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What travel insurance covers on a cycling holiday

Natali Mansberg's picture
Bicycles in Belgium. Cycle Traveller. Source: Shutterstock

It’s taken years to get here. You’ve trained, planned and packed for the ultimate cycling trip, and you’re raring to go. It may be the cycling tour you’ve been training towards, or perhaps you’re simply two-wheeling your way through a dream destination.

With all that planning you’d be forgiven if cycling travel insurance is the furthest thing from your mind. However, without it your trip could skid wildly out of control. Cycling travel insurance will stop a nasty injury blowing your travel budget way off course, but it’s important to get to grips with your policy before you hit the road.

Do you know if your policy covers you on a cycling tour, or for your bike itself? While the fine print between insurers differs slightly, here's a general overview of what is and isn't covered on a bike trip.

Cyclists on holiday. Cycle Traveller / Shutterstock

What’s covered?

Medical fees: In the case your entire peloton collides leaving you with a broken arm, bruised collarbone or worse, you can rest easy knowing your travel insurer will pay for your medical expenses. Considering that American hospitals can cost up to $13,489 a day, a comprehensive policy could save you a potential catastrophe.

Cancellation: If a natural disaster has delayed your flight and slammed the brakes on your scheduled cycling event, you’ll be covered for any event and accommodation costs. Additionally, you’ll be covered for cancellation if you fall severely ill.

Passport replacement: Here’s one to get the stress levels rising. Just as you’re due to fly home, your passport goes AWOL. Your travel insurer will cover the cost of organising an emergency passport plus any additional accommodation or transport expenses you may require.

Theft: Whilst you weren’t watching, your wallet was swiped! Inconveniences aside, your policy should you for reimburse any stolen items, provided you report it within 24 hours.

Liability: If you crash your bike and cause damage to another person whilst on your cycling holiday, take a deep breath – travel insurance will take care of your liability costs.

Bicycle touring in Switzerland. Cycle Traveller / Shutterstock

What’s not covered?

Your bike and its equipment: Got a swish, new set of wheels? Many travel policies simply do not cover for bikes or cycling equipment in the case of theft or damage. As an alternative you could look at insuring your bike under your home and contents policy. Before doing so, check that you are able to travel with the insured items and that they would be covered when you’re away from home.

Competitive cycling: Look out budding racing champs. You may not be Tour de France material just yet, but most travel insurance companies exclude cycling races from their list of covered activities. Clamp down your plans to compete in a race unless you’ve purchased a competitive cycling policy from a specialist insurer.

Reckless riding: If you’re a two-wheeled daredevil with a penchant for rogue riding and stunts, now could be the time to break the cycle. Insurance won’t cover you for dangerous and reckless behavior either on or off your bike. Additionally, not wearing a helmet will jeopardize your claim should you sustain an injury.

Bike hire excess: Many travel insurance policies cover for vehicle hire excess, but not for two-wheeled modes of transport. If you’re contemplating expensive bike hire be mindful that you will most likely need to pay a hefty excess should the bike be stolen or get damaged. 

Where can I buy travel insurance to cover my bike?

Losing momentum? Get up to speed by heading to to compare policies and see which super specialist bike insurers will cover you for your cycling trip.

Frequent cycle tourer?

Are you a frequent cycling tourist? If you find yourself taking a scenic bike trip a few times a year, then you could be better off buying a multi-trip policy which is usually cheaper than buying a new policy every time you go away.

Image: Source: 1. Bikes in Belgium. 2. Group of cyclists on holiday. 3. Bicycle traveller in Switzerland by Milosz_M. Source: Shutterstock

This story was kindly provided by Compare Travel Insurance.

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