Extreme sports cover -It pays to check your health insurance policy, if you intend taking things to extremes, says April International UK

Generally today people have more leisure time coupled with a greater disposable income – people holiday worldwide to exotic places and work abroad on a regular basis. While the majority of leisure pursuits will not affect an insurance application, participating in what are considered extreme sports could affect your international medical insurance. Activities such as bungee jumping, mountain boarding, paragliding, quad biking, sand boarding and skydiving, are often excluded from policies because of a perceived greater risk of injury.

Whilst dangerous in comparison to some, correctly supervised and with the right training, there is no reason why they should not be enjoyed to the full. Indeed, according to Sport England, the ultimate sporting challenge is no longer scoring the winning goal at Wembley. It is about conquering personal goals, such as skateboarding down a volcano, jumping off a tall building or scaling a great mountain. The triathlon, whether the gruelling Ironman version, a non-stop 3.9km swim, followed by a 180km bike ride and full marathon, or the more manageable version “sprint” distance of 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run — is the fastest-growing sport in Britain. Over the past five years the British Triathlon Association (BTA) has doubled its membership to 7,000, while entries to competitive races have tripled to 100,000.

There are now more events in Britain than days in the year. The London Triathlon, has become the largest of its kind in the world, with almost 10,000 competitors, up from 1,000 in 2001. With this huge growth in extreme sports in mind, it pays to pay close attention to your international medical insurance as more and more expatriates push themselves to extreme sporting endeavors. Even if you are not going on an extreme sports holiday, make sure your international health policy covers you for events you may wish to try perhaps as part of a normal holiday. Bungee jumping in Australia, for example is a common pastime amongst expatriates from the Middle and Far East who holiday there. It’s another of those “small print” items it pays to check before you take out your insurance.

If you have an interest in sports, there’s a good chance you will want to try some of these more exotic activities whist living or travelling abroad. April International UK’s policies set new standards in the healthcare industry as they only exclude racing and sports at a professional level. Debbie Purser, CEO at April International UK, comments  “We aim to ensure all our policyholders are covered for all amateur sporting eventualities. Our aim is to give clients the highest standards available, without any limit to the number or range of sports an amateur expatriate may wish to try. April International has established an industry benchmark in the fact that we will offer cover to clients in any occupation who may want to push themselves to new extremes in their leisure time, whether paragliding or bungee jumping, so they can relax in the knowledge that an organisation with over 30 years’ experience is ready to support them.” The perceived risk of extreme sports is far greater than the reality. Despite this, make sure your insurance policy covers you in case you do need medical attention. Having to miss out on an activity which is perceived to be dangerous could spoil your holiday.