Do you need it?
Insurance for cycling is not a legal requirement in most countries but it is a good idea to get it. Cycling is a potentially dangerous activity and accidents do happen. Having insurance gives you some peace of mind, that if the worst happens, you will at least have financial cover. Without it you could end up with a very big bill or be stuck in a foreign country without funds.
Will normal travel insurance cover cycle touring?
Usually no but check your household insurance as it might cover your bike when travelling. It may be possible to add cycle touring as an activity but you will likely need a specific policy for cycle touring. These can be hard to come by, particularly if you will be touring for a long time, and are relatively expensive.
What will the insurance cover?
Insurance policies will generally give you options for covered areas. Typical ones for cycle touring are accidents, bike and equipment theft, loss of personal belongings, theft, legal fees, early return.
Note that you will probably only be covered for cycling. If you want to do other activities like hiking, sailing, skiing you will probably need additional cover.
How much does it cost?
Cycle touring is deemed to be a fairly high risk activity so insurance will be more expensive than normal travel insurance. The cost can be as much as £50 for a month’s trip and £100+ for a three month trip. Getting insurance for longer trips will be tricky but is possible.
Is it worth insuring my bike?
If you have a very expensive bike you should probably insure it, however, because bike theft is so common the premium can be high. The insurance company will probably stipulate that certain types of lock must be used (heavy and expensive ones) and that the bike should not be left unlocked and unattended. The high premiums and strict criteria put many people off buying bike insurance, however, at least if your bike is stolen the costs of replacement will be covered.