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Do triathletes need insurance?

Here’s our five-step guide to bike insurance for triathletes and how to save money when finding the perfect triathlon insurance policy

bike-insurance-for-triathlon

Do triathletes need bike insurance? Do they need a specialist triathlon insurance company to insure their triathlon bike? Should triathletes be insured to ride a bike on the road or at a triathlon? Can a specialist triathlon insurance protect you against theft? While insurance is not a legal requirement, it is a smart idea for triathletes.

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Here, we’ll go into why you should seriously consider triathlon insurance – whether that’s specialist cover or added to your household insurance – for your multisport adventures at home and abroad. With a comprehensive guide to choosing the best bike insurance on the web, we will help triathletes make an informed decision on the type of cover they may need.

Top tip!

If you’re looking for a hassle-free quote, check out 220 Triathlon and Quotezone’s new insurance comparison tool to find a cycling insurance quote in seconds. Compare quotes here.

1. Specialist triathlon bike insurance

Specialist tri bike insurance policies are targeted at more committed triathletes. It’s possible to purchase triathlon insurance that can cover nearly every eventuality imaginable. For triathletes, here are the main areas that’ll be covered by specialist triathlon insurance that won’t be by home insurance (read more on step 2):

  • Families and multi-bike households
  • Kit damage during racing
  • Lost event fees if unable to compete
  • Additional bike accessories
  • Sports clothing
  • Minor to major personal accident cover
  • Public liability if you cause an injury to someone else
  • Roadside assistance

The majority of people looking for specialist triathlon insurance are primarily interested in insurance cover for theft of their road and triathlon bikes. In the event that it’s stolen, triathlon insurance can help you recoup the cost of a new bike, with many insurers offering to replace your old bike for new.

As the insurance market is increasingly crowded and competitive, bike insurance coverage should be better than ever and there are a lot of policies to choose from, which is why shopping around makes sense.

Benefits of triathlon bike insurance over home insurance include the option to add dedicated event cover, which home insurance providers are unlikely to provide.

Top tip! You could pay less than £46.99 for bicycles valued up to £1,500*

*51% of customers with a bicycle valued up to £1,500 who obtained a quote for Bicycle Insurance through this service provided by Seopa Ltd between March and May 2021 were quoted less than £46.99.

Using the same calculation for bicycles valued between £1,501 and £3,000 gave a figure of £107.34 and for bicycles valued over £3,000 gave a figure of £220.75. The quote price you could achieve is dependent on your individual circumstances. Get your quote now!

2. Home bike insurance

Home insurance is the most popular way to insure bikes. According to a survey carried out by our sister website BikeRadar in 2016, 75% of cyclists who insure their bike do so on their home insurance.

The appeal is clear, as including your bike with your home insurance keeps everything tidied into one package and is one less thing to think about when it comes to renewal. If you’re after a stress-free policy that’ll cover the basics, or if you just want to insure a cheaper bike, it can also present good value for money.

Yet there are pitfalls to putting your bike on home insurance compared to a specialist triathlon insurance, particularly for dedicated triathletes.

If you want to insure your bike on your home insurance, the first thing to do is to check what’s actually covered under your policy. Many policies will include basic bike cover under standard ‘personal belongings’ cover, but it’s likely to have a maximum claim that won’t match your multisport pride and joy, with some policies setting limits at £350 (the average amount spent on a bike for 220 Triathlon readers is £1,667).

Insurance for triathlon bike

Some insurance providers will allow you to increase the maximum value of your personal belongings, but speaking to your provider to determine the level that you can set that limit is a smart move. The best triathlon bike insurance policies can go as high as £15,000, enough to cover those Cervélo P5 or Scott Plasma Premium triathlon superbikes.

This can add quite a lot to your own insurance premium, so look around and ensure that specialist triathlon insurance – and the benefits it brings – won’t work out cheaper.

Unless explicitly stated, most home insurance policies will also only cover a bike if it’s kept indoors or secured in a garage or shed. The downsides of this are obvious for the triathlete who doesn’t ride solely indoors on the turbo trainer and wants to train and race outdoors.

Though, a number of home insurance providers do allow you to extend coverage out of the home for an extra fee.

Aim to study the details here and ensure that your insurance policy covers your bike when it’s ‘in use’. Some insurers will only cover your bike for accidental damage, vandalism or theft when it’s stationary/being stored.

The same advice applies to specialist cover. It’s also worth checking the rules around storing your bike in a car or van, particularly overnight. Many home insurance policies specify that a bike must be stored out of sight or your cover is invalidated.

As a triathlete, it’s quite likely that you’ll own one or more bikes (54% of 220 Triathlon readers also own a mountain bike in addition to their road and tri bikes, for example), so it’s a good idea to shop around, because some insurers will offer decent discounts on additional bikes.

Worth noting is that, while it may seem obvious to an experienced triathlete, explaining to a home insurance provider that a triathlon bike’s worth thousands more than a car may be difficult. A specialist triathlon insurance provider is more likely to understand the situation.

Top tip! You could pay less than £107.34 for bicycles valued between £1501 and £3000*

*51% of customers with a bicycle valued between £1,501 and £3,000 who obtained a quote for Bicycle Insurance through this service provided by Seopa Ltd between March and May 2021 were quoted less than £107.34.

Using the same calculation for bicycles valued up to £1,500 gave a figure of £46.99 and for bicycles valued over £3,000 gave a figure of £220.75. The quote price you could achieve is dependent on your individual circumstances.

3. Triathlon event insurance

If racing is a big part of your life as a triathlete, it’s worth shopping around for the best cover. Your entry fees to any established event should include third-party insurance.

This will protect you and the organiser if you injure a spectator or damage property. Yet it’s unlikely to cover personal injury, damage to your bike, or injury or damage to fellow competitors and their bikes.

Most specialist bike and triathlon insurance providers will offer the option to add dedicated event cover. Home insurance providers are unlikely to include this.

Bike insurance for triathlon events

Depending on the provider you choose, most will also cover for accidental damage to your bike and triathlon kit that may occur during a race. Most will also cover you against theft from any transition areas.

Some triathlon insurers will also often pay out if you get injured before an event and can’t attend, covering any loss of entry fees, a particular benefit for injury-plagued long-distance triathletes entering major events a year in advance.

If you’re only planning on racing a couple triathlons each season and don’t want to pay for a full year’s coverage, you can look into short-term coverage. Some triathlon insurance providers will allow you to buy coverage for a week at a time.

Some triathlon insurance policies won’t include mass start events, so make sure whatever you choose will work for your multisport needs.

Top tip! You could pay less than £220.75 for bicycles valued over £3,000*

*51% of customers with a bicycle valued over £3,000 who obtained a quote for Bicycle Insurance through this service provided by Seopa Ltd between March and May 2021 were quoted less than £220.75.

Using the same calculation for bicycles valued up to £1,500 gave a figure of £46.99 and for bicycles valued between £1,501 and £3,000 gave a figure of £107.34. The quote price you could achieve is dependent on your individual circumstances.

4. Accidental damage

Despite theft being the biggest concern for most triathletes, accidental damage coverage makes up the biggest portion of claims for most specialist bicycle insurance providers.

Accidental damage cover will typically cover everything from replacing a whole bike down to individual components, such as wheels and accessories depending on the level of coverage you choose.

Home insurance may work out well for more expensive items such as sports watches, helmets and wetsuits, but specialist triathlon insurance cover is normally a better option if you want comprehensive cover for your vast list of triathlon kit. This isn’t quite as clear as theft cover, so compare triathlon insurance policies, especially if you’re an accident-prone triathlete.

Top tip! Key info to provide

To receive a bicycle insurance quote, you’re likely to be asked for your:

  • Age
  • Address
  • The value of your bike

Other insurance providers will also ask you for:

  • Make of bike
  • Model name
  • Bike type

Compare quotes with 10+ insurance providers now.

5. Triathlon training & racing abroad insurance

If you are planning a trip overseas for training or racing one of the big international triathlon events, it’s worth investigating whether taking out insurance from a specialist triathlon insurance provider is a better option than non-specialist travel insurance.

Non-specialist travel insurance policies may cover you if you ride a bike on holiday but are unlikely to cover you if the trip is explicitly a cycling or triathlon holiday. Such a policy will also almost certainly not cover mountain biking or any form of triathlon racing.

Most travel insurance policies won’t pay the costs of a hire bike if your bike is damaged in transit, which can be hundreds for a week.

Specialist bike insurance policies are much more likely to cover such eventualities and are pretty much the only way to make sure you’re covered if you’re racing.

Cycling abroad with bike insurance

If you’re going abroad to race Ironman or an ultra-distance event, check the details of your insurance plan because some do include distance or duration limits.

Some home insurance policies that cover your bike against theft or damage when away from the home will also have less comprehensive cover if your bike is nicked abroad.

Read the terms of your policy but pay particular attention to rules around theft and, again, accidental damage when in transit, especially if you’re taking your bike on a plane in a soft-shell bike bag.

Like racing insurance, most specialist triathlon insurance providers will also offer short-term packages.

Membership of certain triathlon clubs will also cover you for some trips abroad, with British Triathlon offering tiers of membership with racing abroad benefits.

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