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Compare Travel Insurance Travel Insurance Tips Competitive Sports Travel Insurance

competitive sports & Travel Insurance 

19 February, 2019 By Hayley Kennedy

Competitive sports and whether you’re covered by your travel insurance is a grey area. Most of your standard activities like cycling, soccer, snorkeling and surfing are automatically covered under most policies (providing this is for recreational purposes only). However, when it comes to competing, exclusions can apply.

What's considered competitive? 

This varies from insurer to insurer. Most providers are happy to cover a recreational sport, provided:
  • there is no sponsorship
  • no prize money
  • you are not participating competition in a race or tournament.
The different variations of competitive sports are usually defined as:

Amateur: means any sport or activity engaged as a pastime rather than as a professional; whereby the participant has never accepted money for the time they spend training or competing.

Competition: means a contest or rivalry between two or more individuals, entities or groups for prestige, recognition or award.

Professional: means sport or activities in which participants receive payment for their performance.

Racing: means a competition of speed, usually marked against time. This can be against others to see who is fastest, or against ones own record.

However, as you are probably thinking, these definitions are a tad vague.
It’s always smart to contact your insurer directly to see what their definition of these terms are. You don’t want to find yourself mid-race in a peloton pileup, only to find out you’re not covered for overseas medical treatment when racing.

So, what are your options? Keep reading to see which companies cover for a range of competitive sports.

Sporting competitions and events:

Dogtag cover a range of extreme sports and have a plan to suit most travellers. Whether you’re downhill mountain biking, competing in an ultra marathon running or just lying on the beach they’ll have you covered. Their policies also come with your own specialised dog tag with your name and policy details on it. Nifty!

Remember specialised insurance can sometimes come with limits or terms and conditions – for example, their policies may only cover medical benefits ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, whereas most standard travel insurance benefits have no limits.

World Nomads cover an awesome list of activities including parasailing, shark cage diving, rock climbing and many more. They cover you to participate in an amateur race or competition (excluding any motorsports) as long as you're not paid to participate in or train for the race or competition.

GoSafe provides cover for several sporting activities and competitions if you are an amateur participant, whether you’re competing in an individual or team event overseas.
You also have the option to apply for cover to compete at a national or state level if declared and approved by the insurer.

Vinsurance is an insurance broker specialising in the Sports, Leisure and entertainment industries.

Cycling competitions:

From bicycle touring through the lavender fields of Provence to racing in the Tour de France, the sky’s the limit when it comes to travelling with your bicycle! The freedom of travelling on two wheels can be exhilarating, but it only takes one little mishap for your travel plans to go downhill.

Getting travel insurance to cover you for cycling holiday can be tricky, with exclusions for downhill bike riding, off road and competitions. But you can ride easy as we’ve done the research and found a few providers who can get you covered whilst competing with your bike overseas:

Velosure is a good option for the cyclist out there. They give you the option for covering you whilst racing your own bicycle overseas as well as basic cover options.

Wiggle amazingly provides cover for both you and your bike whilst racing overseas. They also boastingly cover up to $30,000 worth of accidental bike damage and theft, including custom parts and accessories, and bicycle rack coverbeing amongst the many other benefits to make your trip easier.

Sailing competitions:

Planning on soaking up the rays on the sunny shores of Croatia or sailing the Seven Seas? The world is your oyster when it comes to sailing ! The adventures to be had out to sea are boundless, but not everything is always smooth sailing. Standard travel insurance policies usually exclude for sailing when you are more than 10 nautical miles off any land mass. But you can sail worry free, as  we have found some insurers that specialise in sailing competitions. Sea where the tide may take you!

Steadfast impressivley allows unlimited medical expense cover for Australian Sailing Members whilst participating in racing events overseas.

Topsail whether you own your own boat, charter, or are taking a trip aboard a Tall Ship, they can get you covered. Their policies include a high level of medical cover, cover racing and event fees, and also have no restrictions how far away you sail from shore.

Marathon Running:

When running such a great distance, all your time and energy needs to be focused on the race, not worrying about hurdles such as getting travel insurance. You’ll find that some standard polices do not cover for long distance races, or risky races like Tough Mudder or Triathlons. But you can sprint worry free, as we’ve taken the time to research the market and find some insurers who offer you cover when competing in a Marathon. Slow and steady really does win the race:

World Nomads will get you covered for marathon running along with many different sports, (but not Ultra Marathons). Their requirement is that you can participate in an amateur race or competition as long as you're not paid to participate in or train for the race or competition.

Columbus Direct with their standard policies offers cover for up to half marathon distance. Running marathon distance is covered under Sports/Adventure Pack A once added on.

Zoom is one of the only providers we found that automatically includes racing on foot with their policies for distances up to and including full marathon (42.2 kilometres or 26.2 miles).

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Contributor Hayley Kennedy

Hayley Kennedy

Originally from the UK, Hayley took a gap ‘year’ in 2011… and it’s still going! She’s travelled all over the world, volunteering in a Ugandan orphanage, skydiving in Australia, shark diving in South Africa, and skiing in the Alps (and snapping in a ligament in the process!). Certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and working in travel insurance for over two years, Hayley is a thrillseeker and a storyteller who loves hearing about customers’ holiday plans and sharing her own tips and must-see spots to help get them inspired.

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