/ Insurance cover: 'Sporting Equipment'

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jamesnchlsn - on 06 Jun 2018

I'm looking to arrange insurance for a trip to the Alps this summer - mountaineering, climbing etc.

In previous years I've gone down the route of purchasing a bog-standard travel insurance and topping it up for adventurous rescue/repatriation/medical with AAC membership. However, I was caught out last year when my Jetboil was damaged while in transit on a flight back from a backpacking trip to Iceland. Easyjet said the conditions of carriage meant they were not liable, and directed me to my 'bog-standard' insurance. However, the insurer (Post Office), refused to pay out as the stove did not fall under their definition of possessions: ('Clothes & footwear, Luggage, Cosmetics & toiletries , Fine jewellery & watches, Electrical items & photographic equipment, Buggies, Strollers & Car seats, Laptops, Eyewear).

It appears that this problem is common to most insurers - and therefore outdoor gear (be that climbing gear, helmets, tents, stoves etc) are rarely covered against theft/damage on insurance. This year I purchased Ski Club GB insurance (which provides possessions cover for 'winter sports equipment', but even this wouldn't cover most summer hiking/trekking/climbing equipment). 

So it appears this is the big issue with the common 'AAC + standard' approach to Alpine insurance. Is anyone aware of any 'standard' insurers that will cover a wider range of 'sports equipment', or is an all-in-one BMC style policy the only way to go here?

Post edited at 12:52
LastBoyScout on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to jamesnchlsn:

Does your household contents insurance not cover those items when away from home?

I've used Voyager for most general trips and they've paid out fine when I lost a camera skiing - or BMC for more adventurous trips that include climbing/remote areas.

You can tailor the quote to add on what you want, such as sports equipment - "Sports Equipment is defined in the policy wording as: Means items of a personal nature specifically designed and intended to be used for participation in a particular sport, game or leisure activity".

The problem is that it's tiered against the age of the item, so if >5 years old, they won't pay out, so I haven't bothered and relied on the household insurance.

Post edited at 14:01
Fiona Reid - on 10 Jun 2018
In reply to jamesnchlsn:

I don't think you'll find any insurance company that covers sport equipment as standard - I'm happy to be proved wrong though.

We've used either snowcard or BMC for the last few years depending on what we've been up to.

Snowcard let you select the amount of kit you want cover for. They have different categories for normal baggage, sports kit, electronics and you can tailor it to what you want to cover.  I'll admit it's not cheap but when we got our car broken into in Tenerife and all our climbing kit nicked I was pretty happy I'd paid the extra. 

Howard J - on 11 Jun 2018
In reply to jamesnchlsn:

I was alarmed to discover that the definition of "sports equipment" in my household policy expressly excluded "mountaineering equipment".  When I queried it with the broker they added it in, at no cost.  Read the small print!

fred99 - on 11 Jun 2018
In reply to Howard J:

Of course, there are many of us who would concur with your insurance company original position, in that "mountaineering" is NOT a sport , but a pastime or hobby. (Not the same view that Sport England take unfortunately).


jonchitt - on 11 Jun 2018
In reply to jamesnchlsn:

Hi James

Jon from the BMC here. I've had a chat with our insurance team, if you were to insure with the BMC, cover for your Jetboil would be included in section 5 of our cover; Baggage and Passport.

Feel free to give us a ring for more information if you want to.

I hope you solve your claim issue!

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