Kayaking is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature, get the adrenaline pumping and improve your fitness, all at the same time. Whether you’re weighing up the choice of river kayak vs sea kayak, or you’re an experienced kayaker planning your next adventure abroad, there’s always something exciting and challenging to look forward to.
But whatever your plans or level of experience, it’s an action sport and covering yourself with third-party insurance for kayaking is absolutely essential. This guide explains why, and the types of cover you should look for.
Why do I need kayaking insurance?
Kayaking is exhilarating, but it’s not without its dangers. Whether it’s rocks or sudden drops in rivers, or unexpected currents and waves on open water, dealing with natural hazards is part and parcel of kayaking.
Additionally, the cost of getting all the equipment in place (boat, oars, helmet, lifejacket and other accessories) can be high, meaning there can be sudden unexpected costs to replace them if they become lost, stolen or damaged.
It is also important to bear in mind that it’s a sport that often takes place in remote locations, especially abroad, which means rescue, treatment and repatriation costs can be extremely high.
For all these reasons, every kayaker should have a wide-ranging, sport-specific insurance policy in place every time they take to the water.
What does kayaking insurance cover?
There are many different types of kayaking insurance available to you, variable depending on the nature of your trip, the place in the world you’re visiting, the activity you have in mind, and the value of your kit. But in every case, you should look for a policy containing the following features as a bare minimum:
Emergency medical expenses and repatriation
Sustaining an injury or getting ill while kayaking may not mean a simple call for an ambulance. Air support may be needed in a remote location, there may also be huge repatriation expenses if seriously injured abroad. This type of cover takes care of those costs, up to a predefined maximum value.
Cancellation and curtailment
If your trip is cancelled or brought to a premature end for reasons beyond your control, then this cover ensures that you aren’t left out of pocket for any travel or accommodation bookings that you weren’t able to use. Similar policies also cover travel delays, missed departures and accommodation bookings missed as a result.
In the event of an accident, this cover takes care of all the medical bills you may incur, which can be substantial if the accident occurs abroad.
Unforeseen circumstances may mean that you’re involved in an incident where someone else has been killed or injured, or their property has been damaged. Any costs or compensation incurred as a result can be covered by personal liability insurance.
Baggage delay, loss or theft
If your kit or suitcases are lost, stolen or held up in transit, this type of cover will reimburse you for any emergency purchases or alternative kit hire you have to make to keep your trip running smoothly.
Activity and race entry fees
If you’re injured, ill or have suffered an accident, this cover reimburses you for race or activity entry fees that would otherwise be wasted.
Search and rescue
High costs relating to search and rescue are often passed onto those rescued, insurance can pick up those costs instead.
24-hour personal assistance helpline
Access to a 24-hour, English-speaking assistance hotline to help kayakers with issues abroad is included with all good policies.
Do I need insurance for an inflatable kayak?
In a word: yes. Inflatable kayaks may generally be cheaper and easier to transport, but they’re still potentially vulnerable to the same hazards as a more traditional kayak. Additionally, there is always the possibility of an inflatable kayak sinking due to a breach or puncture. All inflatable kayak users should therefore take out the same wide-ranging cover.
Get third-party kayak insurance with SportsCover Direct
At SportsCover Direct, we have 30 years of experience insuring adventurers like you across a host of action sports, including kayaking. Whether you end up needing medical care, or have to replace lost luggage, we can give you peace of mind that you’ll be taken care of, whatever happens. Our tailored cover is underwritten by AXA XL, and our professional claims handling has helped us achieve a five-star customer service rating from Feefo – so you know you’ll be in good hands.
To find out more, explore all our policy options for kayaking insurance here.