In truth, there is specialty traveler’s insurance to cover just about any possibility. But here are 5 once-in-a-lifetime experiences that your basic travel insurance simply won't cover.
Racing on the German Autobahn
Hop a plane to the land of beer and sauerkraut (Germany, not Wisconsin), rent a car and then push it to the max. The German Autobahn has stretches with no federally mandated speed limits. That's right. The only cap on how fast you can go is the number of ponies you have under the hood. However, they take the "slow traffic keep right" practice very seriously. Accidents can happen and at high speeds, they can be horrible. Or, schrecklich, as the Germans would say.
Insurance Denied. Reason: Injuries related to dangerous or reckless activities are not covered unless specifically mentioned in the policy coverage.
Sources: Wikipedia, travelinsurancereview.net
Hanging Out in Havana
Now that the U.S. and Cuba are somewhat friendly again, you want to take advantage of the opportunity and study in another culture. Academic travel is one of the avenues that has recently opened up and is acceptable. However, simply traveling to Cuba for a vacation (unless you have family there) is illegal. At least until relations between the U.S. and Cuba are a bit more solidified, basic travel insurance policies will not cover Americans vacationing in Cuba.
Similar restrictions on travel to areas that are experiencing terrorism, war or sickness epidemic are also common. The United States government issues regular warnings and tips at travel.state.gov.
Insurance Denied. Reason: Travel insurance companies will not cover trips to, or cruises who port in the following OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) destinations: Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria.
Sources: travel.state.gov, travelinsurancestore.com
Running With The Bulls
You've seen it on television and frankly, it was the first thing you put down on your bucket list – running with the bulls at the Festival of Sanfermines in Pamplona, Spain. Imagine the adrenaline rush of sprinting down a crowded narrow street knowing that several tons of aggravated bulls are following close behind. Your typical insurance adjuster isn't going to sit back and applaud your bravery as you file a claim knowing that your chances of being injured were high.
Doing things that crazy requires a serious upcharge. Oh yeah, and if you need some liquid courage to do it, you'll probably disqualify yourself for any sort of coverage at all.
Insurance Denied. Reason: Participating in dangerous activities, possibly while intoxicated.
Planning to participate in hazardous activities? An additional Hazardous Activities rider is available for an additional 20 percent of your total premium.
Sources: Wikipedia, travelinsure.com
Extreme Biking on "Death Road."
You were hooked by the name alone – Death Road. This spot in La Paz, Bolivia is an extreme mountain biker's dream. You take to the pedals at 15,400 feet and ride down a narrow road for 40 miles. Along with the beautiful mountain views you'll find straight drops, overcrowded spots and car traffic. Estimates say that 200 to 300 people die on this adventure each year. Still sound fun? Not to your insurance agent.
Insurance Denied. Reason: Whether racing up "death road" or running from dangerous, angry bovines, some activities are too dangerous for an ordinary policy.
Still determined? Just add 20 percent to your policy for a Hazard Rider and you’re all set!
Sources: Wikipedia, travelinsure.com, dailymail.co.uk
Whitewater Rafting Along The DMZ
Whitewater rafting is pretty common, right? Okay, maybe it's a little hazardous, but that shouldn't be such a big deal. So why not add some danger by planning a trip on the Hangtangang River. The Hangtangang flows right through the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. Put it all together and you have a hairy ride down a raging river on the border of a country that really doesn't seem to like Americans right now. However, as long as you stay away from the border, your main danger is just the rapids!
Insurance Denied. Reason: Hazardous Activities and location on the border of an OFAC destination.
Sources: Wikipedia, travelinsure.com