Water Sports Travel Insurances: The Definitive Guide

pierre fruchard pierre Fruchard  updated on March 30, 2020

You are crazy about water sports and you are about to plan water 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 water 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 water sports travel insurance?

You are planning a super fancy scuba-diving trip in Galapagos Islands, or a surfing trip in California. You should definitely get water sports travel insurance.
Water sports travel insurance is not as standard travel insurance policy as it will provide you with cover tailored for your water activities.

Many water sports are seen as low-risk activities and are therefore included in standard travel insurance policies.
If you go on water sports holidays though, it is vital to get travel insurance. You must know that in Europe only, around 15 000 injuries are registered each year and are due to water sport activities.

There are two ways to purchase water sports travel insurance:

  • you apply for a standard single or annual multi-trip policy and pay an add-on to get specific water sport cover
  • you purchase your travel insurance policy with water sports included as standard.

Water sports usually include as standard swimming, surfing, water skiing, SUP boarding or snorkelling whereas rafting, jet-skiing, scubba-diving, sailing, yachting, wind or kitesurfing might only be covered under certain conditions.

Why do you need travel insurance for water sports?

Getting travel insurance for your water 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 water sports travel:

What you will need to pay without water sports travel insuranceWhat you will need to pay with water sports travel insurance
My surf board has been damaged during the flight£600£0 
I need to cancel my sailing trip because of medical condition£5,000 – £10,000
(real cost of trip)
£0
until trip cancellation limit is reached (check carefully cancellation reasons allowed)
I am in danger at sea and need air rescue£3750£0
(if planned in policy)
I got injured practicing water sports and need to stay at the hospital £30,000
(if not covered by European Health Insurance Card)
£0
until medical expense limit is reached
Expenses you may face during your water 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 water 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 water sports holiday insurance

To find the right cover for your water 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 water sports etc. 

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

InsurerPriceOur reviews
logo world first£18,37
  • Most water sports included in standard travel insurance policies
  • 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
  • Most water sports included in standard travel insurance policies
  • Dedicated to golfers with pre- exisiting medical condition
  • 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
  • Water sports such as surfing, swimming, water- skiing, rafting grade 1 to 4, windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba- diving max 30m included in standard policies
  • Water sports such as kite- surfing, from grade 5 rafting or scuba- diving at more than 30m are not covered
  • Water sports insurance not available for professionals
logo explorer travel insurance£22,14
  • Water sports such as kayaking, fishing, scuba- diving up to 30 meters, snorkelling, sail boarding, wake boarding etc. covered as standard in regular travel insurance policies
  • Personal accident cover excluded for water sports as jet skiing, kayaking, jet boating, sailing or yachting
  • Extra medical excess up to £250 or £400 depending on cover for scuba diving up to 40 meters or sailing outside territorial waters with personal accident cover reduced by 50%
  • 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
  • Water sports such as surfing, scuba- diving, windsurfing, yachting, fishing etc. covered under standard travel insurance policies
  • No limit in medical expenses and repatriation under comprehensive travel insurance cover
  • Very easy and clear 100% online quote system
Water sports travel insurances comparison

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

What does water sports travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for water sports holidays should include:

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

If water 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 water sports cover that you could get

Travel insurances for people practicing water sports usually include:

Water sports cover optionsAverage amount
Water sports equipment damaged, lost or stolenDepends on personal belongings cover
Any injuries made to yourself practicing water sports Depends on medical expense cover terms and conditions
Water sport trip cancellationDepends on trip cancellation cover terms and conditions
Medical evacuation at seeDepends on medical expense cover terms and conditions
Non-refundable water sports course feesDepends on trip interruption cover terms and conditions
Specific cover for water 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 water 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. water 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 (water sport equipment such as surf boards, wet suit, windsurf, diving reserves or else) 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 water 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 water 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 water sports cover option if not included as standard.

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

Short answer: yes, it can be.

Water 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 people practicing water sports going away for water 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 water sports travel insurance policies

Do I need to buy specific water 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 water sports travel cover yet, we would advise you to go for an insurer providing specific cover for water sports equipment, competition etc. either as standard or as full option for an extra fee.

How much does water sports travel insurance cost?

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

Age rangeSingle trip to Europe*Annual multi-trip to Europe
18 – 35£13,98£38,95
36 – 54£19,14£19,14
55+£23,85£23,85
Water sports travel insurance price

*Quotes above are for a 7 days water 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 water sports
  • If you are going on single water sports trip or annual multi_trips
  • If you purchase other upgrades in addition to your water 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 water 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 water 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).