Insurance for Bicycle Tours

Getting insurance to cover your big bicycle tour is more complicated than buying normal travel insurance. Here’s what you need to know.

Just go straight

For your international bike tour, you’ll probably want at least health insurance in case something goes wrong.

1. Bike Touring Is An “Extreme” Sport (not really, but…)

We personally think bike touring is pretty safe but insurance companies see it differently. It’s frequently listed under the “extreme sports”  section of their policies. That rules out many generic backpacking policies.

2. Bike Tours Can Be “Too Long”

If you’re bike touring for 90 days or less, it’s easy to find insurance. Even finding policies of up to 1 year isn’t too hard. For more than 12 months, however, you have to focus in on a specific set of long-term policies and – hopefully – find one that will let you renew the policy from overseas. This page focuses mainly on insurance for extended tours of several months.

3. Bike Touring Is A Constant Activity

Sometimes insurers will word their policies so you have coverage for bike touring, but only as an incidental activity. That means it shouldn’t be a major part of your trip. If a policy has this wording, it won’t be suitable for most bike tours, which involve daily cycling.

Who Will Insure Me?

Flying around a curve

Cycling remote roads in New Zealand.

With all of these challenges, who does sell policies for bike touring?

In March 2011, we ran a survey of bike tourists who’d been on long tours to ask their advice. We had 25 answers from around the world (America, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, Australia…) and here’s what we found out.

32% Had No Insurance – This surprised us! We no idea that so many long-term cyclists don’t buy insurance at all. “We did it on a wing and a prayer,” said one person. The theory behind having no insurance goes a bit like this.

  • Disaster is unlikely. Insurance companies don’t make money unless the vast majority of people never make a claim, so luck is on your side.
  • When there is a problem, it’s likely to be small and cheap to sort out on your own. Indeed, in places like Thailand healthcare is relatively affordable and paying for small medical checkups, minor ailments and even something as serious as a broken leg shouldn’t impose a financial burden.

The risk is that if you are unfortunate enough to truly encounter disaster, not having insurance could mean that you don’t get to good treatment quickly. It could also place a substantial stress on your family.

Insurance Companies Used By Bike Tourists

Of those who did have insurance, the companies they used are listed below, separated by country of residence. The list begins with an “International” category for policies or companies that work in multiple countries. Where we’ve easily found relevant information on the policies, we note this.

Most of these policies cover medical emergencies as well as some basic provisions for theft and loss of personal possessions.

*Keeping this list up to date and researching each policy is a big job for just 2 people running a blog :) If you have information to share, please leave a comment and we’ll use the comments to update the list.

International

  • IMG International Medical Group (used by Family on Bikes)
  • Mondial Assistance
  • World Nomads – For people living in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. British residents can only purchase World Nomads insurance for single-continent bike touring. (Used by Going SlowlyTour.tk had a negative experience.)
  • World Escapade – A Canadian broker, offering cover for citizens of many countries.
  • World Wide Insure – Policies for residents of many countries. One UK resident (Lee Hughes) asked about a policy for a long bike tour and was told of a Longstay policy with a maximum of 18 months cover. A recent change to their underwriting means extended trips will incure a surcharge.

Australia

The Netherlands

  • Joho Special Isis – This policy is good for anyone with a postal address in the Netherlands, and who plans to start and end their trip in the Netherlands. It can be purchased for up to 4 years. You don’t need a Dutch passport or to have domestic Dutch health insurance.
  • Europeesche

Slovenia

  • Coris (not recommended by the person who used them)

UK

  • British Mountaineering Council – This is the company that insured us for all 3 years of our 2006-2009 world tour. Their policies are changing and they are now reluctant to insure anything other than short breaks away.
  • Campbell Irvine (used by Rolling Tales)
  • ETA – Only covers up to 60 days worldwide (90 days in Europe) but if you can cope with the timescale then they do have some nice features, such as insurance for the bike itself.
  • Insure and Go – Policies of up to 18 months under their backpackers policy (used by Bike About).
  • Navigator Travel – This company seems to be used by a few bike tourists, judging by emails we receive. “I’ve got 6 months cover including cycle touring and I can extend it by phone while I’m away, if my plans change.  The price was really good and they insure up to age 64 which solves one of the problems I’ve been hitting in my searches,” says Ann Wilson.
  • PJ Hayman
  • Rock Insurance

Questions To Ask

No matter which company you go with, when you’re comparing policies and prices ask questions like:

1. Does your policy cover cycle touring as a primary form of transport? Many travel policies aimed at gap year trips and backpackers only cover cycling as an incidental activity, not a primary one.

2. Can I renew this policy after one year and from abroad? For longer expeditions, this question is especially important. Some policies cannot be renewed or only from your country of residence.

3. Will my policy be invalidated if I return home for a visit? The fine print may state that your policy becomes void if you go back home, even briefly. Because our trip started with a London-Montreal-London flight and then on to Europe, we had to exclude many potential policies.

4. How long can I be away in any given period? Some ‘year policies’ only allow you to actually be away for a certain number of days in that year.

Beautiful bike, beautiful landscape

Cycling the back roads of Spain.

Check as well to see what is already covered by insurance you already hold. House insurance frequently provides some coverage and we met a New Zealand cyclist doing a tour of her home country, who said her car insurance included a break-down service if something happened to her bike!

Forget About The Bike

Many first-time bike tourists get hung up on finding cover for the entire value of their bicycle. Insurance for high-value bicycles is, however, expensive and hard to find in most countries.

All in all, the risk of having your bike stolen on tour is quite small, so this is one risk it’s probably best to just guard against yourself by taking basic precautions against bike theft.

Other Resources:

Comments

  1. Andy
    6th December 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the advice, wouldn’t have considered this aspect of a tour unless I hadn’t stumbled across it on your site…

    Andy

  2. Clare
    4th January 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    I tried to get insurance for cycle touring using both World Nomads and the BMC without success: The WN’s policy wording specifically excludes bicycles amongst other items! How much more nomadic can you get on a self-supported cycle tour? The BNC at the moment only appear to cover climbing, trekking and skiing. A plain policy is for a single trip only. I therefore recommend the Cycle Touring Club, which although expensive, do cover cycling touring, with a limit of up to £1500 for a bike, and includes repatriation of both you and bike if necessary.

    • Tom
      28th January 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      If you read the small print, you’ll find that the BMC’s trekking policy covers cycle-touring. Hope that helps!

      • David Lam
        10th February 2011 at 12:12 pm #

        BMC no longer covers cycle touring from Jan 2011.
        The’ve just told me!
        They did give me however a list of brokers:

        Adrenaline Travel Ins. 0845 260 1574 ##
        & Perkins-Slade Ltd. 0845 260 1574
        Aon Risk Services 0845 6012222
        Bordengate Ins 0845 6580560
        Campbell Irvine Ltd 0207 937 6981
        Crispin Speers Ltd 0207 977 5700
        Global Travel Ins 01903 203933 ##
        Harrison Beaumont Ltd 0870 1217590
        P J Hayman & Co 0845 2601587
        MRL Ins Direct 0845 676 0689/0691 ##
        West Midland Brokers 01432 268301
        Perry, Gamble Ltd 01404 830100
        Snowcard/Activecard 01327 262805
        Top Dog Ins 0800 0936686 ##
        Insure & Go 0844 8882787
        Go Travel Ins 0844 4820880
        Travel Ins. Discounts 0845 8035434
        Sportscover Direct 0845 1206400
        Dog Tag Travel Ins 0870 0364824
        Insure More 0870 0540162
        J S Insurances 0870 7556101
        Planet Earth Ins 0161 439 0333 ##
        BUPA (UK) 0800 00 10 332 ##
        BUPA (International) +44 1784 410910
        IHI / BUPA (Denmark) +45 3315 3099

  3. friedel
    10th February 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    David, thanks for this. I’m going to call the BMC myself tomorrow to get confirmation. This is odd because I had an email conversation with them about a month ago and they said they DID cover bike touring. Urgh. Insurance! I don’t think there’s anything more frustrating about a long bike tour.

    Friedel

    • Lee Hughes
      17th February 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Hi Fridel,

      Did you speak to the BMC?

      • Chris
        19th February 2011 at 11:49 pm #

        Hello, I’ve been battling to find travel insurance for the last week or so.
        To expand on the BMC’s coverage of cycle touring; I noticed that their website still appears to state state that they cover cycle touring on their trekking policy if you note the small print here: “http://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/insurance/Policies.aspx” under “Other sports covered”. I haven’t got round to ringing them yet, but hope this info is useful.

    • Pauline
      24th June 2011 at 4:21 pm #

      Last year (2010-2011) we insured ourselves via the BMC for 8 months in South America cycling off road at altitude. This year they have changed their insurance company and the ‘Rock’ policy will no-longer cover us for a full 8 months in Australia /New Zealand – trips are limited to 45 days per individual trip. I am waiting a reply from their advisor as to whether or not they can insure us, but in the meantime I have tried PJ Hayman and they can do it via their Long Stay policy.

  4. Chris
    19th February 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    … embarrassingly I’ve just noticed that someone else has already written about this above, so… sorry about that!

  5. Friedel
    20th February 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Hi all – I have tried to call my contact there but seem to have missed him. I’ll try again next week.

    Chris, don’t worry – insurance is a minefield!

    Friedel

  6. Chris
    22nd February 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Hi guys,

    I’ve now been in touch with them over the phone. They were able to confirm that they do still cover cycle touring under their trekking policy (I was looking at a 12 month single trip policy). They said that their underwriters may not have agreed on additional sports coverage by Jan 2011, thus the reason for the initial confusion… or something of that ilk. But they assured me that they do still cover cycle touring.

    However!… whilst they do cover cycle touring, they are not comfortable with covering long distance i.e. round-the-world type trips much to my frustration. I was advised to email my trip details to them (I’m doing a round the world trip of sorts from May onwards) anyway to see what they think. So, short trips fine; longer trips, email them before getting a quotation ([email protected]).

  7. Friedel
    22nd February 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Thanks Chris. I’m currently conducting a survey of bike tourists who have recently done big tours and it’s turned up a couple interesting options for insurance, which I hope to publish early in March.

  8. Radka
    7th March 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Hello everyone,

    I am also doing a research to find the most suitable insurance for bike touring.

    The length of our trip can be anything from 1 – 4 years.
    We intend to visit the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, some Central Asia countries like Iran and South East Asia.

    If anyone has any up to date info, please let us know.

    Thanks

    Radka

  9. Nico
    11th March 2011 at 8:21 am #

    The timing of this post could not be better! I’m leaving for the Americas next month :)

    I think I’ll go with BMC.

  10. Lynzi Ashworth
    11th March 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Hello

    The ETA travel insurance covers cycle touring they also sell specialist cycle insurance that covers you and your bike that covers bikes up to £4000 anywhere in the world.

    Lynzi

    http://www.eta.co.uk

  11. Chris
    13th March 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Great to see the new list up. You may be interested to hear that I took a bit of a wild card in the end and went with STA Travel. Their policy covers world wide cycle touring for up to two years on a single trip. I’m still double and triple checking the small print though to make sure there aren’t any catches during the cooling off period.

    I have reservations about using them associated with numerous horror stories and dodgy rip off products; but I had a friend working for them whose offer of a 40% discount made it a pretty done deal.

    This said; even without discount it seems fairly reasonable versus some other policies I’ve checked considering what is included. It also includes personal liability cover… something I found quite hard to get included on other policies.

    Find it here: http://www.statravel.co.uk/blue-travel-insurance-cover.htm

    You have to take out the blue “premier” insurance with the cycle touring package.

    Hope that’s useful. Do let me know if you happen to find some critical flaw in my choice.

  12. Amaya
    27th March 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    We use AVI: http://bit.ly/cheaptravelinsurance

    It’s based in France but covers people from most nationalities.

    We began with World Nomads (and were satisfied) but after major rates hikes we switched.

    AVI has reimbursed us without problems for medical AND dental treatment (they accepted that it mas an ’emergency.’

    I feel rates are reasonsble (given our age bracket) at 45 euros per month.

  13. Helen
    4th April 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    I used American Express for my 2-year cycle trip through Africa. It was the only company I found that covered a 2 year trip away cycling. Very easy to arrange but never had to claim (thankfully).
    When I was researching, I phoned BMC and they said they couldn’t cover me and that was back in June 09.

  14. Nico
    6th April 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    I got an email today from the BMC saying that the intercontinental aspect of my trip would not be covered.

    I’m taking a look at STA.

  15. shazzer
    9th April 2011 at 5:28 am #

    Hi!

    I sure do enjoy your website, thank you so much! On the travel insurance end of it, I know that in Canada my bicycle is covered by my house insurance. I do not know if that is true anywhere else! Something to look into.

    Cheers!

  16. Ross Tierney
    14th June 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Thanks so much for posting this! I’m starting a tour this week and this has been totally helpful!

    Happy Riding!

  17. Emily Hodge
    1st July 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Hello, Has anyone heard of either multitrip, or incite. They both seem to offer very cheap insurance for long trips in comparison to others i have found but i am sceptical and the small print is really difficult to grasp! I think for a year, Multi trip – with a cycle touring option selected – works out as £360 for a couple.

    Any feed back would be great. We set off in August and have been putting off the pain that is travel insurance!

    • friedel
      1st July 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      I just had a quick look at Multitrip and their T&Cs seem to indicate that they would only cover bicycle touring as an INCIDENTAL activity, which means their insurance wouldn’t be suitable for a trip where your main intention is to go bike touring. Call them to double check this, but that’s how I read it.

  18. Steve
    1st July 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Thanks for posting this list. This is very helpful! I was leaning toward World Nomads for a 6-months to 1-year trip through Europe and Africa starting this fall. Now I’ve got a couple other options to look at.

  19. chris
    2nd July 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    “Insure and Go – Policies of up to 18 months under their backpackers policy (used by Bike About).”

    They only cover people who are 35 and under. Not applicable to people like myself who are over 40!

    • Chris
      22nd July 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      Chris – I am with IAG and have a multi trip annual policy . . I am covered for my short trip in the north of Spain except for personal liability ( claims made by others) and permanent disablement.

  20. Nancy Peterson
    4th July 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Just an FYI – we are Australian citizens and are investigating travel insurance at the moment to cover our cycling tour as we head from Australia to SE Asia. I have just spoken to World Nomads and they confirmed to me that they will not cover losses/claims that occur if cycling is your primary form of transport (ie cycle touring). They will apparently cover losses if you are hurt while cycling if you are just on a day ride or so, but not if you are a cycle tourist.

    It’s possible that different types of coverage would apply if you are resident in a different country but I would be wary of using them to cover any cycle tour without getting confirmation in writing.

  21. Mark
    20th July 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m trying to find an insurer that will cover personal accident and liability… so far I cannot find one, or I CAN find one but I must have been resident in the UK the last 6 months to be eligible for it – and I have not been.

    I guess on a bike the damage that I would do to a car is likely to be minimal, but should I be looking for such coverage in my travel insurance, or is there another policy I should take out for this?

    I’m a UK citizen but start my trip (to Japan) from Malaysia…

  22. Mark
    20th July 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    If it’s of any use,I am currently leaning towards this policy:

    http://www.worldwideinsure.com/longstay-travel-insurance-overseas.htm

    It suits me as I am currently out of the UK. Quote for me was 196 pounds for 4 months, which seemed reasonably competitive. I was told that it does cover cycling as PRIMARY activity.

    I still wonder about personal accident and liability though…

    • Ryan
      6th September 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      I just emailed Worldwide Insure (twice, to check) and they said that a recent change to their underwriting means that for cycle tours of longer than 31 days, an additional premium is required. £12 per month if in Europe, £22 per month elsewhere. This makes a big difference to a previously great deal! Recreational cycling is still listed as being covered as standard though in their small print…

      Also, although you can start the insurance halfway through your trip from anywhere in the world (for a UK citizen at least), you have to buy a policy that will cover you until you return home. This needs to be within 18 months.

  23. James
    26th August 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    I Thought I would chip in with my experience of getting insurance for my upcoming trip. I’m British, leaving from the UK on an extended trip that may last a couple of years or so.

    I’ve gone with World Wide Insure, their policy suited me best as its initial 18 months can be extended when away, covers unlimited cycle touring days and allows for trips home for funerals etc.

    I phoned BMC and they told me they are no longer covering cross continent trips on their Trek policy. The person I spoke to said something like it would cover shortish trips of two/three weeks for people who are taking time away on their annual leave but not extended trips. He said they’d had an increasing number of cyclists using it over the past couple of years but it wasn’t really designed for cycle touring.

    Trailfinders said they would cover me for cycle touring at £500 on a 12 month policy that could be renewed when away so that may be useful for some people.

    Axa would cover for cycle touring on a 12 month policy but had to start and end in the UK and couldn’t be extended.

    Dogtag would cover for 18 months but this couldn’t be extended. Same with Insure and Go.

    PJ Hayman would not cover for an extended trip.

  24. Zac
    24th October 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    I looked at Worldwide Insure for my trip leaving next May – was originally going to go with them as on the face of it they offer the best deal but as mentioned above by Ryan they require substantial additional premiums for cycle touring (recreational cycling is OK, but cycle touring is NOT classed as recreational cycling) of £12 p/month in Europe and £22 p/month elsewhere, which doubles the cost of a year-long worldwide trip. Pretty glad I e-mailed them to check!
    In the end I decided to go with Insure and Go – their Bronze Backpacker Insurance includes unlimited cycle touring, although they don’t offer liability and accident protection, just medical insurance (the main thing I wanted) and the usual baggage/cancellation stuff. It cost me £260 for an 11 month policy with an excess waiver (the excess is normally £150 per medical claim, so the extra £30ish seems well worth it!). They charge more by phone but you can ring them up to double check everything and then just buy the same thing online for £40 cheaper.
    Fingers crossed I won’t need it but its nice to know I won’t be hit with any medical bills if something does go wrong.

    • Sarah
      8th November 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      Hello, all this info is hugely useful thank you! I’m currently looking for insurance to cycle through Central and South America. I checked out the Insure and Go Bronze Backpacker policy on Zac’s recommendation and have been told that it does cover personal liability (£2 million) and personal accident (£10k). They also offer a 5% discount for couples.

      • Zac
        8th November 2011 at 1:22 pm #

        Are you sure? When I asked them over the phone they said that while personal liability/accident was covered under the policy generally it only extended to recreational cycling, not cycle touring.
        If this isn’t the case then I’ll be very happy as it would be an added bonus for me!

  25. Sarah
    10th November 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi Zac, sorry false alarm, only covered whilst not cycling! Annoyingly they didn’t point that out to me but I have since called and clarified. Hopefully none of us will need any of it anyway : )

  26. André Cerri
    1st February 2012 at 3:32 am #

    Can´t find a friendly insurance company for a brazilian couple beggining a RTW bike trip next March! Any tips?

  27. Rosie
    5th March 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    This thread has been incredible useful – thank you. Just got off the phone to Campbell Irvine – they confirmed that they do cover for personal liability for cycle touring. Cover is expensive (£360 for 5 months for Canadian trip) esp compared with insure and go.

  28. Shane
    9th March 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I also went for worldwide insure because despite the extra costs for cycling touring they where still one of the cheapest and one of the few that would do 18 months with a possible extension during the trip.

    Their email responses where also quick so that gives me faith that I can talk to a human when it all goes wrong…

    My brainstorming during the process of navigating the insurance minefield is on my site :)

  29. keith
    16th March 2012 at 4:38 am #

    RE: World Nomads

    Agree with Clare. Policy wording specifically excludes cycle touring. Also not covered is damage caused by a public carrier (planes, trains, buses etc!) and loss by theft is excluded too.

    • friedel
      6th April 2012 at 7:41 am #

      The World Nomads policies vary, depending on where you’re from. I just checked the Netherlands and Britain and cycle touring is covered for residents of both countries. You can check your country here:

      https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-insurance/adventure-travel-insurance.aspx

      As always – read the fine print for the full details! UK residents, for example, are not covered for inter-continental touring with World Nomads.

  30. Kate
    13th April 2012 at 12:14 am #

    I am going on my first cycle tour in June heading off round europe for a while no fixed time scale and i am looking into travel insurance. I am currently checking out duinsure. Has anyone used them? i sent them a quick email today to ask if they would cover cycle touring and got this respose

    Hello,

    Thank you for your email.

    We do cover Cycle Touring at no additional cost to our premiums however Personal Accident cover and Personal liability cover are not in place although your medical cover remains in place at all times.

    We can insure the Bike as a specified item based on a 4 month policy the cost would be 6% of its value up to a max of £1000.

    Please find attached our policy wording which gives you our terms and conditions and also a breakdown in the schedule of cover.

    Should you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Regards

    Deborah Boyd
    Sales & Customer Service Manager
    Tel 0800 393 908
    Fax 020 7402 9272

    i havent had the chance to go over the policy with a fine toothed comb yet but it looks promising.

  31. Lewis Davison
    20th June 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    I’m just about to set out on a RTW tour, starting with the TransAmerica Trail next weekend and have been looking for insurance to cover my bike itself (Personal insurance isn’t such a task).

    Having looked into it, many insurers cover worldwide up to 45 days or 60 days, but http://www.cyclecover.co.uk cover up to 365 (with the option to renew) allowing for extended touring. For a value of £2000 the premium is £170, but you need to be a member of the CTC which is £39, so just shy of £210 for a whole years cover.

    They asked if I have return flights, which I do not (onward from USA to Australia) and this isn’t a problem. All I need to do is purchase a ‘sold secure’ gold rated lock. The terms seem pretty reasonable (cover while camping etc) also.

    It would be interesting to hear if anyone has any experiences with this insurance, as it should be reputable enough being through the CTC….or if anyone has used any others that offer such a length of cover.

    I believe CTC as part of membership offer third party insurance, but need to check whether this extends worldwide.

    Cheers

  32. Nicholas Gault
    25th June 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Another thing to consider is Search and Rescue if you do any mountain bike touring (e.g. Tour Divide); not sure if World Wide Insure cover that. Seems that Insure and Go you need to declare it.

    Anyone got any tips on this?

  33. paul
    15th September 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi, just a quick update.Tonight I went to the “world care” site to see if I could get travel insurance for myself and my bicycle for another trip to Japan.This is underwritten by Allianz and they no longer cover bicycles. So it is back to the drawing board for me.

  34. Gili Rosenberg
    13th November 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    What about travelling to areas with a travel warning? I assume this is an issue that many long distance cycle tourers face, especially in Africa.

    All the insurance companies I’ve looked at won’t insure me if I’m travelling to a country or region with a travel warning (from my country of residence – Canada). Does anyone know of an insurance company that will agree to cover this? There appears to be a possiblity of creating a personalized insurance policy that would cover this (a “bespoke policy”) but this would likely be very expensive.

    The other option is to travel (at least to these regions/countries) without insurance, but this does not seem like a good idea.

    • Steve
      13th November 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      May or may not be helpful to a Canadian, but as a US citizen I went with the International Medical Group. They said they would not cover “Political Evacuation and coverage for illnesses or injuries as the result of Terrorism” while I was in a country or area with a US Dept of State travel warning, but all the other coverage would still apply and everything would resume once I traveled out of the area.

      I never had occasion to test whether they would actually follow through on that, but it seemed promising.

      • GIli Rosenberg
        14th November 2012 at 11:06 pm #

        Thanks, Steve: I just checked their policy, and it appears to be significantly more expensive than the other policies I looked at, by a wide margin (around double). But at least it seems that they would cover us, and that’s a great start! :)

        Any other leads, anyone?

    • friedel
      16th November 2012 at 8:48 am #

      I think that it depends on the degree of the warning and also sometimes the warning is regional; for example in Iran you cannot travel to the border area near Pakistan but the rest is fine.

      • Gili Rosenberg
        16th November 2012 at 10:32 pm #

        I contacted IMG and they indeed confirmed that their health coverage continues within a country or region with a travel warning, it is only the political evacuation (only up to 10K anyway) and coverage for acts of terrorism that would not be covered. In addition, I asked and they do cover cycle touring as a means of travel, including on dirt roads.

        This seems completely reasonable to me, so hopefully there are some other companies out there that have similar coverage but lower fees?

  35. Richard
    7th December 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    I have recently retired and it gives me an opportunity to do some longer trips . I found this line of responses very useful , but some of the early comments have already changed !! The policy I have had for a number of years allowed up to 100 days and when working that was OK .It seems very difficult to get an annual insurance policy that allows you to do some short trips abroad ( say 40 days ) and one much longer one ie of over 100 days .
    I am trying to get the bike covered on the house contents and the travel insurance part as a separate insurance ( making sure it allows bike touring as the main activity rather than an odd day activity ).
    I wonder if anyone has got a simpler answer to this problem ?

  36. Bike Tours in Australia
    13th February 2013 at 11:54 am #

    It is a good idea to have insurance of cycling tours that cover our difficult travel under their trekking policies. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  37. Jane M
    11th March 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Just booked insurance for our trip which starts at the end of March.

    We had a few extra requirements that made things slightly tricky for us. We’re Canadian / British dual citizens, living in the US. But, we are selling our house and our US visas expire soon, so we won’t qualify as residents here after we leave.

    Which means almost all of the companies I called couldn’t insure us, because we were not residents of anywhere.

    WorldNomads were willing to do it if we provided a Canadian address, but they would only cover us up to $20,000 since we don’t have provincial insurance in Canada. They’re customer service was really great!

    IMG was the only option that worked for us. They had great customer service as well, can insure us for the normal amounts and for up to two years.

    One more thing done from our To Do list! Yay.

    • Liliana
      22nd February 2014 at 10:04 am #

      Hi Jane

      I know your post is a year old but I wanted to find out your experience with IMG.

  38. Alaister
    13th June 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I have used same company for years – http://www.world-first.co.uk/ always found em really good

    Al

  39. Blogger Kabir
    27th July 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks for the advice, wouldn’t have considered this aspect of a tour unless I hadn’t stumbled across it on your site.I haven’t got round to ringing them yet, but hope this info is useful.

  40. calvin
    22nd August 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    guys thanks for this excellent thread.. not enough written about this stuff…

    just wondering how people feel about policies where CycleTouring is not specifically stated on the policy?

    i’ve contacted a few places where i’ve received emails saying “yes you will be covered for the kind of cycling you’ll be doing”…
    but is this enough to go on? i dont want to find out it’s not sufficient when i need it most….

  41. Keith
    2nd September 2013 at 11:13 am #

    This might be useful for those doing shorter cycle tours, <3 weeks. I've just obtained insurance via BMC for my 8 day cycle tour in Italy. This is covered under their TREK policy. I telephoned them this morning to confirm that the policy covers cycle touring as primary form of transport – I used these exact words and I am not doing any Trekking. Cost of the Insurance was £40.1p, cost of the BMC membership (annual) was £14.97 (discounted), meaning the total was £54.98. Policy covers all of the items listed below. Insurance is provided/underwritten by Ace Insurance. Hope this is helpful.

    Cancellation – up to 5K
    Medical Expenses – up to 10m
    Search and Rescue – up to 100K
    Travel Delay – up to £100
    Personal property – up to 2K
    Loss of passport £250
    Loss of money, travellers cheques – up to £500
    Personal Accident – 10k
    Curtailment – up to 5K
    Persona Liability – up to £2m
    Overseas legal advices and expenses – up to 25K
    Missed Departure – up to £500
    Hospital Benefit Abroad – up to 1K
    Catastrophe – up to £500
    Hijack – up to 1K

    Excesses are: £100 for Personal Liability Insurance, per person, per claim section; £75 per person, per claim section

  42. daniel
    15th January 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    just found on the the ctc (not sure f available to non-uk residents) insurance for the whole year (whole world included). The company is Citybond Suretravel. It is renewable, and tailored to bike touring. There are excesses to pay for most claims but it is soooo much cheaper than anything else i have seen. For a couple the premier cover is around 200GBP – 166GBP for the economy version. Has anyone used them before? It sounds too god to be true.

    • Liliana
      22nd February 2014 at 9:46 am #

      Daniel.
      this insurance is for a max of 100 days. I have tried JS Insurance. Cycle touring is included but I’m waiting confirmation whether this includes cycling as main transport. the quote is not too bad. between 600GBP and 800 GBP for 2 people. I’ll write again once they’ve replied.

  43. Todd Bray
    28th February 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    I’m based in the UK and I’ve spend the last week looking at different insurance options for a 6 month trip to North America.

    The winner seems to be getting an annual policy through CTC, the insurer is Butterworth Spengler.

    It cost me 195 GBP and overseas trips can last up to 365 days. I’ll get my standard travel insurance separately. This is vastly better than trying to cover the bike through travel insurance and for cycle specific cover the trip lengths were too low with everyone else I checked.

    Hope this helps.

    • Leif
      15th June 2015 at 1:13 pm #

      Hi Todd, Can I ask if your getting cycle insurance or travel insurance through CTC. As this is kind of what I was thinking of doing for my big trip. I’m travelling internationally USA included and will hopefully be away for 18 months or so. I was planning to Insure the bicycle through CTC and myself, medical etc through another company. Has anyone else done this being insured through two separate companies (i.e. one for bike and one for self) is this possible and do they not void each other or anything like that?

      Further advise most welcome. Thanks

  44. Natasha
    7th August 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    If it helps, we had to get insurance while on the road and that is definitely not as easy as it sounds!

    However two companies look good and that is True traveller and world nomads.
    True traveller is a little cheaper.

    I would say that another question to ask insurance companies is whether you need to have a return ticket. Otherwise it could invalidate your insurance!

  45. Chris
    13th January 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    I did lots of research on insurance and I’m having a hard time finding examples of World Nomads honoring claims for accidents. I wrote here a detailed account of what I found. Nightmarish sagas of bad customer service, endless delays and no payments.

  46. Gina
    24th January 2015 at 1:18 am #

    I recommend the ADAC long-term travel insurance for Germans. It covers a range of things, has a very good reputation, and can cover you for up to TWO years (the first year is around €350, if extended for another year it’s an additional €530 so, unfortunately, it gets pricier the longer you want it). The excess (what you have to pay yourself per claim) is €50.

  47. James
    29th April 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    I’ve just got a good deal from BUPA Travel including cycle touring. Approx £350 for 9 months including the USA. Extendable to 12 months with good levels of cover. You need to call them to add cycle touring as a primary activity and I went for their single trip cover rather than backpacker cover as for some reason it was much much cheaper!

  48. Ginevra House
    5th May 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    We decided to wait until we left Europe to purchase insurance, since we were covered for medical treatment as UK citizens within the EU. Turned out to be a total pain in the arse! Seems almost no company wants to insure anyone with the audacity to set foot outside their own country uninsured.

    Anyway, P J Harman are you guys if you’re in this situation. We got their GlobeTrotter package. It’s medical cover only (fine by us) and you get a choice of premium depending on how much excess you want to pay and the maximum amount of coverage per person.

    We went for £30,000 maximum coverage (which a bit of research indicated would be fine for air ambulances and repatriation from Asia to UK) and a £300 excess.

    Cost: £194/person for 1 year. It can be extended for another year as long as you do so before the term comes to an end.

    Although they seemed reluctant to provide info about the package by email, a quick call to the UK soon sorted out our questions (such as ‘is cycle touring coverd’ (it is) and when they say ‘spouse’ on the application form, do you actually have to be married? (no)).

    They have other packages which may suit you better if you’re still in your country of residence.

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