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Holidays allow you to get away from the daily grind. Adding your favorite sports to the game plan is a winning combination. Fortunately, travel insurance plans can cover the athletic traveler and score points for protecting your equipment.
If you’re planning a golf trip, surf adventure, or ski vacation, a travel insurance policy will reimburse you for sports equipment if it is misdirected, lost, stolen, or damaged.
Here’s how a solid travel insurance plan can help you pay off sports-related items and other vacation expenses if the unexpected happens.
Stay in the game with travel insurance
Sports-oriented travel is popular at all times, and it has added appeal amid lingering concerns of Covid-19. Many active hobbies, such as golf, tennis, fishing, hiking, and skiing, can be enjoyed while maintaining safe social distances.
“The practice of recreational sports when you travel is gaining in popularity and if you travel with expensive equipment such as surfboards, snowboards, golf clubs, hockey sticks or rackets, an insurance policy with luggage insurance can help you if the item is lost, damaged or stolen. traveling ”, Daniel Durazo, spokesperson for Allianz Partners USA.
Sports equipment coverage is part of the loss of baggage and personal items benefits included in some travel plans. If you purchase a plan with this coverage, you are compensated for lost, damaged or stolen sports equipment, up to the amount of your policy.
If you check your skis with your airline on your annual Colorado ski trip and your skis don’t make it to your destination, your policy can help protect your investment. Likewise, if your surfboard is damaged in transit and you find it broken when you land in Maui, you can file a refund claim.
How the reimbursement works
All policies have a maximum refund amount that applies when you file a lost property claim, says Megan Moncrief, spokesperson for Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site. This amount may be more than enough if you have a tennis racket that you bought for a few hundred dollars, but it may not be enough if you have skis, goggles, and a helmet that cost you thousands of dollars.
“The maximum coverage limit of most starting policies may not be sufficient to cover this type of expensive equipment, offering only a maximum amount of coverage per person between $ 250 and $ 3,000 in total.” , Moncrief explains. “Travelers with expensive amenities, such as golf clubs or skis, should consider insuring their items through an additional source such as their home insurance policy.”
You can also purchase more extensive coverage for expensive equipment through your travel plan.
Sports equipment rental and travel insurance coverage
In addition to reimbursement for loss or damage to your equipment, some travel insurance plans include a “sporting delay” benefit that pays for the rental of equipment, up to the amount of the policy.
For example, if you’ve scheduled a hearing time early in the morning of your first day of vacation, and your racket takes a flight later after being lost in transit, your policy may cover your rental costs.
“Having a policy that not only protects your equipment, but also reimburses you for the equipment if you need to hire a replacement, means you can pay more attention to your form on the tennis court,” says Durazo with Allianz.
The rental refund amount will vary depending on your policy. For example, the iTravelInsured LX basic plan offers a sports delay allowance of $ 2,000 per person. OneTrip Premier from Allianz Partners offers $ 1,000 coverage if you need to rent sports equipment due to theft, loss, damage or delay.
Cancellation for any reason Sports traveler coverage
One of the main reasons for purchasing travel insurance is to get back the money you put aside if you need to cancel. If you break your wrist before a trip, for example, it will affect your ability to participate in sports.
“An illness or injury that prevents them from traveling as planned may be covered by a standard travel insurance policy,” says Moncrief, of Squaremouth. Other reasons covered by Trip Cancellation Insurance include death or illness, military orders, layoff, family emergency, or extreme weather conditions.
There are times, however, when you might want to cancel, but a standard travel insurance policy won’t cover it. “For example, the forecast at your destination may predict weather conditions that prevent their planned activities, such as skiing or surfing, but that weather would not necessarily prevent the trip,” she says. “If the purpose of the trip was to participate in a specific activity and you no longer want to go, you would need a cancellation policy for any reason.”
If you want the most flexibility regarding your travel plans, you may want to upgrade your policy to include cancellation coverage for any reason. This add-on will increase the price of your policy by 50%. With this upgrade, you can cancel your trip for any reason, as long as you do so at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure. As long as you meet the conditions, you can file a claim for reimbursement of 50% or 75% of non-refundable travel expenses, depending on your plan.
Coverage of medical expenses
In addition to protecting your equipment and your investments when you travel, you also want to protect yourself. The best travel insurance companies include generous emergency medical and emergency transportation benefits in their plans. “This is essential in the event of illness or injury,” explains Durazo.
A travel insurance plan with emergency medical benefits can cover the cost of your medical treatment, up to the limits of your policy, and your company can help you organize the care. This is essential to have when traveling abroad. Your US medical plan is unlikely to be accepted overseas.
Your own health insurance plan generally pays for medical expenses while traveling to the United States, with travel medical coverage payable after these benefits are exhausted.
Whether you are skiing in a remote area of Switzerland or playing golf in Bermuda, an emergency evacuation can literally save your life in the event of a serious injury. But bills could kill you without emergency medical evacuation coverage.
“Emergency medical transport is also important when traveling outside the country,” says Durazo. “An air ambulance to the United States from the Caribbean can cost $ 15,000 to $ 25,000, – $ 40,000 to $ 75,000 from South America; $ 65,000 to $ 90,000 from parts of Europe and $ 165,000 to $ 225,000 from Australia. Medical evacuation services could cover these costs.
Your travel insurance is a small price to pay to cover expenses that could be catastrophic if you had to pay them personally.
What is not covered during sports holidays
Not all activity and damage to your sports-related property is covered by travel insurance.
“While many policies include additional coverage for sports equipment as part of the Lost Luggage and Personal Items coverage, the standard exclusions that come with that coverage still apply,” explains Moncrief. “Be aware that things like normal wear and tear, deterioration, or items shipped as freight are generally excluded from coverage. “
In addition, some travel insurance plans exclude coverage for “extreme” activities and certain sports. For example, scuba diving and mountaineering may not be covered. If you participate in adventure activities, consider a policy for adventure seekers that also has higher benefit limits compared to standard plans.
Erica Lamberg is a personal finance and travel writer based in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is a regular contributor to USA Today and her writing includes NBC News, US News & World Report, Business Insider, Oprah Magazine, and Creditcards.com.