Confused about insurance for your sports holiday?
Heading off on a sports holiday? Give yourself peace of mind that you’ll be covered in case you have an accident by making sure you have the correct travel insurance for the activities you plan to do.
How do I know if I will be insured?
First of all, check whether the sports you intend to do will be included under your travel cover.
Most providers have lists on their websites of ‘Grade A’ sports and activities for which they offer cover at no additional cost. It varies across providers but often includes sports like tennis, yoga and golf.
If your sport isn’t included, you will most likely need to call your insurers and add extra cover for an additional fee. Such activities might include diving, rugby or kitesurfing.
If you have an annual policy, you should be able to save money by bolting on extra sports cover solely for the days that you will need it.
Ensure that you completely understand the insurer’s definition of your sport and the exact circumstances in which you are covered to practise it.
For example, in the case of kayaking, grade A insurance might not insure you for sea kayaking and may only cover you if you stick to certain types of rivers.
Check the small print too if you plan to go sailing. Find out whether you are still insured if you aren’t qualified and how far you are covered to stray from the coast.
Horse riding can also have exclusions. Your conditions may state that you must wear a helmet. They may also say that you aren’t covered if you play polo, go showjumping or do cross-country.
What else is there to consider?
Unfortunately, the more adventurous your activity, the higher your chances of getting injured so make sure you are happy with the level of cover provided for medical expenses. In particular, check that you are adequately covered for repatriation which can be eye-wateringly expensive.
Remember that the EHIC card is no substitute for travel insurance. It only covers medical costs at state hospitals and only within the EU so, if your nearest hospital turns out to be a private one, you could find yourself facing a hefty bill.
Carry your policy with you so you can prove you can pay medical bills and you have any phone numbers you may need to hand.
I want to take my own sports equipment. Should I insure this separately?
Regardless of how much cover a policy offers for personal belongings overall, single item limits are often surprisingly low. This means that if your surfboard, bike or any other expensive piece of kit gets damaged or stolen, you could easily find yourself out of pocket.
Check that your single item limit and its excess is adequate. If not, it may be worth taking out extra insurance for your equipment. If you plan to hire kit, it is worth asking if your insurers will cover that too.