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Everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation may not be marveling at mountain peaks or relaxing by the beach. For some, holidays are synonymous with adventure sports that push up their adrenaline levels. Adventure/extreme sports are becoming increasingly popular among adventurous vacationers, who plan holidays with the sole purpose of having a go at intrepid sports like bungee jumping, mountaineering, and parasailing, just to name a few.
But what does this have to do with insurance? Until recently, travel insurance plans or personal accident plans covering adventure sports as part of the policy was unheard of. However, with a growing number of Indians showing keen interest in adventure sports, insurers envision a new market.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance is the first to launch an add-on adventure sports cover in its Global Personal Accident Plan. This is targeted at travellers who indulge in adventure sports, and it lets them pick from a variety of covers like accident hospitalisation and air ambulance evacuation. Apart from coverage for adventure sports, Bajaj Allianz’s unique insurance plan also offers other unconventional add-ons like fracture care, loan protector cover, and EMI payment cover in case of an accident. Most of the other covers are available globally; however, air ambulance evacuation is only available in India.
Abhijeet Ghosh, Head, Health administration at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, says, “The traditional products available in the market are 40-year-old and fail to cover the new-age risks associated with the changing lifestyle requirements of Indian customers. The new personal accident insurance plan is trying to break the traditional norm of a one-size-fits-all product strategy by allowing the customer the flexibility to choose the terms of their policies based on their requirements."
Tapan Singhel, MD & CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance added, "Customer behaviour has changed considerably. Today, many travellers engage in adventure sport activities like bungee jumping or mountaineering. An accident would require immediate response within the golden hour, which is not available under the conventional policy."
Bajaj Allianz’s new adventure sports add-on is a lump sum benefit policy covering accident risks that partaking in adventure sports entail. The policyholder could get a cover up to as much as INR 1 crore, under this plan to insure permanent disability or death that he/she may be at risk for by participating in adventure sports.
This cover is exclusively for non-professional activities, wherein the policyholder engages in adventure sports only for leisure. A necessary condition is that the policyholder must perform the adventure sport under a trained professional’s guidance and supervision, for it to qualify as an insurable risk. If the policyholder engages in any of the specified high-risk sports outside a trained professional’s supervision, and thereby suffers permanent disability or death, the company will reject the claim. Bajaj Allianz professionals say this condition is to ascertain that requisite safety measures are adhered to before indulging in dangerous adventure sports.
This add-on cover is linked to the base cover. The policyholder may choose 25, 50 or 100% payout of the sum insured in case participation in extreme sports leads to total disability or death. The premiums would differ as per the chosen percentage. For instance, if the policyholder takes an INR 1 crore sum insured with the base cover only covering death caused by adventure sports, he/she will have to spend additional INR 4,300 for 25% payout, INR 8,600 for 50% payout and INR 17,200 for 100% payout.
The premium paid for availing this cover is in addition to the premium paid for the personal accident death cover. Further, age and gender have no bearing on the premium, but since the plan is linked to the base personal accident cover, the policyholder’s profession influences the premium. It could be argued that this differentiation makes sense in case of a regular personal accident cover, but differentiating based on profession for adventure sports that one indulges in for leisure makes little sense.
At an INR 4,000 premium, Bajaj Allianz’s policy offers personal accident cover up to INR 50 lakhs, along with air ambulance and accident hospitalisation. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, the policyholder gets EMI protection, where the company will pay EMIs of any personal loan the insured may have taken.
A great thing about this cover is that it is open for everyone within 70 years of age at the same premium – good news for adventurous senior citizens!
Since no option is available in India at the moment other than this one offered by Bajaj Allianz, it makes sense to opt for it if the policyholder deems fit, since some protection is better than none at all. However, there are many such insurance covers available abroad, hence if you are taking an international holiday, it is better to look for and compare alternatives there. The organisation facilitating the trip or sport can provide more details. Further, if you are only going to try one kind of adventure sport, then a standalone cover would suffice.
However, if you are in India, are an adrenaline junkie, are looking to try adventure sports on your next vacation, but at the same time you also want to be safe, Bajaj Allianz has just the right insurance policy for you.
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