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…

Patrick Ikhena From the Travel team
minute read

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. 

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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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