Cycle Touring Insurance
I really struggled to find an insurance company that would insure me for more than 12 months at a time, without me having to return to the UK to renew it.
I have tried so many, and they all say the same thing, that they can give me as long as 12 months, but if I want to renew it or extend it, I have to return back to the UK, I can't renew it while in another country.
I do have a European Health Insurance Card for Europe obviously, but that is limited to my health and not equipment or losses, and I also have to make sure I have this tag around my neck so that I don't get a bill if I'm treated without anyone noticing I had the card.
Not only are there limits to the time you can be away, but also because if you have pre-existing health issues, the prices for these limited covers are pure extortion.
So which companies have I tried? Well my first option believe it or not, was the Post Office, as they offer all sorts of insurance, but none for any real length of time.
Then there was Holiday Safe, a company specializing in niche, long stay, winter sports, backpacking, but sadly the maximum stay for cycle touring is less than 100 days. Over 200 days for backpacking, but does not cover bicycle or equipment losses related to cycling, and it is still way less than a year.
BIBA British Insurance Brokers Association
So then I contacted the BIBA, and after trying to explain what it was I was looking for, came away with nothing but a dial tone.
Still waiting for their return call, not holding my breath. I went through their site and found that although they cover cycle touring, they don’t cover solo cycle touring in other countries, only arranged group tours.
Well I'm just this minute going through a very simple online form on trailfinders.com. Filled out a few details such as age, address, duration (12 months to just see where the form takes me), date leaving date back, and click pay. This took me to pay, which of course I didn't want to simply do without first finding out on the telephone more about this policy. They never asked about pre-condition or even what the travel was about.
I'm going to ring them now. Oh, and the price for Worldwide for 12 months they quoted at over £600, A huge sum you might agree, but it is a year of adventure after all.
Well OK, they cover just 12 months max at each time, but you don't have to return home to renew it, you can do it online from anywhere. It basically expires and you take out a new one, but its still handy to be able to do it online. If you return home during the time you took out the policy, the policy ends and you have to take out another.
It is basic cover, meaning your gear is not covered, or any pre-existing health issues, but life cover and accident and medical cover is that is unrelated to a pre-existing condition. Worldwide cover including everywhere other than those countries instructed as too dangerous or simply no go countries by government.
All that said, the feeling of at least being covered in case of accident or injury is worth the cost, and not only that, but you can't travel without insurance to some countries.
So that's it, that's the best I have been able to do, but still check the small print and details carefully yourself, no matter who you get insured with.