Like many expats in Southeast Asia, I like playing a sport in my spare time. This can range from Rugby to Football (soccer for you Yanks), to Aussie Rules Football, and even Gaelic football. This encompasses:
- League matches
- Tournaments around Asia
I will go over why it’s important to have health insurance for sports as a way to protect yourself & some other general information about how your recreational hobbies affect your health insurance.
Health Insurance for Sports
How many times have you fallen awkwardly? Collided with an opposing player? Picked yourself of the ground thinking, “that was close!”? If you’re like me, the answer is a lot!
Injuries are an unfortunate part of most sports, whether that’s physical contact injuries or soft tissue issues like pulled muscles or damage to ligaments & tendons. They can happen at any time & at any level of competition and undoubtedly has happened to every who plays sports regularly.
The required treatments related to sports injuries are often expensive. Whether that’s surgery or ongoing care for rehabilitation & physiotherapy where you have to go get repeated sessions.
That’s why having proper medical insurance that covers sport is so important.
How can I protect myself?
The answer is simple, when you’re taking out a plan, make sure whatever sport you play is covered under the policy. Seems simple enough, but many times this isn’t even something that’s considered when taking out a health insurance plan. As someone from the UK, I know this wasn’t something I had even considered as it’s not something I’ve ever had to think about back at home.
Equally as important, make sure you’re covered in the countries you play in. You wouldn’t want to be in Hong Kong at a tournament & discover your policy coverage area excludes Hong Kong. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to have emergency surgery in Hong Kong uninsured!
If you’re travelling to somewhere outside of your coverage area, then you can take out supplemental travel insurance for the trip.
It’s okay, I already have insurance.
Did you know that not all medical insurers will cover you for a sports injury? This is especially true with more budget friendly plans, where in order to offer the price that they do, they need to have exclusions for things like to sports to reduce their risk. To an untrained eye, you wouldn’t know any different by looking at a brochure. A term like that would be buried in the exclusions list in the policy terms and conditions.
If you are intentionally putting yourself in situations with higher risk levels, then there is an associated liability for the insurer. This is why it’s excluded by many providers. So ask your provider to confirm either way, if sports related injuries are covered.
Tip: use an example when asking providers probing questions like this. Eg. “If I break my femur while playing rugby and require emergency surgery, does my policy cover that?” Then get them to send to you in writing.
What types of sports are usually covered? excluded?
This will ultimately depend on the insurer you have. In general, if you take part in extreme sports, you can count on them not being covered. This includes things like:
- Rock climbing
- MMA and other combat sports
- Scuba diving below 20M
- Any sport done as professional, where you earn money
- Races and competitions can also sometimes be excluded as there’s extra risk as you push yourself to the limits
Types of things can are usually covered:
- Normal excercising, bike rides, walking,
- Amateur rugby, football
Rules vary by provider, so when you are getting an insurance quote, make sure to tell your Tenzing advisor and that will be taken into consideration.
How much is health insurance for sports?
The price will ultimately depend on variety of factors, the top 4:
- Your Age
- Coverage Area
- Provider quality
It’s always best to speak to an impartial 3rd party, like a broker though. It doesn’t cost you any more and there’s no inherent bias about not disclosing something as important as whether your health insurance covers sports related injuries and treatments. To get an idea on prices, you can look around on:
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