Extreme travel insurance is an expanding category of coverage

Extreme travel insurance - woman swimming with a shark

With new and risky sports and activities cropping up worldwide, policies are developing to cover them.

If there is anything the recent tragic Titanic shipwreck tour disaster has underscored, it is the risk associated with some of the activities wealthy tourists are taking on, which is why extreme travel insurance is a growing form of coverage.

Despite the dangers, tourism is offering a lengthening list of risky activities for travelers to experience.

From deep sea dives to swimming in shark-infested waters, and from climbing to mountaintops to visiting the South Pole, it’s no wonder extreme travel insurance has a market, and one that is growing. After all, a regular policy simply wouldn’t cover the types of risk associated with going to space.

Extreme travel insurance - Person mountain climbing

Adventure tourism is a market that is expected to reach over $1 trillion in revenue worldwide by the end of the decade. In 2022, that figure was $316.6 billion, revealing an outstanding rate of growth, according to Grand View Research statistics.

Moreover, as interest grows in this type of experience, so will the need for search and rescue missions when things don’t go according to plan, said the National Association for Search and Rescue’s president Mikki Hastings. “Whether it’s space or Everest, every person deserves to be found,” said Hastings.

Extreme travel insurance is being offered by a growing number of companies seeking to profit from the trend.

Insurers are looking to offer their customers a way to mitigate the potential emergency costs of their adventure vacation. Some include rescue and medical evacuation from remote locations in their policies. That said, there is currently no standard plan in this industry. It’s very important for anyone considering this type of coverage to take a close look at what is covered, and if that is adequate for what they could possibly need to cover.

A conventional travel insurance policy won’t send paramedics, for instance, even though it would typically cover emergency costs. Global Rescue CEO Dan Richards explained in a New York Times report that an extreme travel insurance policy can include evacuation services. It can also be upgraded to send “military special operations veterans” to retrieve a covered individual from war zones and other dangerous locations. Of course, these policies don’t come cheap, but then again, neither does this type of high-risk tourism.

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