Expats living and working abroad are far more likely to take up extreme sports but they are urged to read their health insurance small print before setting off for their thrills.
Many health insurance policies will not provide cover if the expat has a serious accident.
A survey has revealed that expats are more adventurous in taking up a new adrenalin pumping sport and the numbers are increasing every year. More than half told a survey that they were looking at taking up an extreme sport while working abroad.
The reason has been put down to the fact that expats earn more than average and are more willing to try riskier activities in their spare time.
Expats are increasingly taking up sports such as white water rafting, rock climbing, off-piste skiing and quad biking.
Specialist medical cover
However, many insurance schemes exclude sports injuries, though some do not, and according to insurance brokers few expats take the trouble to check their policy small print.
Those taking part in risky sports could be in for a surprise since the small print in many policies often detail which sports and activities are excluded from cover.
Some of the many sports excluded include scuba diving deeper than 10 metres, bungee jumping, flying in an unlicensed aircraft, martial arts, mountaineering and paragliding.
However, some firms do include sports that carry risks.
For instance, MediCare International will provide insurance cover for extreme sports but not for professional sports people.
Fellow international insurance companies InterGlobal and Integra Global have a similar stance while insurer Expacare and Bupa International make no specific mention of the sports they will not provide cover for.
Health providers reviewed
AxaPPP is among the companies that do reveal in their small print the sports which are excluded and these include base jumping and cliff diving.
Another big player, IMG Europe, also lists in its small print those sports which are not covered and these include hang-gliding, parachuting and hot air ballooning.
However, nearly all international insurance firms exclude professional sports and any form of organised racing especially those involving vehicles.
Some insurance companies are happy to provide cover and these include MediCare International which carried out the survey revealing the increasing popularity of extreme sports with expats.
A relatively new entrant to the market is Aviva and they too are happy to provide cover.
The bottom line is that all expats doing something out of the ordinary should take the time to examine their insurance policy before they discover they have made an expensive mistake should they unfortunately suffer an accident.