ST. PETERSBURG, FL- October 11, 2012 – As the summer months fade, cooler weather is enjoyed by many – particularly runners and cyclists. October and November are busy months for road races, prompting athletes to travel both domestically and internationally to participate in events. Emergency medical insurance is especially important for athletes. Unfortunately, many health insurance plans provide limited coverage during travel. When this happens, travel insurance may provide an alternative; however, Squaremouth advises athletes to be aware of common exclusions before purchasing a plan.
Many travel insurance policies will not provide emergency medical coverage for injuries sustained while participating in athletic events. Some providers consider races of any type to be “hazardous sports,” a designation given to activities that pose abnormally high risks. If a policy contains a rider for hazardous sports coverage, it’s important to review limitations, as many will exclude professional and interscholastic activities. If there are no amateur or hazardous sports waivers, athletic injuries may not be covered at all.
“While an athlete may not consider their sport to be particularly hazardous, an insurance company will consider those individuals a greater risk,” says Chris Harvey, CEO of Squaremouth. “There are policies that will cover athletes, but it’s critical to review policy definitions to make sure activities are not excluded.”
Azimuth Risk provides an optional sports rider for its Beacon Series policies, which might be a good choice for athletes. When selected, the rider provides the insured with up to $10,000 of medical insurance if they are injured during participation in any level of athletics.
If a policy does not have an available sports rider, travelers should review exclusions for emergency medical benefits. For some policies, participation in professional, amateur, and interscholastic events are specifically excluded, but recreational activities are not. For example, some policies from HCC Medical Insurance Services exclude athletics at professional, interscholastic and amateur levels; however, non-sanctioned, recreational activities are covered. This means that a recreational runner participating in a marathon would be covered as long as their effort was not rewarded with wages or profits.
Athletes may find that their health insurance is limited for overseas or domestic travel outside of prescribed networks. “Athletes should make sure they have medical coverage before traveling to compete in events,” says Jessica Bell, Senior Marketing Specialist at Squaremouth. “When putting such demands on the body, the risk for injury increases dramatically. Without insurance, care for associated injuries could be very costly.”
Squaremouth recommends that athletes check with their health insurance providers to confirm coverage before traveling to participate in sports activities. In the event that extra insurance is necessary, athletes can view and compare policies from 21 different providers on squaremouth.com to help locate necessary benefits at the lowest cost.
Squaremouth is America’s fastest growing travel insurance comparison site, helping customers instantly quote, compare and buy policies from every major provider. Squaremouth has an extensive network of partner sites worldwide. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL., with offices in Fort Wayne, IN. For more information, visit www.squaremouth.com.
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