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Going bungee jumping? Insure yourself!

Last updated on: August 12, 2009 20:26 IST
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So there you are dreaming about bungee jumping. Even in your dreams you feel the air rush past you, the adrenaline surging through your veins, the feeling of flying and then suddenly...SNAP!

The bungee cord breaks and you are in an uncontrolled freefall plunging to a certain fatal end!

When you wake up from your dream turned nightmare in a cold sweat and realize that you are still thankfully alive.

'Extreme sports' (also called action sport and adventure sport) is a media term for certain activities perceived as having a high level of inherent danger.

These activities often involve speed, height, high level of physical exertion, highly specialized gear or spectacular stunts.

Well, if you are someone who craves adventure and indulges in activities like paragliding, scuba diving, bungee jumping and mountaineering, you may want to see what you can do about insuring yourself.

At one time it was almost impossible to get travel insurance for extreme sports. Although not known in India, extreme sports insurance is picking up in popularity in the West.

A part of a travel insurance plan, the need for extreme sports insurance was seen after looking at the relative inadequacy of the standard travel insurance package.

Individuals who engage in adrenaline rushing sports such as hang gliding, extreme cycling, mountain climbing and the like have a tougher time securing life insurance than their sedentary counterpart.

To some, the problem isn't so much the higher premium; it's finding an insurance company willing to provide coverage.

However, like the number of people in India who participate in extreme sports is low, the numbers of companies ready to provide insurance covers for such people are minuscule.

Here are some things that may help you understand and get an insurance cover for such activities.

It's no secret that insurance companies like to write policies for risks that are unlikely to happen. The lower the risk, the lower the premium.

Insurance companies prefer to insure non-smoking, healthy, non-risk taking individual. The more risks you take, or the unhealthier you are, the higher your insurance premiums.

Extreme sports are considered "hazardous avocations," in industry terms and are deemed risky.

Contact your existing life insurance company. Instead of cancelling your insurance policy, they may increase the policy premium or rate. That situation is much better than having no insurance at all!

Test out the traditional life insurance market. Some traditional life insurance companies that don't specialise in insuring extreme sports participants but they might just surprise you by agreeing to insure you as a new policyholder.

If they do, however, be sure to review the terms, conditions and exclusions to make sure they are not excluding coverage for your less than sedentary hobbies.

Though extreme sports is just picking up in popularity in India, it is good to know that such kind of insurance is offered elsewhere which also means that at some point in time, this would be available in India as well. Till then, make sure that the Bungee Cord is attached to you really tight!

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