Piece of mind, mainly for your mom.
Most stage races require competitors to carry “insurance”. This is due to a variety of reasons but mainly so the organizers do not need to carry an exceptionally large policy that covers participants from all over the world for every conceivable situation. The bottom line however is that this is for your protection. Costs can range widely but typically for a reasonable policy it will be from $100-$300 US. Yes, this is an additional expense but many races are requiring this and it protects your investment in the event as well as yourself. Occasionally proof of coverage is required by race organizers.
Where you live will dictate the difficulty of obtaining insurance for a stage race. Some places it is easy while others it is harder but not impossible. This is because coverage is dependent upon your country of origin and their applicable laws. Additionally, some countries are more in tune with “adventure sports travel” than others.
Typically, an insurance policy will cover many misfortunes that could potentially befall you. This could include:
• Accidental Death and Dismemberment: If you die or lose a limb or two.
• Medical issues: Doctor visits, emergency rooms, etc.
• Dental Treatment: Your pearly whites
• Evacuation: Transportation of you from remote or not so remote locations
• Repatriation: Getting you back to your home country
• Repatriation of mortal remains: Getting your body back to your home country
• Loss of Baggage/Personal effects: This happens more than you know
• Automobile accidents: Mainly for collision damage waiver
• Trip Cancellation: Sometime coverage may also be provided if you lose your job
• Trip Interruption: Typically flight delays
The one thing you need to be sure of is that your prospective policy will cover you when participating in this esoteric sporting event. Stage racing does not regularly come under the list of typical high risk adventure sports such as running of the bulls in Pamploma or cave diving, but similar activities usually listed include ultra running, fell running, orienteering, trekking and others.
Insurers typically have multi-tier premium systems. The lower tiers are for activities that have relatively little risk of injury such as snooker or yoga. The higher tiers are for activities that involves a greater amount of risk such as skydiving and elephant polo. If there is any question with your insurance provider just pony up the slight difference just to be sure. Insurers may also offer a multi-trip, annual policy which may prove to be the best value depending upon your plans.
As usually the small print will include disclaimers such as war, terrorism, acts of God, etc. Unfortunately there is never any way around these exclusions. Study potential policies carefully before purchasing. If you have questions do not hesitate to call and speak to an agent directly since they can most likely answer your questions. One other item of note is that it is difficult to secure these types of policies if you are over the age of 70. I think this is age discrimination but the actuaries may have a different opinion.
Do not procrastinate purchasing a policy. You should have one in place before the refund deadline of your event. There may also be restrictions on how late you can purchase a policy.
Make sure to have appropriate copies of your policy and contact numbers along with your other travel documents. It is also not a bad idea to give a second set to a family member for their reference just in case.
Some providers of these types of policies include:
• Sports Cover Direct
• World Nomads
• Travel Guard
• Global Diplomat
Or you can search for “adventure travel insurance”, “extreme sports travel insurance” or similar.