Travel Insurance: Just How Big a Boat Do You Need?

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We get a lot of calls and emails from travelers who are planning to spend some time in, on, or around the water while they’re on vacation.  At this time of year, especially, it’s understandable; who wouldn’t want to be enjoying the summer sun on a charter boat, or cooling off with a swim or a diving adventure?  As common as the yen to get into the water may be, though, it’s also a travel planning issue that deserves some special attention of its own — at least, as far as travel insurance goes.  During the summer and fall in particular (otherwise known as a little thing called “Hurricane Season;” you may have heard of it), there’s the very real possibility that any aquatic plans could be quickly sabotaged by high winds, torrential rains, and all-around dreadful and damaging weather.

If you’re a water-loving kind of traveler, you may be channeling Roy Scheider right about now: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”  That may work for you…but might we suggest a quick refresher in travel insurance instead?

Sure, we’re probably a little biased, but we do honestly happen to think that travel insurance is a good option to explore whenever you’re traveling, particularly if there’s a heightened risk that you’ll be waylaid by something like a hurricane.  Even if you’re not greatly concerned about the weather, however, there are some special considerations you may want to be aware of before you plan an aquatic adventure.  Some activities will require you to have specialized travel insurance, or may not be covered on certain policies.  Here are a few examples that many travelers probably aren’t aware of.

Charter Boats. Cruising is one thing; spending a couple of nights on a charter boat is another.  Most people assume that a boat is a boat is a boat, but it’s not always that simple.  Coverage for charter boats varies across policies and situations, and doesn’t necessarily look the same as the coverage for a cruise.   Be sure to speak with one of our Customer Care representatives when you’re researching your travel insurance purchase, and mention the fact that you’re chartering a boat, so you can get the full details on what may or may not be covered.

Scuba Diving. If you’re planning to take a dive, it’s crucial that you understand the limitations of travel insurance products before you make your purchase.  Many package policies will either exclude scuba diving altogether — meaning that if you are injured during the dive, your travel insurance supplier will not provide you with the benefits you would have had if the injury had occurred on dry land — or will only cover your scuba diving  adventure up to a certain depth.  You also usually have to be diving with a guide master in order to be eligible for travel insurance coverage for your dive.  It’s also important to know that these stipulations are only applicable to package policies; if you are purchasing travel medical insurance, you should also inquire about whether or not you’ll need to purchase an additional Sports or Hazardous Activity Rider to extend your travel insurance benefits to your scuba diving plans.

Professional Competitions and Racing. If you’re planning to take to the water for a competition of any kind, travel insurance unfortunately won’t cover those activities.  Any water sports that you undertake professionally while you’re traveling, as well as any races you may participate in, are excluded from coverage.  You can still, of course, purchase a travel insurance policy that will extend you the typical benefits for travel delays, cancellations, baggage loss, etc., to protect the rest of your itinerary; but for the time that you’ll be spending on the water, those benefits won’t apply.

If you have questions about how big a boat, er, travel insurance policy, you might need for your next wet and wild adventure, call our Customer Care Center at 800-487-4722., or contact us at


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