Bicycle insurance is needed to cover cyclists from more than just a fall!

Thousands of cyclists are eagerly anticipating the start of the 35th Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour taking place in Cape Town tomorrow!

The 35000 participant 110 km Cycle Tour is the largest individually timed cycle race in the world. It is organised by the Pedal Power Association and the Rotary Club of Claremont, and monies raised from the entry fees are shared with community upliftment and cycling development projects, R3 million having been raised in 2011.   It is estimated that the Cycle Tour will contribute at least R500 million to the economy of the Western Cape, based on 2011 information.

Earlier this morning I smiles at the cartoon from my friend Deni Bown from Mama Taxi, focusing on the Cycle Tour as well. I deemed it appropriate to share a few thoughts on bicycle insurance, a topic well understood by most professional cyclists, yet not as well by most social cyclists.

What do we need to cover with Bicycle insurance?

If we look at the range of bicycles available today we can easily see why this has become such a valuable asset in the eyes of both cyclists and criminals. The best bicycles are to be found in a price range as high as many small motor vehicles!

We have also shared in a few earlier posts reports on the alarming increase in bicycle hijackings in South Africa. This threat is not one to be expected at an organized event – but there are many other risks…

The cyclist needs cover when racing, training, riding socially and also when transporting his bicycle!

Photo during cycle race by Denese Lups

So what are these risks to the owner of a bicycle?

–          Accidental damage and loss

–          Hijacking

–          Theft

–          Fire

–          Personal accident and liability

Both cyclists and bicycles needs to be protected

On the Arrive Alive website we have shared information and advice on cycling safety and placed a special focus on the safety of cyclists in uniquely South African conditions.

It is important to recognize the vulnerability of cyclists especially when sharing the road with many other road users. You may need to ensure that you have more than just protective clothing to protect you in the accidental fall!

Different bikes and different cycling codes may require special bicycle insurance

Keep in mind that we are all unique and our needs differ. The following questions may guide us to establishing what the specific needs are:

-Do you ride only socially or as a professional cyclist?

-Do you have an average bike or some kind of carbon –fibre “wunderbike”?

-Do you simply need coverage in the event that the bike is stolen from your garage or do you need comprehensive cover for the risks of falling from a major drop while doing mountain bike racing?

-Do you plan to take your bike overseas with you?

Advice and suggestions on bicycle insurance

Treat the insurance of your bike with the necessary attention it deserves! We would like to advise the following:

-Scrutinize your insurance policy and focus on the small details.

– In many cases, your household insurance can be upgraded to include coverage for bicycles.

-You may need to upgrade the value of your policy to provide adequate cover and specify your bicycle on the policy to make sure your Insurer will cover you.

– Enquire as to under what circumstances you are and aren’t covered.

-Pay specific attention to travel insurance and whether your bicycle is insured while travelling.

– If so, make sure you have adequate coverage for your bike as a single item and understand if there are exclusions you need to be aware of.

– Pay attention to the policies of Airlines with regard to lost / damaged baggage. Any single item is likely to only be covered to a certain amount by them and, subject to being adequately labelled and appropriately packaged.

-Ask if your insurance will cover your bicycle when you are taking it abroad

What do I need to know about insurance and participating in an event?

Most events will have stipulations and waivers you will find when entering the race. As part of your participation fee to enter many organised racing and participation rides it should generally cover public liability costs. Some will have a waiver clause and you should be aware of any waiver you sign and what it means for you.


Always compare the options and listen to other participants and ask them for advice. Cyclists are most often a friendly bunch eager to assist one another with the best advice. It is well worth the conversation to ask them how they are insured and why.

May you cycle with the peace of mind that you only need to fear someone passing you by on the road!

On the Arrive Alive website there are 2 sections well worth of your attention:

Cycling safely on South African roads and mountain bike trails

Cycling Safety Suggestions for South African Conditions

Also view:

Mountain biking community warned to be alert of counterfeiters targeting cyclists

Mountain bikers warned to be alert to the threat of bike jacking in South Africa

Photo during cycle race by Denese Lups

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