What activities are not covered by travel insurance

Popular adventure travel activities are not necessarily covered by travel insurance. Figure/123RF

A major insurer has warned Kiwis to read their travel insurance policies carefully, which don’t always cover popular holiday activities.

If you’re planning to go skiing, scuba diving, whitewater rafting or rock climbing on your next vacation, you’d better be careful: These activities, and many others, aren’t necessarily covered by travel insurance.

This means that if you have a serious accident and pay huge medical bills, you will have to pay the bills yourself.

Allianz New Zealand chief executive Kevin Blyth said travel insurance offered protection while on holiday, but people should know exactly what was and wasn’t covered.


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“New Zealanders should be aware that this is not an all-encompassing safeguard or an excuse to act recklessly,” he said, singleing out those planning their adventures.

“There are certainly ways to get your adrenaline pumping while still being covered by travel insurance,” says Bryce. But if you want to do a particular activity, it’s worth seeing if it requires additional coverage of.

Skiing on the slopes is usually guaranteed, but not if you venture off-piste, scuba diving or water sports are usually okay if you or your instructor are fully licensed and you stick to a certain depth.

As such, Bryce urges people to carefully read their policies, especially exclusions, before traveling and make sure they fully understand them.


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“If in doubt, you can call your travel insurance company and ask them before you start your adventure,” he says.

Bryce said it was “much better” to be prepared and know your own policy before “grazing through the exclusions”.

Unfortunately, many travelers have learned the hard way about exceptions to popular holiday activities. In Bali, riding a moped is considered a quintessential experience and the fastest and cheapest way to get around.

However, an Australian man realized in July that his travel insurance didn’t cover riding a moped after an accident resulted in $400,000 in medical bills.

read more: Bali tourist pays $400,000 in medical bills after moped accident

To obtain coverage, travelers need to purchase additional insurance, which costs approximately $7.

Common Travel Insurance Exclusions

Skiing and/or snowboarding outside the ski area boundaries

Any remote area activity other than participating in an organized tour group

Rebreather diving underwater unless you hold a New Zealand-approved open water diving license or are diving under the supervision of an instructor licensed for these activities

Ocean-going yachts 25 nautical miles or more from the mainland


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Whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, or blackwater rafting on class 5+ rivers

Flying hang or tow gliding, microcrystalline flying, skydiving, skydiving

mountaineering and rock climbing



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