Sports travel insurance: rock climbing

Rock climbing can be an exhilarating holiday activity. However, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared before you set off. Read our guide on what to look for in your travel insurance policy…

Rock climbing can be an exhilarating holiday activity. However, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared before you set off. Read our guide on what to look for in your travel insurance policy…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Please check the UK red list for the latest red list travel information. The red list will be reviewed every three weeks. You still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through as they can change at short notice, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information or find out more here.

Josh Daniels
Head of Travel Insurance
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Posted 18 NOVEMBER 2019

Why do I need travel insurance for rock climbing?

As with any sports adventure activity, rock climbing has potential risks, so getting travel insurance is vital. Having cover means you have financial protection against the cost of medical care and theft – which is important if you’re taking expensive climbing equipment.

If your belongings are stolen, you’ll need to report this to the police to help you make a successful claim on your insurance. It’s important to check your policy’s single item limit – this is the most you can claim for any one item that’s lost or stolen. If you have something valued at more than this limit, you may be able to pay an additional premium to get it covered.

It’s a good idea to get travel insurance when you book your holiday so that you can claim back the cost if you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a bereavement.

Always make sure you’re aware of what’s included in a policy, along with any exclusions, before you buy.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

What type of insurance do I need for rock climbing?

If you’re going rock climbing as part of your trip, you may need to consider additional travel insurance cover. A standard travel insurance policy will only cover day-to-day activities, but many providers will offer additional cover for what they call ‘hazardous’ activities. Choosing this sort of cover is likely to make the policy more expensive though.

Once you’ve given us details about yourself and your trip, we’ll show you a list of policies with documents you can download to check if rock climbing is covered, and if there are any exclusions, restrictions or conditions, such as not climbing above a certain altitude (see below). Each policy will be different, so make sure you check what’s offered before you buy.

If you have trouble finding the right cover, you may have to consider a specialist policy. This could cover you for damage or loss of your accessories, such as your helmet, harness or camera equipment.

Check your policy for personal liability cover, in case you injure someone while climbing and they make a claim against you for compensation.

What do I need to consider before rock climbing abroad?

If a provider offers cover for rock climbing, it might come with limitations. For example, it may only cover indoor climbing or climbing up to 14,000 feet. This is because indoor climbing is in a controlled environment and considered to have less risk, and there are extra dangers at higher altitude associated with weather conditions and oxygen levels.

If you’re climbing outdoors, you’ll need to let your provider know what type of climbing you’ll be doing, such as traditional climbing, sport climbing or bouldering. The level of risk involved can affect the level of cover you can get and/or the price of your policy.

It’s important to stay safe while climbing by taking the necessary safety precautions. Failing to do so could invalidate your policy. These include:

  • wearing a climbing helmet
  • using a harness
  • using suitable ropes
  • using safety anchors.

If your plans change during your trip and you decide to undertake a more hazardous form of climbing than originally planned, contact your provider to see if you can amend your level of cover.

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