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Does Your Travel Insurance Actually Cover Cycling?

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Isn’t all travel insurance the same?

Cycling holidays are brilliant. From planning the routes of your next adventure to packing your bike up in its box ready for flight. It’s pretty straight forward until you realise that your travel insurance doesn’t cover cycling….

So to answer the opening question, NO, not all travel insurance is the same! But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the most common mistakes people make and ensure that you get the right cover. Spoiler alert, Pedal Cover offer cycle specific travel insurance 😉

What is the main purpose of your trip?

While many online travel insurers may offer coverage extensions for hazardous activities such as cycling, it’s important to understand a significant detail that the insurers will base their assumptions on: What is the primary purpose of your trip?

If you’re reading this article, the chances are you’re planning a cycling holiday. Referring to a mainstream travel insurance policy, such as this one provided by Santander, they explicitly state under the sports and activities policy wording section:

Please bear in mind we won’t cover you if the activity is the main reason for going on your trip .” 

It’s safe to say that this would effectively exclude a cycling trip to Mallorca or mountain biking in Morzine from coverage.

Standard Insurance VS cycle specific insurance

Consider Santander’s travel policy, a common example of mainstream travel insurance. Although the main elements of the insurance offer a good standard of quality, they fall short when it comes to cycling.

Santander’s policy explicitly states, “We don’t cover competitions or races of any kind. This includes practicing for speed or time trials. We also won’t cover you if you’re taking part as a professional.” This means participating in a triathlon or even a training camp leaves you exposed.

NatWest’s premium ‘Black Travel insurance‘ echoes this sentiment, stating, “You are not covered if you take part in any activity, where such activities are undertaken for competitive or racing purposes.”

If you were to sustain an injury during any of these activities, your travel insurance wouldn’t foot the bill for emergency medical expenses or repatriation costs.

Let’s be clear here, this isn’t a critique of specific travel insurance providers I’ve mentioned in this article; rather, it’s indicative of the limitations of mainstream travel insurance. These exclusions are standard and recurrent across various policies. They aren’t buried in the fine print to evade claims, nor are insurers attempting to mislead you into purchasing inadequate coverage. These policies simply weren’t crafted with cycling holidays or racing in mind.

The reality is that cycling, like skiing, is a niche pursuit and somewhat hazardous. If you plan to engage in it abroad, you’ll need specialised travel insurance tailored to your needs.

Our top tips

Here’s some advice: never assume your travel insurance includes coverage for cycling. The last thing you want is to face a medical bill exceeding €10,000 because your policy didn’t account for downhill mountain biking in Morzine or participating in an Ironman triathlon.

Before you go away, take the time to thoroughly review your insurance documents. If the coverage specifics aren’t clear in the policy wording, don’t hesitate to reach out to your insurer and pose these crucial questions:

  • Does my policy cover me when cycling is the main purpose of my trip?
  • Does the insurer distinguish between different types of cycling, and does my preferred style fall under coverage?
  • Do I need to purchase an additional ‘add-on’ specifically for cycling, on top of my existing policy?
  • How does the insurer classify sportives? Are they considered recreational rides or competitive races?
  • If participating in races, are there any limitations on maximum distances or durations covered by the policy?


Are you sure you’re covered?

If you’ve reviewed your policy and confirmed you have the necessary coverage, there’s no need to switch. We wish you a fantastic trip!

However, if you find your current coverage lacking, you’ll be pleased to learn that our cycle travel insurance offers comprehensive protection for all types of riding abroad. Whether it’s a family holiday, charity cycle event, enduro adventure, or competitive race, we’ve got you covered.

Our short-term and annual multi-trip cycle travel insurance policies include all the standard benefits of travel insurance, such as trip cancellation coverage, repatriation assistance, and medical expense coverage. Additionally, you’ll enjoy cycle-specific perks like race fee reimbursement, emergency cycle rental, and public liability coverage—all included as standard.

Most importantly, our policies provide coverage of up to £10 million for medical expenses and repatriation in the event of cycling-related injuries abroad. Whether you’re tackling an Ironman, downhill mountain biking, or embarking on an endurance bike-packing journey, we’ve got your back.




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