The Adventure Sports Travel Insurance Battle!

Climbing in the Blue Mountains NSW Australia

Climbing in the Blue Mountains NSW Australia

Finding travel insurance when planning to go on long trips and participate in numerous self guided adventure ” high risk ” activities while being an Australian national can be an epic battle…

After watching a close friend go through a freak accident overseas, not even doing anything out of the norm, it really did drum into my head just how important it is to have full cover.

I decided since I put a lot of time and energy into google hunting, calling insurance brokers, agents, specialists and talking to friends who participate in similar activities that I should post my findings to help any one else out who may find themselves in a similar situation.

My goal was to find a multi-trip annual travel insurance policy that would cover me for the main sports I do (Skydiving, Rock Climbing, Free Diving, Hiking etc), and well.. pretty much everything.. I was researching to try get covered for base jumping, mainly for future reference but this one is tricky also.

I must note, that most of this info mainly applies to Australians, if you are from another part of the world such as the US or Europe, chances are you will have better luck.

If I read closely with into some of the product disclosure statements, it was funny to note if you are free solo rock climbing and you have an accident (where you don’t die) you are covered. However if you use ropes you are not.

The best travel insurance companies I found for more “high risk” activities are

Cover More – Covers skydiving but not rock climbing

World Nomads – Covers Rock climbing (with added level 3 protection), but not sky diving (other than one tandem)

Azimuth Risk Solutions – Covers Base jumping and everything, but only to $10 000 (that isn’t very much cover)

What I found is I could not find one company that will cover me for more then $10k for everything. This means I need to take out different policies for different trips, or dual policies for trips I plan to participate in multiple activities. I plan to research the topic more in the future and and updates I find will be added here.

Some factors to consider are;

  • You may not need to be covered for the activity you are participating in if you are going with a guided company. If you go say rock climbing or white water rafting for example with guides you may be covered under their insurance. When you are traveling and you plan to give something new a go check if you would be covered under your travel insurance, and also ask what cover you receive under the company you are carrying out the activity with.
  • You will most probably not be covered under travel insurance if you are intoxicated in any way.
  • Travel insurance not only affects you, but also your family and loved ones. If you are doing something extreme where you could die, getting your body home can be an expensive exercise. #HarshReality

Some tips I use for looking after friends and travel companions, as well as my self;

  • Take a photo of your travel insurance policy number and emergency contact details into your smart phone. You can now send this to friends and family members both at home and traveling. This would be helpful in case of emergency when you are un-able to assist in providing these details.
  • Mainly for participating in high risk activities, but also a great idea is to discuss with travel partners what to do in certain situations.  Some activities you really have to trust the choices of the people with you in times of emergencies. Having a conversation about this can make others aware of how you would like to be treated if a situation arises. Also it lets them know how you would care for them. This is great on the mind when it comes to fear and (calculated) risk taking.

What ever policy you do choose, it is best practice to read your PDS before you leave so you are aware what you are covered for. You will probably find there is a few things there you did not realise you were covered for!

Please let me know if this helped you in any way,

And please, do your best to never need the cover!


Ian at Bucketlist

Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.

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  1. Lori April 9, 2013 11:52 pm  Reply

    If i ever meet you i swear im gonna jump ur bones. I LOVE YOU IAN!!!
    Your future wife

    • Ian Hard April 10, 2013 8:19 pm  Reply

      Hi Lori,

      Your comment has really made my night haha!

      If you plan to be my future wife you better like traveling and now how to belay a rock climber!


  2. Cora and Beth April 10, 2013 12:36 am  Reply

    My sister and I love your blog! We can’t wait for updates! Wish they’d come more often, but I guess you can only upload the fun stuff you do.
    You said you were a DJ. Any chance of you uploading a few of your tracks?

    • Ian Hard April 10, 2013 8:16 pm  Reply

      Hi Cora and Beth!

      Thank you for the feedback. As I have only started my blog recently I am only slowly seeing people I have not met following. I find this rewarding and such comments motivate me to get the posts up. It is hard to sit in a room on a computer when I am in such amazing places. Here is a link for some of my mixing The live in Ibiza stuff is from last year. Make sure you start with part one as it is a 4 hour set. The other mixes are a bit older of different styles. Please let me know if you enjoy it. I might upload some more music soon and put some on my page. I am only new to building a website and adding
      content so everything needs to happen in time. I have a few posts almost complete I might try finish now.

      Are you both traveling or looking to travel soon?


      • Cora and Beth April 11, 2013 8:58 pm  Reply

        Hi, well thanks to you, my roommate and I now deaf in one ear after Beth screeched like a banshee over the link you gave us. Although I don’t think she’s ready to marry you despite her somewhat creepy obsession… But thanks though, you’ve definitely made Beths’ night, and helped our roommate with a psych project. 🙂

        Well, we can go without new music as long as you compensate with travel photos XD.

        Cora and I didn’t travel before we met our roommate, we hadn’t even left the state. I guess our roommie got fed up with our ignorance and so she took us to an island her parents own in New Caledonia in December. It was a pretty big cultural shock, and Beth was miserable for the first 2 days there, but I really enjoyed it. It was the most fun I’ve ever had! I can’t wait to go back there!

        We’re all uni students so we’re just saving up to go somewhere that will really challenge us and introduce us to new things. Got any suggestions? I don’t think Beth would be joining us, our roommate might be a bit too adventurous and boundary pushing for her liking!

        Sorry for the long post, and thanks for answering!
        Cora xx

        P.S. Our rommie wants to know, are your parents awesome in naming you Ian Hard, or is it a pseudonym?

        • Ian Hard April 12, 2013 2:35 pm  Reply

          Can you please send me a clip of your room mate screaming like a banshee?
          I’d really be interested to know as how I assisted with the psych project! Please let me know, even if it is via email.
          I have a lot of photos to go through and upload over the next few days. It is just hard at the beach I am on as it is very isolated and power goes off through the day.
          How can you be miserable in New caledonia? I have been there it is nice.
          What is your room mates name haha, you always refer to her as ” your room mate”.
          I think if you have hardly left the state and you got cultural shock going to new caledonia maybe ease into something. Even if you head to alice springs and stay in some hostels there and travel that area. Or go to another country that wont give you to much culture shock. Learn to be comfortable in hostels in a nice country before you start to stay in dodgy places with no hot water, tap drinking water or toilets that flush etc

          I enjoy the long posts, feed back and comments 🙂

          My parents are awesome, but it’s not my real name. The internet is full of crazy stalkers who get creepy obsessions so i’m not going to use my real name haha

      • indi May 7, 2013 10:34 am  Reply

        Sick music man. Are you planning on mixing or uploading any more anytime soon?

        • Ian Hard May 7, 2013 10:47 am  Reply

          I have not planned any thing at the minute, I have actually really put music on hold at the moment. I have not download fresh music for some time. Saying that, it is not unlike me to be on a plane or somewhere and get the urge to want to make a mix in Ableton.
          As I don’t live any where now I do not have a studio set up, so I don’t have my mixer and drum machine etc to make some live mixes which is what I enjoy doing far more then mixing tracks in Ableton, I do that more just to have the mix to listen to and share. There seems to be a little bit of interest so maybe I will make something soon if I spend some time in Sydney.

  3. Cora April 13, 2013 12:31 am  Reply

    I’d love to send you a clip but I think our cat is still recovering from the fright. It hisses at Beth every time she goes near him. Just picture four girls aged 19-21. Beth is freaking out, screaming and jumping on the bed with joy over the fact that you answered and gave us music. Kaylee and I are sitting at the computer yelling at Beth to shut up and chucking fluffy pillows at her. And then, standing in the doorway is Roxy, who, for some reason, is in her underwear, soaking wet, looking at us absolutely confused and holding the cat that’s clawing at her arms trying to get away from Beth’s high pitched screams. Oh, and there’s a random girl storming out of our apartment half naked yelling something in Spanish. You just can’t recreate these moments.

    You’ve probably figured out that we live with two other girls: Roxy and Kaylee. Roxy’s the only one who’s yet to read your blog. Although she did have a hilarious reaction where she inhaled, choked and then spritzed half her beer out when we told her your name. And she does like your music though, even if she’d never admit it to Beth. Kaylee loves the music, but doesn’t like you very much. Can’t win them all. 😛

    They all study psychology, hence the mind games, although Roxy’s research is far more controversial and a bit more messed up than Kaylee and Beths’. Kaylee is doing research on severe and unhealthy obsessions in children and teenagers. Even though Beth is 20, Kaylee’s (with Roxys help) is having a field day mapping out the stages of Beths obsession and comparing them to a girl half her age. They’ve even made a timeline and predictions on how long it’ll take for Beth to reach certain stages of obsession and placed bets on its accuracy. Yeah, we know how to party. The experiment gets way more complex, but that’s all I could understand. I’ll get one of them to explain exactly HOW you helped with it if you want, because I didn’t really understand it at 2 am on the beach.

    Roxy’s the one who took us to New Caledonia. We only spent the last 3 days on the main island, the other 4 were on a smaller and more private island. It was a pretty amazing experience, even if getting there was a pretty long boat ride. But we had the whole island to ourselves, save for two local families. Beth was miserable because we had no internet connection, although I was amazed that they had a house there with electricity and running water. And how needs the internet when you’re on an island with no one around anyway? As it turned out, Beth is pretty much scared of anything that lives in the sea or mud, so we didn’t do as much free diving or crab fishing as I wanted to. Did you know that if you spent enough time in the water as an infant you could learn to hold your breath for way over a minute? I had no idea that was humanely possible. I totally freaked out when Roxy once spent 3 minutes down there, I thought she had drowned! Swimming with nurse sharks and in the coral reefs was fun! It was an amazing experience, hopefully Roxy and her cousins will take me hunting next time. I might have to leave Beth at home though!

    Yeah, I’m having fun imagining the possible scenarios if we put you, Lori and Beth in a room together. Knowing my sister, it’ll be a fight to the death over you. Which is a lot less fun compared to whatever Kaylee and Roxy thought of with their dirty minds. 😛 Yeah, I can see why you’d want to keep your name private. Although there’s no way Beth would ever leave the country to track you down, so you’re safe as far as she’s concerned 😛

    Lori’s comment about jumping you coaxed a different reaction from all of us and resulted in one of the weirdest arguments I’ve ever been in. And I live with 3 psychs, so that’s saying something.
    The 4 of us argue over your blogs contents a lot, especially the steroids post, even if one of us has never read it. So thanks for that, you definitely give us something new to argue (or laugh) about. Keep the updates coming 😀

    Cora xxx

    • Ian Hard April 15, 2013 10:45 pm  Reply

      That reply was huge!

      Where are all you girls even from? And how did you find my page?

      Yes I am aware of the Mammalian dive reflex you are referring to. You do not need to spend time in the water as a kid, you have receptors on your face that can tell when you are in the water. So you keep your face in the water at the surface with a snorkel and it kicks in. Though the more time you spend in water, the faster this happens. Free diving is one of my favourite things to do. I find it super relaxing, I also enjoy looking for sharks etc while free diving. I plan to dive with a lot of different water animals as part of this blog.

      I am one person that likes the internet all the time, for so many reasons! First thing I do arriving in a country is get my I phone online!

      I am glad I am keeping you all entertained with my content, I knew the steroids would be a bit controversial. The article I am working on now is mental. Pretty sure you will be in for a shock 🙂

      If you are enjoying it so much i’d appreciate and shares with other friends who would be interested.


  4. Cora April 16, 2013 10:48 am  Reply

    I know it was, I had Beth and Kaylee yelling at me to include random stuff so it wasn’t exactly a concise reply.

    What do you mean “where are you even from?” Where do we live, or where we were born?

    Some guy who’s a travel geek was looking at your blog during class and was laughing at something. And when I looked around there were a handful of kids on the same site. So I asked one of them what he was looking at, and he gave me the link. Beth and I checked it out that night and argued over your lifestyle page and eventually dragged our roommates into the argument. And then we read your Malaysia posts and that got us interested. And we’ve been arguing about stuff ever since. Although I think we argue about stuff just for the fun of it.

    I’ve yet to see why people find free diving relaxing. You’re alone in the open water in the middle of nowhere and marine animals surrounding and touching you. How is that relaxing? And why is everyone I talk to about diving obsessed with great white sharks, squid and pygmy blue whales? Whatever happened to just being happy with dolphins?

    I think everyone loves the internet, but freaking out because you won’t be able to see an episode of Vampire diaries is a bit ridiculous, even for beth.

    Well Kaylee is quite conservative, set in her ways and not too comfortable with new things. And then there’s Roxy who’s the complete opposite, who’d do anything, no matter how insane, for the sake of it. So you can put almost any subject in front of them and they’d probably take opposite sides on the matter, especially if it involves children. You just take it to the next level by doing crazy stuff and blogging about it. Also, we want to know, did the steroids work?

    And don’t worry we have shared it, it’s spread amongst the commerce and psych students pretty quickly.

    • Ian Hard April 16, 2013 2:02 pm  Reply

      Yes, Where in the world do you live?

      Free diving is relaxing because you are in the water and your heart is beating so slow and it is just so pure. I’m not really sure what vampire diaries is, but that does sound ridiculous.

      I have pushed things to the next level with my latest activity. Working hard to get everything ready to post.
      I would find it pretty interesting to meet you all. Would be funny I think.

      Yes, the steroids worked. I noticed them add strength when I was climbing, though I have not noticed to much fat burn. Though I may not have been active enough. I didn’t take any super extreme steroids anyway. Most the time you use things like that for 12 weeks or so, cycle them.


  5. Cora April 16, 2013 2:28 pm  Reply

    Beth and I spilt our time between Cervantes and Perth, in Western Australia. Perth is where we live with our roommates, even though they also spend a fair bit of time away.

    The vampire Diaries is like twilight, but the TV version. I agree with you in saying that meeting all of us would be interesting. We’re a chaotic and dynamic enough bunch without you there! Just ask our neighbours!

    Cora xx

    • Dani April 16, 2013 2:34 pm  Reply

      Hi Cora Baby, I can see you across the hall! Did you get this link from Alex too?
      Holy shit! I knew Roxy came from a wealthy family, but I didn’t know about New Caledonia! An island? Imagine the parties!!

      • Cora April 16, 2013 2:39 pm  Reply

        No, Liam did. Yeah I know, who would’ve guessed it? She doesn’t act rich. Text me xx

    • Ian Hard April 17, 2013 12:14 pm  Reply

      Ah interesting.

      I am in Perth pretty often.

      I would have zero interest in either of those shows!

  6. Cora April 17, 2013 1:12 pm  Reply

    How is that interesting? And why would you be in Perth so often. I didn’t think that there’s would much here for people like you! It’s pretty but not very exciting.

    And twilights not a show XD bit I guess you wouldn’t care either way.


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