Mountain Biking Insurance

Why not take your mountain bike abroad abroad?

Mountain-biking insurance

Dogtag has become almost the default travel insurer for serious mountain bikers who travel abroad for their sport and mountain bikers represent a significant number of our membership. Whether it’s ‘rectreational’ mountain biking, hammering around the forest trails or the ‘serious’ stuff like competitive downhill mountain biking, we can probably cover you.


Plainly, the type of mountain biking that you do will be to one degree or another either more, or less risky and that’s why we have differing levels of sport cover varying from Sport through to Extreme+ Typically, however, mountain biking falls largely into two zones and there is, of course, quite a bit of cross-over so let’s see if we clarify things:


What’s the difference between ‘Recreational’, ‘Downhill’ and ‘Competitive’ mountain biking?
 As we said above, by and large there are two main types of mountain biking and you can compete in both. Let’s take a closer look:

“Recreational” or general cross-country mountain biking

This largely amounts to getting the bike off the roof of the car and just going – heading off across the countryside using forest trails or other beaten tracks. For no other reason than it needs a name for our purposes, we define this sort of activity as “recreational mountain biking” even though it can, of course, be fairly adventurous. You’ll be tackling a variety of terrain, climbing and descending. For general recreational mountain biking holiday insurance, you’ll need Dogtag Sport, our default sport cover level, and there’s no extra charge.

Downhill mountain biking

The other substantial group that mountain bikers fall iinto are those who intend to do what we define as “downhill mountain biking” and while we’re going with the  Wikipedia’s definition as downhill mountain biking being a type of time trial (which would, by definition, be competitive) we’re also defining it as doing the same thing for fun – or for a burst of adrenaline. So, for downhill mountain biking in a “recreational” sense, i.e, non-competitive, as far as travel insurance is concerned, you’ll need to choose Dogtag Extreme as your sport cover level.

Insurance for downhill mountain biking

Duuurrrh? – I go downhill sometimes :-/
Now, before we go on, we realise that cross-country, “recreational” mountain bikers go down hills – usually ones that they’ve just cycled up but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

As far as we’re concerned, “downhill mountain biking” is going to the top of a hill or mountain with the specific intention of riding down a specified downhill mountain biking trail. Some of these trails are marked in resorts designed for mountain bikers and some are a bit more ad-hoc but the basic definition is what your intentions are and how you get to the top is perhaps one way we would define things.

With downhill mountain biking, you’ll usually be getting to the top by some artificial means such as ski lifts or even a courtesy coach but we’re not fussed about how you get to the top, it’s that the purpose of your trip to the top is to cycle downhill on rough and challenging terrain on a trail that’s designed for the purpose – a trail where going up is banned because you’ll meet somebody like yourself coming down.

Occasionally we get folk making excuses: “Well, it’s not really proper downhill mountain biking because

a) “… I won’t be going off any jumps and I’ll take care.” or
b) I won’t be wearing any downhill mountain biking protection or a wrap-around helmet…” or something like that.
Well, we would answer those questions thusly:
a) it doesn’t matter, it’s still downhill mountain biking and
b) are you crazy?

As we said above, for Downhill Mountain Biking travel insurance, you need to choose Dogtag Extreme as your sport cover level. No ifs or buts.

Competitive mountain biking

The competitive element in any sport changes things considerably. When you compete at sport, if you’re anything like us, the gloves come off and the red mist comes down. The competitive drive usually takes us as close to or over the edge of our experience or ability, a zone where judgement and caution run at reduced levels and by definition, risk increases. Risk also increases from an insurance point of view too. Making mistakes and crashing is bad enough when you’re cycling recreationally but the competitive element will mean that you’ll probably be going much faster and closer to the edge and not only that, you’ll be in the company of other competitors who are equally determined.

Taking all of the above into account, for downhill mountain biking travel insurance please to be sure to choose Dogtag Extreme+ as you sport cover level. Note the + there, it’s Extreme+, not Extreme.


Let’s summarise:

  • Recreational Mountain Biking as defined above:- Sport
  • Downhill Mountain Biking:- Extreme
  • Competitive Mountain Biking (of any kind):- Extreme+

And finally, in all likelihood, especially with ‘recreational’ mountain biking (as we’ve defined it) there’s a better than evens chance that given the opportunity while you’re on holiday, you’re more than likely to try something a bit more exciting than you might at home. What we’re saying is, if you think there’s the chance that you’ll try a bit of downhill when you’re actually off to do forest trails then you probably will so it might be best, unless you’re sure you won’t test yourself, to get a level higher than the one you know you’ll need.

If you have any questions, please contact us, to discuss.

Have a great time, stay safe.


The Dogtag Team.

You can find some other useful information regarding sports that we cover in our Sports Information Library.


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ƗPlease note, DOGTAG 's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This is discounted from our core policy price before you add any additional cost of optional extensions or additional medical premium.