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Cycling holidays

Some insurers class cycling as an extreme sport, so not all of them will cover you as standard - it depends on what you've got planned.

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Updated 14 October 2019  | 4 min read

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If you’ve got anything other than a leisurely cycle ride planned, don’t assume you’re covered by your travel insurance cover.

Key points

  • If you plan on getting on a bike on holiday, but want to be covered by your travel insurance, you’ll need to check policy documents before you buy
  • You'll probably need extra cover for 'extreme sports' for activities like mountain biking. You can either buy it as additional cover, or find it wrapped up in premium policies
  • For things like tours or triathlons take out a specialist policy that covers you and your bike. It'll be better tailored to your trip

Leisurely cycling and your insurance

Standard policies tend to cover leisure cycling to an extent, but you'll need to check policy docs for any limits or exclusions.

For example, if you’re on a road trip, and have your bikes strapped to the roof of your car, don’t expect them to be covered against loss, damage or theft. They might be covered under your home insurance though, as personal possessions away from home - check to be sure.

Safety first: wearing a helmet

Insurance providers expect you to take steps to protect yourself, and that includes wearing a helmet.

If you’re involved in an accident and aren’t wearing a helmet at the time, you won’t be able to claim.

Mountain biking, touring and serious cycling

If you’re a keen mountain biker, you won’t be covered under standard travel insurance - it tends to be classed as an extreme sport so you’ll need to upgrade your cover to include it.

Some types of cycling, like touring and racing, won’t be covered under a standard travel insurance policy either. Usually, you either buy the extra activity as an optional extra from the insurer or get cover for a range of activities that are more dangerous than average.

You’ll be covered for things like medical expenses if you have an accident, or repatriation back to the UK if you need it.

But, if you’re touring on your bike, hopping between countries, or competing don’t assume you’ll be covered - even with additional cover on your travel insurance.

You’ll need a specialist cycling travel insurance policy to get the more extensive cover you’ll need.

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Specialist insurance for cycling holidays

A specialist bike insurance policy typically provides cover for 30, 60 or 90 days. You can choose a policy that covers a single trip or choose multi-trip insurance if you’ve got several cycling holidays lined up. Look out for limits on the number of days for each trip if you go for multi-trip cover.

You’ll get all the standard cover you'd normally get from a travel insurance policy, plus additional cover for your bike and to cover your tour or race.

These policies cover activities like:

  • Mountain biking
  • Racing or time trials
  • iTouring
  • Triathlons
  • Charity rides

Specialist cover

There are more bells and whistles with specialist policies, but you might pay more for them. Look out for these features:

Medical care

Emergencies, including dental treatment, plus standard cover you'd expect from travel insurance

Personal liability cover

In case you injure someone else

Cover in transit

If you’re bringing your own bike with you, make sure the policy covers it while it’s in the hold

Multi-destination

If you’re going across borders, your policy needs to reflect this. For example, if you’re going on a tour that takes in multiple continents, you’ll need a worldwide policy

Protection for your tech

Gadget insurance can protect GoPros, GPS watches and other tech you use during a ride against theft and accidental damage during your trip

Group cover

If you’re off on a cycling holiday with friends or family, you can usually buy a policy that covers all of you

Repatriation for your bike

If you can’t complete your tour, and your bike is stranded, your insurance can cover the cost of bringing it home for you

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