Does Your Travel Insurance Actually Cover Cycling?


10.05.22 at 10:00 am

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

We can look at HSBC’s travel policy as a fairly typical example of a high street 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 “adventure racing, endurance events, 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 would not cover your emergency medical costs, or the costs of getting you home.

We’re not trying to single out any particular travel insurance provider. All of these exclusions are typical of a high street travel insurance policy, and come up again and again. These restrictions are not intended as “small print” to get out of claims, nor are any of these companies trying to trick you into buying something that doesn’t fit your requirements; these policies just haven’t been designed with cycling holidays or racing 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  €10,000+ medical bill because your policy didn’t cover mountain biking in Morzine or racing a triathlon in Mallorca.

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 your policy and you have the cover you need, there’s no reason to swap. We hope you have a brilliant time.

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 cycle travel insurance policies come with all the benefits you’d expect from travel insurance, including cover 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.

Most importantly, you are covered for up to £10 million in medical expenses and repatriation if you injure yourself while cycling abroad. Ironman, downhill mountain biking, endurance bike-packing, the lot.

Get an instant online quote  


The HSBC policy was accessed and all information was verified as correct on 10/05/2022

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