Do You Need Insurance For Your Bike Tour?

A lot of people don’t have insurance on their bikes for when they are at home, using home insurance floaters where possible or just hoping the measures they have taken to prevent bicycle theft are going to be enough. If you are planning a biking holiday or tour, though, you may be wondering if you should consider insurance above and beyond regular travel insurance.

Bike TourPhoto by Alexander Komlik

How Extreme is Cycling?

While you may think of cycling as a relatively safe activity to base your vacation around, or even a sedate one if you aren’t planning to push yourself too hard and just want to enjoy some nice scenery from two wheels, many insurers do not see it this way. While if you were going to be touring on a motorbike you would consider insurance an absolute essential and look for a policy that covered your needs as a biker, as a cyclist the risks may seem less significant. Many travel insurance policies do however list cycling as being up there with activities that would certainly be considered far more dangerous, like skiing or diving – basically considering it an extreme sport.

This means you may not be covered for problems encountered when cycling, or at least when cycling as the main activity on your vacation. Often policies are worded to allow some casual cycling around a city you are visiting – maybe for a few hours of your entire vacation – to be covered, but not cycling long distances every day. If your vacation plans can be classed as a bike tour, then, you want to check the wording very carefully to see where you stand as far as cover goes. You should also view the terms around your bike itself if you are taking your own with you rather than hiring or buying one on arrival. Just like other sports equipment like skis, it may not be covered as general ‘luggage’ by a travel policy, and you may want to insure your bike as property if it is very expensive.

How Badly Can Things Go Wrong?

Some reports say as many as 32% of long term bicycle tourers don’t buy additional insurance. This is often because with cycling, there is a sense that most things that can go wrong can be fixed without too much expense. Serious injury is rare, and getting treatment even for broken bones in many countries is not that expensive. A new bike can also usually be obtained fairly easily and without huge cost should something happen to yours. This attitude towards doing the tour accepting the risk rather than paying out for specialist insurance is okay under two circumstances – you know exactly what the risks are (for example how much healthcare costs in the country you are visiting), and that you really do have enough money to view having to buy a new bike or gear as being an unpleasant but manageable cost.

Of course, it is always better to be insured than not, and if you view the risks as affordable, you will probably find insurance even more so.

© 2014 Road Rage Cycling Blog