Insurers are making life difficult for holidaymakers keen to take part in hazardous or extreme sports by turning them away from purchasing the cover they need, claims online specialist karmainsurance.com.
Karma believes the majority of travel insurers fail to detail up front, what is and isn’t covered, they bury essential information away in reams of policy documents and cannot agree on how to categorise certain activities. This, says Managing Director Brian Wright, only serves to confuse consumers who are put off declaring adventurous pursuits that may be excluded from their standard travel policies.
He comments: “The majority of providers conceal basic information within the exclusion details at the back of policies, hide it on their websites or require a phone call to confirm what’s covered. And whilst some term a particular sport as general, others class it as hazardous and charge extra to insure. Comparing costs on a like for like basis is impossible as it’s not a level playing field. So, many people, faced with the prospect of wading through policy documents to see what’s covered, would rather take a chance. They fail to take out the right insurance because they’re frustrated by insurers’ love of small print.”
Recent research revealed that over a third of Brits abroad will take part in activities such as jet and water skiing, scuba diving, canoeing, parascending and rock climbing and one in eight will have no insurance at all.
Brian continues: “I’m not surprised insurance is being overlooked – insurers want to dissuade people from taking part in ‘risky’ pursuits so make it hard to source appropriate cover. Unfortunately, this isn’t stopping holidaymakers from taking part in more adventurous activities, it just means more will be uninsured. Insurers have a duty of care to make insurance simplistic, transparent, reasonably priced and accessible to all.”
Karma is the only provider to cover 255 sports and the insurer details up front its categories and if there are any extra costs, identifies what these will be. A standard travel policy for a family of four spending two weeks in Europe will cost £31.56 and includes cover for popular pastimes such as jet and water skiing, canoeing and parascending. We are one of the most competitive providers on the market and insure a broader range of sports. There are 107 listed in our general criteria and include abseiling, body and sail boarding, horse riding and pony trekking. We insure 75 hazardous sports, such as bungee jumping, quad biking and white water rafting and a family travel policy covering sports in this category costs £35.47. A family looking to insure every activity listed, including the 73 extreme sports such as parachuting, scuba diving and rock climbing, would pay £38.09. I believe that wading through our competitors’ small print and jargon and then trying to work out costs can be more hazardous than the sport itself - which is why we make everything transparent.”
Travel insurance: News update: August 2008