Kayaking and rafting travel insurance

Coverage for your big adventure

For travelers craving adventure, few activities rival kayaking or white water rafting. While a trip to take on some of the world’s most impressive rapids is sure to offer an adrenaline rush, it also comes with a fair amount of risk.

If you’re gearing up for a kayaking and rafting trip, make sure you are covered by the right kind of travel insurance before you go. Remember that water sports including kayaking and rafting include an element of danger, so time should be spent researching the exact type of coverage you may need.

What does kayaking and rafting travel insurance cover?

To secure coverage for a kayaking and rafting trip, you’ll need a comprehensive travel insurance plan that also includes adventure sports coverage. Look for a plan taht automatically includes coverage for kayaking as well as white and black water rafting (up to grade 4 rapids).

Your travel insurance policy can also include key travel insurance benefits including, trip cancellation, trip delay, trip interruption protection, and baggage loss and delay.

For adventure activities like rafting and kayaking, it’s especially important to make sure your policy provides coverage for emergency medical expenses. Even if you’re traveling in your country of residence, there is no guarantee your private health insurance will cover you if you’re out of network, and many insurance plans may not be valid overseas.

Medical insurance from your travel insurance policy ensures that you will be able to receive the medical assistance you need without incurring large out-of-pocket medical costs. In addition, if you’re traveling in a foreign country and in need of emergency assistance, your insurance will usually provide an emergency assistance team who can help you find urgently required medical help. In a worst case scenario, emergency medical evacuation can also be included.

Top kayaking and rafting destinations

United States

Stretching for more than 200 miles across Arizona and Utah, the Grand Canyon National Park’s rapids are some of the best known in the US for good reason — the most famous stretch passes through the bottom of the awe-inspiring, steep-walled Grand Canyon.

Costa Rica

The Pacuare River’s class 3 and 4 rapids through lush rainforest with views of the Talamanca Mountains on the horizon make for a Costa Rican adventure sports highlight.


Starting from the Victoria Falls, one of the world’s largest waterfalls, a trip down the Zambezi River’s class 4 rapids are a must for any serious adventure traveler. Keep an eye out for hippos and crocodiles along the 15-mile-long stretch flowing along the Zambia Zimbabwe border.


Patagonia features on the bucket list of many a traveler and rafting through the class 3 and 4 rapids of the Futalefú River make for an unparalleled way to experience it.

What is not covered?

Like all adventure sports coverage, travel insurance for kayaking or rafting only covers those travelers doing it for leisure or non-professional purposes. In addition, insurers will often exclude rapids above a certain grade or degree of difficulty — rapids listed grade 5 or 6 are normally considered too dangerous to be insurable.

In addition, emergency medical insurance only covers medical treatment required in an emergency. Ongoing medical care or care for any pre-existing medical conditions may be excluded.

Good to know

Will my everyday health insurance cover me if I'm injured on a kayaking and rafting trip?

It depends — if your trip is in the United States, you may be able to use your everyday health insurance, but you may be out of network, and travel medical insurance coverage can protect you from unanticipated expenses related to your deductible and copayments. If you’re traveling abroad, it’s very possible that your health insurance won’t provide coverage.

Will I be covered if I have to unexpectedly cancel my trip?

Trip cancellation coverage varies depending on your policy. Many reasons for canceling are covered, such as if you fall seriously ill before your trip or there’s a death in the family. Airport closures and natural disasters may also be covered. If you want full flexibility regarding canceling your trip, consider purchasing cancel for any reason coverage.

Will travel insurance protect my baggage and gear?

Shop for a policy that provides coverage for damage, delay, or loss of your baggage, including sports equipment. You may be reimbursed up to the maximum amount laid out in your policy documentation.

Are all classes of rapids covered by travel insurance for kayaking and rafting?

Check the specifics of your policy. Some insurers exclude rapids that are class 5 and above due to the higher risk of accident and injury.

What if I need to be evacuated?

In the event of a worse case scenario, your travel insurance policy may likely cover an emergency medical evacuation which could be invaluable if you’re seriously injured in an accident and need medical evacuation to a hospital.

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