Hazardous Hobbies

Hazardous Hobbies – Make Sure You Get Advice!

Working in an office, it’s funny to think that the people you sit next to day in day out have such diverse, wide ranging interests outside of their normal working hours. 

Being based in Wales, here at Vita the national sports of football and rugby tend to top the list, followed by a keen interest and participation in  motor sport, skateboarding, scuba diving, basketball, climbing and cycling to name just a few. But did you know that your leisure activities can have an impact on your insurance premium? Did you know that you would even be asked about such past times?

Recently we heard the tragic story of Douglas Tomkins, founder of clothing giants North Face and Esprit, passing away following a kayaking accident that led to him suffering hypothermia. The 72 year old died in hospital after capsizing in a lake in the Patagonian region of Chile.

In a statement, North Face commented: “Doug was a passionate advocate for the environment. His legacy of conservation will help ensure that there are outdoor spaces to be explored for generations to come“.

For over 25 years, Tomkins spent millions of dollars conserving National Parks throughout South America. He spent months hiking, kayaking and exploring the rainforests of South America, before eventually moving to Patagonia in 1989 leaving behind his wealthy corporate lifestyle.

Interesting to note that the number of people Kayaking is increasing year on year. The Outdoor Foundation’s research suggests that in the United States, children from as young as 6 are now taking part, with the participation rate having a steady year on year increase.


Kayaking is one of a number of hazardous pursuits that insurance companies look at very carefully when offering Life Insurance, Critical Illness or Income Protection. 

Sports or pursuits such as mountaineering, diving, motor sport or aviation (as well as many others) will quite often cause an increase in premium or an alteration to the cover detail due to an increase in risk of injury or death.

It’s important to note that insurers view hazardous past times in very different ways. One insurer may look to decline cover if you take part in certain activities, whereas another will accept you with no premium increase or limitations of cover. It’s very important to get advice from a Protection Adviser as ‘headline’ quotes you see online don’t tell the full story. As one of our customers recently put it:

“Having spent days slugging it out in the prison yard of online quotes and comparison sites, finding my adviser at Vita was like finding Yoda – I now recommend him to everyone!”

If you take part in any hazardous hobbies, make sure you speak with one of our Protection Advisers and get insurance tailored around your lifestyle.

Paul Reed – Protection Specialist and Co-founder of Vita – an independent, national award winning, insurance brokerage in Cardiff.

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