Travelling is always exciting, no matter where you go. However, sometimes it can be dangerous too, especially if you’re heading to an environment that is typically more adventurous, such as Antarctica or some areas of South and Central America. The chances are the weather may get challenging at times, depending on what time of year you choose to travel. So what do you need to know about travel insurance for adventurous environments?
Are you even eligible?
You can take out travel insurance for pretty much any destination without hassle through most insurance providers. Even though the destination may have intense weather or a harsh climate, this shouldn’t affect your ability to take out cover. However, a general rule of thumb is that an insurance provider won’t provide you with cover if you place yourself in a situation where you could easily endanger yourself. This often refers to “risky” behaviours or activities such as jet skiing or skydiving.
Basically, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t be able to take out an insurance policy at all just because you’re visiting a certain country. However, certain clauses may apply that will rule out your eligibility to make a claim. For example, if you’re in a country that is on Smartraveller’s “do not travel” list, there is a high chance that the claim you make will be rejected.
What policy should you get?
If you think about harsh destinations, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the weather. When you’re searching for a travel insurance policy, you should make sure it includes cover for natural disasters or significant delay caused by harsh weather conditions. Luckily, the purpose of travel insurance is to cover you for the unexpected, so although it might be known that the weather could be bad, if there hasn’t been an official warning about a storm, you should still be eligible to make a claim. You may need to make a claim if:
- A storm or other extreme weather event such as a natural disaster causes a significant flight delay (typically the benchmark for this is more than six hours) or cancellation.
- Severe weather hinders something you have previously booked, such as a tour or other activity.
- Your cruise is cancelled or delayed.
How can you get the best value?
This will depend on what you’re looking for. If you’re heading on a cruise to Antarctica, then it’s wise to take out travel insurance for cruises so that you’ll be eligible for cover for specific issues such as cancelled shore excursions, emergency medical transportation and delayed cruise departures.
Comparing policies online is one of the best way to ensure you get the value you want. Think about what kind of cover you would like (for example, whether you’re comfortable paying more money to cover your belongings to a higher value) and go from there.
At the end of the day, the chance of you experiencing extremely turbulent or disruptive weather on your trip is fairly slim, especially if you do your research before you leave. Just make sure you have travel insurance in place to cover you in case something does go wrong.
Bessie Hassan is a specialist working at finder.com.au