A large number of South Africans do running, cycling or mountain biking, and an insurer has developed a bespoke product for these active people.

Insurer MiWayLife, a division of Sanlam, estimates that South Africa has 200 000 cyclists, 750 000 runners and 15 000 triathletes. It has introduced MiFitLife for high-performing athletes aged between 20 and 60, who can buy up to R5 million in accident and illness cover, and receive race-fee refunds if injury or illness prevents them from competing.

The package also offers discounts on insurance for sports equipment and specialised training programmes from MiWayLife coaches.

Craig Baker, the chief executive of MiWayLife, says: “When you get people spending upwards of R35 000 to compete in a multi-day stage race such as the Cape Epic, it makes sense to insure yourself against injury that could see you falling out at the last minute and losing your entrance fee.”

MiFitLife covers most of the South African long-distance triathlon team, including top triathlete Matt Trautman, whose cover kicked in after a vehicle hit him while training in the Cape Winelands. A complex spinal fusion and lengthy recovery put his hopes of defending his title at the Ironman competition in East London in January on hold. 

Trautman said the relief of the financial burden as a result of missing most of his racing year allowed him to focus on rehabilitation and recovery. 

The qualifying sports for MiFitLife include running, cycling, surfski paddling, swimming, canoeing and multisport (triathlon and duathlon). No medical underwriting or testing is required.