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Travel insurance for surfing

Planning to surf on your travels? Find travel insurance that covers both you and your surfboard.

What you need to know

  • Travel insurance can cover surfacing related accidents and your equipment.
  • Travel insurance will only cover your surfing gear when in transport, not when in use.
  • You may need to pay extra to fully cover expensive surfing gear – most insurers have a $10,000 cap.

Who provides surf cover and how are you covered?

BrandWhat is covered?ConditionsApply
Medibank Travel Insurance
  • Medical emergencies
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use.
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Freely Logo
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use.
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Zoom logo
  • Medical emergencies
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Optional High Value Items cover can be purchased for surfboards. No depreciation will apply to these items.
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
Get quote
Fast Cover Logo
  • Medical emergencies
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Optional High Value Items cover can be purchased for surfboards. No depreciation will apply to these items.
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
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Insure4Less Travel Insurance Logo
  • Medical emergencies
  • No cover for damage or loss to surfboards
Get quote
Travel Insuranz Travel Insurance Logo
  • Medical emergencies
  • No cover for damage or loss to surfboards
Get quote
insureandgo
  • Medical emergencies
  • No cover for big wave or extreme surfing
  • No cover for damage or loss to surfboards
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Tick Logo
  • Medical emergencies
  • No cover for big wave or extreme surfing
  • No cover for damage or loss to surfboards
Bonus
Get quote
World2Cover Logo
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
Get quote
Covermore logo
  • Medical emergencies
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
Bonus
Get quote
Travel Insurance Saver
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
Get quote
Easy Travel Insurance
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
Get quote
Australia Post
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use
Get quote
1Cover Logo
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Optional High Value Items cover can be purchased for surfboards.
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use.
More info
American Express logo
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use.
More info
skiinsurance ski travel insurance logo
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use.
More info
Worldcare
  • Medical emergencies
  • Loss/damage personal luggage and items including surfboards
  • Cover for damaged or lost items only applies when in transport, not when in use.
More info

Note: This information was last updated July 2022

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

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What are the risks of surfing on my travels?

Injury/illness

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:

  • Serious reef cuts that require immediate medical attention
  • Minor reef cuts that can turn into serious infections
  • Emergency evacuation from remote areas following injuries
  • Serious spinal injuries
  • Dengue fever and malaria in some island chains
  • Infections from sea urchins
  • Shark attacks – you never know!

Equipment damage and loss

  • Damage: There is nothing worse than forking out serious cash for a new set of boards for a trip only to have them seriously damaged in transit or while on your trip away. A number of insurers will provide cover for damaged equipment though conditions will apply. You may be able to pay a little bit extra to have your board listed as a high-value item.
  • Theft: It's a sad fact that some of the best surf spots around the world are in locations that are also prone to theft of travelling tourists. South America, South Africa and some parts of Europe and Indonesia can at times have sketchy areas where the theft of gear is a threat. Travel insurance will cover you if your boards are stolen – just remember to get a police report (usually within 24 hours).

Am I covered for injuries like reef cuts?

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.

Yes, but not if you deliberately put yourself in danger

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.

What if the airline damages my board?

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.

How to select surfboard insurance

The government’s Smartraveller website lists 5 questions you should ask yourself when buying travel insurance, which are equally applicable to surf travel insurance.

one

Where are you surfing?

If the place you plan to surf is remote it would be wise to have emergency evacuation cover.

two

How long are you surfing for?

Is surfing only a part of your itinerary? If so, you may only need to purchase surf cover for that period.

three

What are you going to do there?

If you plan to do any other activities that might be considered risky, such as scuba diving or hang gliding you may need to take out additional cover.

four

Do you want to cover your boards?

If so, you may need to choose a higher benefit limit to cover its replacement cost.

five

Do you have any medical conditions?

If there any pre-existing conditions that you have you must declare them and purchase additional cover if provided, otherwise you won’t be covered.

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