Does Health Insurance Cover Sports Injuries?

We all know why it is important to exercise on a regular basis and luckily in Hong Kong there is no shortage of sports activities for you and your family. Whether you’re a sports fanatic or exercise to maintain a healthy weight, do you know if sport-related injuries are covered by your medical insurance plan?


Generally speaking, high-risk activities and extreme sports are excluded from standard medical insurance plans and you may have to get sport specific insurance. 


So under which conditions are sports covered? We at AD MediLink have compiled a list of standard exclusions and here are some of the major takeways


According to our market research, the individual Bupa global plans are the only ones that do not have any exclusion on sports activities.


Expert tip — Sports related injuries/accidents are usually covered when:

     ○ you do not engage in a professional matter

     ○ the sport is not considered hazardous 

     ○ the scuba diving is limited to a depth of less than 30 metres

     ○ the winter sport was not off-piste

Do you need health insurance?

14.14 Professional sports and hazardous activities

Playing professional sports (i.e. any sport or sports for which you are paid as your main source of income), or taking part in any of the hazardous activities below whether on a professional or recreational basis:

  •  Motor sports of any kind
  •  Using a weapon or firearm
  •  Mountaineering, potholing, spelunking or caving
  •  Trekking at an altitude of more than 2,500 metres
  •  Scuba or free diving, unless:

– you are diving to a depth of less than 30 metres, and

– you hold the appropriate PADI qualification or you are accompanied by a PADI qualified instructor

  •  Off-piste winter sports
  •  Arctic or Antarctic expeditions
  •  Being the driver or passenger of any motorised vehicle, including but not limited to a motorcycle, motorised tri-cycle or quad-cycle:

– not on a public road, or

– on a public road, unless you are wearing a seatbelt, if there is one, and the driver (whether you or somebody else) has the licence and insurance required by law to drive the motorised vehicle.



Any costs incurred as a result of engaging in any sports or activity as a professional or taking part in base jumping, cliff diving, flying in an unlicensed aircraft or as a learner, martial arts, free climbing, mountaineering with or without ropes, scuba diving to a depth of more than 10 metres, trekking to a height of over 2,500 metres, bungee jumping, canyoning, hangliding, paragliding or microlighting, parachuting, potholing, skiing off piste or any other winter sports activity carried out off piste.



Specific conditions for the cover of sports and sporting activities Professional athletes or students on a sports-study course, including ballet, dance and circus schools, are covered under this plan only in a private capacity. The costs and consequences of the following are also excluded from all cover:

  • dangerous sports such as microlighting, hang-gliding, paragliding, driving cars, motorcycles or go-carts, parachuting, mountaineering, climbing (other than on artificial climbing walls), hiking/trekking requiring the use of ropes/ice axes/ crampons, rock climbing, underwater diving except for free-diving to 50 meters, caving, skeleton, ski jumping, bobsleighing, bungee jumping, rafting, canyoning, kitesurfing, air ballooning, jet-skiing, free-running, parkour, ice hockey, speed riding, base jumping, sky surfing, freefall and the following sports when practised off piste: skiing, cross-country skiing, sledging and snowboarding;
  • the Insured’s involvement in any form of bets (with the exception of sporting competitions), brawls (except in self-defence) or involvement in offenses and crimes within the meaning of the applicable criminal law;
  • the piloting of any type of flying device or the practice as a pilot or a passenger of any air sports and in particular hang-gliding, parachuting, paragliding or microlighting;
  • participation in all sports competitions and training, practising sports in a club or federation in a professional capacity; sports requiring the use of a land, sea or air vehicle; hunting;
  • air navigation Accidents unless the Insured is an ordinary passenger and is on board an aircraft operated by a public passenger transport company;
  • sailing or cruising on the high seas in a personal or professional capacity (more than 200 nautical miles from land).



No exclusions for sport activities.




Treatment which is necessary because of, or is any way connected with, any injury or sickness suffered by a beneficiary as a result of:

a) taking part in a sporting activity on a professional basis;

b) solo scuba-diving; or

c) scuba-diving at a depth of more than thirty (30) metres unless the beneficiary is appropriately qualified (namely PADI or equivalent) to scuba-dive at that depth.



Hazardous activities: 

Claims arising as a result of participation in professional sporting activities or any hazardous sport or activity including, but not limited to:

Kite-surfing, mountain biking, rock or cliff climbing, mountaineering, yachting outside territorial waters, motor sports, aerial activities and sports, bungee jumping, scuba diving (to a depth greater than 30 metres or where a current PADI certificate is not held), any sport involving animals, speed competition, skiing off piste (unless in a recognised and authorized).



Hazardous sports and pursuits: 

We do not cover Treatment of injuries sustained from base jumping, cliff diving, flying in an unlicensed aircraft or as a learner, martial arts, free climbing, mountaineering with or without ropes, scuba diving to a depth of more than 30 metres, trekking to a height of over 4,000 metres, bungee jumping, canyoning, hang-gliding, paragliding or microlighting, parachuting.


Looking for health insurance with expert advice? Contact AD MediLink now at or +852 2296 9773 to receive a free quote. Advisors uniquely trained on the Hong Kong healthcare system will be in touch to answer all your enquiries concerning both the public and private sectors.


This article was independently written by AD MediLink and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and should never be relied upon for specific advice.