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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room Sport equipment not covered in use

exercise caution with sporting equipment

08 January, 2018 By Natalie Smith

Ahh long live holidays right? You’ve worked hard to get to this level of relaxation. You can’t wait to get to the beach and put your new thruster to the test in those gnarly Balinese waves.  The swell looks a bit big, but no need to worry because you’ve got travel insurance that covers your board should it break…right?


Whether you’re set to swing a hole in one on your Hawaiian holiday with your brand-new set of Callaway clubs, or shoop shoop on the slopes of Whistler with your sassy new skis, know that travel insurance doesn’t cover damages to your sporting equipment while they are in use.

Natalie Smith, Marketing Manager, Comparetravelinsurance explains:

“It’s a little-known exclusion of travel insurance that often catches travelers out. Holiday-makers assume that their personal belongings are covered for all scenarios when damaged, when in fact there are a host of exclusions to be aware of.”

Travel insurance will cover damages to sporting equipment made during transit, or to items that are lost or stolen during your holiday, but not when they are damaged or broken when in use, or pinched when left unaccompanied.

Smith advises, “Of course holidays are all about having fun and being free, but that doesn’t mean you can be reckless with your stuff and still be covered. If you think your gear is at risk of breaking, try to mitigate any potential damages. After all, a ding or dent to your favourite piece of kit would put a serious dampener on your holiday!”

Depreciation is also an important factor to consider warns Smith.

Even if you’ve only just purchased your brand-new canoe or top of the range bicycle, know that when calculating the claim amount payable, depreciation applies due to age, wear and tear, notes Smith.

“You may consider your item priceless, however your insurance company is unlikely to have the same idea.  A way to get around the depreciated valuation of your equipment is to pay an additional premium and specify them as a High Value Item. Once you’ve had your belongings valued, your insurer will cover you up to that agreed amount, with no devaluation applied should you need to claim.”

When else are you not covered for sporting equipment?

Equipment left with the hotel concierge: You’re insured when you’re a guest in the hotel, but as soon as you’ve checked out, you wouldn’t be covered for items left in the luggage store room that go missing.

Luggage conveyor belts: Still sleepy after your flight and forgot to pick your golf clubs off the conveyor belt? Any equipment you leave behind at the airport, train or bus station, would not be insured.

Items out of your sight: Fancy a dip in the ocean without your board. Decide to leave your skis propped up outside the café while you have a warming cup of cocoa. Any items not in your sight that could be taken without your knowledge are considered unattended and not protected.

Belongings lost from the hold: Lost or stolen items that were checked into the hold of any transport carrier (such as a plane, bus or train) are not covered. It is the transport carriers’ responsibility to ensure your belongings are delivered safely to you.

Stuff left with a stranger: If you leave your items in a stranger’s trust, or someone you’ve just met, (even someone not named on your certificate of insurance), you may not have provision to claim should those items go walkies.

Items left on display in a car: You are not insured for items left in the back of a car that are visible to passers-by. Your belongings must be locked in the boot/concealed storage for your cover to kick-in.

When are you covered for sporting equipment on holiday?

Damaged in transit: You’ve disembarked at your destination and can’t wait to get to try out your new $2,000 bamboo full flex fishing rod when you find it in a rather peculiar shape post flight…oh er. Unfortunately travel insurance can’t help with the disappointment, but it will pay to repair or replace any of your items damaged during transit. Sometimes items sent unaccompanied by freight are excluded.

Pick pocketing: You’re on a crowded bus in Mexico when your Fitbit is ripped from your wrist. Luckily your travel insurance will cover you for the unpleasant pilfering.

Bad burglar: You’re sipping cocktails by the pool when a passer-by snatches your sassy snorkel set from under your sun lounger. So long as you’ve made a report to the police and resort staff ASAP, you’re covered for the costs to replace all items that were stolen.

Car crime: You’ve left your golf clubs in the boot of your car while you’re out at the water park. When you come back some hours later you see that your car has been broken into. As long as your items were locked away in the boot or locked glove compartment you’d be compensated for your losses. Take note that often you are only insured during daylight hours.

Luggage delay: You’ve arrived at Thailand, but your luggage has not… and doesn’t look to arrive any time soon. Boo hiss! At least your travel insurance will pay you for any clothes and expenses you purchase before your bags arrive. Limits apply, so stay away from Prada!

Always read your Product Disclosure Statement

So there you have it! The rules surrounding luggage cover can be a bit of a minefield to get your head around. But if you don’t mistreat your stuff and keep your items safely secured you can greatly minimize your risk of needing to claim.

Smith concludes, “Whether you’re taking a fishing rod, hang glider, scuba gear or skis on your holiday. It pays to do your research to understand when you’re sporting equipment is covered. Always read your insurers Product Disclosure Statement, or give them a call to understand any exclusions that may apply.”

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Contributor Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

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