Best Travel Insurance for Surf Trips

Written by Antonio Cala

Last updated on May 27, 2024

Table of Contents

Surfing is awesome and traveling to ride waves in stunning coastal destinations around the world is even better.  However, the adventure comes with its own set of risks, from potential injuries to surfboard damage or loss. This is why securing the best travel insurance for your surf trip is crucial.

In this article, we’ll navigate through the top travel insurance options tailored for surfers, highlighting the coverage you need to protect yourself, your gear, and your peace of mind. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual wave rider, we’ll help you catch the policy that ensures you’re covered on every tide.

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 surfing trip.

best travel insurance for surf trips - infographic

Surf Travel Insurance Overview

Understanding Travel Insurance for Surf Trips

Surf trip insurance is a specialized form of adventure travel insurance designed for individuals setting out on surfing adventures. Envision an exhilarating surf expedition, possibly lasting several days, coordinated by a tour operator or done independently, where you ride the waves at various coastal destinations.

This insurance is vital as it offers protection for medical emergencies, evacuation, and repatriation, which are critical for any serious surf trip. Without this insurance, surfers may face significant medical expenses if an unexpected incident occurs.

Additionally, this insurance takes into account trip cancellations and interruptions, which can result in substantial financial setbacks. It’s crucial to thoroughly review the policy to confirm that it includes coverage for the particular surfing activities you intend to undertake, ensuring that you’re protected while chasing the perfect swell.

What Does It Cover?

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

Medical Expenses

Incurring injuries while surfing can have serious financial repercussions. The cost of medical treatment can greatly differ depending on your location, and surfing in remote or hard-to-reach areas could result in additional charges for services like helicopter evacuation and medical repatriation.

Most surf trip insurance policies provide coverage for emergency medical assistance, typically up to a considerable limit. However, it’s critical to understand that coverage for rescue operations might be subject to a maximum limit, which may be less than the coverage for medical treatment costs. It’s vital to scrutinize the details of your policy to fully understand the extent of coverage for such incidents.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption

If an injury requires you to cancel or cut short your surf trip, this insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for the portions of your journey that go unused. The coverage amount for cancellations can differ, often ranging from a small amount to several thousand dollars.

This feature of surf trip insurance is designed to help you recoup some of the costs associated with your interrupted plans, providing financial relief during a period affected by an unforeseen injury.

Equipment Coverage

In the unfortunate event that your surf gear is damaged, stolen, or lost, surf trip insurance generally provides coverage that can span from a nominal sum to several thousand dollars. Minor damages like dings or scrapes are typically not covered, but significant losses or theft of your equipment could be eligible for coverage.

It’s important to note that many insurance policies have a per-item limit, so if you have high-end surfboards, wetsuits, or other costly gear, they may not be completely covered even if the policy states an equipment coverage limit of a few thousand dollars. Always examine the details of your policy to make sure your most valuable equipment is sufficiently covered according to the terms of your insurance.

What Doesn't Cover?

When assessing specialized travel insurance for surf trips, it’s crucial to recognize the exclusions that might impact your coverage. Potential exclusions could include:

Unattended equipment: Should your surf gear be left unattended and becomes stolen, your insurance coverage may be invalidated.

Ignoring travel advisories: Choosing to surf in an area despite warnings from authoritative organizations such as the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office could result in your insurance not offering coverage.

Best Travel Insurance Policies for Surf Trips

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 surfing trips. All nationalities are covered and options for people over 75 are available.

Global Rescue is our preferred option for surf trips worldwide, particularly if you plan to go remote.

Our Pick For

Americans + Pre-existing Conditions + Trip Protection

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 surfing.

We recommend Faye for Americans who want a complete travel protection for their surf trip, including high medical coverage, trip protection cancellation & interruption, and equipment 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 surfing.

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

Comparison Table

Medical Expenses
Emmergency Evacuation
Trip Cancellation
Trip Delays
Equipment Coverage







Adv Sports













best travel insurance for surf trips

When selecting insurance for your surf trip, the remoteness and accessibility of the surf spots you intend to explore are essential considerations.

For surfers heading to isolated or hard-to-reach coastal areas, Global Rescue is a top choice. Its superior medical evacuation services distinguish it from other insurance options.

If your surf trip takes place in more accessible locations and you are a US resident, Faye is a great option. It offers comprehensive medical coverage, is inclusive of pre-existing conditions, imposes no age restrictions, and covers surfing activities.

For non-US residents embarking on surf trips in less secluded spots, the Explorer Plan from World Nomads is the preferred choice. It delivers ample medical coverage and is known for its cost-effectiveness in the travel insurance sector.

Other Travel Insurance Reviews

Surf 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 surf trips. 

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

Travel Insurance for SurfersBarefoot Surf Travel

Travel Insurance for your Surf Trip – Rapture Surfcamps

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 Surf Trips
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