Personal Accident

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Are water sports covered by personal accident insurance?

A spectacular day of activities was held to celebrate Hong Kong Harbour Day on 18 November – a bi-annual event which included everything from round-the-island sailing, water-skiing, a windsurfing demonstration and a Harbour Day parade.

Many of you already know that bodily injury, death or disability caused by the insured person "engaging in a sport in a professional capacity" or "any kind of race (other than on foot or swimming)" is excluded from personal accident insurance. Are insured persons who participate in activities such as wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing or diving covered by personal accident insurance? Which dangerous sports are excluded from personal accident insurance policies?

The eligibility of insurance cover depends on the nature of the insured's participation in the abovementioned activities. If the insured participates in or practises wakeboarding, surfing or diving just for fun or as a pastime only, then any bodily injury, death or disability arising from these sporting activities is generally covered by personal accident insurance or otherwise specifically excluded. 

Unlike travel insurance, there is no definition of "dangerous sports", apart from those activities stated in the exclusion of the policy, such as parachuting, hang-gliding or rock climbing. Other activities are covered by personal accident insurance.

Even if people who participate in sailing and windsurfing activities during Harbour Day are amateurs only, as this still constitutes a race, they may not be covered by personal accident insurance.

Personal accident insurance is not tailor-made for professional sportsmen. As such, if you regularly engage in sporting activities in a professional capacity or participate in races, you are advised to take out a sportsman's policy which is specially designed to cater to the needs of full-time or part-time athletes. 

Because medical expenses benefits under a general personal accident policy might be relatively limited, it is highly recommended that you should take out an extra medical Office/Busines Package cover to suit your individual needs.

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