Bicycle Insurance in South Africa | A Comprehensive Guide to Cycling Cover

Buying a bicycle was probably one of your biggest purchases, right? You may have plans to start cycling as a form of exercise. Or perhaps you’re considering riding your bike to and from work instead of taking a car. Whatever the reason, we understand that there was a lot of research and thought put into getting your bike. But now that you’ve made the investment, should you insure it?

As we all know, no bike is unbreakable – anything could happen whilst you cycle to and fro. You could get into an accident or damage your bicycle trying to avoid getting into one. Or maybe you’ll wake up to nothing but a padlock and chain on the bicycle rack.

There are quite a few scary scenarios that could happen, but they don’t have to.

If you would insure your car or your iPhone, why wouldn’t you insure your bike? Some bicycles are just as valuable and if you’re training to enter the Cape Town Cycle Tour, having a bicycle is an obvious necessity. So sure, insuring your bicycle isn’t a law but it is the smart choice and we highly recommend it.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about bicycle insurance in South Africa. This includes how to do it and if any of your bicycle accessories can get cover too. It sounds like a lot to mull over, but don’t start spinning out yet, we’ve got you covered.

The backend of a macro black bicycle parked against a steel rail in the city

Bike Insurance

In cities like Cape Town, there is a larger focus on cyclists and their safety on the road than in other South African cities. The addition of allocated bicycle lanes is an indication of how many people are starting to use their bicycles more often. Whether it’s for exercise or an environmental decision to use your bike instead of your car, insurance companies are noticing the need for coverage.

Remember, not all insurance company policies are the same. There are different levels of coverage and it will be up to you to find what bicycle quotes will fit your budget and requirements.

Bicycle insurance is usually categorized under standard ‘household insurance’ policies. Therefore, your bike is included in the cover of your household contents. This means that while it is inside your private residence or outbuildings that are linked with your private residence your bike is insured against theft, burglary or fire.

This seems like an obvious pick. But this could be disadvantageous for pro-cyclists for example, who use their bikes frequently and professionally.

However, depending on your insurance company, you can get specific cover for your bicycle alone. This type of special treatment for your bike is a better option for serious cyclists. By specifying your bicycle under the ‘All risks’ section of your insurance policy, you are ensuring that regardless of where your bicycle gets stolen or damaged your bicycle will be covered.

All risks cover can include areas such as:

  • Sporting gear like your helmet, Fitbit watches and other accessories
  • Kit damage during a tournament
  • Lost fees if you’re unable to compete in competitions
  • Cycle clothing
  • Minor to major cycling accidents
  • Roadside assistance

Insurers believe that your bike is at higher risk than other possessions you use and take out less.

Insurers who offer this kind of ‘All risks’ bicycle insurance are:

  • Santam
  • Hollard
  • Cyclesure

But be sure to do your own research and find your perfect match.

A white and black wheel bicycle leaning against a bright blue wall

Tips for Insuring your Bicycle

It is advisable that you seek counsel with an intermediary at your Insurance company, who is passionate and knowledgeable about bike insurance. Someone with this type of bike enthusiasm and interest will most likely put your mind at ease. Plus, their understanding of the importance of your bike will steer you in the right direction with good cover.

As an insuree though, you too will need to do your due diligence and do the research for insuring your bike. Insurance companies need to rest assured that you are doing the necessary protocol to keep your end of the deal. Should the day come that you need to make a claim, the process will be easier.

Top tips

  • Make sure that your bicycle is adequately covered and that your insurer has all the following information about your bike: make of bicycle, model, serial number and sum insured.
  • If your bicycle is second-hand, there may be a need for a valuation from a reputable bicycle dealer to send off to your insurer. This way, you’ll get cover for your bicycle’s true value.
  • It is also important for the insurer to know what you use your bike for, whether it’s for competing, transportation, or something else. This will help your insurers assess what cover is needed for your bike.
  • Also, make sure to insure your bicycle for its replacement value. How much would it be to buy your bicycle, brand new?
  • Find out if there is a cover for abandonment. This just refers to when a bike is left unattended and locked up for a certain period. Some insurance companies may not cover for vandalism or accidental damage.
  • Ensure that anything valuable related to your bicycle is insured.

A blue bicycle with basket parked by the lakeside with view of the lake and city skyline

Final Thoughts

We’ve given you quite a bit of information to take in, but at least you’ll be considered something like a Top Gear expert by the time you start talking with your insurers. And considering how much of an expense a bicycle can be, it is necessary to have it insured to ultimately have peace of mind.

So, don’t pedal away from bicycle insurance despite all the work that might deter you from getting protected. Life can sometimes throw a spanner (or pothole) at your front wheel unexpectedly and all we want for you is to stay prepared. Your bicycle is uniquely yours so make sure the insurance you choose is equally so.

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