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Water sports insurance for your holiday

Check your travel insurance before you get in the water

Couple kayaking

When it comes to taking a holiday, many of us love to head out on the water to indulge in our favourite water sport. Regardless of whether you prefer scuba diving to surfing, check the small print on your travel insurance before you get wet.

Let’s get wet

As an island nation, we love our water sports, even if the British climate doesn’t always play ball. That's why it's such a joy to get on holiday where the weather improves the sailing and you can see more than two metres in front of your mask when you’re scuba diving.

Whether you're a seasoned sailor or novice diver, chances are you'll be looking for a new adventure when you get on holiday. Unfortunately when we're in unfamiliar waters (so to speak) things can go wrong.

So before you head off on your next water-based escapade, make sure you have the right level of water sports insurance cover in place. It won’t stop you from having an accident, but it can help you out financially if you find yourself in deep water.

Whether you're a seasoned sailor or novice diver, chances are you'll be looking for a new adventure

Why you should check your travel insurance

Travel insurance policies often include a certain level of cover for some water sports as standard.

So for example, if you fancy having a go at paddle boarding, you can get cover for that with LV=’s Essential travel insurance policy. It will also cover you for canoeing and kayaking on grade 1 and 2 waters and scuba diving with a qualified instructor up to a depth of 18 metres.

But if you want to try something a bit more adventurous, you’ll need to up your travel insurance cover.

For example, with LV= you’re insured to dive up to a depth of 18 metres with the Essential travel insurance policy, but with the Premier policy you can dive to a depth of 40 metres.

Other activities that you might just want to try out on holiday, like surfing, wakeboarding and windsurfing are considered more adventurous and therefore only covered with Premier insurance.

So it really pays to take a close look at the water sports covered by your usual travel insurance before you head out into the water. And don’t rely on the insurance offered to you by the local water sport provider. It may not be as comprehensive as you need if you have an accident.

If you're a competent sailor or expert diver, kayaker or surfer and are planning a more risky trip, then you should consider specialist insurance. Speak to your travel insurance provider first to see if they’ll offer you additional cover, or contact a specialist water sports insurance company.

What does water sports insurance cover?

Medical cover

As part of your travel insurance policy you’ll be covered for emergency medical treatment if you have an accident when you’re taking part in certain water sports.

So if you're scuba diving and get into difficulties that result in you needing hospital treatment, your insurance will cover the cost of your medical treatment.

But don't cut corners on your medical cover. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office estimate that the cost of treating a stomach infection in hospital in the US with return flights could be as much as £100,000.


If your medical treatment means that you can't take a normal scheduled or charter flight home, travel insurance will usually cover the cost of flying you home in a specially equipped plane with medical staff if necessary.


There's one thing that sports people love and it's kit! But as we all know, sports kit can be really expensive. So if you really must ship your surfboard out to California, make sure the cost of replacing it doesn't exceed the single item limit on your travel insurance. If it does, you may be covered on your home insurance policy, or you could take out a specialist insurance policy to cover the full replacement cost. Also check whether your sports equipment is covered whilst in use.

Damage to others

Whether through accident or ignorance, we all make mistakes when we're learning our craft. If you injure someone, or damage someone else's kit, then your travel insurance will often cover you for putting things right financially if you’re legally responsible.

Single trip, or multi trip

If your passion for water sports takes you overseas regularly, you may want to consider an annual multi trip policy.

You could save money if you go away more than twice in a year compared to buying separate single trip cover. With LV= there's no limit to how many trips you can take in a year with multi trip insurance.

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