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Comparing cycle insurance and travel insurance

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, owing to its many financial, physical, mental and environmental benefits. As this passion for pedal power continues to grow, more of us are considering cycling holidays as a way of exploring other countries and soaking up new surroundings.

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist and love taking your two-wheeler abroad with you or you’ve recently taken up cycling as a hobby and want to test the roads on foreign soil, you’ll want to make sure you have the best protection for both you and your bike. This means staying safe while on the road and using appropriate security measures, but you could also benefit from some cycling insurance.

But what are the different types of insurance available for cycling holidays, and how can you find the right policy for you?

This article will attempt to answer these questions for you, by comparing cycle insurance with travel insurance and cycling travel insurance.

What is cycle insurance?

Cycle insurance is a standalone policy that protects your bike in the event of an accident, accidental damage, malicious damage or theft. The extent of a policy’s coverage will differ from provider to provider, but as standard you can expect your insurance to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your bike.

On top of this, you can add extra covers to your cycle insurance to pay out for personal accident cover, accessories, replacement hire and legal expenses. Worldwide cover is now included on all policies, which will extend your protection to cover any cycling holidays abroad. This cover is limited to 30 days abroad.

How is it different to travel insurance and cycling travel insurance?

If you want to take your bike with you when you travel, either in the UK or abroad, then you may wonder if your travel insurance provides enough coverage to protect you and your bike on each leg of your trip.

With a standard travel insurance policy, you typically have the option of single trip or multi-trip cover for up to a year, or backpacker cover for up to 18 months. On top of protection for trip cancellations, delayed or missed departures, lost, stolen or damaged baggage and passports, travel insurance is likely to cover you for medical and legal expenses and personal accidents.

Under this type of policy, you could get cover of £1,000 to £3,000 for all of your belongings. Within this, a bike would likely be considered a ‘single item’ with a claim limit of around £300 to £500. This may be enough to cover your bike if it was relatively cheap, but not if you have a high-range touring bike.

Man cycling across a town centre view from above

It’s important to note that for many standard travel insurance policies, mountain biking would not be covered as this would be considered an ‘extreme sport’. For most policies you can upgrade your cover to include this, but for an additional premium.

So, standard insurance could pay out some money on a claim for a bike that is stolen or damaged while you’re abroad, but maybe not enough to match what you actually paid for your bike in the first place. It could also help you with your medical expenses if you are involved in a cycling accident on your holiday, or even repatriation back to the UK.

However, you would have to read the small print on this type of policy, as cycling may or may not be covered. The cost and extent of your insurance coverage may also vary depending on where you are travelling to, as insurers typically separate ‘worldwide coverage’ into policies that include the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, and those that exclude them. This is because healthcare in these countries is usually more expensive than elsewhere, so coverage for these locations will be more expensive.

Cycling travel insurance, on the other hand, is a type of specialist policy that provides specific coverage for cycling activities abroad. This includes touring and mountain biking, which won’t be covered on a typical travel insurance policy as standard. It will cover you for your basic travel insurance as well as cycling-specific mishaps, and coverage limits for bikes and equipment are typically much higher on this kind of insurance.

Which policy is best for me?

With so many different options, it can be difficult to know which cycle insurance policy will work best for you. The truth is that whether you should get cycle insurance with worldwide cover, cycling travel insurance or just travel insurance will depend on the type of trip you have planned and the amount of cover you want for you and your bike.

Standard travel insurance could be enough cover for you if you only plan to do a little bit of leisurely cycling while you’re abroad. It’s worth noting that you should still get this type of insurance to protect you in the event of cancellations, travel disruptions and theft of or damage to your belongings. Cycling travel insurance will also provide these covers, but cycling insurance will not.

Cycling travel insurance is ideal if your holiday is specifically for cycling, and/or you are participating in ‘extreme’ cycling like mountain biking. However, as with travel insurance, this kind of policy only provides protection for travel purposes—what if you want to maintain your coverage for your cycle to work, or road cycling closer to home?

Standalone cycle insurance will cover you for theft and/or damage to your bike at home and while out and about, and even for 30 consecutive days abroad, as standard. This type of policy can be personalised to reflect the type of cycle you use. Whether you’re a passionate cyclist or a complete beginner, you could benefit from a robust cycle insurance policy that protects you both at home and away.

Cycle insurance with ALA

ALA offer robust cycle insurance for BMX, commuting, touring, e-bikes, e-bikes and road cycling. You can upgrade your policy to suit your needs and circumstances. As well as theft, damage and worldwide cover included as standard, we offer the following optional covers:

  • Accessories

  • Replacement cycle hire

  • Personal accident

  • Legal expenses

  • Public liability

A cycle insurance policy with ALA is completely flexible to bring you peace of mind no matter where you take your bike.