I'm A Celebrity exit shines a light on 'adventure tourism' insurance gap

Shock I'm A Celebrity exit highlights the gap in insurance for so-called 'adventure tourists'

Related topics:  insurance,  I'm a celebrity,  olivia attwood
Protection Reporter
14th November 2022
woman facing away from camera wearing large hat walking through jungle

A reality TV star forced to exit ITV’s I’m A Celebrity just days into the show’s run has said that she was unable to continue due to being uninsurable.

Olivia Attwood, who previously starred in Love Island, had joined the 2022 cast of the ‘survival’-themed reality TV show and entered the camp earlier this month, only to be ‘rushed to hospital’ over the weekend.

Attwood, speaking on This Morning, said her hospital trip revealed her iron levels were low and that she was advised not to continue by the medical team, adding “It’s an insurance thing…[They said] we wouldn’t be covered because it had already been flagged up”.

Attwood’s experience shines a light on the importance of medical insurance for so-called ‘adventure tourism’, a market which research by Grand View Research suggests will reach a global value of over $1 trillion by 2030.

Activities such as those featured in I’m A Celebrity – including physical challenges – are becoming increasingly popular in the tourism industry, with rafting, caving and trekking holidays offering travellers an alternative to the more traditional package holidays.

Europe in particular has dominated the adventure tourism market, with a market share of 38.0% in 2021, and travellers are increasingly turning to specialised insurance products to maintain cover across potentially riskier trips. However, a GoCompare study using Defaqto and YouGov data in July this year showed that nearly half – 47% - of holidaymakers from the UK engage in activities not covered by their travel insurance policies, risking their claims being rejected.

While some activities – such as cycling, covered by 888 policies as of July 2022, or water sports such as jet skiing, which is covered by up to 881 policies depending on the activity – are more frequently covered, others – such as quad biking, covered by just 175 policies – are not. With the Association of British Insurers stating the average travel insurance claim is valued at £1,042 and the number of underinsured holidaymakers, this leaves the value of potentially rejected claims at £17.2 billion each year.

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