Travel insurance for surfing isn’t as straightforward as you would imagine, but I’ve got you all the details in this guide.
As a passionate surfer myself, I’ve had the privilege of riding waves in some of the world’s most incredible spots.
But I’ve also had to think long and hard about insurance every single time.
From local to domestic and to international, I’ve got all the details you need to make a wise decision about your upcoming surfing trip.
I will even throw in some of my favorite destinations!
So, if you love to surf and wondering about insurance, this is for you.
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Travel Insurance for Surfers
Planning a surfing trip means you need to know it’s essential to ensure a smooth and worry-free experience.
Travel insurance may not sound as exciting as catching the perfect wave, but trust me, it’s something you shouldn’t skip.
First off, let’s talk about local travel insurance.
This type of coverage is designed for surfers who are planning to explore their own backyard.
So, if you’re lucky enough to live near a surf paradise, local travel insurance can come in handy.
It typically provides protection for things like trip cancellation or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, and medical expenses that might arise during your surf adventure.
Next up, we have domestic travel insurance.
This type of coverage comes into play when you’re venturing beyond your local surf breaks but still within your country.
Domestic travel insurance typically offers a broader range of coverage compared to the local one.
It can include benefits such as emergency medical evacuation, trip delay or cancellation, rental car protection, and even coverage for your surf equipment.
Now, let’s talk about international travel insurance.
International travel insurance provides comprehensive protection for your surfing adventures abroad.
This typically includes medical coverage, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss, and even personal liability.
Since surfing often involves traveling to exotic destinations, it’s crucial to have international travel insurance to safeguard yourself against any unforeseen events that could potentially dampen your surf adventure.
Having the right insurance coverage ensures that you’re prepared for the unexpected and can focus on catching those epic waves without worries.
Local Surfing Insurance
Local surfing insurance has a few different scenarios to consider.
In some cases, your health insurance might actually provide coverage for surfing-related injuries.
That said, surfing is often classified as an extreme sport, and in certain states or countries, it may be categorized as such by insurance providers.
In such cases, your regular health insurance policy might not cover injuries sustained while surfing.
I would say call your insurance company and explain that you’re planning to engage in surfing and that you’re inquiring about whether your current policy includes coverage for injuries resulting from surfing.
They will be able to provide you with accurate information regarding your existing coverage and whether you need to purchase additional insurance specifically for surfing.
Your insurance company is required by law to tell you about your policy. Sadly, though, if you don’t call, most won’t volunteer that information.
Domestic Surfing Insurance
When it comes to domestic surfing insurance, you’re typically required to get it as a separate purchase.
The reason behind this is that when you’re exploring surf spots outside your local area, you’re likely to be out of network when it comes to your regular health insurance coverage.
Most health insurance plans have designated networks of healthcare providers and facilities.
If you sustain an injury while surfing in a different area, the chances are that the medical services you might require won’t be within your network.
This means your regular health insurance may not fully cover the expenses associated with your treatment.
To ensure you have the necessary coverage while surfing domestically, it’s highly recommended to purchase additional insurance specifically designed for these situations.
This type of insurance is often referred to as domestic surfing insurance or sports accident insurance.
It provides coverage for injuries sustained while participating in sports activities, including surfing, outside your local network.
Insurance helps cover medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and other related costs that may arise from a surfing-related incident.
Pay attention to the coverage limits, exclusions, deductibles, and any specific requirements or restrictions that may apply.
By obtaining domestic surfing insurance, you can ensure that you’re adequately protected while enjoying the waves in various domestic surf destinations.
International Surfing Insurance
Purchasing travel insurance that covers medical expenses, including surfing-related injuries, is an absolute must if you’re going to an international destination to surf.
Surfing in unfamiliar destinations carries its own set of risks, and having comprehensive insurance coverage is crucial to protect yourself during your overseas surf adventures.
International surfing insurance provides a range of benefits and coverage that go beyond regular travel insurance.
It typically includes medical coverage for injuries sustained while surfing, emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation or interruption, baggage loss or delay, and personal liability protection.
Medical coverage is particularly important, as it ensures that you receive appropriate medical care in case of an injury while surfing abroad.
Surfing, being a physically demanding sport, can involve risks of sprains, fractures, cuts, or more severe injuries.
Emergency medical evacuation is another vital component of international surfing insurance. Believe me, your coverage can be a lifesaver.
Additionally, trip cancellation or interruption coverage protects your financial investment in case unforeseen circumstances force you to cancel or cut short your surf trip.
Baggage loss or delay coverage is also essential when traveling with surf equipment.
Finally, personal liability protection is valuable in case you accidentally cause injury to someone else or damage property while surfing.
It provides coverage for legal expenses and any settlement or judgment against you, giving you financial protection and peace of mind.
When purchasing international surfing insurance, carefully review the policy details, coverage limits, deductibles, and any exclusions that may apply.
Make sure the policy explicitly covers surfing-related activities and provides adequate coverage for your needs.
Remember, accidents and unexpected events can happen anywhere, and having comprehensive travel insurance is a smart decision.
There are so many incredible places around the world that have spots for surfers of all levels. Of course, we have to start with the iconic waves of Hawaii.
This is the birthplace of modern surfing.
Hawaii is a dream destination for wave enthusiasts. From the powerful and challenging breaks of Oahu’s North Shore to the more mellow and beginner-friendly waves of Waikiki Beach, Hawaii has a diverse range of surfing experiences amidst breathtaking tropical beauty.
Another must-visit spot is the Gold Coast in Australia.
This is definitely on my list.
Australia is a surfer’s paradise because it has a year-round surf season and a coastline dotted with world-class breaks.
From the famous Superbank in Coolangatta to the barreling barrels of Kirra, the Gold Coast has consistent waves and a vibrant surf culture that will have you paddling out with a smile.
If you’re seeking the thrill of big waves, look no further than Nazaré in Portugal.
This town has monstrous swells and breathtaking cliffs, and it’s an awe-inspiring destination for those seeking an adrenaline rush.
For those in search of exotic beauty, Bali is a surfer’s paradise with world-class waves, and Costa Rica is another popular destination for surfers of all levels.
Finally, let’s not forget about the wave-rich coasts of California in the United States.
From Malibu and Huntington Beach to the powerful waves of Mavericks and Trestles, California has a diverse range of surf spots along its picturesque coastline.
These are just a few snippets of the incredible surfing destinations around the world, so grab your board, wax it up, and get ready to experience the magic of these top surf spots firsthand.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is covered by travel insurance? Travel insurance typically covers a range of benefits, including trip cancellation/interruption, emergency medical expenses, medical evacuation, baggage loss/delay, and personal liability. Specific coverage can vary depending on the policy and provider.
Can I get travel insurance when I’m already away? Yes, you can get travel insurance when you’re already away, but it’s often limited. Some providers offer “travel insurance after departure” plans, but coverage options may be reduced, and certain benefits might not be available.
How much is travel insurance around? The cost of travel insurance varies. It’s usually based on factors such as trip duration, coverage limits, destination, age, and pre-existing conditions. On average, travel insurance can range from 4% to 10% of your total trip cost.
Does everyone need travel insurance? While travel insurance is not legally required, it is highly recommended for everyone. Unexpected events like illness, trip cancellations, or accidents can occur, and travel insurance provides financial protection, peace of mind, and assistance during emergencies. It’s important to assess your needs and the potential risks involved in your travel plans.
As a passionate surfer myself, I understand the importance of having adequate insurance coverage to protect against any unforeseen events or accidents while riding the waves.
Throughout this guide, I’ve given you comprehensive details about various types of insurance options, ranging from local to domestic and international coverage.
I’ve also shared some of my favorite surfing destinations, adding an extra element of excitement and inspiration to your travel plans.
By considering the information and recommendations presented in this guide, you can make a wise decision about your travel insurance for surfing.
Enjoy your upcoming surfing trip, armed with the knowledge and confidence that you have made an informed choice when it comes to travel insurance.
Tom Larson is a traveler who writes about the outdoors.
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