Sports Travel Insurances: The Definitive Guide

pierre fruchard pierre Fruchard  updated on March 30, 2020

You are crazy about sports and you are about to plan sports holidays to practice your favorite sport? You would like to find travel insurance that is tailored for your activity in case something goes wrong?

You’ve come at the right place.

In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about sports travel insurance: what does it cover exactly, which policy you should go for, how much does it cost and other tips.

Stay tuned! 

What is sports travel insurance?

You are about to leave UK for an exciting trip somewhere in Europe. You should definitely get sports travel insurance.
Sports travel insurance will cover you for both your trip and anything that may occur whilst your doing sport.
There are two ways to get covered for sports activities:

  • either by paying an add on to get your specific sport covered on top of your standard insurance policy
  • or by purchasing a policy including many sports acticities as standard (very usual).

Please note that all sports have a different level of risk depending on the insurer. Your insurance policy will not cost you the same price depending on whether you plan to climb Everest, or go fishing in Italy.

Why do you need travel insurance for sports?

Getting travel insurance for your sports trip is vital.

Just to show you how important applying for travel insurance is, here are a few examples of what an unfortunate and unexpected event might cost you during your sports travel:

What you will need to pay without sports travel insuranceWhat you will need to pay with sports travel insurance
My sport equipment has been damaged during transit£2000£0 
I need to cancel my sport trip£5,000 – £10,000
(real cost of trip)
£0
until trip cancellation limit is reached (check carefully cancellation reasons allowed)
I need air rescue£4000£0
(if planned in policy)
I got severely injured whilst training and need surgery abroad £30,000
(if not covered by European Health Insurance Card)
£0
until medical expense limit is reached
Expenses you may face during your sports holidays if not covered by travel insurance

Depending on your destination, you may already have some financial assistance either with European Health Insurance Card (if your sports trip is in Europe) or with healthcare cooperation systems between countries for example UK and Australia or New-Zealand. Note that your EHIC will only cover medical treatment in public hospital (you won’t be covered for any air ambulance, surgery in private hospitals etc.). It can’t be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.

Compare best sports holiday insurance

To find the right cover for your sports travel, you will need to explore the different options you have. You’ll have to answer a series of questions such as:

  • what exactly you’d like to get covered for 
  • the length of your stay
  • the destination
  • how much are you planning to practice sport etc. 

We’ve came up with a non-exhaustive list of travel insurers that cover sports breaks abroad as standard or as option:

InsurerPriceOur reviews
logo world first£18,37
  • Covers 75 sports activities as standard
  • For higher risk sport, possibility to get covered by paying extra charge (even for extreme and adventurous sport)
  • Medical expenses up to £10M and 24/7 assistance
  • Professional practice not covered
  • No credit or debit card fees guarantee
  • Possibility to apply 12 months in advance
  • UK- based customer service and claim team
  • Reimburse within 14 days
logo travel insurance 4 medical 2£18,67
  • Covers 100 sports activities as standard
  • For higher risk sport, possibility to get covered by paying extra charge (even for extreme and adventurous sport)
  • Dedicated to sportive with medical conditions
  • UK based- call center and 24/7 assistance team
  • Provides cover for people up to 100 years old
  • Provides all travel insurance types with 3 level of protection
logo insure and go£18,95
  • A leader in providing all kinds of sport travel insurance plans
  • About 100 activites covered as standard
  • Higher risk activities classed under hazardous activites and covered with inflated premium and higher medical excess
logo explorer travel insurance£22,14
  • Up to 80 activities covered as standard with no extra charge
  • Higher risk activities covered at an extra charge and higher medical excess (personal accident and liability excluded from high risk activity travel insurance policies)
  • Standard compensation: £25000 personal accident, £10M medical, £2M personal liability
  • Only covers recreational sports (professional practice of a sport is not covered)
  • Dedicated customer service according to reviews
logo staysure24.12
  • No limit in medical expenses and repatriation under comprehensive travel insurance cover
  • More than 100 sportive activities covered as standard
  • For some activities, personal accident and liability covered excluded
  • Very easy and clear 100% online quote system
Sports travel insurances comparison

Prices above are for a 7 days single trip to Europe with sports cover for a 30 years old people.

What does sports travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for sports holidays should include:

  • specific cover for your sport activity
  • must-have features you need in any travel insurance.

If sports is included as standard in your travel insurance policy, carefully check limits and excess amounts that you will get / need to pay in case of claim.

Specific sports cover that you could get

Travel insurances for athletics usually include:

Sports cover optionsAverage amount
Sport equipment damagedDepends on personal belongings cover (standard or specific sport cover)
Any injuries made to yourself while practicing sportsDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions (standard or specific sport cover)
Sport trip cancellationDepends on trip cancellation cover terms and conditions (standard or specific sport cover)
Medical evacuation whilst practicing sportDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions (standard or specific sport cover)
Non-refundable sportive lessonsDepends on trip interruption cover terms and conditions (standard or specific sport cover)
Specific cover for sports travel insurance

Note that if you injure someone else during your sport practice, you may not be covered unless it is clearly mentioned in your policy booklet.

Must-have features your sports travel insurance should cover

CompensationAverage amountGood to know
Medical expensesFrom £5M to £10M
(depending on your medical situation and your destination)
  • Injury due to my sport practice included
  • Stays in private hospitals included
  • Pay for medical fees upfront
  • Accompanying person fees (extra travel, accomodation, car rental)
  • 24/7 free-of-charge and UK-based assistance landline available
  • Overseas assistance
RepatriationReal fees
  • Transportation mode included (by alternative schedule flight or by air ambulance)
  • Repatriation under the supervision of a nurse or a doctor
Trip cancellation / curtailment£5000 – £10000
(depending on your destination)
  • As standard or as option
  • List of valid reasons for cancellation (e.g. sports competition postponed)
Baggage or personal belongingsMinimum of £1500 limit
  • Valid for return transportation or entire stay
  • Receipts of belongings needed
  • Limit by valuable item
  • Sport equipment (sport equipment) covered as standard or as option
Missed departure, delay Minimum £500 limit (minimum £200 limit for delay)
  • All justified reasons to qualify for compensation?
  • Number of hours of delay to qualify for compensation
Personal liabilityAverage £2 million limit 
  • Limit by article or valuable
  • Don’t focus on overall limit only
Legal expensesAverage £15000 limit
  • Lawyer appointment fees included
Must-have features of travel insurance

Always carefully check the age limit and compensation amounts as well as deductibles you’ll have to pay in case you need to make a claim. For medical expenses, always get your insurer to accept them before paying if you need to advance fees.

As nice-to-have features, you may want to get in addition to your sports travel insurance included features:

  • business trip insurance
  • emergency dental treatment
  • loss of passport or documentation
  • gadget cover
  • Schedule Airline Failure (at least £1500)
  • money and cash cover.

Can I get sports travel cover if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

Of course you can. 

The best option would be to purchase a pre-existing medical condition travel insurance tailored for your holidays, and add a sports cover option if not included as standard.

If you purchase sports travel insurance or any other insurance without disclosing your medical condition, that is called “fronting”. Your claim can be invalidated by your insurer, such as your entire travel insurance policy.

Can sports travel insurance be included if I purchase an annual multi-trip or a single trip policy?

Short answer: yes, it can be.

Sports, as many other sports, can be included as standard or purchase as extras on both single and annual multi-trip travel insurance policies. 

You will need to specifically dig into insurers policy booklets to see which activities are covered as standard. 

As a reminder:

Travel insurance typeExplanation
Single trip insuranceThese travel insurance policies are for one-off holidays. 
You will be covered from the start of the journey until the end.
You can decide the number of days you want to be covered for. 
Annual multi-trip insuranceThese policies are made for frequent athletics going away for sports holidays several times a year. 
You would need to check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.
Types of sports travel insurance policies

Do I need to buy specific sports travel insurance?

It depends on the travel insurance policy you purchased. This will be clearly outlined in your policy booklet.

If you haven’t bought your sports travel cover yet, we would advise you to go for an insurer providing specific cover for sports equipment, competition etc. either as standard or as full option for an extra fee.

How much does sports travel insurance cost?

You will find below indicate travel insurance price including sports cover:

Age rangeSingle trip to Europe*Annual multi-trip to Europe
18 – 35£11,01£31,24
36 – 54£16,72£16,72
55+£21,13£21,13
Sports travel insurance price

*Quotes above are for a 7 days sports holidays.

It is, however, quite difficult to give precise ranges of how much a travel insurance will cost for you as prices are based on a wide range of criteria. It will mainly depend on:

  • How often will you practice sport
  • If you are going on single sports trip or annual multi_trips
  • If you purchase other upgrades in addition to your sports cover such as gadget cover
  • If your teen has pre-existing medical conditions
  • The duration and destination of your stay
  • The financial limits you’d like to get in case of a claim
  • The excess amount you’re willing to pay.

What else should I check before purchasing my sports travel cover?

While shopping around for sport_name holiday insurance, always pay attention to:

  • The compensation amounts you will get for each claim (especially personal belongings compensation limit if sports is included as standard in your policy)
  • The deductible amounts you’ll have to pay in case of claim (don’t forget that extreme sports or hazardous activities lovers often need to pay extra medical excess if they got injured whilst practicing their sport) – opt for excess waiver cover if you are practicing adventurous sports
  • The exclusions you may have in your policy
  • The claim process (100% online? How many days do you have to make a claim?)
  • The maximum duration of each trip included as standard (at least 31 days)
  • The upper age limit (if you are a senior travelling).