Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. I can tell you it’s painful.
I recently received an almost new 2018 Cervelo R5, purchased on eBay, as a gift, and took it traveling with me to Italy. Of course, I got travel insurance. I flew Elal, and carefully packed my bike in my Scicon Aerocomfort soft case bag. I have traveled this way for years without incident.
Unfortunately, I was not so lucky this time: The seat stay was cracked in two places during transit. Although I got documentation of the breaks while still in the airport terminal, the airline didn’t cover the damage, claiming limited liability that excludes sport equipment.
But, I figured, I do have travel insurance. To my utter dismay and vexation, PassportCard did not cover the damage either. Evidently, I hadn’t read the fine print – they too exclude coverage from sports equipment, including bicycles. I learned the hard way that when purchasing travel Insurance for a cycling tour, one has to find the specific coverage that one needs.
Bicycle frames are replaceable. Nevertheless, this is a nightmare situation for any cyclist. A new Cervelo R5 frame will cost upwards of $3,000.
CYCLE TOUR SPECIFIC TRAVEL INSURANCE IS ESSENTIAL
So, lesson learned: You must get cycling specific travel insurance that covers both you and your bicycle when you are abroad. The policy should cover accidents or damage to you and/or your bike when you travel. Look for a travel insurance policy that can cover the total value of your bike if it gets stolen or damaged. Look for cycling specific policies that offer the additional coverage you need, such as third party liability (this can cover the cost of claims against you if you injure someone or damage their property, e.g. if you crashed into a parked car,) and accessories coverage (this covers any bike accessories like protective clothing, lights or GPS if they are damaged and need to be replaced).
If you are not sure whether the policy is right for you, here are some questions you can ask: Does this specific itravel insurance cover cycling? Will I be covered – for medical expenses – if I crash my bike abroad? Will my bike be covered if I crash, and if yes, for what amount? Will my bike be covered in transit, and for what amount? What country or countries will the coverage include or exclude? Do I need to use a specific lock for my bike?
TRAVEL INSURANCE SHOULD PROPERLY COVER ALL MEDICAL EXPENSES, INCLUDING MEDICAL TRANSPORT
Of course, the travel insurance should also cover medical expenses, including rescue and medical transport services for tours that may take place in rural or remote areas. Ideally, you should have medical transport not just to a hospital, but, if needed, back to your country of residence.
So, which companies are the best? I’d love to hear your feedback and recommendations. Have you had a nightmare, or hopefully a story with a good outcome? Feel free to share your story in the comments section.