insurance for Road Racing Cycles over $5000

Enquiry received: "I have been advised by my insurance company (State Insurance) that a new policy is being applied by New Zealand Insurance Companies around insurance for Road Racing Cycles over $5000

Today after phoning State Insurance to list my new Road Cycle (value $8000) against my Household insurance policy replacing my old cycle. I was asked if I do any road races, upon informing them that I compete in around 3 events a year I was informed that I would not be covered for any use of that cycle  .. only cover for non-use Theft & Fire.

Querying the logic I this I was informed that ‘any use’ includes riding to work, general training would not be covered etc because I stated I did actually do some races.

Whilst I can accept exclusion for racing, a policy change to affect the general use of a cycle over the value of $5000 seems to be a significant shift in insurance policy and seems to be a weighting outside similar insurance for other vehicles etc

I was informed that this policy was now be applied by other ‘major’ NZ insurance companies.

Other point to note I have significant insurance with State (House, Vehicles, Household etc with a very good lack of claim history … so no influence on this decision due to any history .. just advised that this is a new position being taken on Road Cycles, when any admission of racing and a value over $5k

Being a 45 yr old weekend rider who has a bash at a few races a year (Grape Ride / LeRace etc) on the same bike I ride year round, this seems to be a significant risk over-reaction and would if applied as advised have significant impact on a large number of similar riders.

Would be interested in your thoughts as to what I could be done to bring about a rethink in this policy.

-> Discussion and suggestions invited.



Hi Patrick,
While insurance companies have the right to do so, you might want to show them this article, particularly the one to do with Belgian insurance companies in the "International Best practices" section.

Its time insurance companies recognised that it is not cyclist who are the cause of problems but the cycle-haters.

OK, a few queries here. First, what do they mean by 'race'?

If that's club racing by card-holding members - i.e. a daily training regime with regular weekend races - the high-performance sport, I can understand their interest in not being liable.

If it's a 'event' then we do have a problem. The risks are much lower, much less frequently encountered and rider behaviour is much more subdued. Obviously the case against insuring us must be dodgy.

But I'd also query our own assumptions. Does riding in an event such as LeRace actually constitute 'racing'? I think we might be confusing 'racing' with a 'event riding' too.

I suggest it would be sensible and correct to say you don't race unless you are officially a 'club racer'. I don't think this is merely playing semantic games with insurance companies. It's being clear about the kind of riding that's involved.

Riding fast in the odd event doesn't qualify as racing - no exposure to racing's regular risks - any more than driving really fast in your Corolla qualifies as F1 driving.