Kitesurfing Travel Insurance

David Woodfield By David Woodfield

As most kite-surfers will tell you, the early days of kite-surfing were dangerous. Early riders were still mastering the art and the equipment was still new. However, these days there is a depth of knowledge on safe kite-surfing, good instruction available and improved equipment. Today it is a much safer sport.

Some insurers have noticed this change and some have not. The result is that they all have different views of just how risky kite-surfing really is, and so they will charge different amounts to cover exactly the same kite-surfing holiday. That means shopping around, so to help and save time we’ve done that for you. We compare kitesurfing travel insurance policies below.

Kitesurfing travel insurance comparison

We’ve checked in with a number of popular travel insurers to see how they treat kitesurfing. We tried to answer several questions:

  • Do they cover kitesurfing?
  • If so, how is it covered? Is it as an optional extra or included as standard?
  • How much is the cost?
  • Are there any limitations on your kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing travel insurers – the results

  • Columbus Direct Travel Insurance – as standard they cover kitesurfing on a lake only, so we took the optional extra of covering us on the sea too. Their Gold cover costs £22.94, but it included higher levels of cover than others (£15M medical, £2,500 baggage and £3,000 cancellation).
  • MPI brokers – cover all forms of watersports on inland waters, rivers and up to 12 miles from coast, so plenty for kiting! They don’t cover racing and charge £38.64.
  • John Lewis Travel Insurance – will cover you for kitesurfing as standard, but won’t cover any damage to your kite and your cover won’t apply if you are in a race. They’ll charge £17.33 for their ‘Plus’ cover.
  • Go Travel Insurance – consider kitesurfing a dangerous activity as it is only covered by an add-on within their top category of activities. That boosts the cost to £25.10 and even that comes with lower medical (£3,000,000) baggage and cancellation cover (£1,500 each) than we wanted.
  • Adventures travel insurance require you to declare kite-surfing as an extra activity and will charge £55.10 for their A+B policy, though that does come with £5,000 of cancellation cover and £10,000,000 of medical.
  • Endsleigh Insurance and Topdoginsurance – do not include Kite-surfing in their list of permitted activities.

We got quotes by using a 25-year-old travelling to Portugal for a week of kiting in the sun! We wanted cover for our gear and pre-booked tuition too, so we included a minimum of £2,000 of baggage allowance, £2,000 of cancellation insurance and £5,000,000 of medical cover. All quotes obtained in May 2014.

Any other tips?

Yes, a few! It is worth checking with your insurer what their precise definitions are for the various terms they mention. For example, ‘racing’ can mean competing in a recognized competition or it can mean recreational races too. It is worth checking to know what the limitations of you cover are.

Some insurers can restrict cover for personal accident or liability in certain activities. That means whilst you might be covered for medical expenses relating to injuries incurred from kitesurfing, you might not be covered if you cause an accident in which someone else is injured who then claims damages from you. Again - worth checking!

All insurers will expect you to behave reasonably (e.g. if you go rock-climbing at a great height without a rope and get injured, you can expect the claim to be refused!). Some insurers go further and will refuse claims unless you have been using specific safety equipment or wearing a helmet and so on. We didn't come across any such restrictions for kitesurfing whilst researching this article, but we'd recommend checking as a precaution.

What now?

Insurers change their policies all the time, so we recommend checking exactly what cover you are getting with them over the phone, even if you complete your purchase online. As this article points out, some good questions to ask include:

  • Are there any restrictions on where I can kitesurf?
  • Will you cover my gear and equipment, including damage to the kite?
  • Are there any restrictions on your liability or accident cover whilst I am kitesurfing?
  • Are there any requirements for safety equipment or precautions I have to take whilst kitesurfing?

Above all, have a great holiday!

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