A few years ago I was traveling to Turkey for an SIV. I knew my primary insurance might not cover paragliding so I opted to find and purchase secondary insurance. My research led me to HCC, which, for Americans, seemed like a good bet; in fact, it was one of the only companies I could find to insure against paragliding accidents.
Lucky for you, I did have an accident in Turkey and can speak to HCC’s service. It was, in one word, horrible. Basically I had to fight them for every penny and when they did pay, it took about 6 months to collect. Well, 6 months is better than never and to be honest, if HCC were the only choice I would still sign up again.
Recently I traveled to Brazil and knew I’d be need insurance again. I contacted HCC, but found they no longer cover Paragliding. Ultimately I ended up with WorldNomads insurance, which was easy to purchase and easy to extend when I decided to stay down in Brazil a bit longer, but I also never had to make a claim so I can’t speak to their service.
To make several long stories short, what I quickly realized is that for us paragliders, finding secondary (or for some of us, primary) insurance is not easy. So, to make things easier for us I thought I’d collect all the current data I could and do my best to present my findings in as simple and useful a manner as possible.
What follows is a list of all the insurance companies I could find that do (or did) cover paragliding. Many of these came from scouring the paragliding forums and several apply only to those living in or from Western Europe/UK.
Please feel free to comment on your favorite company or experiences in this area – I’ll happily update the list as comments come in. I hope this helps someone ☺
Airsports offers paragliding insurance as broker, so they’ll likely hook you up with the most applicable insurance depending on where you’re traveling. Specific details are unknown so one must phone Airsports for a quote.
Updated April 1, 2014
Description of Coverage
“Pre-Certification” is required for some of the expensive stuff like surgery and MRI’s. This consists of contacting the plan administrator.
Under “Other Exclusions” (page 11, 27(d)), Altas lists Paragliding as an exclusion and is therefore not a viable insurance for paragliders.
AXA covers only EU and Swiss citizens
Details of Coverage
Coverage limits, like IMG are a bit on the low side, but I couldn’t find any exclusion for competing pilots.
AXA also carries third party liability insurance, which is a requirement in order to fly legally in most EU countries.
In addition, Globelink will not cover the following: Death, Loss of Limb or Loss of Sight & Permanent total disablement (Section C – Personal Accident).
Maybe Globelink will cover you, but I’m writing them off based on their fine print.
Updated April 1, 2014
IMG offers many types of insurance, but only their “Adventure” insurance covers paragliding.
The maximum coverage is limited to $50,000. Exceeding $50,000 won’t be difficult with a typical paragliding accident, but I hear that this is a favorite insurance among pilots flying in competitions.
JS Insurance only covers those in and close to the UK. They have a good reputation and should be contacted if you’re from the UK.
This looks like a good insurance company, but they only cover Australians.
Updated April 1, 2014
World Nomads offers 2 types of insurance: Standard and Explorer. Standard does not cover extreme sports, while Explorer does.
Policy wording depends on your country of residence.
As a US resident of California under their “Explorer” plan no limitations or exclusions are listed for any sports related activities. World Nomads should cover you for Paragliding, competition or otherwise.
Under the Description of Coverage for French, German & Swiss customers (and possibly all countries outside the US) Section 6(aa) lists:
- Paragliding, mountaineering and base jumping are excluded from all plans.
Now, you probably know all this, but please keep in mind:
All the insurance in the world isn’t going to help you if you’re lying in a ditch. Fly with friends. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times. Use a GPS tracker if you need. Remember my 15 Items That May Save Your Life.
When and if you require assistance, remember that some of these insurance companies aren’t going to pay out fast enough for the hospital or clinic that you land in. The hospital or clinic folks in that foreign company may want cash or charge your credit card and you may need to contact your insurance company later for reimbursement. This may not be the case for you, but be prepared.
Be prepared for an accident. List your full name, date of birth, all your medications (if any) and your emergency contact(s). Make sure this information is easy to find in case you are unconscious or worse.
It’s a small amount of time and effort to prepare the above and it just may help save your life.
If you have knowledge of other companies that offer coverage, please feel free to email me or comment below and I will add their details to this list.