When you buy a medical insurance policy, it is seen as a one-fix solution to all medical expenses incurred during the policy period. It may be true for some of the people some of the time, but certainly not all the time.
This is because each policy has a number of exclusions such as injuries relating to adventure sports.
Abhishek Mishra,CEO & principal officer, Bonanza Insurance says, “Most companies don’t cover such expenses arising out of adventure sports which falls in the category of man-made perils. Usually, insurance policies cover only unforeseen events and not the ones wherein there is a high chance of getting injured.”
While endorsing the same view, Naval Goel, CEO and Founder of PolicyX.com says, “Most insurers exclude coverage for adventure sports. However, one can go for policies specifically designed for adventure sports injuries policies as a separate policy, while having a regular health insurance policy for all other situations.”
Travel insurance cover
Coverage for adventure sports is given by travel insurance policies. If a traveller is injured while participating in an adventure sport, the insurer pays for medical expenses and medical evacuation, although the specifics depend on the type of coverage and plan chosen.
The plan may also include evacuation to a hospital which is better equipped to treat a specific injury. In case a traveller happens to die due to participation in a covered activity, repatriation of remains may also get covered by the policy.
Nevertheless, some travel insurance covers may exclude certain activities including adventure sports. So, it is vital for policy holders to check the specific policy for exclusions. If it isn't covered, one may want to buy additional adventure sports insurance along with travel insurance cover.
|Bajaj Allianz's Global personal accident plan||Covers adventure sports|
|Oriental insurance||Sports/ fitness injury up to ₹2 lakh|
|Bajaj Finserv||Sports insurance which covers accidents too|
For instance, Bajaj Allianz offers add-on adventure sports cover in its global personal accident plan. This is meant for travellers who indulge in non-professional adventure sports, and it allows them to pick from a variety of covers such as accident hospitalisation and air ambulance evacuation.
Not only adventure sports, regular medical insurance policies also keep a number of other expenses out of the ambit of insurance coverage. These include self-inflicting injuries, issues due to alcohol or drugs, and expenses relating to outside patient department (OPD), among others.
“A number of exclusions include self-inflicted injuries, health issues due to alcohol or drugs, pre-existing illnesses that are covered after a specific waiting period, cosmetic treatment, OPD, etc. Some of the benefits like OPD coverage are offered by insurers as add-on cover or through separate plans,” says Mr Goel from PolicyX.
Vishwanathan Odatt, MD of AIMS Insurance Broking, says these sports injuries can be covered so long as the policy holder discloses in the proposal form that s/he is a sportsperson. “All these injuries relating to sports and games can be covered if you disclose them. In such a case, the claim will get approved.”
There are some insurers which offer specific sports injury insurance cover such as Bajaj Finserv offers sports/ fitness injury coverage of up to ₹2 lakh.
Likewise Oriental insurance provides sports insurance policy which covers accidents caused during a sporting activity.
However, it is vital to note that sport doesn’t necessarily mean adventure sports such as scuba diving, bungee jumping and river rafting, among other risky sports.