Broken bones, head traumas, shark attacks, ‘oh my’! Extreme sports are both lauded and scoffed at for their high speeds, intense levels of physical exertion, and exotic locales. Most self-identified adrenaline-junkies recognize the risks of their activities and take precautions by using the proper safety equipment. Even so, what kinds of preparations should athletes who participate in extreme sports undertake in terms of medical and health insurances precautions? We’ve compiled a list for you here:
Travel and Medical Insurance
If your chosen extreme sport endeavors take you abroad, your domestic health insurance may not cover claims made outside your country of residence. Be sure to call to ask. Then, if needed, take care to find adequate travel insurance, not just the kind offered by airlines in cases of flight cancellations, but a substantial travel insurance package that includes actual health insurance in case you sustain an injury while abroad.
While budget travel insurance policies are usually priced at 4 percent of the total cost of the trip, some premium policies inclusive of coverage for extreme sports can cost up to 12 percent of the trip’s total cost. The price of travel medical coverage is further influenced by these factors: duration of your trip, age, destination, and pre-existing health conditions. So expect to pay up to 15 percent of your trip’s cost to properly insure yourself.
When purchasing your travel insurance, it is critical to make sure that your coverage includes private hospitals, depending on the state of public hospitals at your destination, and medical evacuation. Evacuation, depending on far from home you plan to be, can be your largest unanticipated medical cost, $20,000 on average, so you should make sure it is included in your policy. It is also highly recommended not to purchase travel insurance from a tour operator or cruise line, who more frequently go out of business, but from a more reputable insurance provider.
Read through the Details
For health insurance policies at home and abroad, it is most important as an extreme sport enthusiast to keep yourself informed. Most insurance policies include detailed breakdowns of which safety conditions for which sports allow participants to qualify for coverage. Be aware that particularly reckless behavior can cancel claims, for example, drunkenness whilst participating in your extreme sport of choice.
Injuries sustained during some sports or activities, such as scuba diving, are covered by policies only if the participant is formally trained. This information is crucial in the event that any claims need to be made. But shop around, as there are medical insurance policies with more leeway than others in terms of the formal training required.
Prepare for Extra Costs
If you choose to forgo extra health insurance as an active participant of extreme sports, be ready to pay extra medical costs in the case of injury. Basic health coverage is bound to have even more caveats to prevent you from making claims. Additional specialized health coverage is sometimes hard to find, but it is worth the effort if you find yourself often parasailing off of cliffs or jumping out of airplanes.
Extreme sports are becoming increasingly popular, while there remains a lack of awareness of the potential unintended medical costs that go with them. These costs can be even more extreme than the sports themselves! But that’s no reason not to get your adventure on. Rather take this opportunity to get a high-quality insurance policy before jumping in head first.
This is a guest post by freelance writer Kate Simmons for health.com.au who have great offers if you want to change health cover. Kate usually covers health, business and insurance as a writer.