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Cycling is a great way to de-stress and immerse yourself in a landscape at your own pace. More and more holiday makers are discovering the joy of cycling, with routes in Norfolk and the South Downs gaining in popularity.
If you're planning a cycling holiday, or are thinking of doing some cycling during your break, what sort of travel insurance will you need?
Essential travel offers amateur cycling insurance at no extra cost as part of a standard travel insurance policy. When you travel, Essential Travel covers amateur cycling as a Sports Grade 1.
Our Sports Insurance is divided into Sports Grades which refer to the level of risk involved with an activity. Sports Grade 1 extends your cover at no extra cost, while Sports Grade 2, 3 and 4 require that you add extra cover to your quote.
|Sports Grade||Medical Excess||Personal Accident Limit||Personal Liability|
|Sports Grade 1
leisure, not racing or downhill racing
|Sports Grade 2
|£300||reduced by 50%||Excluded|
Here are the cover levels you can expect with the free Grade 1 Sports Cover:
|Medical Expenses||up to £2.5 million||up to £5 million||up to £5 million||up to £10 million|
|Hospital Benefits||up to £300||up to £600||up to £600||up to £1,200|
|Personal Accident||up to £7,500||up to £15,000||up to £15,000||up to £30,000|
To be as protected as possible, we recommend that you add extra protection for pre-existing medical conditions, sports and winter sports.
What is exactly classed as 'amateur cycling'? In the context of our cover levels, amateur cycling is cycling activity that does not involve high risks, like racing or mountain biking. Essential travel provides cover cycling activities.
What if you're planning an extended cycling tour? Again, the type of insurance policy you'll need will change. With Essential travel, cycle touring is covered under Grade 2 Sports cover.
In travel insurance terms, cycle touring is best described as a trip or series of trips lasting anywhere from a few days, to several weeks, with recreation being the sole purpose.
Some hard-core cyclists tour for years at a time, crossing entire countries and states with nought but a bicycle and their own two legs. If you are planning an extended cycling tour, we recommend taking out our Backpacker Travel insurance, which provides continuous cover for up to 2 years, valid in the UK, Europe and beyond.
It's important to note that when you take out travel insurance for a cycle tour, certain policy conditions will change. For one, the medical excess is increased to £300, the amount of cover for personal accident is reduced by 50%, and personal liability cover no longer applies. For these reasons, if you are planning a cycle touring holiday, you may want to consider carefully the level of risk before choosing your travel insurance policy.
Wherever you are, be sure to:
Never, EVER leave your bike unattended - Especially if you are on an extended tour, you'll likely be carrying all your worldly possession on your bike. Panniers containing valuable tools and equipment can't easily be detached and re-attached every time you need to make a stop, so if you're travelling in a group, be sure to nominate someone to mind the bikes. A good tip for solo cycle tourists is to make friends with the owner of a local cafe and ask to leave the bike in a secured place on their premises.
Friendliness pays off - When you're out on the road, it's inevitable that at some point, you'll need help from another human being: be that for directions, local advice or even a hot meal and a place to stay. For many, it's second nature to be suspicious of strangers, and while you should always use common sense, there's never any harm in having a generally friendly attitude. Approaching people for advice and accepting help can open up some unique opportunities you might have otherwise missed.
Keep your calorie intake HIGH - As a cyclist, your body is the engine propelling you across counties, states and continents. Keeping yourself stoked up with the right kind of fuel is essential. This means lots of high calorie food - pasta, potatoes, bread, biscuits and yes, CAKE. Vegetables, while of course being important for good nutrition, won't be a priority while on tour.
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