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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 28
Author
Travel insurance: ihi Bupa policy wording change
cycoden
9/01/2012
11:38:01 PM
I purchased an annual trip ihi Bupa policy before an overseas trip late last year after reading the recommendations here, but I've been advised of a change in their policy conditions, effective from 1 January 2012:

20.4: Exceptions to cover
The Company shall not be liable to pay
reimbursement for expenses which concern,
are due to or are incurred as a result of:
...
24) active participation in any motorsport
show, motorsport race or motorsport
competition, base jumping, paragliding
and mountaineering that requires
specialized climbing equipment,

see: https://www.ihi.com/DocumentStore/ContentStore/289/BRO/2/2012/Brochure.pdf

I suppose the definitions of 'mountaineering' and 'specialised' could be open to interpretation, but it no longer seems to be the safe, broad option it was before.
J.C.
10/01/2012
5:32:08 AM
BASE jumpers have been relying on ihi Bupa for a long time and now we are a bit f---ed, on the lookout for something new for Europe and the States if anyone can recommend a policy?

nmonteith
10/01/2012
10:34:10 AM
On 10/01/2012 J.C. wrote:
>BASE jumpers have been relying on ihi Bupa for a long time and now we are
>a bit f---ed, on the lookout for something new for Europe and the States
>if anyone can recommend a policy?

Seriously - would you insure a base jumper?
J.C.
10/01/2012
10:50:29 AM
If I subscribed to media sensationalism then no probably not. But I bet you would be ticked if you couldn't get insurance for one of your alpine climbing trips Neil, and alpine climbing is significantly less risk manageable due to likely death or serious injury from objective dangers. Base is actually very manageable and the majority of incidents are due to poor decision making before and during a jump, factors quite entirely in control of the jumper.
egosan
10/01/2012
10:53:41 AM
I am not sure what the injury rates are in base jumping, but they insure people driving to the market. Both of which have terrible outcomes sometimes. I suspect the likely hood of tragedy is lower than we perceive in the former and higher in the later.
bones
10/01/2012
11:55:21 AM
I saw a fairly reputable looking study into this a while back where that looked at deaths per participation. Climbing was quite low on the list, but I think base jumping was second only to giving birth?
gfdonc
10/01/2012
11:59:55 AM
This is what you want:

http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/Risk/sports.html

There was some mirth at the time that table tennis was more dangerous than rock climbing.
However, point still remains that base jumping is top of the list. Glad you're still here JC, but many others aren't.

nmonteith
10/01/2012
12:23:30 PM
On 10/01/2012 J.C. wrote:
>If I subscribed to media sensationalism then no probably not. But I bet
>you would be ticked if you couldn't get insurance for one of your alpine
>climbing trips Neil, and alpine climbing is significantly less risk manageable
>due to likely death or serious injury from objective dangers. Base is actually
>very manageable and the majority of incidents are due to poor decision
>making before and during a jump, factors quite entirely in control of the
>jumper.

Problem is an insurance company doesn't separate a death/injury from an objective danger or a bad user decision. If they have to pay out more than they can get people to pay for policys then its not worth the risk for them. After watching 5 guys at Tonsai last week jumping from above Humanilty I sure know I wouldn't be willing to insure them! Triple sumarsalts and pulling up within metres of boat and bars looked about a million times more dangerous then the hundreds of sport climbers. Problem is I don't think there is what one could call a totally safe version of base jumping - whilst top-ropers and sport climbers are almost risk free (apart from a few minor sprained ankles mostly). So if lots of topropers and sport climbers pay for insurance and never claim (including the myriad of guiding compaines) then it makes financial sense for the insurance company.

Eduardo Slabofvic
10/01/2012
1:45:54 PM
Very few people would have died climbing.

Most would have died comming to a sudden stop after falling
kieranl
10/01/2012
3:33:17 PM
People are remarkably able to ignore risk assessments if it doesn't suit them.
During the second world war one of Britain's top mathematicians did an analysis of factors affecting bomber crew survival and found that most of the things people thought were wrong :
- experienced crews did not have a better survival rate
- night missions did not improve survival rates
- additional guns on bombers did not improve survival rates
He recommended that they fly during the day with faster bombers with no additional guns and smaller crews. He was ignored and went to the US and worked on the Manhattan Project.
It wasn't until the Mosquito bomber came along that flight crew survival rates dramatically improved. It just happened to be a light (plywood), lightly armed, very fast bomber.

rodw
10/01/2012
5:28:40 PM
On 10/01/2012 Eduardo Slabofvic. wrote:
>Very few people would have died climbing.
>
>Most would have died comming to a sudden stop after falling

Though to put it in purely economical terms...its would be way cheaper shipping home a dead body of a base jumper than a climber say with a broken back/leg/multiple fractures etc who needs treatment before coming home and then the additional cost of support medical care on the trip home.

My point being I dont think death rates in themselves are the issue...insurance companies just don't go on gut feelings...they use very elaborate risk vs cost analysis to determine what they will and wont cover....As neilo said and I agree it more a case of not enough base jumpers to cover to expected costs...climbing is a larger community so risk is spread out more making it more viable to cover.

Or it could be that base jumping if just fukin dangerous :)
J.C.
10/01/2012
6:58:28 PM
On 10/01/2012 nmonteith wrote:
>Problem is an insurance company doesn't separate a death/injury from an
>objective danger or a bad user decision. If they have to pay out more than
>they can get people to pay for policys then its not worth the risk for
>them. After watching 5 guys at Tonsai last week jumping from above Humanilty
>I sure know I wouldn't be willing to insure them! Triple sumarsalts and
>pulling up within metres of boat and bars looked about a million times
>more dangerous then the hundreds of sport climbers. Problem is I don't
>think there is what one could call a totally safe version of base jumping
>- whilst top-ropers and sport climbers are almost risk free (apart from
>a few minor sprained ankles mostly). So if lots of topropers and sport
>climbers pay for insurance and never claim (including the myriad of guiding
>compaines) then it makes financial sense for the insurance company.

I actually believe that BASE can be practiced quite safely, just as safely as top-roping in fact. Popular perception would indicate otherwise but I've been exposed to a lot of climbing and a lot of jumping and I believe that to be a justified claim. Just as in climbing there is a very wide range of degrees of danger and difficulty & you choose to participate at your own level. There is a fringe at both ends of the spectrum.. guys who are out there every night on technical and committing jumps in poor wind conditions and pull as many flips and spins as they can before opening as low as possible, or the guys who will only do easy jumps on sheer cliffs with big landing areas in perfect conditions and will be open with plenty of height. As with climbing, most of us find a balance somewhere in the middle. While it doesn't factor into the equation that an insurance company would consider, my argument for the safety of BASE is that you choose your level of involvement and you are in control of your exposure to risk... you can stand on the edge for as long as you want and decide whether you are ready for that particular jump, and if not you can do an easier one or walk down. In the greater ranges, as soon as you set foot on the mountain you are exposed to a whole list of dangers totally out of your control. Sure you can temper your exposure by choosing a good line, only climbing in decent conditions but ultimately you are throwing the dice to a large extent. I'd be interested to see some statistics for alpine climbing deaths if anyone knows of any?

I think both pursuits are very rewarding, I'm just throwing out some food for thought :)

rodw
10/01/2012
7:24:21 PM
I think the issue is the stats are against ya...it might you have a few cowboys doing the sport and a relative smaller population in terms of numbers means those cowboys fuk it for everyone when it comes to the bean counters of the insurance companies.

Climbing might have just as many cowboys....but a larger population means statistically they have lesser impact
RNM
11/01/2012
8:08:53 AM
On 10/01/2012 J.C. wrote:
>I actually believe that BASE can be practiced quite safely...... there is a very wide
>range of degrees of danger and difficulty & you choose to participate at
>your own level.

"Can" and "choose" are the key words. Almost anything can be made safe, if paticipants choose the right safety measures and conditions....

Can you imagine the conditions on the insurance policy? And can you imagine how you would prove that you have meet these conditions.

Surely by nature most people who choose to BASE jump are also into pushing the limits a little, extending themselves and their abilities. Isn't that the point?

Otherwise it would be like getting into rally car driving, but never going more than 100km/hr, or getting into motor cross, but never leaving the road.

pecheur
11/01/2012
8:48:04 AM
On 10/01/2012 J.C. wrote:

>I actually believe that BASE can be practiced quite safely, just as safely
>as top-roping in fact.

You can't make BASE as safe as top roping since the vast, vast majority of top roping is done at sub 25 metre heights, even with catastrophic screw ups, or freak acts of nature, or your equipment fails, quite often you won't die. Not to mention you could do a full test of the actual system in the actual conditions in almost complete safety (i.e. jump off at 3 metres of height). This not the case with BASE.

>Popular perception would indicate otherwise but
>I've been exposed to a lot of climbing and a lot of jumping and I believe
>that to be a justified claim. Just as in climbing there is a very wide
>range of degrees of danger and difficulty & you choose to participate at
>your own level. There is a fringe at both ends of the spectrum.. guys who
>are out there every night on technical and committing jumps in poor wind
>conditions and pull as many flips and spins as they can before opening
>as low as possible, or the guys who will only do easy jumps on sheer cliffs
>with big landing areas in perfect conditions and will be open with plenty
>of height. As with climbing, most of us find a balance somewhere in the
>middle. While it doesn't factor into the equation that an insurance company
>would consider, my argument for the safety of BASE is that you choose your
>level of involvement and you are in control of your exposure to risk...
>you can stand on the edge for as long as you want and decide whether you
>are ready for that particular jump, and if not you can do an easier one
>or walk down. In the greater ranges, as soon as you set foot on the mountain
> you are exposed to a whole list of dangers totally out of your control.

Some insurance companies won't insure mountaineering at greater than 6000 m (or possibly even anything on mountains taller than 6000 m) either. That's their perogative.

>Sure you can temper your exposure by choosing a good line, only climbing
>in decent conditions but ultimately you are throwing the dice to a large
>extent. I'd be interested to see some statistics for alpine climbing deaths
>if anyone knows of any?
>
I seem to be getting this feeling that you believe insurance is a right, not a business. You don't have any right to insurance, insurance is only provided if the company believes that in the long term balance of probability, it can make money from the participants.

If you truly believe that BASE jumping is safe, and a worthy insurance risk, then start of BASE insurance cooperative. Crossfit did it for their "boxes". The only reason a company would withdraw coverage is because it believe it can't make money from it. If you believe, as in genuinely believe in it, start a not for profit. What there aren't enough participants willing to buy insurance that would cover the costs in the event of a death? Gee welcome to the insurance companies' world ...

JamesMc
11/01/2012
6:28:49 PM
More likely the insurance companies think it's too hard to calculate the risks, given the small quantity of data available (which leads to large uncertainty) and the small number of potential customers (which means there's no business case in making the effort).

BTW I never picked Kieran as a military historian!!!

JamesMc
Muzza671
25/05/2012
11:26:40 AM
Anybody come up with alternative now that IHI Bupa have changed their policy?

insure4less seem to be the nly one I can find and they have that pesky clause that you need to have applied for cover before you left Australia.

Zane Priebbenow
25/05/2012
1:15:32 PM
Muzza, I have the annual trip ihi Bupa policy, after a couple emails & a phone call they agreed to include ice climbing cover for a one off trip in febuary with typical restrictions on altitude ( after the policy change) . Seems they can be flexable if they have some specifics of you trip, at least for a preexisting policy. Could be worth talking to them.
GoUp!
25/05/2012
9:21:05 PM
May be relevant. The latest edition of the local PG/HG mag (Sky Sailor, formerly known as Soaring or colloquially as Boring, think Rock) has an advert for Natalies Travel (www.nataliestravel.com) who can fix pilots up with insurance (QBE?) for overseas flying including comps. Her partner (Godfrey) owns Mt Borah (world class flying site at Manilla) and he travels OS for flying every year so she should know what she is on about. Not sure if it covers climbing but she could be worth contacting to see if it does, or if it can be extended to cover it.
Muzza671
26/05/2012
6:37:26 AM
Thanks Zane - will give it a go and let everyone know how it works out.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 28
There are 28 messages in this topic.

 

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