By Molly Hurford
Insurance for cyclists can be tough to understand, and between pandemic-related concerns and the fact that the Saskatchewan Cycling Association insurance policies differ between clubs and unaffiliated individual members, it can get confusing. Being a SCA member is about more than just racing, so even if you don’t plan to pin a number on this season, consider becoming a member or renewing your membership to gain access to cycling insurance and a whole host of other deals and benefits.
Here’s the breakdown of what members need to know about your insurance—and options for additional coverage:
On a sanctioned club ride or at a race? You’re covered.
If you’re part of a local cycling club that’s affiliated with the SCA (and you’ve made sure that your personal SCA membership is up to date), you can take part in club rides and events and know that you’re covered. If you end up injured on a sanctioned group ride, you’re covered automatically—your insurance kicks in after Saskatchewan Provincial health care and any benefits you get from coverage at work are exhausted. And remember, covering your accident doesn’t just mean your emergency medical bills from that day: It can include reimbursement for dental and for things like physical therapy.
You can buy extra insurance for yourself.
If you’re a cyclist who trains outdoors by yourself regularly, it’s worth being an SCA member even if you have no intention of racing or joining a club, if you buy the inexpensive insurance add-on. As an SCA member, you can also opt in to buy add-on insurance through the SCA’s insurance provider, Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited that will cover you for any individual training ride you’re on, for only $20 for the year. You can add the individual insurance when purchasing a license or, if you’ve already gotten your 2021 license, add it on CCN right here.
Doing a ride or race? Check if it’s sanctioned
It’s important to note that the SCA policies are only in place for sanctioned and approved activities, which includes club rides, club training, activities, competitions, and races. Remember that a lot of the larger charity rides are not sanctioned by the SCA, nor are they covered by the extended policy. You can check the SCA calendar to make sure that your upcoming event is covered.
You should always fill out an accident report
Here’s the deal: If you get hurt on a sanctioned ride or at a race, you (or your club’s person-in-charge) should fill out an accident report and send it to the SCA. Even if you just had a small skid that resulted in a bit of road rash, it’s worth filling out the form and submitting it, since there’s always a chance that later, you could realize that the crash was more serious than you initially thought. This is especially critical when thinking about concussions, which may not have symptoms for quite some time. Remember, this isn’t like personal auto insurance where you might be tempted to skip reporting an incident to avoid a rise in your cost of insurance: You won’t end up with a higher premium as a result of reporting a crash! “The timely submission of an accident report benefits everybody. It creates a record of the incident which allows the SCA to properly gather all necessary information, and also helps the claim process run more smoothly in the event the incident does become a claim,” says Brent Brent Brandham, Vice President at Arthur J. Gallagher Canada Limited. “Even if only one out of twenty reports actually becomes a claim, having the data around all injuries and incidents allows the association and their risk management partners to better ensure the safety of riders at future events.” (You can download the accident reporting form right here.)
At an event and hurt? Tell someone.
As a rider, your job is to make sure that the accident report does get filled out. If you’re at a sanctioned race or ride and you get hurt, let someone in charge know right away so that they can fill out the accident report and send it in (you can ask to be CCed on the submission if you’re worried it won’t get sent). Having that record keeps your options open when it comes to filing a claim later.
Get your claims in quickly
Through the SCA insurance policy, you’re covered for 52 weeks from the date of your injury, but claims need to be filed sooner than that. File your accident report ASAP, and make sure that you also file your insurance claim within 90 days of the injury. While most people will apply for insurance reimbursement quickly, especially for bigger ticket items like major emergency care bills, some people tend to wait until they’re doing taxes or some other year-end accounting. This is especially true of smaller bills, like those for physical therapy or sports medicine follow-up appointments—but don’t wait or you could miss out on getting them reimbursed! (You can find the insurance claim form here.)
COVID-19 is not covered—but that’s OK for clubs and races
Your SCA insurance will not cover COVID-19 claims. That’s because if an event—whether it’s a club clinic, ride, or race—happens, it’s happening in accordance with government health directives around COVID-19. If you are running an event as a club, make sure that you’re up to date on current COVID-19 policies in the province, are sharing your risk management plan, and are you’re following those guidelines during your event. And as an individual member, make sure that you’re doing your part, maintaining proper social distancing space, wearing your mask when needed, regularly washing your hands, and of course, staying home if you’re sick.
Travel insurance is available as well
When traveling out of the country becomes an option again, there are travel insurance options available through the Canadian Athlete Insurance Program (CAIP) that can cover your riding in a way that many average travel insurance packages will not. (You can download the enrollment forms here.)
About the writer:
Molly Hurford is a journalist in love with all things cycling, running, nutrition and movement-related. When not outside, she’s writing about being outside and healthy habits of athletes and interviewing world-class athletes and scientists for The Consummate Athlete podcast and website, and most recently launched the book ‘Becoming A Consummate Athlete.‘ She’s the author of multiple books including the Shred Girls, a young adult fiction series and online community focused on getting girls excited about bikes. Molly is a little obsessed with getting people psyched on adventure and being outside, and she regularly hosts talks and runs clinics for cyclists and teaches yoga online and IRL… And in her spare time, the former Ironman triathlete now spends time tackling long runs and rides on trails or can be found out hiking with her mini-dachshund DW and husband, cycling coach and kinesiologist Peter Glassford.