Travel insurance is arguably more important for those who think a good holiday is a camping trip up in the mountains. Here are the most important insurance benefits outdoor adventurers should look out for.
We often think of travel insurance in the context of cancelled flights, delayed luggage or mis-booked hotel rooms, but travel insurance policies are just as useful for camping trips taken far away from the city.
In fact, some travel insurance benefits are arguably more important to outdoors adventurers than city-dwelling travellers, which is why those going on camping trips shouldn’t ignore travel insurance.
Let’s take a look at travel insurance pertaining to outdoor trips and some plans that campers should consider.
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What insurance coverage should outdoors campers look out for?
Emergency evacuation benefits cover the cost of evacuating you and your loved ones to safety after an accident, and after life-saving treatment, back home for follow-up care.
To understand the importance of this benefit, well, in the case of the Singaporean pastor who fell ill in South Korea, it would have saved his loved ones a lot of trouble and stress.
Emergency evacuation is included as a standard benefit in all travel insurance plans. However, the level of coverage can vary widely, from just tens of thousands of dollars, up to unlimited,
If you’re planning to go camping in a somewhat difficult-to-access area, it may also mean that you’ll require special modes of evacuation in an emergency. You can expect this to cost more money than, say, JustGrab.
Hence, it’s a good idea to choose a travel insurance plan with a higher level of coverage for emergency evacuation. When in doubt, go for the unlimited option to cover all scenarios.
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Overseas medical expenses and personal accident
Well, the need for these benefits is pretty self-evident. You’ll need them in case you encounter an accident or injury during your camping trip.
Not all travel insurance plans offer personal accident benefits, but that’s ok if you have your own personal accident plan that covers you overseas.
However, if you’re relying on your travel insurance plan for personal accident coverage, avoid the temptation to just go with the lowest number. You should pick a sufficiently high coverage so as not to leave your dependents vulnerable should the worst happen.
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Trip cancellation and insolvency protection
Campground operators are counted as accommodation providers, which means you can claim for compensation should your holiday camp close down or otherwise fail to honour your booking.
Also, should you be forced to cancel your camping trip due to airline problems, sudden illness and family emergencies, or have to cut short your trip because of rampaging wild boars, know that you may be entitled to claim benefits from your travel insurance plan.
Hence, you’ll want to look out for robust trip cancellation and insolvency protection benefits that cover loss of deposits, paid accommodations, entertainment tickets, and insolvency of travel operators.
Be sure to obtain a statement in writing from your campground operator stating the reasons for their closure and their inability to provide a refund; this will help speed up the processing of your claims.
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Personal luggage and sporting equipment
Camping gear also counts as personal luggage, and is thus included under the same benefit.
If you are planning on bringing expensive camping gear or specialised equipment, you should make sure your coverage for personal luggage is sufficiently high. In particular, pay attention to the per-item sub-limits.
Depending on the nature of your camping trip, you may find yourself bringing or renting sporting equipment, such as canoes, diving gear, or bicycles.
Such items are usually covered under sporting equipment, and not personal luggage, so you should consider having dedicated sporting equipment cover in your travel plan. You can purchase an add-on for these items, if coverage is not already included.
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This last one is a must, especially if you’re planning to do more than merely sit in your tent all day long.
Be aware that even relatively low-risk activities like hiking and canoeing may not be covered under the standard terms of a travel insurance policy. Instead, these activities may be considered adventure or sports activities, and would require an extension of cover.
Some policies automatically extend cover to include such activities, whereas others may require you to purchase an add-on.
Make sure to check if your travel policy comes with adventure cover, and if so, what activities are covered (and what aren’t).
If adventure cover is not included, it’s better to spend a few extra bucks to purchase an extension, instead of risking it and going without.
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Best travel insurance plans for outdoor camping
Singlife Travel Insurance
Singlife Travel Insurance offers generous coverage for overseas medical expenses and emergency evacuation (ranging from S$250,000 to unlimited cover), which is a great starting point for any outdoors camper.
But on top of that, this plan also offers trip cancellation benefits – up to full coverage for travel, accommodation and entertainment costs (within policy limits) for insured reasons. For cancellations due to a reason not insured, you can claim up to 50% of the costs of travel, accommodation and entertainment.
Additionally, you can also tap on the Adventurous Water Sports cover for additional coverage for accidents or injury that occur during popular water activities, including white/black water rafting, canoeing and cave tubing.
This paid add-on also covers you should your water sports equipment become damaged or lost, even while in use. Replacement equipment you rent will also be covered, up to S$500 (S$100 per day).
Oh also, you can claim up to S$150 under the Rainfall Protection benefit, should your trip be marred by excessive rainfall, which Singlife defines as “For single trips (minimum 3 days) where more than 50% of trip duration is affected by rainfall levels of >6.4mm in a 24-hour period.”
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Allianz Travel Insurance
Allianz Travel Insurance has a dedicated search-and-rescue benefit (as part of its Emergency Evacuation benefit) that offers an additional layer of assurance for campers and other outdoorsy types.
Ok, it’s not like emergency services won’t go looking for you unless you hand over your credit card details first. Rather, think of the search-and-rescue benefit as an additional resource that your loved ones can tap into during a crisis.
This plan has plenty more to offer outdoors campers – including benefits for missed activities during your camping trip, as well as cover for personal sporting equipment, or equipment that you rent for your trip.
There’s also rental vehicle excess, which could come in handy for those who want to rent a jeep for some off-road driving in between campsites.
Of course, also included are benefits for personal accidents, overseas medical expenses, personal luggage and trip cancellation.
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Allianz Travel Insurance includes coverage for both COVID-19 and Cruises to Nowhere.
MSIG TravelEasy Pre-ex
Just because you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition doesn't mean you have to give up your love for the great outdoors. You simply need to get a travel insurance plan that covers your pre-existing condition, such as MSIG TravelEasy Pre-ex.
This plan has no upper age limit, making it easy to include even elderly folks –provided they’re up for the challenge.
But that’s not the only reason for campers – with or without long-term health conditions – to consider MSIG TravelEasy. This travel plan offers robust and well-rounded protection, with generous claims limits where they matter; including for personal accident, emergency evacuation, and a comprehensive suite of medical coverage, both overseas and in Singapore.
Other notable benefits include for travel cancellation and travel operator insolvency – the latter will come in handy in case your campground operator closes down and fails to provide you a refund for your booking.
Also, the adventurous activities benefit – included by default – will extend your coverage to include paragliding, white-water rafting, hot-air ballooning and the like, giving you free rein to enjoy a wider range of activities during your camping trip.
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