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Best Travel Insurance for Overseas Hiking Trips

Best Travel Insurance for Overseas Hiking Trips

profileHui Juan Neo

Source: Giphy

Thinking about a thrilling adventure that goes beyond the ordinary?

Whether you’re hitting the slopes or diving into the deep blue, it’s time to get travel insurance that matches your adrenaline-fueled pursuits.

Here are some of the best travel insurance for your next heart-pounding expedition.

TL;DR: Best Travel Insurance For Outdoor Sports/Activities

Disclaimer: The Information provided by Seedly does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any insurance product(s). It does not take into account the specific objectives or particular needs of any person. We strongly advise you to seek advice from a licensed insurance professional before purchasing any insurance products and/or services.

What Travel Insurance to Choose for Hiking?

Source: Giphy

Whether you ascend the slopes of Indonesia’s Mount Rinjani, scale the heights of the Himalayas on Mount Everest, or conquer the peaks of Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu, the elevation can pose inherent risks, potentially leading to elevated heart palpitations.

Hiking also presents other challenges, including unpredictable weather conditions, challenging terrains, and the potential for altitude sickness!

Some travel insurances cover outdoor activities to a certain limit for free, while others may require premium top-ups for coverage (most common!).

When choosing travel insurance for hiking, you need some of these coverages:

  1. Personal Accident
  2. Overseas medical expenses
  3. Emergency evacuation and repatriation
  4. Search and rescue
  5. Equipment loss or damage
  6. Trip cancellation/interruption
  7. Trip delay

And if you’re thinking of doing other sports, these are insurers that provide outdoor activity coverage:

InsurerLeisure ActivitiesExtreme SportsCovered or Rider
BubblegumHot air ballooning, scuba diving and skiingNoCovered
Seedly Travel Insurance

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Scuba diving up to 30m, hiking/trekking/mountain trekking up to 3,500m above seaNoCovered
DBS Chubb TravellerShield Plus (Premier & Platinum Plans only)

Apply Now
Paragliding, helicopter rides for sightseeing, Hot air ballooning, jet skiing, mountaineering up to 3,000m above sea; skiing or snowboarding all within official approved areas of a ski resort, canoeing or white water rafting with a qualified guide and below Grade 4 (of International Scale of River Difficulty); underwater activitiesBungee jumping, sky divingCovered
MSIG Travel Insurance

Apply Now
Zip-lining, zip-riding, parasailing, tandem paragliding, tandem hang gliding, hot-air ballooning, helicopter, airplane, canoeing or white-water rafting with a qualified guide and up to Grade 3 (of International Scale of River Difficulty), jet skiing, helmet diving, scuba diving, ice skating, tobogganing, sledging, snow tube sliding, dog sledding, snow rafting, skiing or snowboarding, snowmobiling, hiking/trekking/mountaineering up to 3,000m above sea, marathonTandem sky diving, bungee jumpingCovered
Great Eastern Travel Insurance (Classic and Elite Plans only)

Apply Now
Canoeing or white water rafting with a qualified guide and below Grade 4 (of International Scale of River Difficulty), dog sledding, hang gliding, helicopter or airplane rides for sightseeing, hot air ballooning, jet skiing, mountaineering/trekking up to 4,000m above sea, paragliding, parasailing, skiing or snowboarding, underwater activities up to 30m, zip-lining, zip-ridingBungee jumping, sky divingCovered
Income Travel InsuranceScuba diving up to 30mNoCovered
Singlife Travel Insurance

Apply Now
Winter sports, adventurous water sports, hot air ballooning, trekking and mountaineering up to 3,000m above sea, canoeing, kayaking and rafting (above Grade 2)NoRider for Winter sports and adventurous water sports
Sompo Travel InsuranceScuba diving up to 30m, hiking/trekking up to 3,500m above sea, rock climbing on man-made wall, parasailing, skiing excluding off-piste skiing,
snowboarding excluding off-piste snowboarding, canoeing, kayaking, dragon boating, surfing,
snorkeling and marathon up to 42.195km
Tiq Travel Insurance

Apply Now
Scuba diving up to 30m, hot air
balloon ride, parachuting, hang-gliding, paragliding, and non competitive winter sports, hiking/trekking up to 3,000m above sea
Sky diving, bungee jumpingCovered

Which Outdoor Activities Are Usually Excluded From Travel Insurance?

By now you would realise that sports and adventure activities are typically categorised into three main groups:

  1. Leisure and recreational outdoor pursuits: Covers activities such as hot air ballooning, scuba diving (up to 30m/40m, guided by licensed instructors, with PADI certification), skiing and snowboarding in resorts, hiking or trekking (up to 3,000m), jet skiing, white water rafting, skydiving, paragliding, hang gliding, parachuting, and more.
  2. Other more extreme sports: Covers activities like bungee jumping, mountaineering, and rock climbing (involving ropes and equipment).
  3. Competitions (not universally covered by all insurance companies): Covers events such as marathons, ultra-marathons, biathlons, and triathlons.

Are There Personal Accidents and Personal Liability Exclusions?

Even if the travel insurance seems extensive, it’s crucial to confirm that the activity you’re participating in falls under the coverage for Personal Accident or Personal Liability.

Pro-tip: When the Schedule of Benefits indicates ‘Covered’ for your activity of choice, check the Terms and Conditions for a detailed breakdown of the activity covered.

This means that you might see that the plan covers you for personal accidental death or serious injuries for your participation in the activity, but when it comes to personal liability, some outdoor activities are excluded, such as:

  • Engaging in any form of professional competition or sports where you receive sponsorship or monetary rewards
  • Embarking on expeditions to remote, previously undiscovered, or inaccessible locations
  • Participating in drag racing
  • Undertaking trekking at altitudes exceeding 3,500 – 4,000 meters
  • Scuba diving unaccompanied below 30 meters
  • Operating an aircraft without the guidance of a licensed pilot
  • Canoeing or white water rafting without a qualified guide or on rivers graded 4 and above (according to the International Scale of River Difficulty)
  • Skiing off-piste or outside the officially approved boundaries of a ski resort.

Cost of Extreme Sports Riders

The tricky thing about insurance is that you want good coverage but this may bring up your premium.

If you’re wondering, Singlife’s add-on for Adventurous Water Sports costs about $9.73, and Winter Sports at about $7.51.

To keep your premiums affordable and if you don’t have dependents, here are some tips:

  • Choose complimentary coverage for the activity you’re engaging in (note: the more extensive the coverage, the more it may cost)
  • Identify if Personal Liability coverage is sufficient (if any)

So, the next time you plan to ski in Japan, consider these pointers.

Is Sports Equipment Coverage a Necessity?

Source: Giphy

If you plan to bring your own sports equipment on the trip, it’s essential to understand the extent of coverage provided by your travel insurance.

Considering that sporting gear can be a significant investment, especially when valued at a few hundred dollars, it’s advisable to opt for a plan that ensures you won’t suffer losses in case your equipment is stolen or damaged.

What About Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage?

If you’re hiking or trekking, this is extremely important.

The last thing any hiker or trekker wants is to fall into debt after an expensive helicopter evacuation mission. Believe me, based on my personal experiences, I’ve witnessed individuals becoming unwell due to altitude sickness to the extent that they needed evacuation.

Generally speaking, emergency evacuation and repatriation benefits encompass three primary functions, which include:

  1. Emergency (Medical) Evacuation: This involves relocating you from a hazardous situation and transporting you to a medical facility for emergency treatment. For instance, this could include ambulance services for transportation to a hospital following a car crash, or a helicopter rescue from the top of the mountains
  2. Medical Repatriation: Encompasses organising transport, potentially under medical supervision, to return you to Singapore in cases where you are unable to board a commercial flight
  3. Repatriation of Remains: In the unfortunate event of death occurring overseas, this function involves arranging transportation to bring the mortal remains back to Singapore.

According to real-life case studies by insurer Chubb, medical evacuation can cost anywhere from US$13,000 to US$412,000 (S$17,448 to S$552,941)!

The expenses associated with emergency evacuation and medical repatriation are based on several factors, which include:

  1. The infrastructure in the region you are visiting: Transporting you to a hospital in an urban setting is generally less complicated than orchestrating an airlift from a mountainous terrain
  2. Your distance from Singapore: Longer flights incur higher costs
  3. The severity of your condition: Moving someone with a potential spinal injury demands more specialized expertise compared to, for example, transporting you to a clinic for stitches
  4. The intricacy of the journey: This can be influenced by all the aforementioned factors
  5. The cost of medical and emergency services in your host country.

Generally speaking, most insurers provide medical repatriation benefits ranging from S$100,000 to S$1 million or more.

While this range, especially at the upper limit, is generally sufficient for most situations, it becomes crucial if you plan to engage in high-risk activities even if this means you’re paying more.

It is wise to carefully review the coverage, even in the unlikely event of needing it. Given the importance of medical repatriation for high-altitude activities, a practical guideline is to align the coverage with the geographical region of travel.

Opting for a lower limit may suffice for Southeast Asia and nearby destinations, whereas a higher limit is advisable for more distant locations and higher-risk locations.

To err on the side of caution and based on the upper limit found in the case studies, you can consider policies that give you the choice of insurer paying directly to its appointed evacuation company, or at least S$500,000 cover for both medical evacuation and overseas medical expenses (the latter is based on average benefits insured across industry):

InsurerEmergency Medical EvacuationOverseas Medical ExpensesPremiums After Discount (7 days, Asia, Australia & New Zealand)Premiums Before Discount
(7 days, Asia, Australia & New Zealand)
FWD Travel Insurance

Apply Now
UnlimitedUp to $500,000 (Business)

Up to $1,000,000 (First)
$36.69 (Business)

$50.09 (First)
$52.92 (Business)

$66.78 (First)
MSIG Travel Insurance

Apply Now
Up to $1,000,000Up to $500,000 (Elite)

Up to $1,000,000 (Premier)
$63.60 (Elite)

$87.90 (Premier)
$106 (Elite)

$146.50 (Premier)
Great Eastern Travel Insurance (Classic and Elite Plans only)

Apply Now
Up to $1,000,000Up to $500,000 (Elite)No discount$81 (Elite)
Seedly Travel Insurance (TravelSecure)

Apply Now
Insurer will pay directly to appointed company for evacuation servicesUp to $500,000$64.13$85.50
Tiq Travel Insurance

Apply Now
Up to $1,500,000 (Savvy)

Up to $1,800,000 (Luxury)
Up to $500,000 (Savvy)

Up to $1,000,000 (Luxury)
$56.65 (Savvy)

$75.90 (Luxury)
$103 (Savvy)

$138 (Luxury)
Singlife Travel Insurance

Apply Now
Up to $500,000 (Plus) / Unlimited (Prestige)Up to $2,000,000 (Plus) / Unlimited (Prestige)$58.45 (Plus)

$81.46 (Prestige)
$77.93 (Plus)

$108.61 (Prestige)

If we may highlight, the Seedly Travel Insurance is the only insurer on this list where the insurer pays directly to the appointed evacuation company.

This travel insurance is ideal for everyone, particularly families, as it automatically includes insurance protection for children without needing additional add-ons!

Built from the ground up based on what users want in a travel insurance plan, Seedly Travel insurance includes COVID-19 coverage, personal accident benefits per child, and all your travel essentials covered!

Sign up now and enjoy 50% off and an additional 7% off with promo code ‘march7‘.

You’ll also receive a FREE 3GB Airalo Travel eSim (worth US$10) and up to S$50 Grab Vouchers! And that’s not the end.

From now till 10 March 2024, you will also get a FREE Apple AirTag (worth S$45)! No min. premium required.

Apply Now

Think of it this way: you will never get the bill because this part is essentially settled for you even when you’re overseas. What you need to do is to call the emergency hotline at (65) 6922 6009.

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About Hui Juan Neo
A savvy shopper and foodie at heart, I'm always on a lookout for discounts and deals to snag the best bargains.
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