Best Travel Insurance for Paddle Boarding

Written by Antonio Cala

Last updated on April 19, 2024

Table of Contents

Paddle boarding offers a unique way to explore waterways, whether gliding across calm lakes or navigating coastal inlets. As tranquil as the sport may seem, it’s not without its risks, from sudden weather changes to potential injuries. Securing the best travel insurance for your paddle boarding trip is an essential step to mitigate these risks. 

This article will guide you through selecting the ideal insurance policy, one that covers medical emergencies, equipment loss, and trip interruptions, ensuring that you can stand up, paddle on, and enjoy the serenity of the waters with peace of mind.

For an in-depth analysis of insurance choices tailored for adventure travelers, don’t forget to check out the  Ultimate Guide to Adventure Travel Insurance.

Quick Recommendations

If you want some quick recommendations, here is our infographic to help you choose the best insurance for your next paddle boarding trip. 

best travel insurance for paddle boarding trips - infographic

Paddle Boarding Travel Insurance Overview

Understanding Travel Insurance for Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding insurance is a specialized form of adventure travel insurance designed for individuals engaging in paddle boarding activities. We’re talking about an actual SUPing trip, probably a multi-day adventure organized by a tour operator, where you paddle from camp to camp. 

This type of insurance is vital as it provides coverage for medical emergencies, evacuation, and repatriation, which are essential for any paddle boarding outing. Without this insurance, paddle boarders could face hefty medical bills in the event of an accident.

In addition, this insurance takes into account trip cancellations and interruptions, which can impose significant financial burdens. It’s important to thoroughly review the policy to confirm that it includes coverage for the particular paddle boarding activities you intend to undertake, ensuring that you’re protected while out on the water.

With this insurance, you will also be covered when renting a SUP for the day while you travel, although it’s a bit overkill and a regular travel insurance should be enough for those situations.

What Does It Cover?

The majority of insurance policies for paddle boarding trips typically provide coverage for the following four categories:

Medical Expenses

Sustaining injuries while paddle boarding can have serious financial implications. Medical treatment costs can vary greatly depending on your location, and if you’re paddle boarding in a remote area, you may incur additional charges for services such as helicopter rescue and medical repatriation.

Most paddle boarding insurance policies offer coverage for emergency medical assistance, typically up to a substantial limit. However, it’s crucial to be aware that the coverage for rescue operations might have a maximum threshold, which could be less than the coverage provided for medical treatment costs. Always check the specifics of your policy to understand the extent of coverage for such scenarios.

Equipment Coverage

If you encounter the misfortune of your paddle boarding equipment being damaged, stolen, or lost, paddle boarding insurance usually provides coverage that can range from a minimal sum to several thousand dollars.

Be aware that most of insurances have a per item limit, so if you have an expensive board with you, it might not be covered 100% even if the policy states an equipment coverage of a few thousand dollars.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

If an injury forces you to cancel or cut short your paddle boarding trip, paddle boarding insurance allows you to seek compensation for the unused portions of your journey. The coverage amount for cancellations can differ, usually ranging from a modest sum to several thousand dollars.

This feature of paddle boarding insurance ensures that you can recoup some of the costs from your disrupted plans, providing financial relief in the event of an unforeseen injury.

What Doesn't Cover?

When assessing specialized travel insurance for paddle boarding, it’s crucial to understand the exclusions that might impact your coverage. Potential exclusions could be:

Unattended equipment: Your insurance coverage may be void if your paddle boarding equipment is left unattended and becomes stolen.

Ignoring travel advisories: Should you decide to paddle board in a location despite warnings from official agencies such as the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, your insurance may not offer coverage.

Best Travel Insurance Policies for Paddle Boarding Trips in 2024

Our Pick For

International Trips + Remote Locations + Any Nationality

Nationalities: all nationalities are covered.

Pre-existing conditions: Yes.

Seniors Over 65: People aged 65-75 are included in the Individual Plan. Extended Plan memberships are available to those age 75-84 and include all services but are contingent upon completion of a medical form and a physician’s medical verification.

Trip Duration: Short term policies (7, 14 or 30-days) and long term policies (1 to 5 years) available.

Groups: Individual, family and student plans available.

Situations covered: It covers civil unrest, natural disasters, government evacuation orders and other security emergencies (when purchasing the Security package).

Reasons To Buy

Remote locations coverage. Coverage available for 65-84. Pre-existing conditions accepted. All nationalities accepted​.

Reasons To Avoid

The price is a bit higher than other insurance policies. However, no other company provides the same coverage as Global Rescue. It doesn’t cover trip cancellations or delays. It doesn’t cover equipment.

Worldwide field rescue (up to $500,000) in remote or dangerous environments. Global Rescue’s deployable teams are standing by to rescue their members from the point of illness or injury for any serious medical emergency.

 

Medical Evacuation. Global Rescue’s fully deployable medical teams have unparalleled capabilities to transport our members back to their home hospital of choice from anywhere in the world. This includes global COVID-19 transport.

 

Medical & Security Advisory Services. Global Rescue’s operations centers are staffed by experienced nurses, paramedics and military special operations veterans. Global Rescue also has partnerships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations, Elite Medical Group and Partners HealthCare, the Harvard Medical School affiliate.

 

Security Membership. Global Rescue’s teams of military special operations veterans are available to provide advisory, consultation and evacuation services for events like natural disasters, terror attacks and civil unrest when you are in danger.

 

Destination Reports & Event Alerts. Destination reports for 215 countries and principalities worldwide include entry requirements, COVID-19 travel status and restrictions, detailed health and security assessments and required immunizations. Keep up to date on health and security events worldwide.

 

My Global Rescue Mobile App. Access Global Rescue services in one location. Browse destination reports and alerts, activate emergency assistance, real-time virtual health visits and keep track of the people you care about with GPS tracking and messaging.

Security Package. Physical extraction when you are in danger of bodily harm. It includes civil unrest, natural disasters, government evacuation orders and other security emergencies.

 

High Altitude Evacuation.. This is for individuals traveling above 15,000 ft (4,600 m) during any part of their trip (excluding airplane travel). It also includes emergency physical transport due to injury or illness.

Global Rescue is the most comprehensive travel protection available worldwide. It has the least restrictions and biggest coverage than any other medical insurance.

It’s a medical-only protection designed for adventure travelers planning to travel internationally or domestically for adventure activities such as paddle boarding trips. All nationalities are covered and options for people over 75 are available.

Global Rescue is our preferred option for paddle boarding trips worldwide.

Our Pick For

Americans + Over 65 + Pre-existing Conditions

Nationalities: Only US citizens and residents are eligible.

Pre-existing conditions: Pre-existing conditions can be covered for Trip Cancellations and Interruptions, as long as you purchase your plan within 14 days of your initial trip deposit, and are medically able to travel when you purchase your plan.

Seniors Over 65: There is no maximum age limit.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 180 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The prices are very competitive.

Plans are very customizable with plenty of extras available and the option of removing items you don’t need.

Pre-existing medical conditions accepted.

24/7 chat available with the Faye Mobile App

     

Reasons To Avoid

Only available to American residents.

Emergency Medical Expenses: Up to $250,000. If you experience sudden illness or injury in-trip, including COVID-19. We can cover prescription drugs, hospitalization and physician costs.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage of transportation in the case of illness or injury that is acute, severe or life threatening when adequate medical treatment is not available in the immediate area.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to 100%. If you need to cancel your trip for covered reasons, including if you get sick, contract COVID-19, or a travel provider goes bankrupt. We can cover flights, hotel bookings, tickets & activities, and quarantine accommodation.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to 150%. When you must unexpectedly cut your trip short or extend it for covered reasons, including if you contract COVID-19.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $4,500. Up to $300/day, for delays of more than 6 hours. When you’re stranded in transit due to reasons outside of your control such as flight delay or theft of passport.

 

Lost or damaged Belongings: Up to $2,000. Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage, including clothing, personal items and professional equipment like a phone or laptop.

Cancel for Any Reason: Up to 75% of Trip Cost. The ability to nix your trip for reasons other than those covered in your plan’s trip cancellation coverage, including fear of contracting COVID-19, as long as you purchase this coverage within 14 days of your initial trip deposit and cancel at least 48 hours in advance of your scheduled departure date.

 

Pet Care: Up to $2,500 in veterinary expenses & 
$250 for kenneling. Coverage of veterinary expenses if you take your furry friend along (including pet sickness or injury), or kenneling costs if you arrive back home later than expected.

 

Adventure & Extreme Sports: Up to $250K (international trips) or $50K (domestic trips) for accidental & sickness expenses. Medical and transportation coverage if you become injured while participating in an adventure or extreme sport, like skydiving, bungee jumping, motocross or free diving.

Faye insurance provides American residents one of the biggest medical coverages on the market at a very competitive price. 

There’s no age limit and, with the Adventure & Extreme Sports Protection, you can get coverage for stand up paddle boarding.

We recommend Faye for Americans who want a complete travel protection for their paddle boarding trip, including high medical coverage, trip protection cancellation & interruption, and baggage coverage.

Our Pick For

Non Americans + Budget

Nationalities: Most nationalities can purchase insurance from World Nomads, including residents of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, or New Zealand. However, as of the current writing, most European residents are unable to buy a World Nomads policy.

Pre-existing conditions: Not covered.

Seniors Over 65: Travelers aged 70 and over are not covered.

Trip Duration: All plans cover trips up to 365 days.

Groups: Insurance policies for solo travelers, couples and families are available.

Reasons To Buy

The price is competitive.

   

Reasons To Avoid

Prices and coverage vary greatly by the country of residence.

Some European nationalities are not covered.

Pre-existing medical conditions not covered

Max age is 70 years old.

Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense: Up to $100,000. Coverage is for medical expenses for emergency treatment of an accidental injury that occurs during the trip. Emergency treatment must be medically necessary and performed during the trip. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Emergency dental treatment: Up to $750. Coverage is for emergency dental treatment for accidental injury to sound, natural teeth. The injury and treatment must occur during the trip.

 

Emergency Evacuation: Up to $500,000. Coverage is for an accidental injury or sickness occurring during the trip that results in your necessary emergency evacuation. An emergency evacuation must be ordered by a physician who certifies that the severity of your accidental injury or sickness warrants your emergency evacuation. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Cancellation: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable cancellation charges if you must cancel your trip (after the effective date) due to covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Interruption: Up to $10,000. Reimburses for prepaid, non-refundable, unused expenses if you must interrupt your trip (after departure) due to a covered sickness, accidental injury, or death of you, a family member or traveling companion; inclement weather, unforeseen natural disaster at home or at your destination, strike, or other covered reasons. Refer to the certificate / policy for complete details.

 

Trip Delay: Up to $3,000. Coverage is for unused portion of pre-paid accommodation or additional expenses, on a one-time basis, if you are delayed en route to or from the trip for 6 or more hours due to a defined hazard as explained in the certificate / policy.

 

Baggage & Personal Effects: Up to $3,000. Reimbursement is for loss, theft or damage during the trip to baggage and personal effects (including sporting equipment) owned by you, provided you have taken all reasonable measures to protect, save and recover the property. Per article limit of $500.

 

Activities covered based on 4 groups. You pay more for higher group. The Explorer plan includes more activities than the Standard Plan. Extreme activities not covered (cave diving, free soloing, etc)

The World Nomads Explorer Plan is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable travel insurance that covers SUPing activities.

We recommend World Nomads Explorers plan for stand up paddle boarding trips if you are not American or don’t want the full-protection that Faye provides.

Comparison Table

Company
Plan
Medical Expenses
Emmergency Evacuation
Trip Cancellation
Trip Delays
Equipment Coverage

Travel

$100,000

$500,000

None

None

None

Adv Sports

$250,000

$500,000

100%

150%

$2,000

Explorer

$100,000

$500,000

$10,000

$3,000

$3,000

Conclusion

best travel insurance for paddle boarding trips

When selecting insurance for your paddle boarding trip, the remoteness and accessibility of the locations you’ll be exploring are key considerations.

For paddle boarders heading into isolated or challenging-to-reach waterways, Global Rescue is a top-tier choice. Its superior medical evacuation services distinguish it from other insurance options.

If your paddle boarding journey is in more accessible areas and you are a US resident, Faye is a great option. It boasts comprehensive medical coverage, accommodates pre-existing conditions, has no age restrictions, and covers paddle boarding activities.

For non-US residents embarking on paddle boarding trips in less secluded spots, the Explorer Plan from World Nomads is our preferred choice. It provides ample medical coverage and is known for its cost-effectiveness in the realm of travel insurance.

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

Paddle Boarding Travel Insurance Reviews Online

When doing your research, you might want to read what other publications have to say about the best travel insurance for paddle boarding trips.

Here are some of the most popular articles I found interesting. 

How to take a paddle board abroadvanessadyson.com

Paddleboard insurancebishopskinner.com

About the Author

Antonio was born and raised in Southern Spain, and quit his job in 2013 to travel the world full-time with his wife Amanda for 10 years straight. Their passion for adventure took them to visit 150+ countries.

They cycled 25,000km + from California to Patagonia, sailed over 10,000NM around the Caribbean & Sea of Cortez, rode their motorbikes 30,000 kms+ across West Africa (Spain to South Africa) and visited Antarctica, among many other adventure expeditions. Today, they’re still traveling,  currently around the USA with an RV.

Traveling to so many places, remote destinations and by different means taught them a lot about travel insurance, which policies to hold depending on the area and the type of adventure they were doing. Antonio now publishes regular content to help other travelers choose the best travel insurance for adventure trips.

Together, they also run the travel community Summit, the RV site Hitched Up, the boutique accommodation blog Unique Places and the popular newsletter Adventure Fix, where they share their knowledge about the places they’ve visited and the ones still remaining on their list.

Antonio Cala

Co-Founder of Adventure Fix

Best Travel Insurance For Paddle Boarding
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