Considering USA Cycling Ride+ / Race + Insurance? You might not be getting what you think…

I recently discovered that USA Cycling (USAC) offers a variety of cycling related incident insurance packages. On their face, they seem like a reasonable price. For $260/year in the Ride+ and $350/year for Race+ you get “$0 deductible $50,000 insurance policy provides 24/7/365 on-the-bike coverage during non-racing activities including charity rides, gran fondos, group rides with your club, everyday commutes, and solo cycling adventures. ” coverage. But it doesn’t really work the way you’d expect, or at least not the way I expect.

Let’s start with the easy answers. If you race USAC events, the Race+ coverage makes sense. If you’re injured in a USAC sanctioned race, you’re covered. If you only have Ride+, you won’t be covered. Very straightforward. Where it gets complicated is everything that isn’t a race, and there it looks like there isn’t a difference between the Race+ and Ride+ options. So if you don’t do USAC sanctioned races, there’s no additional benefit to getting Race+, because it only adds  coverage for USAC races.

The bit that’s complicated, and was not consistent with how I expected, is when it comes to organized events. It took way more effort than I expected to have USAC provide a clear answer around what kind of events are covered under Ride+ and which aren’t. The key is whether there is an entry fee.

No fee, you’re cool. Fee, and it’s not USAC sanctioned, no coverage. Which bizarrely, seems at odds with the “charity rides, gran fondos” verbiage.

Do charity rides/gran fondos exist where you don’t have to pay an entry fee? Isn’t the the point of a charity ride? To pay a fee, for a charity, then you get to do the ride? I’ve never seen a charity ride or gran fondo that doesn’t charge something, if they exist, I’d love to know where and how they work.

To me, that feels pretty sketchy/disingenuous. If I hadn’t pulled that thread, I would have assumed that events like HHH would be covered because it is very much a charity ride. But nope…

I guess USAC’s out is through technicality. If the charity ride/fondo is USAC sanctioned they can charge a fee and we get insurance coverage. If those exist, I haven’t run across one. Probably because USAC would take a slice of the proceeds through their permitting process. Either way, it’s on you to figure out if you’re covered or not.

Whether that’s disingenuous or not, doesn’t necessarily mean that Ride+ isn’t still a good option – especially if you don’t have great health insurance. I ride a lot. Most of my rides aren’t for fee; it’s just me out on my own or out with some friends. So if I were to be injured on the bike, I would be covered. I just with that USAC was more less opaque and less sketchy about what’s covered and what’s not.

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