General exclusions when it comes to surfing cover
- No cover medically if you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- No cover medically if you participate professionally or in a paid capacity
- No cover for personal liability
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
It's easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of planning a surf trip overseas without giving a second thought to travel insurance. But before jetting off it's crucial to ensure you have the right cover in place to protect you from massive overseas medical bills or damage to your boards. Just imagine if you hit the reef and required a medevac to the nearest hospital a few hours' flight away... your health insurance won't be there to cover the $10,000 plus medical bill.
Continue reading through the guide to find out how different Australian insurers cover surfing on different travel insurance policies.
|Brand||What is covered?||Conditions||Apply|
Surfing is only as risky as you make it and taking precautions can limit the risks considerably. Nevertheless, accidents do happen and some common risks include:
A good comprehensive policy will cover you for medical emergencies, so if you wipe out on a coral reef and receive cuts that need medical treatment, you will be covered for the cost up to the benefit limit.
There is a condition in many policies that you must have been taking reasonable care at the time you were injured (i.e. paddling out at Pipe if you have only been surfing a few months). If the insurer can show you put yourself in harm's way, it may be able to reject your claim on the basis you did not take reasonable care to protect yourself.
Jasmine had completed her second day of surf lessons on her Costa Rican getaway. Confident with her newfound knowledge and familiarity with the board she had been using, Jasmine paddled out to the takeoff zone, eager to catch the towering sets of blue waves. After having some mild success on her first few attempts, Jasmine was hit in the back by a local surfer. When Jasmine tried to claim for her medical treatment and the next 2 days of hospital stay, she was denied. Her travel representative explained that her claim was denied because she had surfed in a known advanced area, with only 2 days of experience, hence putting herself in harm's way.
As with coral cuts, cover for shark attack injuries would depend on whether you behaved in a reckless manner or not. If you deliberately surfed in waters known to be shark-infested, your insurer may consider this reckless behaviour and not cover you for your injuries.
A comprehensive policy should include emergency evacuation and repatriation. If you are injured in a surfing accident on a remote island and the nearest hospital is only accessible by emergency airlift, then your insurance would cover the cost.
Johnny was enjoying the final week of his Indonesian trip surfing off a remote island until on an early morning surf, he became the victim of a hard wipeout. The sheer force of the wave dragged Johnny down to a nasty set of coral reefs, cutting his foot wide open. Unable to walk and in need of immediate medical attention, Johnny required a helicopter evacuation as there were no hospitals on the island. Johnny's only alternative was to wait for the next scheduled boat to take him back to the main island of Samba, which would not be until the next morning. Luckily, Johnny had secured a travel insurance policy with cover for surfing before he had left which paid for the helicopter evacuation upfront. This allowed Johnny to receive medical attention as soon as possible, avoid an infection and unnecessary financial heartaches.
As mentioned before, there are hazards associated with renting a board as well. A rented board may not be as easy to handle as your own board and you could injure yourself using it. It may also not be as well made and if it breaks, you could end up having to pay for it.
A comprehensive travel insurance policy like one from Go Insurance will offer hired surf equipment theft, breakage and loss cover as part of its "watersports" option. This will cover damage to a rented board, but you will need to have appropriate documentation to support your claim. This would include the rental contract or receipt and evidence of how much you paid the hirer for repairs. If the rented board was stolen, you will also need to obtain a police report within 24 hours of the theft.
As with most luggage items, if your surfboard is damaged or lost while in the care of the airline, it will usually pay for damages, providing you report the incident as soon as possible. The amount of compensation will depend on the carrier, so if your surfboard is expensive, you would be wise to have travel insurance as well. In such circumstances, your insurer would pay you the difference between what the carrier reimburses you and what the board is insured for.
The best way to ensure your board is not damaged in transit is to buy a good-quality board bag and wrap your board securely in bubble wrap, protecting the nose and tail and removing the fins if possible.
The government’s Smartraveller website lists 5 questions you should ask yourself when buying travel insurance, which are equally applicable to surf travel insurance.
If you’re planning a surfing holiday and don’t yet have a destination in mind, the following are some top surfing spots around the world:
Picture:SVNews licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)
A handful of countries, including Indonesia, have made COVID travel insurance a mandatory requirement.
Find suitable travel insurance for trips to Sweden that can cover medical expenses, personal accident and liability claims and trip cancellation costs.
Find travel insurance for your trip to Costa Rica, what to get cover for and what risks to avoid on your travels.
If you’re planning to travel to a country that has high travel risks, learn how cover is and is not provided.
What is marijuana tourism? What happens to my insurance if I visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam? This guide takes a candid look at how travel insurance works when you venture away from the postcard tulip fields and windmills.
Visiting Barcelona this summer? Planning to explore Ibiza? Make sure you take the right travel insurance with you.
Here's an in-depth look at working holiday travel insurance and some of the things you need to be aware of when you work in a foreign country.
Whether you’re off to conquer the world-class slopes in the Canadian Rockies or explore the cultural city hubs of Toronto and Montreal, travel insurance is a non-negotiable item for your exciting Canadian adventure.
The land of the rising sun is a popular travel destination all year round for Australians with its eclectic mix of buzzing megacity metropolis, beautiful historic temples and an ever-intriguing culture. But sometimes an omamori good luck charm is not enough to ward off bad spirits, which makes travel insurance absolutely necessary for your next trip to Japan.
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.