Sailing travel Insurance

Going sailing? Here are some fast facts to keep you anchored:

  • The most common injuries sailors experience are tripping and falling on or overboard. This could lead to head injuries, or fractures. 
  • Some of the world’s stormiest seas are Cook Strait in New Zealand and Port George LV in Western Australia.
  • Over a quarter of sailing injuries, like rope burn, involves handling ropes, cables or chains (or ‘sheets’) to control the sail. 
  • The majority of sailing fatalities happen to sailors who fall overboard while the boat is anchored or docked.

Keep reading to find out what travel insurance can help you with if you’re planning to go sailing this holiday.

What do we cover if you're going sailing?

If you find yourself in deep water, we might be able to help. 

  • Sailing is automatically covered on all of 1Cover's travel insurance policies. See the Policy Wording for details.
  • Ice-sailing is also covered, but you have to purchase a Winter Sports Pack.
  • For most policies (except Domestic policies), we provide medical and hospital assistance, and medical evacuation (if it's deemed necessary). 
  • Depending on your policy, you could also be covered for pre-paid activities that you miss out on because you’re unable to travel. See the Policy Wording for details.

what don't We Cover If you're going sailing?

You won’t be covered for anything arising from your sailing if:

  • You’re under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or drugs (except a prescribed drug)
  • You’re part of a competition or sailing professionally
  • You don’t follow instructions and/or wear the appropriate safety equipment
  • You sail with a pre-existing medical condition that affects your sailing and you never told us about it
  • You engage in sailing more than ten nautical miles off any land mass.


The one place to try first-time sailing

By Award Winning Travel Writer Ben Groundwater

Is there any purer pastime than sailing? This is surely the ultimate harnessing of nature’s power for your own enjoyment, the chance to raise a sail and set a course and let the wind do the rest of the work.

Sailing is also, unfortunately, often seen as a sport that’s only for the rich, or at least for those prepared to plough the bulk of their money into one passion. However, the good news is that that doesn’t have to be the case. There are avenues available for those who just want to sail as a part-time passion, who don’t want to own their own yacht but still want to get out on the open ocean and enjoy the feeling of freedom that sailing engenders.

And those avenues are available in the Whitsundays, the group of islands off Australia’s north-eastern coastline. Here there are several companies that offer “bareboating”: the chance to hire a fully decked out yacht, complete with food and drinks onboard, for any period of time you like, with no crew, and no skipper. That’s your job. You and your crew (or family).

You’re taking the wheel here and manning the ropes and sailing this thing for yourself. You’re cruising through this beautiful island chain under the power of the wind, watching for dolphins and even whales playing in the turquoise waters. You’re fishing, snorkelling, sunbathing during the day. You’re anchoring up at night in sheltered bays and enjoying all of that food and drink on board while you sit under a blanket of stars.

The sea is usually calm in the Whitsundays, with plenty of protection. The wind tends to be variable but steady. The other boaties are friendly. The anchorages aren’t too crowded.
There are few sailing destinations on the globe like this, a place that opens up the world of yachting to anyone who wants to take part.

DISCLAIMER: The views stated are the views of the author only, are written for entertainment purposes, and are not intended as advice in regards to insurance or otherwise.
Please note that no medical cover is available for New Zealand residents while sailing in New Zealand.

Stay safe: Sailing Top tips 

  • Check Weather conditions

    It might be obvious, but this is one activity that depends purely on the weather, so it’s advisable to check tides, swell and weather conditions before setting out. Generally beginner sailors don’t sail in exposed areas during rough or large seas.

  • Protect your back

    Sailing can seem glamorous but it can put strain on your back and joints. There’s a lot of bending, tossing, climbing, stretching and lifting. So, if you’re afflicted with any little injuries, be sure to treat them as soon as possible.  

  • Factor in the sun's rays

    The tried and true ‘slip, slop, slap,’ holds as true at sea as it does on dry land. The sun reflects off the water and can have even more of a burning effect. To off-set this, wear sunscreen, wear a hat, and use polarised sunglasses. 

  • know how to handle sailing gear

    While out sailing, it is crucial that you’re aware of the moving parts of your boat. This includes spars and booms, as well as anything that is not tied or bolted down. A sailboat is a machine in a constant state of motion, and everything on it is, in some way, moving and shifting. 

  • avoid alcohol

    Many sources say that the probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved. There are also studies that show that the effect of alcohol is increased by external factors such as sun and wind, so even if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is below the driving legal limit of 0.05, you might not be sober enough to skipper a boat.

Sailing FAQs

  • Will I be covered if i miss my sailing tour?
  • You would have a provision to claim for unused travel arrangements if you have to cancel your trip, or your trip is shortened due to claimable events such as your injury or illness, and the fees cannot be recouped from the provider. We do not provide cover for simply forgetting to turn up or misreading times, etc. 

  • Will I be covered if i have alcohol while sailing?
  • Your claim will be invalid if you are intoxicated whilst sailing. 

  • Is my sailing equipment covered?
  • Under the standard Luggage and Personal effects benefit we provide cover for sporting equipment that you own up to $750, but we don't cover the equipment while it's in use.  Note that we don't cover rental equipment.  We also do not provide cover for the boat itself. See the Policy Wording for more details.

  • How much am I covered for if something happens to me while I’m sailing?
  • As long as you don’t sail more than ten nautical miles off any land mass, you are within the parameters stated in the Policy Wording, and you don’t have a Domestic or Frequent Traveller Domestic policy, then the benefit we offer is unlimited. Terms and conditions apply. Please note that we don't cover for Search and Rescue. 

  • Do you cover ice sailing?
  • Ice sailing is only covered if you purchase a Winter Sports Pack

  • What if I need medical assistance after I’ve been Sailing? 
  • In an emergency, get yourself to hospital. As soon as it is possible, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team who will be able to liaise with you or the hospital.  



Find out More about...

Activities We cover

We cover 100+ activities. Find out all information you need about what’s covered and what’s not before you go adventuring. 

Popular Sailing destinations

Going to New Zealand, Thailand, the US or Fiji or Europe for a boating adventure? Find out more on our individual destination pages. 

Medical Questions

Have a pre-existing medical condition that might affect your sailing? Pregnant? Or want to know about repatriation? Find out everything you need to know here.