Income protection for cyclists

You can't prevent all accidents from occurring, but you can get income protection for cyclists.

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Most of us have heard of someone who has been in a bike crash and had to spend time in rehab or was unable to work for a period of time. If you're a cyclist and want to protect yourself financially if you're injured or in an accident, you can get income protection.

Why do you need income protection if you're a cyclist?

Whether you cycle to the office every day or compete in events, cycling can be unpredictable and dangerous. Even if you consistently hand signal, shoulder check and wear a helmet, a lot is still outside of your control. That's why you need to think about taking additional protection measures. If you're injured and need to take some time off work, income protection can pay you a portion of your salary. It can help in the following situations:

  • If you're hit by a vehicle and are injured.
  • If you injure yourself due to incorrect riding posture.
  • If you fall off your bike and break a bone or badly injure yourself.
  • If you compete and push yourself too hard, resulting in injury or illness.

How income protection works for cyclists

If you take out income protection insurance and are injured or ill and are unable to work for a period of time (including for cycling-related accidents), you can receive up to 85% of your salary. This can cover expenses including bills, living costs and rehab. In exchange for this protection, you pay a monthly or annual premium. Keep in mind that waiting times will apply, meaning you will need to have held the policy for a specific length of time before you can make a claim.

Income protection insurance is sometimes broken into three types of cover: accident cover, illness cover and sports cover. If this is the case, you will probably find that cycling comes under sports cover. Be sure to add this to your policy for full protection.

Before purchasing a policy, it's a good idea to check if you are covered for cycling. Some insurers apply exclusions to cycling-related claims.

How much does income protection for cyclists cost?

It mainly depends on factors such as your age, occupation and gender. However, other factors will also be taken into account for cyclists. For example, you might also be asked for the following information:

  • How frequently you cycle and if you commute to work by bike.
  • What kind of roads you travel on (e.g. mainly cycling paths or roads).
  • If you have been involved in a cycling accident in the past.
  • If you cycle in events or competitively. If you cycle competitively, you might already have a cycling federation's membership, which covers you for public liability, but you will need to pay more if you want adequate income protection.

What conditions and exclusions should I be aware of?

Want to know what you're not covered for? Keep an eye out for these conditions and exclusions:

  • Some insurers have an exclusion for "competitive cyclists". An insurer's definition of a competitive cyclist can differ so even if you don't consider yourself a competitive cyclist, they might. Read the product disclosure statement (PDS) to make sure.
  • You might needs sports cover as well. Many insurers will not include cycling in their accidents cover; it might be classed as a sport.
  • If there's no mention of a cycling exclusion in the PDS, it doesn't necessarily mean it is included. You should contact the insurer before taking out a policy.
  • If you compete in an event, Group Personal Accident Insurance policies usually only cover your income for around $500 to $700 per week for a period of 12 months. You won't get the tailored cover that income protection can provide you with. It means you could be left under-insured if something serious happens.

Are there other insurance options for cyclists?

There are several other life insurance options for cyclists:

  • Life insurance. If you're out cycling and the worst happens, life insurance cover will ensure your loved ones receive a lump-sum payment.
  • Total permanent disability (TPD) insurance. Cycling accidents can be very serious. TPD insurance can pay you a lump sum if an accident causes you to become permanently disabled, forcing you to quit work.
  • Trauma insurance. This can provide you with a lump sum of up to $2 million if you suffer from a critical injury such as a major head trauma, paying for expenses such as medical care and rehab.

Picture: GettyImages

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