Ironman Triathlon Insurance

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You’ve picked your race, put in the training and now you’re ready to head off to the Ironman competition. While the odds are nothing will happen there is always a risk. Most travel insurances won’t cover you for Ironman triathlon races or even half Ironman triathlon races so you need specialist ironman triathlon insurance that won’t let you down if you go down.

For insurance, I am required to add the following disclaimer. “World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.”

Ironman Travel Insurance

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Since 2002, World Nomads have been protecting, connecting and inspiring independent travelers.

They offer simple and flexible travel insurance and safety advice to help you travel.

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World Nomads provides travel insurance for travelers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.

Ironman Triathalon Insurance Policies Change Constantly

I wrote this post when I was actively competing in Ironman triathlon events around the world. At that time World Nomads would cover these events, it seems that they no longer offer these policies for events in every part of the world, but as all things in the insurance world change constantly, please do your homework, check thoroughly.

If you’re competing internationally in Ironman races, you need good insurance.

Check the comments section on this page, readers have offered good information on insurance for Ironman triathlon events and Ironman travel insurance.

If you find a company that will insure us for Ironman triathalon, please do share your findings here to help us all in the Ironman competitor world.

FURTHER UPDATE: Further to the update below I can now say that as an Australia (and possibly NZ) policy holder they WILL cover triathlon up to Ironman distance if you select it as an add on part of your policy. I’m not sure why they have changed policy terms again.

Make sure you really check out what the latest update is before you commit to insurance. It probably won’t cover your bike as that would be a separate add on again. Thanks to reader Kerri for pointing this out.

IF you’re UK based the Triathlon section is broken up into 3 segments from sprint, middle and full. Double check that full actually means ironman distance and not olympic distance or that middle is half ironman not olympic.

It really isn’t clear and the insurance company will have the final say if you need to claim on your international Ironman triathlon. The full add on supplement costs more than a weeks worth of coverage so make sure it does cover you.

If you’re from the EU I’m afraid there is still no cover for triathlon with World Nomads that I can find. I guess this could change in the future but always check the fine print on any policy you buy.

World Nomads are still my preferred insurer for travel including altitude trekking in Nepal and long term travel with my family, and now I can again use them for my triathlon races, it would seem.

Ironman travel insurance for triathletes
Race ready for Ironman Phuket. Don’t forget your Ironman travel insurance.

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

ironman triathlon insurance
Not racing yet? I’ve made a pin for you to save for later when you’re ready to go.

Good luck with your race and good luck with getting your Ironman triathlon travel insurance. As I said before, there is some good information in the comments section to help you find triathlon travel insurance in Asia, the UK, United States and Australia / NZ. If you can’t afford the insurance you can’t afford to travel has always been our moto. The unexpected can and does happen.

I’m sorry about the constant updates to this post, there have been so many changes in how we get Ironman or half distance event travel insurance that it’s incredibly hard to stay on top of.

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Chef is James Long, a professional chef, world traveler and endurance athlete. He has spent almost a decade traveling and working internationaly.

10 thoughts on “Ironman Triathlon Insurance”

  1. Hi James,
    based on your article I wanted to get insurance with World Nomads for my upcoming Ironman. Than I had a look at their t&c’s and found that they do not cover races, no endurance events longer than marathon, no time trials etc.
    Since it didn’t explicitly excluded Triathlons I sent them an Email and asked. Here is the answer:

    “…

    I’ve just received an update from our underwriters who have advised that we’re unable to offer cover for the Ironman Triathlon which is excluded under What’s not covered – Specific Exclusions under Section 8 – Adventure, Work, Study & Volunteer of the policy wording:

    6. Racing, except on foot and up to marathon level; participating in speed or time trials

    …”

    So they really do not cover Ironman races!

    I don’t know if you are still with World nomads, but you might want to check with them too!

    It’s a real shame as I can’t find any insurance that covers my overseas Ironman…

    Reply
    • Hi Sebastian,
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to get back to me. It seems that World Nomads have indeed cut out the Iron distance coverage. Last year I raced at home so didn’t need their insurance. It seems a shame they have decided on this. With the sudden boom in people racing I wonder if they now don’t want the exposure for these events. I’ll amend the post and like you will need to look at finding new coverage for my next overseas Ironman. Even before there were few companies out there. Good luck with your race.
      Cheers
      James

      Reply
      • Hi James,
        yes, it’s a real shame! I have contacted a dozen insurances and they all either don’t cover Ironman races or I can’t sign up with them as I am not living in their country (e.g. Pedalcover in UK or Triathlon Australia, which offers insurance with a membeship) these options might be available for you though:)
        Are you planning on doing the Laguna Phuket Triathlon this year? I saw you’ve been there before.
        Cheers,
        Sebastian

        Reply
        • Hi Sebastian,
          Unfortunately I won’t be in Thailand year. They have now moved the Half Ironman from
          Laguna to up near Bangkok so it is just the odd distance tri there now. I guess I’ll
          be insuring with either Triathlon Australia or Pedalcovers UK now that no one want to
          insure us.
          Good luck with your races this year.
          Cheers
          James

          Reply
  2. There may have been a change? As at August 2019, World Nomads do appear to provide cover for amateur racing (at least under the NZ and Australian Policy). You can purchase an upgrade for triathlon (less than ultra) – it is a level 3 upgrade. Under the Policy Terms and Conditions, Section 8 – Adventure, Work, Study & Volunteer: “You can participate in an amateur race or competition (excluding any motorsports) as long as you’re not paid to participate in or train for the race or competition.”
    This would give you cover for medical expenses arising from a race (but most likely not damage to your bike – damage to sporting equipment while in use is specific exclusion 5 to Section 8 of the Policy).
    The wording noted above as specific exclusion 6 to Section 8 (6. Racing, except on foot and up to marathon level; participating in speed or time trials..) is not in the specific exclusions any more.

    Reply
    • Hi Kerri,
      Thanks for the comment. I’ve just had another look and indeed for Australian based policy holders it now does include up to Ironman distance if you extend the cover. It was roughly $70 for a 2 week holiday when I was checking myself. I wish they’d make up their mind. Thanks for letting me know and I’ll go and update the post again.

      Reply
      • All great comments, thank you for sharing this information. However, now as at current date (May 2023), after lengthly back on forth emails with World Nomad AUS to clarify the triathlon distance covered, it seems that it is not covered anymore:
        “According to our policy wording coverage for Triathlon is available in additional level 3 coverage on the policy if it is less than ultra distance.”
        “Outdoor endurance, multi-sport, triathlon (ultra distance or more) (X)” – not covered
        “Outdoor endurance, multi-sport, triathlon (less than ultra distance) (3)” – covered
        …”For a triathlon to be covered, the total distance of the event (including swimming, biking and running) must be less than the traditional marathon length of 42.195km. Anything over this length is considered ultra length, and therefore not covered.”

        Reply
          • Unfortunately, I have also just had the same response to my question about what “ultra triathlon” means, with that excluded from World Nomads additional cover (as at June 2023), and “ultra” not defined. World Nomads response by phone was that it was anything over 42.2km (yes, using same reference point as ultra running as being anything over marathon distance). Which then seems ridiculous and misleading to say you provide triathlon cover, as even the standard/Olympic distance isn’t covered (let alone a half ironman or full Ironman), with only sprint triathlon covered.
            I have dedicated the last couple of days looking (NZ), and can’t find any medical cover while racing (there is separate bike cover available that covers equipment damage during racing). Lack of medical cover is concerning seeing some of the awful racing incidents lately, and makes you question taking up a Kona spot if I can’t get insurance to cover potential US medical costs. Sigh!
            (If you’re living in UK, then there appears to be some options – Sportscoverdirect, Protectivity, YellowJersey, etc., and may Red Asia Insurance in Asia?)

          • Thanks for that information Kerri. I’ve just been looking at insuance for high altitude stuff too and World Nomads (with ad ons) seems to be the only one to cover that. It’s really complicated. I’ll check out those you mention.

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