Water sports travel insurance

Compare travel insurance quotes with water sports cover[1]

Person jumping into the pool

Water sports cover explained

If you intend to take to the water on your holiday, you need to be sure your insurer will cover you.

Travel insurance with water sports cover can protect you if something goes wrong when you leave dry land, whether it’s for a spot of sailing, some scuba diving or surfing.

For example, it can cover emergency medical costs if you have an accident when you’re jet-skiing, and it can pay for repatriation costs if you need to return home for further treatment.

Plus, it can reimburse you if your expensive water sports equipment - like surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks - get damaged, stolen or lost.

A standard travel insurance policy may not be enough protection if you take part in more adventurous water sports. So you might need to increase your level of cover or even look for a specialist policy depending on the activity.

Check before buying a policy that the water sports cover you’d be getting is adequate for your needs - it’s the only way to ensure you’ll be protected if something goes wrong when you make a splash on your holidays.

Senior couple scuba diving

Do you need water sports cover on your travel insurance?

If you plan on taking part in any water sports on your holiday you should ensure that your travel insurance policy covers them.

All water-based activities come with some level of risk, so it’s essential you buy insurance that includes cover for the activities you’re planning on enjoying.

Without it you won’t be able to claim for any medical expenses that are a result of getting injured in an accident on the water. And you could also face legal costs if you hurt someone or damage their property while you’re taking part in the water sport.

Does travel insurance cover water sports?

Most travel insurance policies will have cover for certain low-risk water sports as standard.

Here are a few water sports you may find are automatically covered on your policy:

  • Jet skiing
  • Snorkelling
  • Canoeing
  • Scuba diving
  • Sailing a yacht or catamaran
  • Surfing

Never just assume an activity is covered. It’s important to always check policy documents so you’re not caught out.

For more adventurous and high-risk water sports you’ll usually need to pay an extra premium to add them to your cover (look for something like ‘optional hazardous activities extension’ in the policy booklet).

If you’re deep diving or cage diving with sharks, you might need a specialist water sports policy.

You may be able to buy cover as part of the experience on the day, but always read the terms and conditions carefully. If you sign a waiver, make sure you’re still protected in case something goes wrong.

Water sports travel insurance should provide cover for emergency medical and repatriation costs. A good policy will also offer personal liability cover, this can pay for any legal fees you may be faced with if you injure someone or damage someone else’s property while taking part in a water sport.

It can also include cover for your water sports equipment, like kayaks, surfboards and wakeboards.

What does travel insurance with water sports cover?

It’ll depend on the provider and your level of insurance.

What’s usually covered

  • Emergency medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident on holiday, including if you have the accident while taking part in any water sports that are covered in the policy
  • Repatriation to the UK if medically necessary
  • Cancellation of your trip, and reimbursements if you have to cut things short for an insured reason
  • Cover for stolen or lost luggage, passports and cash, plus water sports equipment like your surfboard and stand-up paddleboard
  • Personal liability cover – cover if you injure someone or damage their property on holiday, including while taking part in a water sport that’s covered in the policy
  • Prolonged delays on your journey to and from your holiday destination

What’s not covered?

  • Taking part in any dangerous activities or water sports that aren’t specifically included in the policy
  • Medical expenses and repatriation required due to a pre-existing medical condition you haven’t told your insurer about
  • Leaving valuables and possessions like your phone, jewellery and water sports equipment in a non-secure location
  • Travelling to locations against UK government advice
  • Claims if you’re found to have had your judgement impaired by drink or drugs
  • Personal accident cover may not be included for every water sport

What to look for in your water sports cover

  • Travel insurance will usually automatically cover you for less risky water sports (swimming, bodyboarding, canoeing, fishing and snorkelling). For more adventurous water sports (shark diving, offshore sailing and white water rafting) where there’s a greater risk of being injured - you’ll probably need to add-on cover for ‘hazardous activities’ or even find a specialist policy
  • Insurers will differ as to what water sports they deem risky, so while one provider may include a particular water sport in their standard travel policy, another may consider it extreme and only cover it as an add-on. So be sure to check the small print of every provider you consider
  • Your policy covers you as long as you’re taking part in the water activities on a leisure, rather than a professional, basis and on the understanding that water sports aren’t the main focus of your trip. You’d need specialist insurance for competitive racing or speed trials
  • You’re covered to take part in the water sports included in your policy, as long as you haven’t been advised by your doctor against it
  • Policies also require that you wear recommended safety equipment and follow safety precautions set out by the activity providers on your trip
  • Activities like sailing, sea kayaking or fishing may only be covered if you’re within a certain distance of the shore, often 12 miles
  • It might be a condition of the policy that you’re supervised by a qualified instructor
  • If you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs while taking part in a water sport and you have an accident, your claim will be rejected
  • Depending on the provider, there may be lower and upper age limits applied for certain activities, so check your policy
  • Policies may exclude personal liability and/or personal accident cover for certain activities

How much does water sports insurance cost?

The cost of a travel insurance policy with water sports cover can vary depending on a few things like:

  • where you’re travelling to and the length of your trip
  • your age and medical history
  • the water sports you want covered and whether the insurer considers them high risk or not

How to get cheaper travel insurance with water sports cover

  1. Types of insurance

    If you’re going on several trips per year, annual travel insurance cover could be more cost effective than multiple single-trip policies

  2. Consider the sports

    Only get cover for the water sports you’ll be doing, otherwise you’ll be wasting money on cover you don’t need

  3. Cheaper doesn’t mean better

    Don’t get a cheaper travel insurance policy if it means you’ll lose out on important cover you might need

  4. Compare

    The easiest way to make sure you’re getting value for money is by comparing a range of travel insurance policies which include water sports cover

[1]Gocompare.com introduces customers to theidol.com which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.com's relationship with theidol.com is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us. Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites and by using the links stated to access these separate websites you will be subject to the terms of use applying to those sites