Does travel insurance cover sports?

By SmartCoverage Team on April 18th, 2018

Whether you are a snowbunny who loves to hit the hills out west, or you are travelling with your soccer team for a tournament out of the county, you are going to need travel insurance. But, does your typical travel insurance cover sports and any accidents that may occur while you are participating in them?

Type of sports

When your insurer provides you with coverage, they want to assume the lowest amount of risk possible. Different sports will present a different level of risk. Depending on your insurer, some sports may be covered by traditional travel insurance, while others may need additional coverage.

An exact list isn’t really feasible, as every provider assess risk differently, but here is a general guideline as to what would be considered low and high-risk sports and activities.

Low risk

  • Golfing
  • Biking
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Skating

High risk

  • Adventure sports (mountain climbing, snowmobiling, paragliding, etc.)
  • Contact sports (hockey, lacrosse, football, etc.)
  • Extreme sports (deep sea diving, running with bulls, base jumping, etc.)

Low-risk sports tend to be covered by your traditional travel insurance, while high-risk ones may need additional coverage, or in some cases could be excluded from coverage altogether. Again, this is not an exact breakdown, as all insurers determine coverage differently. Skiing/snowboarding, for example, could fall under both lists, and some insurers even offer specific insurance for those looking to hit the hills.

Additional coverage

If you feel like you need coverage beyond that of a traditional travel insurance policy, it is best to err on the side of caution and do so.

To get extra coverage speak to your insurer and see if they offer something that can cover the risks involved with participating in sporting activities away from home. They may be able to add on to the traditional coverage that they offer.

If your current insurer is not able to provide the coverage you need, it may be time to shop around for travel insurance that is geared towards sports coverage. There are insurers out there that cater to those who lead a more active lifestyle while on vacation, offering enhanced coverage for the increased risks that are involved.


Be sure to speak to your insurance broker and thoroughly understand your travel insurance policy. When doing something with more risk while you are outside of your home province, there may be some exclusions when it comes to your coverage. Even if you opt to get extended coverage for your trip to go snowboarding or rock climbing, you may still find some exclusions apply.

A significant exclusion can be faced if you happen to be intoxicated at the time of the accident. If you have a few beers, then set out to the hills and find yourself hurt, your insurer could deny your claim. Additional exclusions vary from provider to provider, so it is best to speak to your insurer and know what is and is not covered.

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