Question for non-American - Dangerous activities

Here in the US where people use private health insurance, that insurance doesnt cover injuries arising from dangerous activities and sports such as scuba diving, hang gliding, boxing, race car driving, and certain types of snow skiing. Persons doing that carry special insurance for it.

In some cases, for example scuba diving, your insurance might cover any hospital care but will not cover costs of say them sending a helicopter to a boat to pick up an injured diver (often as much as $100,000).

In countries which have a Universal Healthcare system are injuries from these type of injuries covered?

In Denmark yes.

Australia’s Medicare is a no-fault system.

As far as I know, the Israeli system is no-fault as well.

In Pakistan the various provinces and territories handle healthcare. The ones I have dealt with don’t deal with dangerous activities injuries differently.

…in New Zealand they are covered by Accident Compensation Corporation: again no fault.


I think the difference is, unlike American insurance companies, foreign health insurers don’t have vast, expensive internal mechanisms dedicated solely to finding ways not to pay up. It just isn’t worth it for them.

UK - no fault. Never even thought of it.

In Canada it’s irrelevant.

This stuff is covered in Canada, obviously.

However, it’s something you do have to think about if you travel abroad. If I go on vacation to, say, the Dominican Republic, I need travel insurance to bail me out if I get hurt, and they may not necessarily cover dangerous activities (well, actually, they almost never do.)

In the UK, of course. The fact that you even ask the question goes to show what a monumental chasm there is regarding attitudes to healthcare in USA compared to pretty much the rest of the world.
Also, I believe that Germany and Austria are the same as the UK if my experiences there are representative of what occurs for a national.

In Spain it’s covered. We even cover stupid foreigners balconing, despite proposals to the contrary (climbing to a balcony and jumping down, in hopes that their friends will catch them).

If you’re doing some dangerous sport as an organized activity, the organizers will have both insurance that’s part of the national system and another policy providing additional coverage for suits. You’ll be asked to sign a paper along the lines of “yes, I understand that whitewater rafting is a dangerous activity. I hereby give up any rights to sue Whitewater SA in case of an accident that had not been determined to be cause by gross misconduct on the part of Whitewater SA of their employees”.

The police will investigate any such accidents; people who have tried to sue in no-misconduct accidents (some even when there had been misconduct on their part) have discovered that, unlike them, judges generally can read.

Not necessarily. Health care at the hospital, yes, but ambulance services are not always covered, even in cases of medical emergencies. This is one of the services that can be covered by private insurance.

This might depend on your province. If I got injured and called 911, they would send an ambulance that would take me to the hospital. Would the ambulance personnel even ask how it happened? Once you get to the hospital you are treated and the hospital may not charge no matter what (assuming you are a resident). When I go abroad, I am convered by insurance from my (former) employer, who still pays half of the insurance costs.

A neighbor who was also a McGill professor, had a heart attack in New Orleans. They (McGill actually operates as a self-insurer) paid for a med-evac to bring him back to Montreal because that was cheaper than paying a US hospital. I think it cost them $25,000.

I work in health insurance in the US and I will say that many of the scenarios you’ve mentioned could be covered under your insurance. Boxing or race car driving maybe not, but if you go scuba diving or hang gliding or whatever and get injured the plans my company offers would cover you, including the cost of being med-evac’d out of whatever stupid situation you got yourself into that day. Granted, just like any other company they have a group of people who review claims and your insurance history and the like and will not pay if they have a reason not to so having additional insurance would be a wise choice, but I’ve handled claims like these before that have paid out, most recently for a woman who rode a dune buggy out into the middle of the desert and broke her leg before she was able to return. We paid for the care flight and all of her other medical bills just like we would any other claim.

The premise is flawed (sorry to those who love to bash the US health care system). A standard health plan in the US will cover injuries from dangerous activities unless:
*they are specifically excluded by the policy. Here is a link to a typical BCBS Anthem coverage exclusions list. “Dangerous activities” are not excluded individually or corporately.
*you are a “regular participant”, which would require you to obtain additional coverage. In some instances you may not be able to get coverage for your particular activity at any cost, depending on the risks involved, but that is going to be rare.

As always, YMMV. Consumer, know thy policy!

It may also depend upon the political savvy of local authorities. As long as an incident is still classified by the sheriff or other responsible local authority as a rescue, the Coast Guard or Air National Guard may be called in at no expense to the victim or local officials. However, once an incident is classified as a recovery, the costs are often the responsibility of the victim’s family. I know of several cases where the Coast Guard was called in on a rescue mission, when in reality the victim was inferred to already be dead by the glaring and obvious circumstances of the incident (such as falling 1,500 feet over a cliff edge is inferred to be fatal in all circumstances).

Here in the UK, it’s all covered on the medical side. If you’re not a UK citizen or covered by EHIC, then they will try to recover costs from you. The more esoteric rescue services (e.g. mountain rescue, RNLI) are often volunteers with costs covered by charity.