Life insurance and Rock Climbing

Life insurance and Rock Climbing

Whether you enjoy a day out trad climbing at Stanage Edge, an evening bouldering at your local indoor climbing or multi-day epic ascents then we are here to help. We help provide peace of mind with cover options for Life Insurance, Income Protection and Critical Illness Cover suitable for you and your climbing needs.

At Summit Financial Services we know the needs of rock climbers vary depending on experience or climbing style (trad, sport, bouldering, DWS, aid climbing, alpine rock, and more….). It does not matter if you are a novice, a professional mountain guide, a social climber at a climbing wall or a multipitch trad enthusiast – just give us a call or click the button above to enquire online.

We can provide rock climbers with cover for their sport and for many other sporting interests (e.g. canoeing, skiing, cycling and many more – just let us know and we’ll be happy to provide you with a quote).

As a quick guide, if you are looking for a lump sum of cash to be paid following an accident or natural death then you may want to consider speaking to us about Life Insurance. Alternatively, if you are concerned that a rock climbing accident may leave you unable to work then an Income Protection policy may be another consideration for you to chat to us about. In addition, you may also want to chat to us about Critical Illness Cover and the benefits it could provide to you and your family.

Rock climbing and Life Insurance

If you are you concerned about providing for a family or paying your bills should an accident or injury (or worse) happen whilst rock climbing then contact us today.

Because we specialise in rock climbing you can speak to us about different climbing and climbing related activities, for example:

  • Aid climbing
  • Alpine rock climbing
  • Bouldering
  • Buildering
  • Canyoning
  • Coasteering
  • Competition climbing
  • Deep water soloing
  • Multi pitch trad
  • Single pitch
  • Sport climbing

Don’t worry if you require cover for other sports, just give us a call to discuss the options available for you, your climbing and any other sports in which you participate.

Rock climbing insurance company

Because we specialise in rock climbing you have access to a team of people at Summit Financial Services who have a long history of providing cover for rock climbers and mountaineers.

Life Insurance company for your rock climbing

At Summit Financial Services we will be happy to speak to you about many types of cover for your rock climbing, such as:

  • Rock climbing Life Insurance cover
  • Rock climbing Mortgage Protection cover
  • Critical Illness Cover for rock climbers
  • Income Protection for rock climbers

In addition, we are aware that many rock climbers maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep fit for their sport. If you keep up a healthy lifestyle and regular fitness plan, you may be interested in speaking to us about policies that reward you for keeping fit and healthy (via a fitness tracker).

Rock climbing Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any queries about cover for rock climbing then please call our number below to discover the best deal we can offer you for your rock climbing activities.

We will be happy to discuss a range of rock climbing related questions, such as:

  • Are there any premium loadings for my rock climbing activities?
  • Can I obtain Life Insurance for my rock climbing?
  • Is Critical Illness Cover available my style of rock climbing?
  • Can I obtain Income Protection with my choice of rock climbing activities?
  • As a rock climber can I get Health Insurance or Private Medical Insurance?

What is the process to enquire about Life Insurance, Income Protection or Critical Illness cover for rock climbers?

If you enquire about cover for rock climbing with us then we will take into consideration a number of factors that relate to you and your rock climbing.

As with any application for financial protection it is important that you declare your work, lifestyle, medical and rock climbing questions completely.

Typical life and lifestyle questions, that relate to your enquiry for rock climbing cover, may include your:

  • Health history & lifestyle (for example, any smoking or alcohol consumption)
  • Height (ft/cm)
  • Weight (lb/kg)
  • Age
  • Current health conditions

We’ll also discuss some lifestyle and climbing related questions such as:

  • Your current occupation
  • Your type of climbing
  • Your rock climbing grade
  • Any other types of climbing (e.g. ice climbing)
  • Location of climbing activities (e.g. UK and/or international)
  • British Mountaineering Council, Mountaineering Scotland, Mountaineering Ireland membership
  • Any participation in climbing competitions
  • Current income (for Income Protection enquiries)

As part of your enquiry for cover for your rock climbing, we will also discuss the amount of cover you require and the duration of the cover you would like, including:

  • The amount of financial protection you require (£ GBP)
  • The duration of the policy you require (number of years)
  • The type of policy you require (e.g. decreasing or level term)

Your recreational and occupational information, such as that detailed above, will help determine the premium you have to pay for your cover for your climbing activities.

Life Insurance, Income Protection and Critical Insurance cost – specialist insurance information for rock climbers

Even if you have financial protection in place elsewhere for your rock climbing, we will be happy to hear from you, even if only to provide you with peace of mind that cover and premiums are comparable with current market products.

Business protection for rock climbers

If you operate a Limited Company or operate at Director level then you may want to chat about cover for you and your rock climbing, for example:

  • Key Person insurance for rock climbers
  • Relevant Life insurance for rock climbers
  • Shareholder Protection for rock climbers

How to make an enquiry for rock climbing cover

At Summit Financial Services we pride ourselves on providing rock climbers with:

  • Personal and confidential advice
  • Experienced advisers in rock climbing and other extreme sports
  • Personal service and a quick response to your rock climbing questions
  • A Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised company
  • Easy application process conducted around your lifestyle

If you have any questions about cover for rock climbing or would like to find out more about the benefits of cover for other sports activities then speak to an experienced sports adviser at Summit Financial Services today on 0345 565 0937, or to enquire online about cover, please click the link above.

As a hazardous sport, extreme sport and adventure sport specialists we exist to help those who enjoy sports to find cover that is suitable for their needs.

Income Protection for Rock Climbers & Mountaineers

“The staff at SFS listen carefully and advise wisely. They provide a flexible and personal service which gives great reassurance that you’ve been offered the most appropriate cover for all the crazy things you do!”

Libby Peter (pictured), Mountain Guide and mother of two

Could you pay your bills if a climbing accident left you unable to work?

Over the last 18 years Summit Financial Services has built a unique expertise in arranging personal insurance for rock climbers and mountaineers.

You can trust us to provide:

  • Cover for climbers – our experience extends from covering climbers on Stanage Edge to mountaineers on the world’s highest mountains
  • Cover for your lifestyle – wherever your work or climbing takes you we source the right cover for you
  • Special understanding – because we specialise in climbing we have built long lasting links with specialist underwriters to obtain the right cover for you
  • Personal service – you will receive a quick response from a personal adviser (all advisers have over 10 years experience in financial services)
  • Peace of mind – we operate to professional standards and are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Easy application – we have placed climbers on cover within a couple of hours
  • Specialist sports knowledge – we also work with the British Mountaineering Council and Mountaineering Council of Scotland to provide great rates for their members
Because we are not tied to one insurance supplier our bespoke service allows us to compare different options and provide the right policy to suit your needs.
Whether you are looking for personal financial security or to provide for your loved ones if you suffer a serious rock climbing accident then we are here to help.

Contact us today on 0345 565 0937 for your personal climbing quote

Other cover available:
  • Mortgage Protection – cover to help pay off a remaining mortgage balance
  • Family protection – money to support the family finances should the worst happen
  • Critical Illness – payment on diagnosis of a specific illness
  • Private Medical Insurance – personal medical support


“Endorsed by the OIA as the leading provider of financial protection for those engaged in outdoor activities”

Climbing Life Insurance

Climbing Life Insurance

If you climb and you are looking for climbing life insurance then you have come to the right place. Summit FS specialises in working with and helping climbers to get life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection to protect their family, homes or businesses. Getting the right cover if you are a climber, mountaineer or hill walker can be difficult depending on how severe your climbing activity is, how frequently you climb and whether you climb abroad.


Do I Need Life Insurance Because I Climb?

Do I Need Life Insurance Because I Climb?

NO! You need life insurance like every other person who has commitments , has debts, has responsibilities or who has a family and wishes to provide for them.

Many people enquire about life insurance or financial protection because they may be due to go on a trip to the Alps or have a planned expedition to the Himalaya and consider that they may be at a higher risk of injury or death.

However they have not taken into account other factors which may also pose a risk and yet are not considered ”extreme” such as driving, cycling, everyday living or health. Indeed it could be argued that you are more likely to have an injury driving up the A9 rather than whilst climbing on the ridge on Skye! As such, the fact that you climb becomes less relevant than your personal circumstances when considering the need for Life Insurance.

Life Insurance provides a lump sum in the event of your death and therefore would provide financial protection for your dependants should the worst happen. There are a number of circumstances which should be considered and each has an appropriate form of policy.

A mortgage or loan should be covered by life insurance and also ideally critical illness cover. You don’t want to leave a debt for your family or find yourself in a position not being able to pay your mortgage in the event of serious illness.

Similarly, you ought to be able to leave a lump sum for your family to replace your income.

Most importantly you should keep your climbing skills up to date, climb safely and look after yourself!

Terminal Illness Vs Critical Illnesses Insurance

Terminal Illness Vs Critical Illnesses Insurance

Life Insurance – not exactly the most interesting topic at the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, whilst the main element of the policy namely ‘life insurance’ is relatively easy to understand, there still remains confusion over the difference between the additional benefits of Terminal Illness Cover and Critical Illness Cover . . . . . Are they the same? What is the difference between the two?

Sadly, a large number of people often don’t have the difference explained to them and assume they are covered for Critical Illnesses where as in fact they are only covered for Terminal Illness, which is vastly different.

Terminal Illness Insurance just pays the life insurance out early if the policyholder is expected to die within 12 months. It is a form of insurance that is often automatically included in a life insurance or mortgage life insurance policy at no extra charge.

Where Terminal Illness Insurance is included, the policyholder has the benefit of knowing that if he/she is diagnosed with a serious illness and is expected to die within the next 12 months, then the policy will pay out the life insurance amount immediately upon diagnosis rather than waiting for the policyholder to pass away. Whilst this offers peace of mind to know you can put your finances in order yourself, all it really does is speed up the payout.

This form of insurance must not be confused with Critical Illness Cover, which is a fairly common mistake made by a large number of people. Terminal Illness Insurance only pays the benefit where the life expectancy is less than 12 months at diagnosis whereas Critical Illness Cover would typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses listed in the insurance policy and unlike Terminal Illness Cover where there is no additional charge on premiums, Critical Illness Cover in all cases is offered for an additional premium by the insurance company.

Critical illness cover was originally designed to pay for:

  • cost(s) of care and/or treatment
  • recuperation aids
  • outstanding financial liabilities, typically a Mortgage
  • unpaid respite time, whilst recovering from ill-health

Critical Illness Cover is suitable for those concerned they may not be able to meet their financial commitments or maintain a reasonable lifestyle if diagnosed with a critical illness.

If the policyholder is diagnosed with a medical condition listed within the policy document, the insurance company would make a cash lump sum payment to the policyholder, regardless of their life expectancy. The most common illnesses included are cancer, heart attack, stroke traumatic head injury, total permanent disablement. Most insurance companies include the conditions named above but for the climber or mountaineer it is important to find an insurance company that will not exclude a claim just because they were enjoying their activity when it occurred.

Consideration should also be given to the fact that a large number of people will recover following diagnosis of a Critical Illness, which will result in a claim, and the sum assured being paid. They may continue to lead a long, healthy lifestyle whilst knowing their mortgage liability or other financial commitment or burden is now taken care of, due to the lump sum payment. Therefore, they may not be required to continue working, or will have the option to reduce their hours, or even change their occupation, to suit their new lifestyle.

Assume the same scenario was to occur to a policyholder with Life Insurance policy that only includes Terminal Illness Insurance. If they were to make a recovery following diagnosis of a medical condition and the life expectancy was greater than 12 months, then the policy would not pay anything. Regardless of their medical condition or health after diagnosis, they would still have the liability of their mortgage, or other financial liability meaning they may have to continue working or may face potential financial hardship if unable to work.

Therefore, if you are considering life insurance for the first time, or perhaps looking to review your existing policy, then it is important that you fully understand the difference between Terminal Illness Cover and Critical Illness Cover. As explained above, both options provide valuable benefits at different stages of the policy and your life. The consequences of misunderstanding one for the other could be very upsetting for you and your loved ones in the future.

You get advice on all of this at The Insurance Advice Service

“It’ll Never Happen To Me” Nigel Vardy Offers Some Useful Advice

“It’ll Never Happen To Me” Nigel Vardy Offers Some Useful Advice

‘It’ll never happen to me’ is a phrase I hear time and time again in this world.  For some unknown reason, people hold the perception that everyone else gets ill or injured, and that they are somehow inviolate.  I once starred in a Channel 4 programme called ‘It happened to me’, because it really did, and in a major way..

Working in the outdoors is a wonderful way to live your life.  All the fresh air, mountains, rivers and open country you could ever wish for will come your way (as well as rain, cloud and snow!)  Safety is paramount, and we should all be well trained in what disciplines we work in and teach.  I felt well trained and ready for a daring alpine style climb on Mt McKinley some years ago, but that didn’t stop the weather doing its best to freeze me to death at 20,000ft.  I was lucky enough to be rescued, but suffered severe frostbite injuries to my face, hands and feet.  Two years of hospital care followed, where I lost all my toes, fingertips and nose.  This included over a year off work, followed by weeks here and there for skin grafts and reconstructive surgery.  Fifteen years on I still have podiatry on my stubby feet to keep them in condition. Thankfully I was well insured and all my medical and hospital bills were covered (over $40,000 for two weeks care in the USA alone).  My travel insurance paid the medical bills, but my sickness and accident cover kept me afloat.  I cannot stress enough, the necessity to prepare yourself for illness or injury in the outdoors.  I wonder how many of you have even considered it?

It’s a depressing thought that one in three of us will suffer cancer at some point in our lives.  There are many other diseases and complaints, which can leave us in no position to work for weeks, months or even years.  Whatever happens to you, those bills will not stop coming.  It’s vital to be protected, but a word of warning – specialist advice is required.  Many companies run a mile when they find you’re a mountaineer or outdoor Instructor.  I’ve been turned down more times than I can think because of my passion.  Companies have also changed their policies, and suddenly decided that any activity requiring ‘climbing with ropes’ too dangerous to cover.  I once received a policy update with a list of changes a mile long.  In fact I struggled to find what the company did cover for my money.  When I contacted them, they seemed surprised that I questioned their changes.  I had been open and honest with them, and even filled in an extra sheet for their version of ‘Extreme Sports’ only a few months before.  Please read the small print before you sign anything and be absolutely sure that you are correctly covered.  Do make sure you’re up front and honest with any insurer, as any future claim could be compromised by the fact that your initial application is incorrect.

When a policy pays is also something worth looking into.  Some are weeks, some are months.  Can you survive six weeks or six months without any money coming in?  Statuary Sick Pay certainly isn’t going to pay all the bills, so think what your outgoings are and write them all down.  You’ll be surprised how much those monthly direct debits come to.  The last thing you want when you’re ill. is the stress of your home or vehicle being repossessed and people knocking at your door.  Policies exist which can cover Mortgage, Family, Income Protection and Critical Illness cover, and I would advise anyone working in the outdoors to seriously consider them.

When I was lying in bed covered in frostbite,  with parts of my body dying before my eyes, the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was my finances.  It’s easy to say now, but at the time I had more than enough on my plate…


Life Insurance – 6 top Tips To Save You Money And Improve Your Cover


Here are a few simple ways to get better value for money from your life insurance.


. Joint policy or two single policies?

The cost of two single life policies does not cost much more than a joint policy. eg. A male and female aged 35, who are both non-smokers, require £250,000 if one of them dies during the next 20 years whilst their young family are financially dependent on them. Both climb all seasons in the UK, including Scottish Winter, and also enjoy Spain and Yosemite climbing holidays.  A joint policy that pays out £250,000 if one of them dies, costs £25.50 per month*. What if they were involved in a fatal RTA together? Would £250,000 still be enough for the children’s guardians to bring them up without struggling financially? Two single life policies for £250,000 cover each would cost just £3 per month* extra for this couple. If you already have a joint policy it may well be worthwhile converting this to two single policies.

(*Guaranteed Premium rates correct as of 27th January 2015).

2. Decreasing or Level Insurance?

If your life insurance is to protect your mortgage then you should consider what type of mortgage you have. Is it a capital repayment mortgage or interest only? If you have a capital repayment mortgage where the capital is repaid monthly, then the mortgage liability will reduce during the term. A decreasing policy is designed to cover any outstanding liability as the cover will reduce in line with your liability. A level term policy is normally used to protect an interest only mortgage. You ought to check that you have the right policy. A decreasing term assurance is cheaper than a level term assurance.

3. Review your existing cover

Do you still climb at the same grade and locations you did when you took out the policy? If your climbing activities have changed since you took out the policy then any loading which an insurance company may have imposed may be removed if the perceived risk is not as great.


4. Tax-efficiency for Directors of own company

It is now possible for a limited company to take out a policy on its employees for the benefit to be placed in trust for a nominated beneficiary other than the company. Thus a director may arrange a policy for himself that will be paid by the company with the benefits being paid to his beneficiary in trust and tax free – it is not treated as a benefit in kind and is not paid out of an individual’s taxed income. This is well worth considering.

5. Terminal Illness or Critical Illness

Terminal illness cover is normally included free of charge with a typical life insurance policy This provides the benefit to be paid out if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of less than 12months. Critical Illness pays out the benefit upon the diagnosis of a critical illness such as a heart attack or cancer. Do not confuse these two. You may think that you have critical illness cover when you haven’t. Critical illness can be added to a life policy and need not be for the same sum assured. At least you could have some cover if your budget is tight!


6. See a specialist

Most insurance companies have different views on risks presented to them. It will probably mean that if you use a specialist he will know which companies will impose a loading and those which don’t. They will also probably be able to get you a wider level of cover.

Protecting Your Finances Through Ill Health

Protecting Your Finances Through Ill Health


Looking at protecting your finances in the event of illness can be a nightmare for anybody but for the climber it can be doubly daunting. Not only do you have to consider which protection you require but you also have to find a company which will actually cover you properly.

Most insurance companies will simply exclude claims arising from a climbing incident. However, there are some who will offer terms. The underwriter will consider your experience, how often you climb what grade you climb to and various other criteria in order to offer terms. It is important that the underwriter fully understands the true extent of your climbing activities.

climbing on Dow Crag - The Lake District

There are a number of suitable insurance products which will protect your finances but for long term planning consideration ought to be given to critical illness and income protection policies.

Critical Illness Cover is an insurance product, where the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses listed in the insurer’s policy document. Policies may be purchased by individuals either on Single Life basis, or on Joint Life basis in conjunction with a life insurance policy and also at the time of a residential purchase or re-mortgage. The reason for this is to provide financial protection to the policyholder or their dependents on the repayment of a mortgage due if the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness condition. In addition, cover is also arranged to provide financial protection to the family or dependents of the policyholder.

The policy may require the policyholder to survive a minimum number of days (the survival period) from when the illness was first diagnosed. The survival period used varies from company to company, however, 14, 28 and 30 days are the most common survival periods used. The contract terms contain specific rules that define when a diagnosis of a critical illness is considered valid for claim. It may state that the diagnosis need to be made by a Physician who specialises in that illness of condition, or it may name specific tests, for example ECG changes of a myocardial infarction, that confirm the diagnosis.

Critical illness cover was originally designed and sold with the intention of providing financial protection to individuals following the diagnosis of an illness deemed critical. The lump sum received from the policy could be used to:

  • Pay for cost(s) of care and/or treatment

  • Pay for recuperation aids

  • To pay outstanding financial liabilities, typically a Mortgage

  • Fund for a change in lifestyle

Critical Illness Cover is suitable for those concerned they may not be able to meet their financial commitments or maintain a reasonable lifestyle if diagnosed with a critical illness.

If you have a health issue then contact the Insurance Advice Service. They have an enviable track record in obtaining life insurance for people with problems such as Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Problems and Cancer

Whilst some clients like the assurance of having a lump sum on diagnosis of a Critical Illness, other clients deem it necessary to protect their income in case they are unable to continue working as a result of illness or injury. Income Protection would pay a regular income in the event of you being unable to work through ill health or accident. The benefit is limited to a proportion of usual income and it is designed to pay for essential financial commitments such as mortgage repayments, car finance and household bills.

Income Protection is designed to protect both employed and self employed people and provides a regular benefit normally of up to 60% of pre-tax earnings (or profits for self employed) to help maintain important items of expenditure if illness or injury prevents you from working and earning a living. In order to qualify for benefit, the policyholder must be totally unable to perform their own occupation as a result of illness or accidental injury, this definition is called own occupation. Other options are available where the policyholder must be unable to perform an occupation suitable to them given their education and training, this definition is called suited occupation.

Income Protection plans often do not pay the benefit immediately once the policyholder is incapacitated, as there is usually a deferred period. This is the period of time between when the policyholder is first off work due to illness or injury and the commencement of benefits. The longer the deferred period, the cheaper the premiums become.

As you can see, both products are crucial in effective financial planning. Deciding on which product is relevant is subject to whether a lump sum payment is required on diagnosis of a Critical Illness, or whether replacing income using an Income Protection policy which provides a regular tax free income. Ideally both products should be considered as they both are designed to provide different benefits at the point of claim.

How Does Climbing & Outdoor Sport Affect Your Life Insurance Policy?

How Does Climbing & Outdoor Sport Affect Your Life Insurance Policy?

Update on non disclosure rules.

All life insurance companies will consider all the information you supply when you make an application, including your health, age, smoker status and your participation in sports or hobbies.

Participation in a number of sports may impact on the terms which an insurance company may offer and climbing will probably be top of the list! Terms will vary from one company to another and will also vary depending upon where you climb, and the frequency and grade at which you climb. It is imperative that you tell the truth about your climbing and complete the application honestly.

The Consumer (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012 came into force on the 6th April 2013 and placed a duty on the consumer to “take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation”.

The previous duty was to disclose all necessary information. The new rules are less onerous than the previous duty and the test for “reasonable care” takes into account the type of policy , the documentation issued by the insurer and the clarity of the questions posed by the insurance company.

If a misrepresentation has occurred which was considered deliberate or reckless the insurer may be able to cancel the policy and decline any claim. This is hardly a risk worth taking , especially with a life insurance policy when you will not be around to argue your corner!