Bicycle touring holidays have surged in popularity in recent years, reflecting the huge increase in interest in cycling, helped by the success of professional cyclists such as Bradley Wiggins.
This summer thousands will head off for cycle tours in the UK and abroad on bikes worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds. But will riders have the right insurance if their bicycles get stolen, lost or damaged?
Get the good cover as well as a good helmet…
Cyclists have to be really careful when it comes to insurance. Some home insurance policies include cover for personal belongings when they’re taken away from the home as standard, but most don’t. And even if a policy does, many don’t cover bicycles, or only in a limited way.
The same applies to standard travel insurance which often excludes bicycles as they’re so easily and often damaged or stolen.
Cyclists may need specialist cover
What cyclists going on touring holidays really need is more specialist cover.
While some insurers offer travel insurance which is specifically tailored to cyclists and includes bicycles, for many cyclists even this won’t be sufficient and they’ll need stand-alone, specialist bicycle insurance.
Travel insurance versus specialist bicycle insurance
The big difference is that travel insurance policies tailored to bikes usually only cover a bicycle if it’s being used occasionally, or ‘incidentally’, while away, and not for touring purposes.
This is where the word ‘incidental’ comes in, which features in the small print of many of such travel policies.
Incidental use means occasional, recreational activity during a trip as opposed to regular use every day, which is the main feature of a touring cycle holiday.
Additionally, travel insurance which includes bikes usually has a fixed maximum claim limit for loss, damage or theft of between £500 and £1,000; certainly not enough for many keen amateur cyclists.
Specialist cover is more comprehensive
Specialist bicycle insurance is more comprehensive and allows for touring holidays (although there aren’t many specialist insurers that offer coverage while abroad).
Some offer unlimited claim limits for any bike, while others set a cut off at around £3,000.
A number of policies always offer new-for-old replacements and emergency cycle hire, but others allow for wear and tear and depreciation.
There’s commonly a maximum of 90 days allowed for trip, but with a few polices this might be 100 days.
You should expect to pay anywhere between £140 and £200 for a specialist cycle policy; yep, they’re not cheap!
Remember that nearly all policies insist that a bike is locked with a certified lock to an immovable object when left outside, and for many this will be for a limited time period only, such as 12 hours and/or not overnight in a built up area.
Getting it right
You need to decide on the scope of cover you need, taking into account such things as claim limits, length of trip, exclusions, locking and security clauses and new-for-old. Then check you’re happy a policy matches it so that you can buy cover assured that you’re getting what you need.
Policy Expert is an online insurer and broker, dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. Policy Expert is driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 22 June 2017