CTC’s top travel insurance tips

British holiday makers are getting on their bikes as never before. But CTC wants seasoned sportive riders heading for the Pyrenees and Alps, as well as cyclists saddling up for "staycations" to take a moment to think about insurance. 

Andy Hawes, CTC’s insurance specialist says: ‘Getting an insurance to cover your cycling trip here or abroad is a little more complicated than shopping around for a normal travel policy. Britons planning a cycling holiday will need to check the small print of their policy carefully. And certainly don’t assume that the annual family travel policy or the one provided through your current account will cover your two-wheeled adventures.’

Here is CTC’s guide to the trickier elements of cycling travel insurance that two-wheeled holiday makers should be aware of.

Certainly don’t assume that the annual family travel policy or the one provided through your current account will cover your two-wheeled adventures."

Andy Hawes
CTC insurance specialist

1. ‘An extreme’ sport - cycling is often listed under the ‘extreme sports’ section of many insurance policies. This rules out many standard travel insurance policies.

2. Incidental activity - many insurers word their policies so that you have the option of getting on a bike as part of your holiday leisure activities. The policy therefore won’t cover cycle touring or a sportive, if that was the purpose of your trip.

3. Sportive rides – cyclo sportives, like the legendary Etape du Tour or Marmotte, are often classed by insurers as competitive events and therefore not covered. Off the peg travel insurance companies will have little understanding of the nuances of cycling events, so if a sportive challenge ride is on the menu you will need to find a specialist insurance provider.

4. Taking the high road - if your cycling trip takes you through any high passes, say in the Alps or Pyrenees, then a standard travel policy won’t cover you at this altitude. Altitude specific cover is not even a possible to add on many policies. So check out a specialist insurer, if your route takes you somewhere that can be described as more than just hilly.

5. Off-road riding - if your passion is mountain biking or off-road riding rather than sleek tarmac, then you also need to take a closer look at your travel policy. Many policies don’t specify if off-road riding is covered, so it’s worth double checking even with specialist cycling insurers.

6. Helmets - will you need to wear a helmet? Some travel policies insist, whilst other insurers say wearing a helmet is your call, except where local law say you must.  Another detail to check, especially if your trip takes you to Spain or Australia, where it’s illegal to cycle without a lid.

7. That awful moment - team Sky had 16 bikes stolen in France earlier this year. Thieves took all their bikes, bar two, so it also happens to the pros. Double check to see if bike theft is covered by your policy. CTC’s travel insurance covers bicycle loss up £3,000 at no additional cost.

8. What about the bike? What happens to your bike, if you’ve had a bad accident and can’t continue riding? Many cyclists would find it hard to leave behind their bike. CTC’s members are not exception and that’s why CTC's Cyclecover travel insurance covers bike repatriation.

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