Are You Covered? Travel Insurance Tips

Feb 17, 2015 at 0:01
Feb 17, 2015
by Mark Matthews  
 
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Figuring out what insurance to buy for International travel and competition can be a little confusing, especially if you don’t make your living as a professional rider. Since launching my fundraiser earlier this month I have raised just over $4000, and still have over $35,000 to go before my medical bills are paid off. It’s scary to know how many people could end up in this exact same situation, so I would like to use this article as an opportunity to help keep you informed and possibly save you from ending up in medical debt.

Mark blasting a table over the Thompson River.
Spend more time riding and less time worrying about medical debt.

When purchasing my travel insurance before Red Bull Rampage I went to TIC (Travel Insurance Canada). I explained why I was going down to Utah to ride, but what I failed to do was mention that Rampage is a professional competition with prize money involved. As soon as prize money is involved, you are technically a professional athlete and are void from coverage in many insurance policies. My policy also stated that I would have to inform them before I went into surgery or they would only be able to cover up to 20% of the costs. This was something I was unable to do given my situation, but was also unaware of it until after being injured. This was in the fine print but the broker didn’t bring it up once.

Although I got injured in practice, I was still engaging in an event with prize money and TIC wasn’t informed of my injury until after surgery. Because of these two factors my claim was 100% denied. Insurance for 10 days in Utah ended up costing me over $300. Since then I have done more research and purchased professional athlete insurance through BCAA. My cost for 1 year is less than $200. On top of that, my policy makes it clear that I am fully covered in professional competition. I am now spending less money on insurance and I won’t be in this situation again.

I had to learn this lesson the hard way but there is no reason anyone else should. A little bit of extra research goes a long way.


Pinkbike did some research into available insurance for mountain bikers travelling for competition. As Mark has already found TIC Travel Insurance will not provide travel medical insurance for sports events that provide a cash prize. We were lucky enough to speak to a representative who was familiar with mountain biking and once we mentioned Red Bull Rampage she quickly said “oh no, we wouldn’t touch that.” A quick internet search for travel medical insurance and many phone calls yielded no further companies that would provide coverage, with the exception of BCAA (for Canadians) and ihi BUPA (for international competitors).

BCAA confirmed that they do provide travel medical insurance for participants of events like Red Bull Rampage. They have a ‘Professional Sports’ rider that they can add to their existing travel medical policy, it covers athletes who receive any income from their sport. Additionally they will add specific notes to the file to aid agents who are processing your coverage should you need to use it. The agent whom we spoke with at Travel Underwriters (they provide the insurance policies that BCAA sells) recommended that anyone - even if they are not a professional athlete - participating in an out-of-country competition with prize money, purchase the additional 'Professional Sports' rider to ensure they are fully covered.

For mountain bikers outside of Canada, ihi BUPA will provide travel coverage for mountain bikers participating in competitions. They provide 100% unlimited medical coverage for any emergency treatments during your travel including hospitalisation, outpatient treatment, repatriation, evacuation, prescribed medicines, and ambulance transportation.

Ensuring that the agent you are dealing with fully understands the purpose and risk involved in your travel, unfortunately, falls on each individual. Not all agents are created equally and only a small percentage will ride bikes themselves.


Read more on the subject in this article by Malcolm Mclaws - Risk vs Reward in Contests



Fundraiser Prizes markmatthews.ca
Want to help me pay off my debt and have a chance to win some sweet prizes? The fundraiser is up and running with tons of awesome prizes to be won! Winners will be announced sometime in the New Year when I get close to reaching my goal of $40,000.

Rules:

1. Make a donation by purchasing an entry under "Buy Now" at the bottom of this page or my website ($5 minimum).

2. Scroll to the bottom of the fundraiser page and drop me a message. You can also message me from my Pinkbike Account.

Enter your name, email address, and put "Markymath Fundraiser" as the subject. In the message, briefly describe why you want to win something. The best and/or funniest answers will be chosen!

This is open to anyone worldwide and the prizes will be shipped out to the winners. The winners will be announced May 1st and contacted before hand.

I would like to give an extra special thanks to my sponsors for the gear, and to Jer Buck for building the website.

Thanks for your generosity and support so far everyone!

Mark Matthews Fundraiser
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102 Comments

  • + 90
 Never appreciated the NHS more....
  • + 1
 Yeah, its amazing who can receive helthcare when services aren't marked up 5000% like in the states. ACC in New Zealand will cover any accidental injury including foreigners competing in professional sporting events.
However I'd still strongly recommend purchacing a policy that covers medical transportation back to your home country. I used globalunderwriters.com/international.aspx with hazardous activity coverage for my last holiday.
  • + 6
 yeah but we got to watch out that we don't loses the NHS. thanks to cycling I stay fit and health apart from some crashes, I haven't seen my GP in over 8 years but have been to A&E for some crashes and yes when they are busy it is a little wait but always great service, I am so thankful for the NHS, keep up the amazing work.
  • + 8
 Yeah 3 to the NHS - they put my femur back together again =)
  • + 7
 Holy crap, they did that for free? In the US that would have run you 300k or a billion dollars depending on which hospital you get admitted to.
  • + 14
 Murica
  • + 2
 Bike insurance.

Veloinsurance.com is who I use (they have other companies out there, but I like the owner) - I have ridiculously good health insurance thru work, so haven't used them for that, however they have purchased me a new DH bike (1 week after making the claim, i had the money) right before a Whistler trip.

My Velo Insurance policy appears to cover me and my bike in a competition situation (cash prize or otherwise). However, i'm too fat and out of shape to be finding out how strong the policy actually is.
  • + 2
 What is this "medical insurance" you speak of?
  • + 2
 It's one of the perks to selling your sole for a real job and a chance to pursue the American dream.
  • + 2
 I thought that's what Obamacare was going to be, but turned out not to be. People were more freaked out about the thought of a national insurance, before he announced what it was. But having riding friends from England and Canada telling me they were heading home for a few months to have surgery or other medical treatments they would say "It's free. Why pay thousands here?" They also had free ER visits here. When you're 25 years old, not a pro, living alone and paying $200 a month, with a $2000 deductible (19 years ago) making $27k a year at a full time job, I thought,"I'm living in the wrong country". The US would screw this up though and mass hysteria would set in. Besides, nearly every government elect in DC is sitting on a pharm or healthcare board, how are they gonna line their pockets if its government controlled?
  • + 2
 Isnt the us one of the only 1st world countries that doesnt have universal healthcare? Its like a bad joke. And the republicans still keep trying to repeal obamacare even though its still half-assed health care.
  • + 2
 ^ I'd say its a fairly well done attempt in this current state. Hell even though it was mainly written by the pharma industry so they still rake in billions a year, it still allowed tens of millions of people an option they didn't have previously. However it does nothing to solve the real issue which is the absurd and criminal actions of the medical industry to charge the amount that they do. Thanks Republicans!
  • + 71
 you can be physically fit all your life and take part in healthy sports like mtb and then get denied for getting injured, but the fat ass that has been 300lbs overweight all his life has a heart attack and he is totally covered. clearly something is wrong with the system.
  • + 1
 Yeah bro; and I don't have nothing with a vhibbies but yea bro
  • + 25
 @keystone, so true. I use to be that 300lb fat ass! Then I got my bike and discovered MTB now I'm about a 220lbs fat ass, but I am working on it. Lost it all riding. I'm getting pretty damn good now.
  • + 8
 I love cheeseburgers.
  • + 8
 @Scott I use to love Cheeseburgers too, that is why I was 300lbs Smile
  • + 2
 haha touche
  • + 6
 I love crumpets !!!
  • + 3
 Crumpets will never beat a good scone now, will they? (genuinely making tea at my desk-side-tea-station right now.)
  • + 1
 Lordtom ,seeing youre in swansea I think a welsh cake would be more suitable ,still crumpets for me though dude ,,,yummy yummy.
  • + 2
 I'm actually in Qatar, looking out my window at the flat desert wishing for some scones, a dirtbike and a digger.
  • + 2
 fair play to you pal ,im in bridgend looking at corrie with the misses ,scones a plenty in my cupboard and crumpets .no desert or sun here though although a day off tomoz and out on the bike all day ,,,,yippie .
  • + 1
 Do you Brits have a British to English translator app available? Wink Welsh Cake? A & E? Corrie? Keystone, I can't speak to the States but here in BC there is a fair bit of debate over health care coverage & taxes on people who engage in risky activities such as smoking & eating too much junk food. There use to be a bit of tax relief on healthy purchases like bikes or skis but that has gone the way of the Dodo. I can't imagine going bankrupt over a broken bone, just boggles the mind.
  • + 2
 @wideload46 ,here is a little help regarding the English language ,A welsh cake is a welsh version of a scone ,A & E .is accident and emergency department in a hospital and corrie is a shite soap opera ,coronation street .As for health care we do have it really good over here as it is free .We dont tend to get tax relief on bikes and the like although most places will do a deal regarding a purchase .If you need any further help regarding our strange language dont hesitate to ask ...
  • + 2
 Thanks Jammy, I guess because of our heritage, Canada has a lot of similarities to the British system. Free ( sort of) health care, a bastardized British Parlaiment system. Even the same tv shows (yep we get Coronation Street & yep it's crap). Our version of tea & scones...well let's just say you really have us beat there, but we do have Timmies & Timbits. As for language, I was riding a tram in Jasper trying to follow a conversation between 2 Scottish gents, got lost after "Angus" & a few " fooks"...I'll probably never get the whole gist of the esoterics, but the accent rocks.
  • + 1
 Chubbies
  • + 1
 Yeah man good job better riding than eating
  • + 34
 Redbull should pay the remaining debt
  • + 5
 If they do it for one, they have to do it for all and suddenly they will have huge insurance bills and not making enough profit. Ergo events cancelled. So, I don't agree.
  • + 14
 surely they could insure the riders though, seeing as it supposedly should only cost a few hundred $ per rider
  • + 39
 Red Bull could make sure that all participants was insured. No insurance, no admittance. They could even ask a third party to offer the insurance if a participant did not have insurance, before the event. All participants must wear helmets usually sounds fair enough. How about including insurance.
  • + 6
 Amen Piglet. It's standard in pretty much every motorsport, as far as I know, either to provide athlete insurance or to at least require athletes to be properly insured. I used to love Rampage, and I still think it's a great platform for the sport, but when stuff like this happens I hope that my favourite riders don't participate, because I don't wanna see them get broke off with potentially no help on offer. All pseudo-legal ins and outs aside, it's just not okay to run events where things like what happened to Mark can occur. Otherwise we might as well just pretend we're Romans and rebuild the Colosseum, gladiatorial deathmatches and all. I'm sure it'd be great TV.
  • + 1
 Dito to DC and Piglet. They should have a requirement to show proof of insurance and also an 'default' option where the riders by into an insurance that redbull has done the leg work on. More efficient to just have the organizer do the leg work then every individual competitor
  • + 3
 I find it hard to believe with all the media presence and involvement with this event, not to mention red bulls direct involvement, that the riders don't have some sort of injury compensation or insurance. Its a shame, riders shouldnt have to risk huge medical debts just to further their careers and entertain us. Rampage can be huge for a riders career, i would love to see riders going big without the danger of being buried in medical debt hanging over their heads.
  • + 1
 PigletOrange is bang on, yeah they should do that from now on. In the meantime they can pay this bill! Wink
  • + 1
 I think the issue with that is they are performing for redbull. The burden shouldn't be on the riders to make sort through the mess that is international insurance coverage.
  • + 7
 Every single athlete at Rampage has to show proof of health insurance prior to them being allowed to get a number plate and ride. They obviously dont check to see the details of the policy but they do REQUIRE athletes to show up with insurance prior to riding. I competed in 2012 and they did it then, when I signed in, they checked to verify that I had valid health insurance. I am sure that continues to be required to compete. That being said, policies obviously vary as Mark has unfortunately discovered through a poorly stated policy.
  • + 4
 @freddiehg There's certainly an aspect of this being a performance in pursuit increasing Red Bull's brand exposure: while it's a competition, there's certainly an aspect of advertising involved, perhaps moreso that say, "The WC downhill series brought to you by Shimano." The WC is organized by a non-profit, Rampage is organized by a for profit company, making money directly off this event: The athletes involved are earning Red Bull money, therefore Red Bull should provide for them the way you would any employee, including health insurance.

At least, that's argument I'd make, morally.
  • + 5
 It pisses me off that matthews busted his ass for red bull and yet when hes injured at their event, no dice.
  • + 1
 Redbull should at least make it mandatory to have insurance before competing. Its just good business when they make so much money off the publicity.
  • + 2
 They do require insurance but leave it to the rider to make sure it's sufficient to cover them
  • + 3
 Well then, thats the problem, is there really no suit wearing people around these events making sure everyone is covered, including the organizers. Especially if its as cheap as 200-300$
  • + 12
 Slung you forty bucks, Mark. I hope a few other PB readers do the same. It's a drop in the bucket, but shit I'm not Bill Gates. Sweat Equity is still one of the best edits I've ever seen, stay strong bro.
  • + 6
 Medical Insurance and the entire medical industry in the United States is a freaking joke. It is downright embarrassing how these practitioners in this country handle their patients with their obvious textbook answers and treatment. Insurance companies have far ruined this industry. I had the opportunity to go to med school when I graduated and I am glad I didn't. I went into the private sector in research instead. I make a hell of a lot less money but at least I am not part of the problem.
  • + 7
 Insurance companies didn't ruin the system, they're just a by-product of a broken system (thanks to privatization that the Republican party pushes so hard to get in every aspect of our lives and achieved with the medical system when Nixon was in office). Hospitals are in charge of their own prices and are independent of any oversight in how they do this. They quite literally make up prices depending on how the price master feels that day and isn't based on any logic or a centralized system. The ACA is helping millions of people through this broken system but its still very much a broken and I would even classify it as criminal. Go look into how much non-profit hospitals make and also how much doctors are paid (not only by the hospitals but also by big pharma to push certain branded drugs, regardless of what the patient actually needs). Its all one big scam... surprise!
  • + 1
 @Scott, couldn't agree with you more. I understand where you are saying. I do work in Non-profit section of Biotech. I make at least 33% less than my peers because of this. BTW: clicked on your profile and watched your GoPro submission video. Nice line man.
  • + 1
 Thanks man, I appreciate it! I've been curious to hear from someone who works in the same type of industry... is the company you work for a legit nonprofit and not just claimed for tax purposes? Do the higher ups make a crap ton or is it reasonable and a lot of profits that are made are donated to other causes? I've always wondered how some places get their nonprofit status and what kind of guidelines are in place for them to uphold that status because for some non-profits (like some hospitals), it just seems like a way for the company to pay out less to employees while raking in the same amount of money for the head honchos.
  • + 3
 It's not hospitals, it's a combination of medicare and the horrible reimbursement rates that the hospitals/doctors/health care providers are able to achieve from medicare/insurance companies.

The reason your $0.50 pain killer is charged at $10.00 is the hospital is averaging a 5% reimbursement.
  • + 1
 Nothing is totally non profit, We do have to pay salaries, keep the lights on, buy lab equipment and consumables and that is very expensive. The higher ups do make better salaries per the experience and education as deserved in my opinion but we do funnel a vast majority of our money back into research. I work at a certain cancer research center in Seattle, Wa. A Very large cancer research center. I am a lowly lab rat working at a bench just trying to keep get some cheese Smile
  • + 5
 The medical industry in the states is a goddamn travesty. When a bag of salt water costs more than my monthly car bill...you know there's a fucking problem.
  • + 2
 @topherdagopher- absof*ckinglutely!
  • + 1
 @scott-townes There's more than a few non-profits out there that blatantly game the system, or outright break the rules, no question. Part of the problem, as it's been described to me, is that once your 501c3 application is reviewed, you have to REALLY screw up to lose it. That allows people starting small non-profits, that balloon out of their control, to get into morally gray territory fairly quickly, as well as allowing people that understand how to scam the system to use it for nefarious purposes.

Of course, sometimes it's one & the same, as the people brought on board to handle a suddenly much larger NPO are often coming from other NPOs, & including the morally bankrupt individuals(& be sure that those people try not to stick around anywhere too long, as that way they aren't there when & if the walls finally do come crashing down.)
  • + 1
 Yeah, its the same in many parts of the world although the US is an extreme example. In Ireland, the head of a pharmaceutical lobby group was on the radio and he was asked why medicine in Ireland is 20% more expensive than other countries. It was infuriating and gratifying to hear him fail to mask what he was saying. Basically he was trying to avoid saying that Ireland is a "rich" country so we charge more for medicine. The cost of medicine has nothing to do with the cost of production. Profiteering scum in medicine and pharmaceuticals .
  • + 1
 To be fair, if they charged what they do in third party countries everywhere else, they'd have no R&D budget to discover new drugs: drug R&D is horribly expensive, & us first world countries have some pretty expensive hurdles to cross before you can actually sell a drug.

So either they charge a premium in places with a higher living standard, & less other places, or the price is the same everywhere, & the third world gets effectively priced out of lifesaving drugs.

I will agree, however, that many pharmaceutical companies have moved past that balancing point, & are gaming the system in ways the public did not intend under the current regulatory environment. That's why regulation has to be an constantly evolving system in an adversarial economic environment, like capitalism.
  • + 4
 ^ This is going to sound blunt but... Bullshit. Big drug companies spend more on advertising and pandering to the medical community in order to have the doctors recommend their drugs, than they do in R&D... in some cases, almost double what they spend on researching new drugs. Their top executives make tens of millions of dollars a year. Drug companies love to use that as an excuse but there are plenty non-US based drug companies putting out drugs on the same level and sometimes better than what we get in the US and their prices are a fraction of what is charged in the US. You can even find the same drugs that are being sold in the US in Cuba or Canada for a tenth of what is charged here.
  • + 1
 I'm not sure why you called bullshit, since what you said, is what i said in my last paragraph. They've taken advantage of the system, I'm not disputing that, but just because they're profiteering, doesn't mean FDA trials are cheap to run.
  • + 1
 I'm just calling bullshit on the statement that they charge the absurd prices because they need the money to properly do R&D on new drugs. They could charge 1/10th of the price and still have plenty to live a very comfortable life and to research new cures/drugs. A very small percentage is actually spent on that research.
  • + 1
 Yeah, as was stated in the interview i spoke about that company made profits of $1.3billion and paid their CEO $20million but wouldnt bend on the price of life saving medicine for a handful of patients. Charging any patients €250,000 a year for life saving medicine when you make such obscene profits is sick. I have a friend who works for Gilead pharmaceuticals and he said some of the new medicines they release dont even cost €1million to produce but they can and do charge vasts multiples of that because of the patent laws.

Its one of the most unethical industries out there.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes But I didn't say that: I said that if they charged what they do in third world countries, they wouldn't have an R&D budget. They don't charge 1/10th in third world countries. They charge 1 /100th, sometimes less than that, & in some cases, they give out certain drugs for free.
  • + 3
 Fuck insurance! Its about fair priced health care not over inflated egos saying they are worth more than the next Dr. And hospitals charging 100 dollars for a plastic straw mcdonalds gives you for free. Insurance is a total scam at least in the US!
  • + 2
 @mmatthews I just wanted to ask if the Event Insurance policy covered riders in any way as a secondary coverage. I am asking to understand how RedBull got their liability policy set up and see if there is a better way.

My example is always USACycling, which helped me with a $16k knee surgery at a US National Dual Slalom race years ago. I did not have insurance, but as a member of USA Cycling racing in their event, I had secondary health insurance coverage through USA Cycling that kicked in and acted as primary coverage. It was 80/20 after a $2k deductible, but left me only settling on $4k left over, a huge help.

Rampage was part of the FMB series right? If you are a registered rider on the FMB tour, it seems an absolute shame that the FMB tour would not have it's competitors insured at least secondarily for medical.

I strongly recommend the riders meet in unison with the FMB tour and RedBull to determine a way for riders under the FMB flag to have coverage.


USA Cycling is not so amazingly awesome that it is doing something unheard of.

THANK YOU for listing those carriers. I'm an insurance agent and DH racer and will try to get set up to broker the companies that look after fellow riders.
  • + 2
 Great info, even non pro and up and coming pro ryders can benefit from this!
I used to race in Open, BMX Events at a international level just below A Pro, for cash prizes. It's a good thing I only wrecked in Point Races because insurance came in a few times and they did ask how the injury happened of course. If it was for a cash prize? I had no clue it mattered. X-rays, cat scans, MRI's and physical therapy for 24 months are not cheap at all. Thank you for posting such great info, I will make sure to check this in the future for myself and my boy!
  • + 2
 Insurance is a very linear process. It is black or white, surrounded by grey and there are many companies that offer a myriad of products, but as Mark has highlighted, there are clear contractual obligations that the rider and the insurance need to do.

There are many companies that offer international insurance for professionals, amateurs and for us MTBr's high-risk/special risk sports.

My first recommendation, if you're racing. Go to your local sanctioning body; cycling BC offers up comprehensive travel/race insurance for the year for under $200. Alternatively, there are many special risk insurers who are around $40 per/week for a non-professional race, professional races increases the rate.

What I really take from this pinkbike post is that, as athletes, we need to protect ourselves, the onus is on us. Manufacturers and sponsors in Mountain Biking are not all equal, there contracts rarely, if ever, include medical of any sort. Professional riders need to become well versed in contracts. Emergency medical would be one of the first things to add into any contract, especially if you are travelling/riding.
  • + 4
 Here are some helpful hints to those looking to race/travel/compete.
1) Are you a pro?
2) Do you have a contract - get them to add emergency medical coverage
3) Hire a lawyer to review the contract and policy if you do not care to read the jargon
4) Create an Emergency Response Plan for travelling/competing (Save on your device + Print it and put away, tell your buddies where it is). This can be a simple template document that you can adopt to each location, it should include at a minimum, the following: Emergency Medical Plan contact #'s and Q's, Policy #'s, Broker #s and Provider#s, what to do in the event of a serious injury/loss of consciousness (i.e. call my insurance company, send me home, life support q's etc). Previous medical history, allergies and the usual medical stuff. Copies of your contracts with your insurance, sponsors or works. A credit card # for those times when you may need to pay up front.
5) Keep all of this in a folder or online document, have it ready and tell a manager or event organizer where this document lives
6) Review and Renew every year before you go....
  • + 5
 If you are not a pro, you can still adopt this information for yourself! When calling or inquiring about emergency medical travel insurance, ask a few questions:

1) Does this policy exclude mountain biking?
2) Does this policy exclude competition? If it does not exclude: Ask them to define a professional? Define working (i.e. volunteer for an event)
3) Does this policy include emergency evacuation?
4) What are the stipulations regarding making a claim? If unconscious, can contacting the insurance company be delayed? How long? What circumstances?
5) Does this policy include transportation back to my home country?
6) Are there any booking requirements? I.e. Most insurance providers in Canada require that you buy the insurance while in your home province, before your trip. Living in Whistler with an Ontario driver's license, heading for a road trip to Bellingham? You're likely not covered....
7) READ THE POLICY AND THE EXCLUSIONS
Cool Ask questions, if you are unsure, see a lawyer.

If you're looking for more information, thinking about creating an Emergency Response Plan, I'm happy to help others out. I'm by no means an insurance professional, but I have been through the process many times and have a network of insurance savvy people!

Hope this helps!
  • + 2
 I've known people who ran into this with sport bike racing, and bills in the 6 figure range after having been hurt in the US. Always, always read the fine print on your travel insurance, even if you're just going on a leisure trip. There are all sorts of conditions in many policies that might surprise you. Also, i think they've pulled a fast one on Mark. The travel insurance i have right now for being out of the country says i must notify them IF POSSIBLE, and if not then i have to within a timely manner. If you are your own and incapacitated that stops being a reasonable clause, and they can't enforce it. Now if you waited more than 24h after being able to, then they might be able to pull that clause.
  • + 1
 This issue is not just limited to riders competing on a professional level.
Many insurers will exclude activities that they deem hazardous. Most travel insurance policies will exclude extreme sports.. They have long lists of what is excluded. competitions are almost always EXCLUDED for any sport on a simple travel policy!
Worth noting however is that while one insurer may include mountain biking, they may also have exclusions along with mountain biking such as:
Below 400m elevation
On paved trails only
Not on hazardous terrain

Basically, unless you get written confirmation that your insurance policy covers exactly what you intend to do, you might be SOL.. especially if you are traveling into North America
In all reality though, corporations organizing showcase and high profile events should be insuring their participants as well as their own liability.

Insurers request being advised about conditions and treatment before hand so they can mitigate their 'loss' if they can fly you back home to receive medical attention for free (BC Med/NHS or whatever)
  • + 4
 Just curious, If you ride rampage in a tank top like Doerfling, does that increase your premium?
  • + 1
 TIC are the worst! Be careful, most insurance companies use them. I got really sick back in 2003 and woke up in a hospital in Vietnam. They tried their hardest not to cover me and lied while doing so. Luckily I had a very persuasive lawyer who took them to the cleaners
  • + 1
 So I just checked out BUPA's site. It looks like "Alpine Mountain Biking" has a ** next to it.

travel.bupa.co.uk/faqs-what-sports-and-activities-are-covered_3737_479501.html

Can someone offer some insight to what goes into purchasing an annual package that would cover an American traveling internationally (Canada, Europe, etc.). I make it to Whistler a few times a season and this article is eye opening.

Can we simply purchase a package from BUPA and be covered if we break an arm, leg, have a serious accident biking/skiing in Whistler?

Thanks!
  • + 1
 when I get hurt in America can we do a fundraiser for me?come on pleeeeeeeease!health insurance in America is a big f*cking joke!its either ride with the chance u get hurt and lose ur house or u can be a big pussy and not ride the way u want!freedoms not so free.
  • + 1
 Let's just raise some money, bikers rock, it is a community of people that shows amazing spirit. A sport that continues to show respect for nature and creates so many mentors for the youth today. I believe mountain is on the cutting edge, and still in the learning stages.
  • + 1
 I deal with insurance companies, adjusters, lawyers and all around lower mental capability people on a daily basis. Your insurance adjusters first and middle and last job is to say NO and deny a claim. Do yourself a favor, always get travel insurance when leaving Canada (I don't know other countries policies), it might already be on your Credit Card. But if you are a pro, or travel back to back to back (3X)without returning to Canada (ie australia, phillipines, dubai) get yourself a kickass Insurance Broker, this way your covered. For 35 - 80 bucks for a week, its a great value.
  • + 1
 Just in case you look for decent non-race insurance, in Europe i use Alpenverein which is probably the best thing you can get around. It covers extreme sports (originally for climbers) and also activities high in the mountains. Of course it does not cover you if you race and it also has some limits (as any other insurance). However not sure if any non-europeans can get this.
  • + 4
 Why did the doctors have to know it was a professional event?...always recreational...
  • + 2
 because that'd be insurance fraud, and you go to jail for lying about that kind of stuff
  • + 5
 Not really, if your under extreme circumstances the amount of information you disclose upon uploading at the hospital could be as generic as you want it to be. The main focus is your immediate health issue. Telling them too much info opens you up to getting reamed by insurance companies. Travlers ins makes you feel warm and fuzzy until you have to use it. Read the contract before you huck.
  • + 1
 regardless of what you tell the hospital, it would be insurance fraud to lie to the insurance company. While you could take that risk and hope you don't get caught, it's much more prudent to just read your insurance waiver in the first place. They're not that long, it'd maybe take up 10 minutes of your life.
  • + 4
 What is the opposite of prudent?
  • - 1
 imprudent...Amex insurance saved me from a huge medical bill when I got poison oaked in NorCal (I'm more allergic than most people)- if the leaves are three, leave it be they say
  • + 1
 Thank you Mark and Pinkbike for this article. The more information the better. I'm glad I was informed but with the expense of what happened to Mark! I am very sorry to hear. Heal up man and I'll be sure to donate!
  • + 2
 BCAA is amazing. Had a crash in the US and broke my shoulder blade. Insurance company covered everything without any hassle at all. Wouldn't think of doing a trip without it.
  • + 1
 mark hope you get all those bills paid soon!!
any idea for a spanish that wants to send it in chatel, which insurance is the best??
  • + 2
 RED BULL HAS NO SHORTAGE OF MONEY. I do not see why they can't pay to cover any injuries sustained at their competitions.
  • + 3
 Better call Saul
  • + 2
 @graeme187 isn't "Totally Sports Insurance" the best in the UK ?
  • + 3
 @FranckR I can't comment on them, all I know, is I paid an extra £5 for zero excess and Snowcard were excellent. I had my bike damaged on the flight to Andorra, they paid out a claim for replacement DH Bike hire for the rest of my trip - which unfortunately ended several days later in me breaking my leg on the side of the mountain, they sorted me right out - a helicopter rescue, hospital treatment, an ambulance back from Andorra to France, an earlier flight with extra seats booked for my leg in cast and transport the other end from the UK airport all paid for and a cheque in my hands within 2 days of sending in my form. Really can't recommend them highly enough.
  • + 2
 totally sports aren't travel insurance like snowcard. Totally sports just give you a lump sum based on the extent of your injury £1.2K for a broken collarbone, £3K for a broken femur e.t.c
  • + 2
 If you;re in the UK, www.snowcard.co.uk are excellent
  • + 1
 Can vouch for this, although again, make sure you get the right level of cover.

They sorted my bills out very quickly when I broke my arm in Les Arcs, France, although they did phone my wife 3 separate times to "make sure" that I hadn't been participating in the Mega (same weekend), despite me being in a hospital 200km from Alpes D'huez.
  • + 1
 www.hbinsurance.co.uk
Paid out for my mate no worries (recreational cover) riding in Pila, including helicopter rescue, hospital treatment etc.
  • + 2
 Donated to you buddy. Good luck on sorting it all out chap.
  • + 1
 Yep Step up redbull! this bill would be a blip on thier daily income
  • + 1
 A shame bupa won't cover Brazilians!
  • + 10
 #RedBullpayMarksbillyoutightfcks
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