If your idea of the perfect getaway involves the sea, plenty of action and a certain level of risk, a water sports holiday will most probably be right up your street.
However, depending on the type of water sports you plan to indulge in, a standard travel insurance policy may not be up to scratch. Activities that insurers tend to view as risky can be excluded on the average policy and this could include such pastimes as; water sports, winter sports and bungee jumping to name but a few.
Why is it important to get cover for water sports?
It goes without saying that all standard travel insurance policies cover reasonable water-related activities such as swimming and taking out a rowing boat on a lake. Yet the further you venture into the world of water sports, the less likely you are to be covered.
That's why, even if you consider the water sports you are planning for your holiday to be low risk, it's important to read the terms and conditions of a prospective travel insurance policy carefully before committing to a purchase.
Even if your activity is listed as covered, you could find that this cover might not extend to the extreme you intend to take the sport. For example, some standard travel insurance deals will cover scuba diving - but not below depths of 30 metres. White water rafting may also be covered but not beyond an intensity of grade three.
If your planned holiday water sports fall outside the standard remit, you will have to look for a more specialised water sports travel insurance policy to be certain you will be protected for whatever type of water sport and level of intensity that you might participate in.
What are common water sports activities?
The variety when it comes to water sports is staggering; some are based in the water, for example swimming, triathlons and water polo. Some take place on the water, such as sailing, water skiing, kite surfing, jet skiing or kayaking. Plus some are under the water, such as scuba diving, shark cage diving or even free-diving, which involves deep diving with no breathing apparatus.
Even specialist water sports insurers will still categorise these water sports into levels of risk, so look at each one carefully and make sure the water sports travel insurance you end up with fits your trip - preferably with a little room to spare.
Your water sports premium will be charged according to risk, but this is not the time to save money by cutting corners. Compared to the potential tens of thousands of pounds in medical expenses and repatriation costs back to the UK if you have a serious accident, the cost will seem like pocket change.
Money saving tips
As mentioned above, it's important not to fall into the trap of making price the deciding factor when choosing water sports holiday insurance. By opting for a cheaper policy you could be missing out on cover in an area where you may really need it in the event of a claim, and you may have to pay a higher excess in order to facilitate a claim so it really is a false economy.
Potential ways to save money on your water sports cover can include: opting for an annual/multi trip policy instead of a purchasing single trip policies (if you plan to travel 2 or more times per year), and opting for a group or family policy if there are a few of you travelling.
By shopping around and comparing a variety of insurers and the products they offer, you can usually find a good deal on your travel insurance cover and save some of your hard earned cash. Our comparison facility can help you to do this in a few easy steps.
Water sports safety tips
However experienced you are, any water sport carries a level of risk, so make sure you use a reputable company with a good, long safety record.
Always double check equipment and, if you venture out alone, always make sure someone knows when you leave and when.
Finally, never bank on the company's own insurance. If you are asked to sign a document before undertaking an activity, it's actually likely to be a liability waiver rather than an insurance product that will protect you.