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Is Sailing Covered? | Travel Insurance Direct (TID)

Sun shimmering on the water, a choice of beaches, islands and sandbanks to visit and dinner just a line’s throw away.  It’s no wonder TID travellers love sailing and boating, and why you need to know what travel insurance does, and doesn’t, cover when you’re out on the water.

Coverage available on the following plans:

Domestic Comprehensive Overseas Insurance (The Works) Budget Overseas Insurance (The Basics) Annual Multi-trip
Available Available Available Available

How can travel insurance help when sailing or boating?

If cruising is more your style, you can read more about it here, or read on to find out what travel insurance covers for sailing and boating.

Our plans offer cover if you’re on a boat for a day, a week or taking an extended trip and a boat is the main mode of transport. This includes:

  • Sailing
  • Cruising on a large cruise liner – see more information here about what you need to know about travel insurance for traveling on a cruise.
  • Boating

Note: you should take care of any sporting and leisure equipment you use. Any loss, theft or damage to watercraft of any type (excluding surfboards) will not be covered. This includes any damage to sports and leisure equipment due to normal wear and tear, including dents and scratches. Essentially if you’re going to be living your best life on a boat, you should make sure you take care of it as if it was your own boat. 

Will my sailing gear be covered?

TID offers cover for your gear under the luggage and personal effects benefit for accidental loss, theft and accidental damage for things like your life jacket, sailing equipment (buoyancy vests, harnesses, helmets, GPS locators and flares), sailing trousers and jackets, and sailing shoes and boots.

You can avoid depreciation from being applied to your belongings by choosing to specify these items when purchasing your policy for an additional premium.  Please be aware that sporting equipment whilst in use is not covered.

What's covered?

  • Overseas medical expenses for illness or injury while sailing
  • Travel expenses for your return home or evacuation are only covered if the attending registered medical practitioner advises us in writing that you are unable to continue with your trip due to sudden illness or serious injury
  • Emergency Medical assistance – including hospitalisation and medical treatment as needed.
  • Evacuation and repatriation to your home country or medical facilities as needed
  • Loss, theft or damage to your luggage and personal effects
  • Surfboards and body boards are covered for loss, theft and damage up to the applicable limit. If it's worth more and/or you want to avoid depreciation you can list it on your policy and pay an additional premium.

What's not covered?

  • Travelling in international waters in a private sail vessel or privately registered sail vessel.
  • Travelling somewhere against Do Not Travel warnings – if there’s a government advisory against going there it’s probably not a good idea. And this includes dive sites that are off-limits
  • Sailing under the influence - being intoxicated by or addicted to drugs or alcohol while sailing is a bad idea and not only can affect any claims you may make but can put at risk your life and those who are sailing with you
  • Personal Liability is excluded if you are sailing - you will not be covered if you injure someone or cause damage to someone's property due to your ownership, possession or use (including as a passenger) of any watercraft
  • Racing or taking part in a professional sporting activity, including training
  • Intentionally and recklessly placing yourself in circumstances, or undertaking activities which pose a risk to your personal safety (except in an attempt to save a human life)
  • Medical expenses in Australia.

If your sailing trip goes off the deep end, our Emergency Assistance Team are on call 24/7 to help get you back to cruising the seven seas. The EA team are available 24/7 to help in any kind of medical emergency, and ready to answer urgent questions.

Get a quote to get your next domestic or international adventure underway today.


Where can I go sailing or boating?

TID’s cover includes within coastal waters or outside coastal waters, but there’s no cover for travelling in international waters in a private sail vessel or privately registered sail vessel.

Am I covered if my sailing tour is cancelled?

TID offers cancellation cover under the ‘Cancellation and additional expenses’ section in respect of your planned trip if your pre-paid sailing tour is cancelled or restricted by your carrier or service provider because of severe weather or a natural disaster. 

What kinds of boats or sailing vessels will I be covered on?

TID offers cover for sailing or boating on commercial tourism vessels – it does not cover travelling in international waters in a private sail vessel or privately registered sail vessel. Check out the TID sports, activities and adventures article for more details around our types of coverage and what kinds of sports and activities we cover.

Am I covered if I’m competing in a sailing race?

You won’t be covered if you are participating in, or training for, a professional sporting sailing activity (although we do envy your full-time sailing lifestyle). Please note: Racing in a boat would not be excluded in every circumstance (because not all races are professional). In this case, if you aren’t racing but are engaging in a professional sporting activity, that is: a sporting activity where you are paid to participate, appear or train or where you receive sponsorship, income or prize money, regardless of whether or not you are a professional sportsperson, then you also wouldn’t be covered.

Also, if you plan to go scuba diving while sailing you won’t be covered unless you hold an open water diving licence or you’re scuba diving under licensed instruction.

What you should know before you go sailing:

  • We recommend you check the operator is licensed and wear appropriate safety gear. You may also require a licence to participate in some activities, according to the laws of the country you're in.
  • Plan ahead and ensure you have all the essential gear when going sailing. Have a checklist for proper clothing and footwear, important travel documents, pack a first-aid kit, and ensure you have enough food and water if it’s a longer sailing trip.
  • Ensure you have checked the weather conditions before setting sail. If there is a severe weather event that includes, thunderstorms, rough winds or sudden drops in temperature it might be best to stay on land and until the weather is adequate for sailing.
  • Make sure you are aware of the rules of sailing and use common sense. Inform yourself about potential dangers or challenges in your sailing area. Always obey navigation rules, especially traffic regulations, always sail at a safe speed, especially in crowded areas. Stay safe by keeping a good distance to other watercrafts.
  • Share important travel details of your sailing trip with friends and family. This float plan should include: the time and place of your departure, the length of your trip and the specific sailing route you will take.

The above features and benefits are a summary of cover only. Cover is subject to the full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement.

Where is the best place to go sailing?

Whether it’s right here in Australia or you’re planning on sailing the Mediterranean,  here are some great destinations you should check out:

  • Hvar, Croatia
  • Saint Martin, The Caribbean.
  • Saronic Gulf and the Greek Islands, Greece
  • The Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  • Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Canary Islands, Spain
  • Amalfi Coast, Campania, Italy
Last updated: 21 June 2023

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