Words: Colin Levitch                                                      Photos: Mike Blewitt, Tim Bardsley-Smith

It’s not a case of if you’re going to crash, but when, and when it’s your turn, a burped tire, a momentary lapse in concentration or a particularly slippery root can leave you with a broken body, totalled bike and in the worst case a mountain of legal expenses.
 
But you’re prepared, you’ve got insurance from Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) and maybe even third party bicycle insurance too. Your claim is ready, and there will soon be a cheque waiting for you in the mailbox, right?
 
Unfortunately, it's not always that easy, and there are plenty of horror stories involving claims denied based on poorly worded technicalities and lack of communication from insurers once claims have been filed.
 
Equipment, injury and liability insurance is available in various forms through a range of third-party insurers, MTBA and maybe even your home and contents insurance. But which should you choose?

 

Mountain Bike Australia
 
To race in any event, whether it be cross country National Championships or a club enduro at your local trail network, you will be required to hold a valid MTBA membership or licence. The main reason being it protects you and the promoter should you clip a tree and hurt yourself during the event. But what does this actually cover?
 
Joshua-Kaleb Faulkner, a Member Services Officer from MTBA, explains that the policy provides a 24-hour Public Liability and Personal Accident cover for any recreational riding; mountain bike, road bike, commuting, BMX, unicycle, you name it. The caveat, however, is the coverage does not extend to racing in any other discipline, including multi-sport and adventure racing that may include a mountain bike segment.
 
The MTBA insurance also does not extend to gear for individuals or clubs and the extent of cover differs based on the level of your membership—for example, Free Trial Members don't receive loss of income protection, while Race, Recreation or Value Add licences receive this and a higher level of benefits and compensation.