With bicycles being the same value as cars, here are top tips on how to insure them

3 min read 01 April 2019

Did you know one of the world’s most expensive bikes – the Pinarello K10S favoured by cycling sensation Chris Froome – currently costs the equivalent of a brand new Volkswagen Polo GT – which is around R245 000 – or 186 pairs of Nike Airforce 1s? The business of buying a bike is a serious one, as anyone who cycles seriously can attest. The blog Bicycling shows that intense research goes into the purchase. From the kind of terrains that will be covered and the model of the bike that fits particular terrains, to comfort levels and budget constraints.

This makes bikes extremely precious and valuable vehicles. With the Cape Town Cycling Tour coming up on March 10, cycling enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world will be converging on Cape Town to participate in the annual tour. That means many cyclists may be travelling with a piece of equipment worth the equivalent of an out-the-box Volkswagen Polo GT strapped to their cars or aboard an airline. This includes, all the accessories that such bikes come with. A new pair of cycling shoes or a state of the art helmet costs about R1000. A cycling computer bundle could cost R7000. A two-bike carrier is R700. And a lycra sports kit is usually around R1400.

Unfortunately, during races such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour accidents do occur which can cause major damage to the bike. Last year, Last year, Santam settled more bicycle claims in the months of February, March, June, August, October and November.

It is for these reasons that it is paramount that cyclists insure their bicycles. Marius Neethling, Personal Lines Underlining Manager at Santam, says that a bicycle as well as peripheral gear is automatically covered against the insured events in a policy under the household contents section whilst inside your private residential structures. He further recommends that when taking out insurance a bike should be specified under the all risks section of a policy, while not in your home. “You wouldn’t leave an expensive motorcycle uninsured, so why should that change when investing in a costly bicycle?” he reasons.

Here, Neethling provides top insurance tips for your bike:

Insure your bicycle for the value it would cost to get a new bike

The first step is making all information about your bicycle known to your insurer. That includes the make, model, serial number, extras attached to the bicycle and the purchase amount.

Inform your insurer whether the bicycle is used for professional or recreational purposes

It is important to declare if the bicycle is used for professional purposes as some companies may decide not to insure such a bike. This is due to the high-performance levels expected of such a bicycle and the increased risk associated with professional use.

Ensure that your bicycle is covered for travelling

Check with your insurer to see if your bicycle is covered for damage or loss when you fly. It’s also good practice to safeguard against unwanted friction and associated damage by placing your bicycling in protective covering before your flight.

Insure against the loss of your cycling gear

The Cape Town Cycling Tour FAQs warns that arriving at a tournament in baggy clothes rather than lycra is second only to coming to the tournament without your bicycle. Lycra, these days, is engineered to ensure comfort and durability in different temperatures. It can be quite costly to accrue. It is therefore advised that you insure your sports gear along with your bicycle.

Neethling advises that it is a smart move to talk to an intermediary who is well-informed about bicycle insurance. “Enjoy peace of mind during the Cape Town Cycle Tour by knowing that your investments are protected. This means reviewing the value of your sports equipment annually to ensure you’re adequately covered.”