Sports travel insurance

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Comparing sports travel insurance

It’s great fun to get away with friends to indulge in your favourite sport. Whether you’re a keen golfer, a cyclist, surfer, tennis player or something else, there’s nothing quite like combining your hobby with a holiday.

To get the best from your trip, you’ll need peace of mind that you have a fall-back if something goes wrong. So it’s essential to have sports insurance.

Things to consider for sports cover 

There are two key elements that you need to consider which could go beyond the average travel insurance policy.

First is injury. Doing something active on holiday might mean a higher risk of someone getting hurt. Needing medical treatment abroad can be pretty pricey, so people buy holiday insurance to cover any costs if something goes wrong. A basic travel insurance policy might not cover you for your sport of choice, so you could need to buy a more inclusive policy or even a special kind of sports insurance.

To give you an idea, golf, tennis, surfing and cycling are all usually covered in a basic policy, but mountain biking, rugby, winter sports and rock climbing are not (be sure to check what’s in your policy as each insurer’s cover will differ).

The second is equipment. Most insurance policies will cover you for a certain value of baggage, but if you’re transporting a valuable carbon framed bike or your best golf clubs, this amount might not cover what you paid.

To make sure you have the right level of cover in place, you have two options. First, you could check the details of a typical travel policy to find out if your sport is covered and whether the baggage values are high enough. You could also call the insurer to see if they can offer more cover to suit you.

The second option is to seek out a specialist provider for your sport and buy a tailored policy. This might offer you more comprehensive protection – but may well cost more too. 

What does travel insurance cover?

While policies do vary depending on the insurer, most should include emergency medical treatment costs, like ambulance fees or hospital charges. Most would cover getting you home after medical treatment abroad, if you can’t use your original ticket.  Often you’ll be covered for the costs of a friend or relative staying with you while you’re treated, or flying out from home to support you if needed.

Your policy can also cover you for the loss of your baggage, sporting equipment or other possessions, or a refund if the trip has to be cancelled or cut short.

You could buy single trip insurance for your sporting holiday, but if you have more than one trip planned in a year, it could be worth looking at annual travel insurance– this could save you money.

So how much will it cost you to buy your insurance? The best way to find out about prices and what’s included is to run a travel insurance comparison.

Where are you going? 

When you compare travel insurance you first need to confirm your destination whether it’s the UK, or Europe, or the USA, Canada and Caribbean. You’ll need extra cover if you’re going to the USA, Canada and the Caribbean and if you’re going further beyond we’ll ask you to name the country as part of our quote journey. 

Some people think that they don’t need travel insurance if they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). With the EHIC, if you need medical treatment while travelling within many European countries, the card means you can get treatment on the same basis as a local person. However, it will be on the basis you get taken to a public not private hospital. In the event of an emergency you will be taken to the nearest hospital. Also some policies will waive your excess if you have one.

It’s no substitute for travel cover though. The EHIC wouldn’t get you home or cover other costs linked to your emergency.  They are also date-specific, so check the expiry on your card before you travel. Be aware too, that not all European countries recognise the EHIC Outside the EU of course there’s no EHIC, so it can be more expensive again to get medical support.

Who are you taking? 

You can buy travel cover just for you, or you could buy it as a couple, cover your family or a group. To include other people, you’ll need their dates of birth and the names of any medical conditions they might have.

How’s your health? 

To an insurer, if you have a health condition it could mean you‘re more likely to need medical help while you’re away. Because of this, some conditions might make your insurance more expensive but this isn’t always the case with all conditions.

It’s important to list any medical conditions and give insurers all the information they need because, if not, you might be charged more by your insurer or not be covered. If your insurer discovers that the medical emergency on your trip was linked to a condition or injury you already had, they could refuse to pay your bills or add a cost.

Compare and save!

Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll get a page full of travel insurance quotes. They’re listed in price order and the cheapest travel insurance is at the top. 

You’ll see all the main details of each policy on the page – how much excess you would pay if you did make a claim, how well it’s rated by Defaqto and the amounts of medical, baggage and cancellation cover. To find out more about the policies, click each one for more details.

When you’ve found a travel insurance quote to suit, click the button to visit the insurer and buy. But do make sure you read all the details. You might find that your favourite sport is covered, but something else you decide to do on your trip – sea fishing or paragliding – is not.

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