The most televised mountain bike race in the world, the Absa Cape Epic, took place recently with more than 1 000 cyclists riding through 691km of the Western Cape scenic countryside.

This comes just a few weeks after the Cape Town Cycle Tour was cancelled for the first time in its history due to strong winds. Currently the Tour de France is underway underscoring the global popularity of cycling.

Popularly referred to as the ‘new golf’, cycling has become a trendy pastime over the last five years and aside from big events such as the Cape Epic and the Cycle Tour, costs can easily run into thousands of rands with significant insurance implications for cyclists.
The insurer currently insures thousands of bicycles, and has received many claims related to bicycles over the past three years.

With even a child’s bicycle now costing as much as R3 000 for a name brand such as Giant, this is no longer an inexpensive hobby. Bicycle prices today range from as little as R3 000, to in excess of R100 000 for high end models such as the Cannondale, Scott and Specialized. At prices like these, you cannot afford to be without insurance. Bicycles should be specified under the all risks section of your personal insurance policy.

This means your bicycle will be covered when you take it out on the weekends for a ‘spin’ and, more importantly, when you travel for events such as the Cape Epic, the Cape Cycle Tour or even the Tour de France. Your cover should include all the bells and whistles, such as your bicycle rack, bicycle tools and accessories like additional lights, your Garmin and your protective gear, etc.


When you insure your bicycle, you want to know that your insurer fully covers your ‘new toy’. In the unfortunate event of a claim occurring, the following tips can be used to ensure that your claim is hassle-free:

  • If you are using your bicycle for competitions, we would suggest you advise your insurer accordingly, bearing in mind that there is no cover in place if you are taking part in any bicycle event on a professional level.
  • Your cover should include details such as the make and model of your bicycle as well as the serial number and the amount it is insured for.
  • Remember to specify an appropriate amount you want your bike to be insured for, as its replacement will increase over time due to inflation. A particular type of bicycle is likely to cost you more in five years’ time than it did this when you bought it.
  • Take proper precautions when you take your bicycle out. If you are not using it, then it should be locked inside your vehicle,
    secured to a bicycle rack or chained and locked. Find out if your policy specifies specific security requirements when your bicycle is being used on the road.
  • Check the amount of excess you have to pay in the event of a claim. This is the portion of the risk that you take responsibility for.
  • If you use your bicycle for competitions, find out whether your insurance will cover the bicycle while in transit. For example, if you transport the bicycle via plane, the last thing you want is to arrive at your destination, find out that it has been irreparably damaged during transit and be stuck without a bicycle.

By: Hannes Smith, Head Personal Lines Sales & Operations at Old Mutual Insure

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