Financial Protection for Climbers

© Mark Reeves

When it comes to protection you should take no chances, always checking your rope and making sure you have the right gear for the climb. You do your best to ensure you have every eventuality covered.

It may seem a trite comparison but so it should be with your financial protection. It is important that the policy is suitable. It is more important that you have the right policy and it is essential that the policy will pay out should the worse happen.

Helicopter support for the rescue team  © Mark Reeves
Rescue in North Wales. Photo: Mark Reeves

There is no point in using the latest climbing gadgetry if you don't use it properly and there is no point in badly protecting a pitch with good rope. Worst still would be properly protecting a pitch with a bad rope.

If you are considering providing financial protection for the benefit of your family, you should ensure that you have the correct policy, with proper cover for your climbing and at the most competitive premium. It is essential that the insurance underwriter knows the full extent of your climbing and that your policy includes cover for your climbing be it in the Lakes, the Alps or K2.

The following general plans are available:

Mortgage Protection

This is designed to provide a guaranteed benefit payable on death. The sum assured will decrease over the term of the plan and is normally used in connection with a capital repayment mortgage where the balance of the outstanding mortgage will decrease over the term of the plan.

Level Term Assurance

This is designed to provide a guaranteed benefit payable on death. The sum assured will remain constant throughout the plan and is normally used to provide a set lump sum for your beneficiaries.

Income protection

This plan is designed to provide you with a regular benefit should you suffer illness or injury leading to loss of income.

Critical Illness

This should not be confused with Terminal Illness. The relevant benefit is payable upon diagnosis of a critical illness covered by the plan; for example heart attack, stroke or cancer.

Terminal Illness

This is often included with Mortgage Protection and Level Term assurance at no extra cost and would pay out the benefit of the plan if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness during the term of the plan where your life expectancy is less than 12 months (excluding the last 18 months of the plan).

Remember always disclose the full extent of your climbing otherwise the policy may be voidable and not pay out any benefit regardless of cause of claim. It is the insurer's decision whether to offer you standard terms, charge you an additional amount or exclude aspects of the policy. Non disclosure of climbing does not simply mean you are not covered, it may invalidate your entire policy.

by David Hallam, Director of Summit Financial Services

More information

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