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Winter vacation 

5 things every sports enthusiast needs to know about travel insurance 

From the earliest days of winter, skiers already have ants in their pants and dream of Jay Peak, Sugar Loaf, Banff ... For others, this winter will be all about climbing, parachuting or kite surfing in the tropics. If the shoe fits, wear it and be careful! Your travel insurance may not cover you. Here is what you need to know.

Ordinary insurance covers ordinary sports

If you play golf in Palm Springs, bocce in Marseille or take a leisurely hike in Kauai, you are normally covered by your travel insurance. What insurers do not like are the out-of-the-ordinary risks.

Several sports in insurers’ exclusions

You will be placed in the "out of the ordinary" category if you practice a so-called “extreme” sport. This often includes extreme sports and those that are not so extreme, such as hot air ballooning!

As a general rule, if it happens in the air, off the marked trails, on or under water, whether it involves the force of the wind or jumping into the void, it is possible that this will be a part of the exclusion ... even if the activity is offered by your all-inclusive vacation. This means that you will not be compensated for your medical care if you break a leg while parasailing in front of your hotel, for example. Other activities for which it is better to check with your insurer include:

• Skiing or snowboarding off-trail or in a snow park
• Parachuting
• Aerotracted surfing (kite surfing)
• Tyrolean
• Bungee jumping
• Scuba diving

Shop around and ask questions

It's worth shopping around and asking questions. For example, you could be covered if you go diving, but only if you hold a certification; you might be covered if you go climbing, but only on walls that do not exceed a certain level of difficulty. Make a list of the sports you practice, check whether you are covered and under which circumstances. If the irresistible urge takes over to try diving for the first time while traveling, contact your insurer before you begin. Most have a 24-hour helpdesk.

Your sports equipment... insured via your home insurance or your travel insurance?

As for sports equipment, be aware that luggage insurance often is not included in basic coverage. It must be purchased specifically or included in a multi-risk package and usually includes a maximum amount for baggage loss. This amount could be enough to cover the replacement of a vacation wardrobe, but probably not to also replace a golf bag and its quality clubs, for instance. If you travel with your sports equipment (golf bag, ski equipment, etc.), consider that this equipment is covered by your all-risk home insurance, subject to a deductible to pay in the event of a claim.


Source: CAA Québec