Cape Town: More and more South Africans are joining the world-wide cycling craze, with around 35 000 cyclists expected to take to the city streets on Sunday for the 38th Cape Town Cycle Tour. A decent bicycle can cost anything from R8000 to R120 000 for a state-of-the-art model which is why cyclists would be well-advised to make sure their bicycles and other sporting accessories are appropriately insured, says Marius Neethling, personal lines underwriting manager at Santam.

As South Africa’s leading short-term insurer, Santam currently insures 34000 bicycles and has received over 1 500 claims related to bicycles over the past three years. “Besides training for races like the Cape Town Cycle Tour, South Africa promotes cycling as a sustainable method of transport and a good way to stay healthy. Cycling is often quicker and more economical in built-up environments than driving which is why we’re seeing the installation of cycling infrastructure like bicycle lanes and bicycle racks in the city of Cape Town for example,” says Marius Neethling.

Neethling explains that as more and more people may consider purchasing a bicycle, they need to consider insuring it as well. “You wouldn’t consider buying an expensive motorcycle without insurance, so why should it be any different when investing in a bicycle?” he asks.

Neethling advises specifying your bicycle under the ‘All risks’ section of your insurance policy. This means it will be covered regardless of where it may be stolen. “At Santam we have a specific category for bicycles where they can be insured comprehensively,” he says. Sporting gear related to your bike, such as helmets, can also be specified. Your bike is also automatically covered under the household contents section of your policy, which means that while it is inside your private residence or outbuildings that are linked with your private residence it will be insured against theft, burglary or fire.

Neethling offers the following tips for insuring your bicycle:

  • To make sure you are adequately covered, you need to provide the following information to your insurer: make of bicycle, model, serial number and sum insured;
  • You also need to inform your insurer whether your bicycle is used for recreational purposes only or for professional, competitive purposes;
  • You should insure your bicycle for its replacement value – what it would cost to buy a similar bike brand new;
  • If your bicycle is left unattended away from your home, it must be locked inside a vehicle if possible or chained and locked to a fixed pole where it is safe; and
  • Insure any other valuable accessories relating to the bicycle under the ‘All risks’ section of your policy.

Neethling advises talking to an intermediary who is knowledgeable about bicycle insurance. “Knowing your prized sports equipment is adequately insured will enable you to enjoy the Cape Town Cycle Tour with the peace of mind that your investment is appropriately covered should an unforeseen event occur,” Neethling concludes.

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