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Travel Insurance for Cyclists which covers cycle touring in Europe

  • 10-05-2023 1:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    Myself and a few pals are planning a self directed trip to Spain in October where we bring our bikes on our flight out to Barcelona, spend each day cycling an average of 80km to 120km zig zagging inland on our way to Alicante staying in a mix of hostels / hotels and camp sites and then fly home from Alicante.

    The trip will take just over a week and we want to make sure our Travel Insurance covers us but having spoken with VHI MultiTrip they confirmed Cycling, where long or extended daily cycles are involved, is not covered and you can't even buy it as an add on option. They only cover incidental cycling whilst on a trip e.g. hiring a bike for a day to do a bit of sightseeing.

    I spoke with Cycling Ireland (as I'm a leisure member) to see if they could point me in the direction of a provider who included cycle touring as standard or for an additional premium a la skiing thinking they'd surely be on top of stuff like this for their members but nope, they have absolutely no idea or knowledge of cycling friendly travel policies whatsoever and just wanted me off the phone as quickly as possible, completely disinterested.

    So, here I am looking for a steer from the cycling community here.

    All tips and suggestions gratefully received as I really don't want to have to call all the providers one by one to find a policy which includes cycling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,122 ✭✭✭nilhg

    My daughter has done some backpacking and a little bike touring and she used World Nomads, I got a quote off them when I was going for to tenerife one year but they were expensive compared to a small surcharge on my policy. Even though I was planning on cycling pretty much every day out there Multitrip had given me an assurance in an email that they would consider my cycling incidental to the trip.

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Mockba

    What do you need to be covered for ?

    I looked at the Worldnomads policy and this is waht you are not covered for. I would have thought no 2 and 3 were imprtant.

    Here are the main things that aren’t covered:

    • Biking/cycling/mountain biking professionally i.e. you are being paid or sponsored or competing at international events as a national representative.
    • Loss, theft or damage to your bike.
    • Personal Liability while biking/cycling

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭54and56

    Thanks Nilhg, my VHI MultiTrip doesn't have the option to add cycle touring as an optional surcharge. If they offered it to you previously I guess they've now stopped doing so?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,647 ✭✭✭54and56

    Hi Mockba,

    What I really want coverage for are:-

    1. Medical expenses if I have an accident whilst cycling.
    2. 3rd party cover if I end up causing an accident and injuring others or other people's property etc.

    I'm not worried about insuring the bike (I'm bringing a 5 year old bike worth max €1,500) as the risk of it being stolen is fairly low and it's not high value nor am I worried about my possessions being stolen as I'm travelling fairly light.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,946 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    aa used to on their highest level. I just looked at policy docs now and they cover mountain bicycling on tarmac and that's it. Whatever that means.

    However, they don't cover injuries for it.

    Its bizarre how winter sports can be easily covered, and they I imagine have a higher hit rate of injuries

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,122 ✭✭✭nilhg

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Mockba

    I think the one that nilhg recommended is the best for you then. And your E111 form.

    The insurance doesn't cover ccyling trips in the small print. I have done a bit of research on this ang coulnt find one to cover cycling or touring until I saw this one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,122 ✭✭✭nilhg

    Below is the text of the email I got from multitrip when I queried them, as I said I was going on holiday with the missus, staying in one spot, hiring a bike and going out for 3-7 hours most days (all of which would have been visible on strava). I paid for the upgrade to grade 2 just to be sure I was covered.

    If I was going cycling touring I'd be looking for a similar email, but cycletouring is a grade 2 in my current policy document, I've pasted in a bit of the list below. I'd be emailing any insurer the full details of my trip and getting an email back confirming it's coved before I signed up.

    World Nomads specalise more in this sort of travel and might be the best bet.

    Your CI licence covers public liability here at least, I wonder if it covers touring abroad? Might be worth an email to them?

    "• Boxing Training (no contact) • Bungee Jump (up to 3 additional) • Black Water Rafting (Grade 1 to 4) Life jacket and helmet must be worn • Camel/Elephant Riding/Trekking (non Incidental) • Cycle Touring / Cycling Holiday – helmet must be worn • Go Karting – wearing a crash helmet • Horse Riding – wearing a helmet (no Polo, Hunting, Jumping) • Hot Air Ballooning – organised pleasure rides only (non Incidental) • Hurling • Jet Skiing (non Incidental) • Martial Arts (Training only) • Mountain Biking – helmet must be worn • Parascending/ Parasailing (over water, non Incidental) • Rambling/Trekking between 2,001m and 4,200m • Safari (non Irl/UK organised) • Scuba Diving* (non Incidental/ down to 50m if qualified and not diving alone or accompanied by a qualified instructor (see notes below) • Sea Canoeing • Sea Fishing (non Incidental) • Surfing • Tandem Skydive (up to 2 jumps max) • Triathlon • White Water Rafting (Grade 4) – Life jacket and helmet must be worn • Waterskiing/Wind- surfing/Snorkelling (non Incidental)"

    "Hi John,

    Thank you for your email.

    If you are taken part in cycling for leisure or as a hobby when you are abroad this would fall under grade 1.

    If it an organized tour or holiday and you are taken part in an event you are going on it would then fall under our grade 2 for sports and activities.

    Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any further queries.

    Kind Regards,

    S K

    Customer Service Team."

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭Mockba


    I see that now, When I was looking it said I was covered for cycling but not touring. That quote looks like blue Insurance layout aswell.

    They may have change dto that. But I think you need to see what is covered in the insurance thta makes it bike specific and not just the same as you normal insurance or your E111.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,281 ✭✭✭Mercian Pro

    With Multitrip Cycle Touring / Cycling Holidays is classed as a Grade 2 Sport & Activity for which you pay an extra premium. You can save quite a bit by just specifying a single Grade 2 sport (cycling) rather than the whole lot but I seem to remember you need to do this on the phone and not online. I have their Premier policy (it's an age thing) but the cycle cover should be available as an extra on their basic policy also AFAIK.

    The most critical document to have with you in Europe is a valid EHIC card available free from the HSE.

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