Choice of Travel Insurance for Competition Flying- Canungra Cup

Anand's picture

Thanks to Evan for pointing me to QBE and IHI bupa for travel insurance for canungra cup. I work in Insurance Industry and like to read the fine print which is what is referred to at  claimtime, I interacted with the respective insurance providers to specifically ensure Canugra Cup participants will be covered.

Interesting thing about QBE is they cover paragliding  trips abroad provided it is for recreational flying(free flying)however if the trip overseas is for taking part in competition like cannungra cup, there will be an exclusion under "Professions Sporting Activity", just because few prizes of value are being distributed. My explanation to the underwriter that competitive flying was much more organised, safer than recreational flying fell on deaf ears.

The positive side of QBE travel cover is most pre-exisitng conditions  are covered  like diabetes Type 1-2, controlled blood pressure etc. so no need to get form completed by doctor.


IHI Bupa  on the other hand cover paragliding  for competitive events, the  flip side is if you have any pre-exisitng medical condition, like controlled BP, diabetes type 1 or 2,  they insist that a medical report in their format is  filled by your GP and given to them to ensure it is all covered.This is just a method,I presume for them  to increase the premium by adding loading, I would say.

In the absence of specific reference to paragliding in their policy wordings I got them to send an email confirming they will cover paragliding for competitive events and pleased to receive the below reply:

Dear Mr Srinivasan

We hereby have the pleasure of sending you information about the ihi Bupa Travel insurance.

Our travel insurance is the result of many years of international experience within the field of health care. It is easy and straight forward to be insured with ihi Bupa.

Our clients travel all over the world and wish to feel completely safe. We believe that our principal purpose is to provide a first-rate service in case of illness or injury – 24-hours-a-day.

ihi Bupa Travel provides 100% cover for any emergency treatment required while you are abroad.

We do cover while paragliding for competitive events.

Choose between Single Trip which will cover one single journey or the Annual Travel which will cover all your trips over

the next 12 months of up to 1 month. If you do travel for more than 1 month at any one time then extra days can easily be purchased.  Our rates are included as an attachment.

You can also add to this first class medical coverage by electing to take our non-medical or trip cancellation options.

These additional options will ensure that you are covered for unforeseen events such as the theft of baggage or personal items or if your trip is cancelled due to illness.

The attached brochure explains all of these comprehensive insurance options in more detail and provides the full terms and conditions.

The easiest way to take out this insurance is online on By doing this you will get a 5% online discount. Just click on this link, and you will go directly to our website - Here you are also able to make a quote without committing yourself to a purchase.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the insurance cover or if we can assist you in any way.

Yours sincerely

Agnieszka Olimpia Stecher | Account Manager | Travel Sales | ihi Bupa | Palaegade 8 | DK-1261 Copenhagen K | Denmark

Bupa Denmark, filial af Bupa Insurance Limited, England
T: + 45 33 15 30 99 - F: + 45 33 32 25 60
E:, web:
24-hour Emergency Service, tel: + 45 33 15 33 00, E:

In summary:

1. If I am travelling overseas with family and carrying my PG gear, than QBE should be fine for recreational flying.

2. If my trip overseas is for taking part in  worlds, canungra cup etc. I will go with IHI BUPA.










Recreational insurance

Thanks for the info Anand. Trying to sort out travel insurance can be a pain, so it's good if someone else has already determined what the options are.

I've used Travelsure, which I booked through Flight Centre, when I went to Europe last year and also over to Bright. Again, this just covers recreational paragliding rather than competitions, but they specifically mention that paragliding is covered in their policy brochure. For some reason hang gliding is NOT covered though, so you'd have to look elsewhere if you're a hangie pilot.

Your summary is about what I

Your summary is about what I undertood to be right. I wonder though if you pointed out to QBE that the highest value prizes available are worth less than the cost of entry? ie It is still a net loss and therefore in no way classed as professional sport.

I have found both policies to be very good. Some years ago I had to make a claim on QBE when a travelling friend got injured flying with me in Europe. They provided everything we needed through Omega Travel assist, right down to interpreters and all of my extra expenses involved in helping my friend. I have also taken out an annual policy with IHI when I was travelling and competing a lot in one year. I haven't had to make a claim through them but they have a good reputation with overseas pilots.

People should be aware that IHI is only health and accident insurance NOT full travel insurance ( theft, lost baggage, missed connection etc).

Also be aware that where you buy the insurance does make a difference. Last time I got it the same policy from QBE was cheaper from AirNZ travel centres than from STA, the student travel agents.

Travel Insurance

Anand's picture

Thanks Evan I am still exchanging emails with  QBE to cover competition on the lines you have highlighted, they have asked for details of the prizes being given and I have also asked organisers of event to give me some indication as to what first prize value will be( yet to hear from across the ditch).


The rules of insurance keep changing based on claims experience and what applies a year back may not apply now, so we need to be aware as highlighted by you  what we buy.IHI will not do search but will do rescue if location of person is known.


You will be happy to note IHI now offer full travel insurance while completing online application, they provide option  to add additional two benefits,   Non-medical option and Trip Cancellation Option, details as hereunder:

Non-Medical Option are per person per trip :


Personal accident - death and disability 75,000 US$

Baggage - theft, loss or damage 2,000 US$

Loss of passport and/or cash 200 US$

Baggage delay 500 US$

Personal liability – property damage 500,000 US$

Personal liability - bodily injury 1,000,000 US$

Flight delay 500 mx. per day 100 US$

Hospital daily benefit 2,000 per day 50 US$

Security and legal assistance 10,000 US$ 


Trip Cancellation Option:


Single Trip 2,000 US$

Annual - per trip 1,500  US$


Please download the policy wordings  from their website for more details.








Neville's picture

If QBE are the underwritters.

So who & where is the best onseller to buy Travel Insurance for hangis?

Hang Gliding Exclusion

Ikarus's picture

HI Anand,


I recently sat down and read through the insurance policy terms and conditions which comes with my credit card (ie, if I pay for my international travel not exceeding 90 days using my Visa, I get travel cover, which includes health insurance).  I spent a bit of time looking at the exclusions (sad, I know).


There was no reference to paragliding, but some very similar sporting activities, in particular Hang Gliding, were excluded.  Are you aware if any insurer has ever taken the view (a) that a paraglider is class 2 hang glider, and therefore paragliding is hang gliding (a poor argument in my view, but that's no reason for some insurers not to raise it), or (b) as insurers exclude hang gliding, engaging in paragliding is something which insurers would have liked to have known when accepting cover, and failure to disclose PG was a material non-disclosure in breach of the common law obligations of good faith?


The reason I'm asking is that some years ago we sought (and got) confirmation in writing that PG was not excluded.  Some time has passed, and we're wondering if we should renew the enquiry.


I wouldn't mind arguing the "competition is a professional activity" point - not a good argument, in my view.  Not even the PWC is sufficiently well remunerated to justify that classification.


Alternatively, it could be a good reason not to have prizes in future - not a bad thing, really ...




 Hang gliding, paragliding

Anand's picture


Hang gliding, paragliding both fall under Aviation related activity  and I would think the insurance company will talk  on  the lines  along (b) you have mentioned that there is material non disclosure and engaging in paragliding is something they should have know since it is an aviation sport similar to hangliding.


However if you have a letter covering you for paragliding make sure the letter refers the credit card number under which cover is obtained.  Travel Insurance falls under General insurance category which are short term yearly renewable contracts. Even if I hold a letter in my hand I will reverify every year that policy terms have not changed.  The credit card travel insurance company will have a fine print somewhere to say we can change the policy wordings based on claims experience………..etc.


If you have a letter stating your credit card travel insurance covers paragliding it is important that you maintain the same credit card, pay fee etc. in time and don’t change the card to another provider who might have a tie up with different insurer.


In another post in this forum I did mention things were a bit easy for aviation sports until a $1.5million death claim was paid in NZ, on crash of ultra light aircraft, few years back, so all insurance companies have started noticing the risk.


Also in worlds(competition)in mexico a swiss pilot died and if he had insurance  that was paid it does not help again because the global claims statistics is looked at by actuary every year on sports and exclusions, pricing are all based on statistics of incident in the sport.  Maybe that is why flying in competition is being specifically excluded by QBE now,  because they may be privy to statistics on amount of claims paid due to injuries while competing


QBE  is defining “competition” as professional sporting activity, because there is a prize, it is indeed a very narrow way of looking. That is why you have specialist insurers like IHI BUPA for this market and QBE  will lose business to IHI. It is very difficult to argue with insurance company as they set a definition which is always open to debate which can be moulded to suit their convenience and considering competition as professional sporting activity purely on basis of prizes is one such example without regard to the fact that a pilot spends more than he receives in financial terms.

QBE definition:

“Professional Sporting Activity means an activity for which You receive financial reward, or benefits from participating in that sporting activity, regardless of whether or not You are a professional sports person”


Having no prizes at all in competition as you have suggested  may help the argument and  qualify PG to be covered for competition with QBE but why be forced to  do it when other insurance company like IHI are willing to cover competition with prizes.







International insurance

If I wanted to travel overseas and participate in paragliding competitions, but only had insurance that covered recreational paragliding, would I be still covered if I signed (prior to the competition) an exclusion form with the organiser of any competition that stated that I was not eligible for any prizes?

Interesting Suggestion

Anand's picture

Call your insurance company and state this logic and find out.


My view is they will not accept it, even if prize money situation is removed for simple reason the risk is "competition",  the underwriter may look at it as people taking part in race, and prize money is only one of the objection

 The other alternative is Instead of sigining a exclusion form with comp organiser, what would definitely work is dont take part officially in the competition but fly as a recreation pilot on same days with all pilots.  The flip side being you miss out on your World FAI  ranking, national ranking, official retrieve etc. but get to fly.


So when it comes to competition go to specialist insurers who cover extreme sports and IHI Bupa are willling to cover Canungra, so I am going with them.



Confirmed what I suspected will be reply!

Anand's picture


Hi Kris,

I asked QBE on lines suggested by you, see reply below:


Reply from QBE:

"Thank you for your email.

The intention of our policies is to provide cover for leisure travel purposes.  After reviewing your requirements with our underwriting team we are unable to provide you with the cover that you require for your chosen activity.

Our policy will still provide all of its terms for your leisure purposes whilst travelling, however, you will need to source specialist cover for when you are competing in or training for an organised event of this standard.

I regret that we cannot be of any further assistance in this matter". 





I Sent the below mail to QBE: 



If prize is the only objection and which I am not interested in since cost of travel to austrlia for the competition far outweighs any small prize the copm organisers give.


Would you be able to consider cover me under recreational paragliding,  if I signed (prior to the competition) an exclusion form that stated I was not eligible for any prizes from the competition and provided a copy of same to you?


Not being eligible for any prizes even if I won should satisfy your condition and grant me insurance for taking part in the canungra competition.


Please let me know asap your views.

Thanks Anand

Thanks Anand


Anand's picture

IHI BUPA have stopped providing cover for PG competitions.


I am not aware of any insurance company in NZ or Australia covering PG competitions.


Keen to hear from you all who travelled to Canada last year and people going to state of Origin, who are

you approacing for Insurance cover?



Canadian comp insurance

HI Anand

Links to insurance in this article: on Cloudbase - append /canada2012/ (the full link triggers the spam blocking!!)  though from memory the comp insurance only covers Canada and USA - OR alternativley over half the flying that you are doing has to be done in Canada.  So not sure how useful this insurance may be....



It has always been my

It has always been my intention to use QBE on the basis that;

  1. There are no prizes so it does not fall within their catch all definfition of prof sport.
  2. It is not a race. All of the tasks are open distance with no time factor.

If I'm wrong about it and QBE could still find a way to wriggle out of providing cover then I know of no other insurance option available.

I hope the consequence is not the end of overseas leagues for us.


johnnyhopper's picture

Hi Folks,


Please see pasted here an email that I got from a nice man called Pablo today.





Dear Johnny      


Thank you for your call. In regards to our conversation over the phone please have a look at the information below:



A recreational sport that is best described as a mix of hang gliding and parachuting. A Paraglider is free-flying, unlike the parachutes used in parasailing, which is generally a passive amusement ride rather than an active sport.

• Covered – listed as a Free Extra Benefit in the Policy Wording


This means that you will be covered under the CoverMore Policy whilst paragliding provided that you are participating in an skills based amateur competition rather that racing against a clock. The competition must be amateur in nature. You must not be paid or sponsored in any form.


For more information about our exclusion regarding sports please refer to the information below:


We Will Not Pay For:


Claims involving participation by You or Your travelling companion in hunting, racing(other than on foot), polo playing, hang gliding, off piste snow skiing or snowboarding, rodeo riding, base jumping using ropes ir guides, or scuba diving unless You hold an Open Water Dicing certificate or are diving with a qualified diving instruction.


As long as you and your friend meet this criteria we can offer you cover whilst paragliding.


If you have any queries regarding this please do not hesitate to contact me on 09 308 2157 or call our Customer Care on 0800 500 225.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Kind Regards

Pablo N Perez

Customer Service Representative

Phone: 09 308 21557 Fax: +64 9 300 7370

P O Box 105-203, Auckland City 1143 New Zealand


The information contained in this e-mail and any accompanying attachments is confidential. It may also be legally privileged. If you are not the addressee you may not copy, forward, disclose or use any part of it. If you have received this message in error please delete it and all copies from your system and notify the sender immediately by return e-mail Cover-More Insurance Services (NZ) Ltd. Any advice contained in this email is general advice only.


Please think of the environment before printing this email.

Dicing with deaf?

Tony's picture

I used to have an Open Water Dicing certificate.

But iit got chopped up.


That's just the way you roll.

johnnyhopper's picture

That's just the way you roll.


Anand's picture

Thanks Johnny so looks like QBE, Covermore will cover paraglding in general but will not cover competition paragliding.

Probably "State of Origin" can be classified non competitive as it is not a race but will be keen to see who can cover Canungra Cup.



Holiday Insurance is a

Holiday Insurance is a necessity especially for people who loves to enjoy great things in life. Holiday Insurance is identical to travel insurance. It consist of trip or outing such as traveling in other places, attending sports like skiing, snowboarding or chilling out in the beach.


visit Cruckley Now

QBE is a major insurer of the

QBE is a major insurer of the mining sector in Australia, from leading global players to specialist service providers and smaller operations. They provide Specialist Business Insurance, for just about every sort of business. - more views on youtube

I have a Allianz travel

I have a Allianz travel insurance. In todays compitative insurance market it is quite difficult to decide which insurance company is better. I have a one year travel insurance plan and this insurance company covers almost everything including travel health, packaging, elder insurance, kids insurance etc.

insurance info for comps

Zoom-Zoom's picture

-this is what i found from canada, not sure if it helps with aus

-so it is old info and may have changed.

-when i email so insurance companies that did not including racing, they said they dould not cover paragliding comps as we have race to goal tasks.

there is a lady in aus that does insurance for aus going overseas, she baybe able to help, details below

Karlene Ostrosky    ???

Westland Insurance

Point Grey Branch 

Customer Service Representative

Ph:604-224-1454 Ph:1-800-899-3093





Patriot Adventure does not cover accidental death at all unless you are on a common carrier (plane, cruise line, etc.). 

For a 39 year old for coverage 08/01/2012- 08/12/2012 Patriot Adventure with a 50,000 policy maximum is US$94.00. It is only sold by the month





Atlas International for coverage 08/01/2012- 08/12/2012 with a $500,000. policy maximum is US$21.60. 

 Atlas International offers more coverage at a lower price. If you need to extend coverage while you are on your trip you may do so with Atlas for a 5 renewal fee. Patriot is not extendable/renewable.

Atlas International will cover $25,000 for  accidental death  except while participating in your event. 


Hello. You are correct that paragliding is covered by the Atlas Travel plan if all policy provisions are met. Please see below:
Eligible Expense:
20. Injury or Illness resulting from participation in sports or athletic activities not otherwise excluded under this insurance.
27. Injury resulting from participation in intercollegiate, intracollegiate, interscholastic ,or intrascholastic sports or athletic
activities and Professional Sports.


Travel Underwriters 

-Travel Underwriters will provide coverage under the following conditions: A) The Governing Body (Holder of the Competition) does not consider the contestants "professional" athletes. B) In the past you or other travelers have not received winnings or been considered professional athletes for paragliding (even if the event was held in your home Country or was numerous years ago).  If you have received winnings or been considered by any Governing Body as a professional there is NO coverage.


Medivac Option

Hi just wanted to point out

Hi just wanted to point out that Geos Alliance does not provide insurance for paragliding. It used to and was a very cheap way of getting evacuation insurance though Spot Messenger.


The entitlement will not apply in the following circumstances: -

-  Circumstances which could have reasonably been anticipated at the date the trip began 
    e.g. forecast of adverse weather conditions 
-  Emergency caused by inadequate provision or training or competence needed to complete the planned trip 
-  Cost incurred due to a pre existing or chronic condition or mental disorder of the member including self-harm 
   or suicide attempt. 
-  Emergency caused by any natural climate disaster 
-  Any cost incurred to emergency arising from riots, civil unrest or conflict including civil wars or kidnaps or any 
   Biological, Nuclear or Chemical events 
-  Cost incurred by any member participating in any war or military action 
-  Costs arising from any illegal use of a weapon 
-  Accidents arising from sky diving or sky surfing 
Accidents arising from hang gliding or paragliding
-  Where any accident, injury or illness arises from the use of drugs or alcohol 
-  Costs covered by any other insurance policy of your own or; 
-  For any incident caused by a third party where costs can be recovered from that third party

insurance info for comps

Zoom-Zoom's picture

good luck and let me know what you all find out

Has anyone tried this

Has anyone tried this insurance? Looks promising.

Travel Insurance

Although global travel insurance does, by its nature, cover the majority of the world, the current climate ensures that there are some places where the likelihood of incident means that UK travel insurance providers are unable to offer protection. Thankfully, the list is clear of the majority of popular holiday destinations, and you're unlikely to have your big holiday plans affected.

i4MT - more info



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