-risk activities often comes with a higher travel insurance cost. Coverage can cost from $50 to well over $200 depending on what plan you choose.

Remember, medical coverage isn’t the only type of travel insurance to consider for adventure sports. You might also want coverage for equipment loss, personal liability, and lost baggage. Trip cancellation can also help you reimburse hotel and travel costs in case your trip is canceled for a covered reason.

Local regulations, restrictions, and waivers

Before obtaining insurance or even paying for your flight, it’s a good idea to look into local regulations and restrictions. If you have your heart set on a certain activity, like bungee jumping or scuba diving, be aware of any local rules that may affect your insurance coverage, experience, or ability to file lawsuits.

Often when partaking in a high-risk activity, you may be required to sign a waiver. Liability waivers would bar you from filing certain claims against the sport organizer, including negligence. In this case, you may face substantially higher financial risks when engaging in the activity. Consider obtaining extra adventure sports insurance to mitigate this risk.

Steps to Purchase the Right Policy

1. List out potential high-risk activities

The first step to buying the right travel insurance for adventure sports is to know what your plan is. What are the potential high-risk activities that you are interested in joining while on your trip? This list will tell you what you need your travel insurance policy to cover.

2. Research potential insurers

There are plenty of travel insurance providers with different policies, price points, and benefits. Check out the top travel insurance companies that offer travel insurance for adventure sports, or choose an insurance agency to provide you with quick quotes.

3. Compare quotes and policy details

Take the time to compare quotes and insurance providers. While it’s tempting to choose the lowest quote for travel insurance, it’s better to look at coverage details, especially if you plan on participating in extreme sports. Here are the main elements of the policy to compare between providers:

  • Scope of coverage
  • Exclusions
  • Coverage limits
  • Cost of policy
  • Trip cancellation coverage restrictions
  • Medical evacuation coverage

4. Clarify terms and coverage

Travel insurance can be difficult to understand, especially when it comes to policy exclusions and limits. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the insurance provider for clarification. A good insurer should be able to clearly provide answers when you ask.

5. Buy the policy early

It’s best to obtain travel insurance well before your trip. This allows you to ensure that coverage will be active during the trip, in case there are any waiting periods for coverage. In addition, you are likely to secure better rates and hotel costs if you plan out your trip ahead of time.

6. Familiarize yourself with the claims process

Most travel insurance policies require you to file a claim within 90 days of the incident. Because of this, it’s a good idea to review the claims process as designated by your insurance provider. If an incident occurs, file an insurance claim within the time limit. Keep all receipts and documentation as you travel in case you need them for your travel insurance claim.



Choosing the right travel insurance for adventure sports can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Adventure sports insurance grants travelers peace of mind, letting them enjoy their adventure to the fullest without worrying about potential financial risks.

Looking for adventure sports for your upcoming trip? Check out our top travel insurance providers of 2024:

  • Faye: Get fast, comprehensive travel insurance in 60 seconds
  • TravelInsurance.com: Quickly obtain top domestic and international travel insurance options
  • Generali Global Assistance: Award-winning travel insurance, featuring a 24/7 global emergency hotline

About The Author

Ru Chen

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about insurance, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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