Adventure travellers beware: Your travel insurance may not cover mountain climbing

Interest in adventure-travel activities such as hiking and mountain climbing is at an all-time high this summer, more than tripling last year, according to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth. However, mountain-climbing enthusiasts should be aware that depending on the specifics of the climb, travel insurance policies may not cover them.

Many travel insurance policies cover hiking and exclude mountain climbing, according to Squaremouth. However, the difference between the two activities isn’t always clear to travellers. Here’s what outdoor enthusiasts need to ask when purchasing travel coverage – some useful tips for brokers to pass on:

How are you climbing?

Travel insurance policies generally differentiate hiking from mountain climbing based on the type of equipment used. If ropes or guides are used, the activity will usually meet the definition of mountain climbing. Travellers planning activities that fall into that category should look for a policy with sports and activities coverage, Squaremouth said.

How high are you climbing?

Policies that cover hiking and climbing often restrict coverage to a certain height, according to Squaremouth. Most policies limit coverage to 15,000 feet. Any injuries sustained above the listed height won’t be covered, so travellers should compare their coverage to their climbing plans to make sure the excursion is covered.

How are you getting down?

While some policies provide coverage for mountain climbing, they may not cover other activities travellers participate in while on the mountain or on their way back down, Squaremouth said. Travellers should consider policies with sports and activities coverage, which can cover a wide array of activities often excluded from standard policies, such as mountain biking, ice climbing and skiing.

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