Leading online travel essentials provider, Essential Travel has launched a summer water sports safety campaign after research revealed that 40% of holidaymakers indulge in water sports activities abroad without checking if they have adequate insurance first.
Essential Travel’s “Sea Sense” campaign, which is being fronted by British Kite Surfing Champion, Kirsty Jones, encourages sun-seekers to plan ahead by offering 10% off all travel insurance policies.
Every year there are numerous reports of water related accidents from jet skiing, and surfing to scuba accidents. Stuart Bensusan of Essential Travel comments: “Often people on holiday throw caution to the wind when actually it’s the time to be most vigilant.”
In a recent in-house survey conducted by the travel insurance specialist, 40% of customers admitted to embarking on dangerous water sports activities while abroad without knowing if they had sufficient insurance.
In addition 56% confessed that they had been caught up in the holiday spirit and taken part in an unplanned water sports activity, demonstrating that it’s not just those who go on pre-planned water sports holidays who need to think about cover.
Bensusan, continued: “This is an incredible risk to take if you consider that the accident rate to UK citizens traveling abroad has doubled in the past 4 years with water sports being one of the main culprits”.
“We are trying to encourage consumers to really think about the risks involved in undertaking water activities abroad”.
“Many policies are invalidated if the correct equipment isn’t worn or when alcohol has been consumed. Many also don’t realize that if they are taking part in a sporting activity numerous times during their holiday they may need to increase their sports cover level.”
Even experts aren’t immune from accidents. Last year saw Britain’s Kite Surfing Champion, Kirsty Jones, save thousands of pounds after a serious kite surfing accident in Mauritius which rendered her with an operation for reconstructive surgery on her knee.
Jones comments: “As a professional athlete one of my greatest fears has always been injury. Whether a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, Sea Sense is about having respect for the ocean, elements, other water users and your own limitations. This means pausing to observe, think and acknowledge when the conditions seem too dangerous for you. Sometimes courage is about having the strength and sense to hold back, respecting the ocean instead of trying to fight with it.”
Lynda St Cooke from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Check the small print of your travel insurance policy to be sure that it covers all water sports activities. It’s all too easy to make a spur of the moment decision to hop on a jet-ski or hire a boat for the day, and realise too late that you’re not covered. Then you risk extortionate medical bills if something goes wrong. We see many cases of British nationals who have ended up saddled with a massive debt at the end of their holiday because their policy didn’t cover them for the activities they took part in. Visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel for more information on travel insurance and preparing for a holiday abroad.”
Essential Travel has launched a Sea Sense microsite in a bid to educate consumers about the potential risks involved. The site includes interviews with water sporting professionals such as Will Hayler, founder of the Ticket to Ride Group and championship Kite Surfer, Kirsty Jones. There is also the opportunity to win free kite surfing lessons with Kirsty Jones which will be hosted at the Ticket to Ride Surf Academy in Perranporth.
Customers can save 10% on insurance policies by accessing them via this educational site.