Does Your Travel Insurance Actually Cover Cycling?


01.07.19 at 10:00 am

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Travel insurance for cycling holidays


…until you discover your travel insurance doesn’t actually cover cycling.

It’s sad but true: many companies list cycling as a covered sport but double back once you read the fine print. Some travel insurance policies will cover leisure riding but charge extra for things like racing, touring and mountain biking.

HSBC’s travel policy is a fairly typical example of a highstreet travel insurance policy. It comes free with some of their bank accounts and a lot of our customers have one of these policies, but there are big gaps for cycling.

The HSBC policy offers no cover if you are “training for, or taking part in any race, time trial or organised sporting competition,” which means if you were taking part in a triathlon, or even just a training camp, you would be exposed.

Excluded activities in the policy wording include “endurance events” which could mean you are not insured while taking part in longer sportives or charity rides, along with “Marathon, Ultramarathon  [and] Multi-discipline events”. While an afternoon’s ride on a mountain bike would be covered, any trail not “graded as easy or moderate” would be excluded too.

If you were to injure yourself while doing any of these activities, the travel insurance wouldn’t cover your emergency medical costs, or the costs of getting you home.

All of these exclusions are typical of a high street travel insurance policy, and come up again and again. They’re not intended as “small print” to get out of claims, these policies just haven’t been designed with cycling holidays in mind.

The truth is that cycling as a sport is a niche hobby, and just like if you were going on a ski holiday,  you need a specialist travel insurance if you want to do it abroad.


Our advice: don’t assume your travel insurance covers cycling. The last thing you want is to end up with is a thousand-pound medical bill because your policy didn’t cover mountain biking in Morzine or taking part in a triathlon.

Before you set off, double check your insurance documents. If it isn’t clear in the policy wording, give your insurer a call and ask these questions:

  • Am I covered when cycling is the primary purpose of my trip?
  • Does the insurer differentiate types of cycling and is my chosen style covered?
  • Do I have to buy an ‘add on’ for cycling in addition to the policy I already have?
  • How are sportives classified? Are they a ride or a race?
  • If racing, are there maximum distances or durations?

Are you covered?

If you’ve double checked and have the cover you need, there’s no reason to swap. We hope you have a brilliant time.

But if you don’t have the appropriate cover, you’ll be glad to know our cycle travel insurance covers all forms of riding abroad, be it a family holiday, charity cycle ride, MTB adventure or competitive race.

Our short-term and annual multi-trip policies come with all the benefits you’d expect from travel insurance, including coverage for trip cancellation, repatriation and medical expenses. Plus, you get cycle-specific perks like race fee cancellation, emergency cycle hire and public liability included as standard.

Get an instant online quote  


The HSBC policy was accessed and all information verified as correct on 21/06/19

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