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Best Travel Insurance Plans for Road Trips, Water Sports and Extreme Sports

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 07 March, 2023

Standard travel insurance plans won’t cover you for extreme sports, water-related activities, and the rental vehicle you use for a road trip. Here’s what you need to do instead. 

Best Travel Insurance For Road Trips, Water and Extreme Sports

For the most part, travel insurance plans do a good job of covering you against the common risks of overseas travel. But if you are planning to take a road trip, or participate in extreme sports or water-related activities, be aware that such activities may not be covered in a basic plan. 

Hence, you’ll likely need to purchase the relevant add-ons to get the coverage you need. Here’s how you can properly insure yourself when going on road trips, or if your holiday would involve extreme sports and/or water sports. 

Insuring yourself on road trips

Before we start, let’s establish the context for the discussion to follow. When going on a road trip, there are two forms of insurance you need – travel insurance and rental car insurance. While there may be areas of overlap, it may be more prudent to consider each one separately. 

Here are the differences between the two:

Travel insurance

Rental car insurance

Provides cover for you, your passengers, and your belongings

Provides cover for your rental car, as well as third party liability

Benefits include personal accident, overseas medical, luggage and travel disruption/cancellation

Benefits may include loss or damage of rental car, emergency assistance and evacuation, overseas medical expenses, personal accident

Purchased on your own from insurer of your choice

May be offered by rental car company, or independent vendor


Travel insurance plans typically provide personal accident cover and overseas medical benefits, which account for two of the most important areas of coverage when taking road trips overseas. 

However, as you will very likely be driving a rental vehicle, there is one other area of coverage you shouldn’t miss out on – insurance for your rental vehicle. 

It sounds counterintuitive, but rental cars don’t come with very much by way of insurance. Car rental companies are only required to provide third-party liability, which only covers you against claims made by someone injured in a traffic accident involving your rental car. 

That means that you’re on the hook for all other loss and/or damage to the vehicle during the rental period, which can open you up to some pretty nasty bill shocks should someone rear-end you, break into your parked car, set it on fire, steal and thrash it in a joyride, etc. 

You may be able to use your regular car insurance plan (the one for the car you are driving in Singapore) to settle the rental company’s claims, but doing that will mean losing your No-Claims Discount (NCD). 

More insidiously, it will also subject you to premium loading – industry speak for upwards adjustment of your premiums upon the next renewal – independent of your NCD penalty. 

Hence, when going on a road trip, you need to make sure you have adequate cover against loss or damage of your rental car. This means that you should consider adding-on benefits such as:

  • Collision, loss or damage waiver (although there still may be excess charges)
  • Windscreen, windows and tyre repairs and replacements
  • Relocation and towing benefits
  • Theft protection

Different car rental companies offer some form or combination of these (and other) benefits, so be sure to check with them directly for personalised advice. 

Best travel insurance plans for road trips

So, rental car insurance really should be considered separately, but does that mean that travel insurance policies are completely unrelated? Not exactly. 

You see, collision, loss or damage waivers may still include an excess charge, which is payable out of your own pocket. (You can opt for a higher-cost rental insurance plan that completely absorbs the excess charges, but not all rental companies may offer them.)

However, with a travel insurance plan that offers rental excess cover, you can reduce this extra expense, or even stave it off completely. 

Two such plans are FWD Travel Insurance, and Budget Direct Comprehensive Travel Insurance. Both offer car rental excess cover, as follows:

  • FWD Travel Insurance: Up to S$1,000
  • Budget Direct Comprehensive Travel: Up to S$2,000

Of course, car rental excess cover alone isn’t the only thing you should consider when choosing a travel insurance plan, so remember to examine the rest of the benefits in these two plans before making your choice. 

FWD Travel Insurance Promotion: Enjoy 35% off for Single Trip and 30% off for Annual Trip when you use the promo code FWDTRAVEL. Valid till 21 March 2023. T&Cs apply.

Insuring yourself for water sports and/or extreme sports

And now, we’ll discuss insurance needs if you’re planning on participating in water sports and/or extreme sports. Don’t worry, this section is comparatively more straightforward than the preceding one!

Water-related activities and extreme sports – let’s call them adventurous activities cover for brevity, although different insurers each have their own labels for such – are all under the purview of your travel insurance plan. 

As such, you simply need to decide what adventurous activities you will be taking part in, and ensure your travel insurance plan has the corresponding coverage. Some areas of adventurous activities coverage to consider include:

  • Coverage for sporting equipment
  • Personal liability cover
  • Cancellations or alterations of pre-booked adventurous activities 
  • Personal accident, overseas medical expenses, emergency services 

The first coverage area is pretty straightforward – you’ll want to insure your expensive sporting equipment such as scuba diving equipment, golf clubs, snow skis, and etc. Should they get lost or damaged, your general personal belongings benefits may not cover them adequately, if at all. So be sure to check through your insurance policy wording and top up for a more expensive tier for important items. 

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Also, if you’re renting them, you’ll be on the hook for any replacement or repair costs.

Personal liability cover is to ensure that you have a layer of protection in case your actions or participation accidentally cause another person or party to be injured. However, for most cases, standard travel insurance plans offer personal liability cover, but you should consider beefing it up if the amount is too low. 

As for cancellations or alternations of pre-booked activities, well this is simply to give you an option to receive partial or full reimbursement should, say, your white-water rafting session be cancelled because of dangerous conditions. 

Lastly, personal accident, overseas medical and emergency services would already be included in your travel insurance plan, but again, you’ll need to evaluate if the benefits are at a high-enough level, and beef them up if necessary.  

One note though: Just because you have insurance for adventurous cover doesn't mean you can throw caution and take up the offer to go “backyard squirrel hunting” from MAGAGuns420 that messaged you over Craigslist.

In most cases, you’ll only be covered if you book your activities with a licensed and regulated guide or provider, and carry out the activity under proper supervision. 

And even so, there are restrictions and exclusions on the activities itself (for example, scuba diving up to a certain depth, trekking up to certain height, use of specialised equipment, participating in competitive sports, etc), so be sure to refer to the policy documents or check with your insurer.  

More on this topic:
FWD Travel Insurance Review: Great For The Budget
Revenge Travel 2022: 16 Top Travel Tips To Satisfy Your Wanderlust
Best Types Of Travel Insurance Plans For Each Trip
Best Covid-19 Travel Insurance Plans (2022)

Best travel insurance plans for water sports and/or extreme sports

The good news is that adventurous activities cover is quite readily found these days, leaving you with plenty of choices. 

To help you in your search, we’ve listed three plans below and their key benefits. 

Travel insurance plan

Adventurous cover benefits (selected)

MSIG TravelEasy

- Bungee jumping, skydiving, paragliding, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, ice skating, etc

- Golfer’s cover

- Unused entertainment tickets

NTUC Income Travel Insurance

- Leisure activities such as scuba diving, snow-skiing, water rafting and motorcycling

- Option to cover pre-existing conditions

- Unlimited number of children covered (Family Plan)

Singlife Travel Insurance

- Winter sports, including skiing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, glacier walking

- Water sports, including diving, whitewater rafting, canoeing, cave/river tubing, yachting


SingSaver Exclusive Promotion: Enjoy an 18% discount when you use the promo code TRAVEL18 for single-trip travel insurance plans only. Valid till 31 March 2023. T&Cs apply.


SingSaver Exclusive Promotion: Enjoy 40% off Single Trip plans and 20% off Annual Plans. In addition, receive up to S$38 via PayNow when you apply. Valid till 31 March 2023. T&Cs apply.

Plus, score a ReboundTAG (worth S$31.90) + a BRONZE ticket (1x chance) in our March Madness Grand Lucky Draw when you apply, for a chance to win your share of over S$20,000 worth of prizes! Valid till 2 April 2023. T&Cs apply.

Conclusion: Always check with your insurer

The tricky thing about travel insurance is working out what events and occurrences your plan will actually cover, and under what circumstances. 

This can be further complicated by the fact that different insurers have different exclusions, which means that between two similar-looking plans, maybe only one will give you the cover you actually need. 

But fret not, confirming whether a particular travel plan is right for you is relatively simple. Just contact the insurance company, tell them exactly what you will be doing on your trip, and ask them to confirm if the plan will cover you. They’ll tell you yes or no – and suggest alternatives or add-ons in the latter scenario. 

And while you’re at it, might as well ask them if they allow double indemnity; i.e., whether you can make a claim on your plan if you are also claiming against your licensed guide, travel agent or relevant third party.

Yes, all that sounds like quite a bit of work just for a holiday, but the clearer you are about your coverage, the more you will be able to enjoy your road trip, water sports or extreme sports holiday.

Read these next:
Best Travel Insurance Singapore 2022 (With COVID-19 Coverage)
Best Travel Insurance Plans And Promotions In Singapore
What Is the Best Travel Insurance for Your Age?
Credit Card Travel Insurance vs Travel Insurance

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.