It won’t Happen To Me!
All students and experienced jumpers have to have third party liability insurance, most parachute associations have this included in the membership, if you are an experienced jumper then please make sure you bring your membership or third party insurance with you, if you are a new student you will need to make sure your travel insurance covers parachuting, if not then we can enroll you into the parachute association of your choice.
BPA members benefit from third party public liability insurance cover, (within the limitations of the terms of the policy). For example, if you accidentally landed on someone’s car the insurers would be responsible for paying for repairs.
The premium for this is included in the membership subscription, be it full, provisional or temporary. But what the policy doesn’t cover is medical insurance, personal accident (compensation in the event of injury or death), or cover for travel, equipment or baggage.
Ensure you insure
Although statistics prove skydiving to be nothing like as high risk as some non-skydivers may perceive, it can never be entirely risk-free, as with any action sport. The risk is reduced to an acceptable level by strict operational procedures but can never be entirely eliminated. Skydivers must therefore voluntarily accept an element of risk, which is prudent to always insure against.
Medical and Repatriation
The cost and kerfuffle of getting a seriously injured person home to a UK hospital is surely more than anyone would wish to impose on their partner, family or friends (who will already be stressed enough!). We all pay into the NHS but this won’t get you an air ambulance should you need it. These cost thousands of pounds. The whole medical and repatriation bill can be tens or even hundreds of thousands. Okay, this is a worst possible scenario but it does happen.
Medical insurance cover including repatriation is the absolute minimum that any skydiver should have whilst parachuting abroad. This should include cover for non skydiving medical emergencies too. See the leaflet Health Advice for Travelers from Post Offices or telephone 0800 555 777.
Paying the Bills
There’s also the compensation side of personal accident insurance for which – you guessed – an additional premium is payable. This sort of policy pays out for serious injury such as the loss of an eye or limb or in some cases, death. Some policies may also make a contribution to lost earnings – say you are a driver and your leg ends up in plaster. Who is going to pay your bills and those of your dependents, with no money coming in?
Travel, Equipment and Baggage
There’s also travel, baggage and equipment insurance. If you have a household policy, it may already give baggage cover or be extendable.
Single or Multiple Trip?
Typically, insurance is available for single or multiple trip, in various parts of the world such as Europe, USA or beyond. An annual multi-trip policy may be better value compared with a separate policy for each holiday. Note that most general insurance policies don’t cover skydiving. Start with the skydiving and add personal accident, travel, equipment and baggage cover as required. Be wary of any offer of free travel insurance, e.g. on a credit card as it is highly unlikely to include ‘high risk’ activities such as skydiving.
European Health Insurance Card
When traveling within Europe, it’s a good idea to get a European Health Insurance Card – the passport to free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment in most European countries. The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland The EHIC is intended to cover illness and emergency medical treatment. It doesn’t cover repatriation to the UK if you have a serious skydiving accident and it doesn’t give longer-term cover after the immediate emergency is over – when things can get very pricey. An EHIC is good to have and can help you out but don’t depend on it to the exclusion of a proper insurance policy, or you could end up seriously out of pocket.
Travel Insurance Brokers
Single Trip, Multi Trip and Gap Year Travel Insurance. Harrison Beaumont specialise in providing leisure, activity, adventure and sports travel insurance cover.
Activity Equipment Insurance – Harrison Beaumont specialise in providing all year round, worldwide insurance cover against any loss or damage to your activity equipment. Click here for a quote.
Make a checklist and go through it with the insurance company as it can be easy to forget something that later turns out to be important. There’s a suggested checklist here but think about what is important to you and make your own. Never be afraid to ask, however silly a question may seem. Few of us are insurance experts so if you see a jargon word or phrase, ask what it means in plain English. Getting the policy that’s right for you is your own personal responsibility, not the insurers!
1. Is it a one off trip?
Am I planning to make others? Ask about multi-trip policies – it might work out cheaper
2. For medical cover:
Does is cover skydiving accidents?
- Does is cover non-skydiving medical emergencies?
- Does it include repatriation?
- How much is the premium?
- What is the duration of the policy?
- Are there any conditions / limitations?
- What is the maximum cover? (£2m+ is advisable)
- Is there any excess?
3. What other cover is included or can be added?
- Travel delay or cancellation; loss of deposit
- Personal accident cover (compensation)
- Parachute equipment insurance
- Baggage insurance
- Personal liability / legal expenses
- Ask Around
It is said the acid test of an insurance policy is when you make a claim. Find out from other skydivers about any claims they have made, how easy it has been, whether they have had problems with exclusions and so on.
Keep Your Policy Handy
If you need to call on an insurance policy, remember that you may not be in a fit state. Keep your insurance details somewhere obvious, such as in your log-book holder, wallet or purse and tell others so they can find it easily in an emergency. If you are in a coma, you can’t tell anyone where it is! You might think that this doesn’t bear thinking about but we can assure you, it’s only sensible to plan in this way. It is also worth making photocopies of all your documents to carry with you, just in case your bags are misplaced or stolen. We hope you will never need to call on your insurance. But, unless you have the strength of an insurance policy around you, you could find yourself – and your Nearest and Dearest(!) – in quite a pickle indeed.