Bicycle insurance can be really cheap, and with a bike stolen every 65 seconds in the UK it’s definitely worth taking out a policy.
Bicycle cover included in home insurance
Check your home contents insurance
Your bicycle may be automatically insured under your existing home contents policy. Alternatively you may be able to extend the cover you already have to include your bike for an additional premium. This might work out cheaper than buying a separate policy just for the bike.
Questions to ask
Do I need to buy an approved lock for the bike? Almost certainly, yes. Companies won’t pay if they think you have made it an easy target so you will need a good lock. Check with your provider to see which ones they accept.
Is my bike only covered if it is stolen from home? Many companies will only insure your bike if it is stolen or damaged whilst at home. If you want more protection then you will need to pay extra.
Is there a limit on the amount I can claim for? With insurance there is almost always an excess to pay or a limit to the amount you can claim. So if your bike is expensive you need to check that you can claim the full price on your policy. Be aware that some companies may only replace your bike at a depreciated value.
What is in the small print? You need to understand exactly what the policy covers. There are always exclusions, for example some companies will not pay out if your bike is stolen between certain hours (usually late at night), so you need to look at the policy exclusions really carefully.
How does it work?
Most home contents policies will cover a bicycle when it is in your home, an outbuilding or garden. Bikes are covered for full replacement value provided their value is included in your total sum insured.
To cover your bike away from home, you will need to add ‘personal possessions cover away from the home’ to your policy. There will be a limit to how much you can claim per bicycle, so if your bicycle is worth more than that limit it will need to be classed as a ‘specified item’. The ‘cover away from home’ section should provide cover for the bike when temporarily removed from your home.
Specialist bicycle insurance
Do you need it?
Bicycles and their parts are pretty easy to steal and resell. They’re light, portable and quick to grab. Clearly the more you cycle, the more likely theft, accidental damage or road accidents are.
Specialist or stand-alone insurance policies are particularly aimed at more serious cyclists who have expensive bikes or take part in competitive cycling. These will cost you more (often double the price) but will include much better cover.
What should it cover?
Third-party or public liability – the costs of causing accidents to other road-users and their property
Damage to your bicycle following an accident
The cost of a replacement bicycle if yours is stolen or damaged
Help to get home if your bike breaks mid-journey
Cover whilst abroad
How it works
Specialist companies tend to offer different types of cover which you can choose according to your needs, whether simply for leisure, commuting or competitive use. The two major providers of specialist bicycle insurance are Cycleguard and Cycleplan but also check out non-specialists like Endsleigh.
Keep your bike safe
Here are our top tips to avoid your bike being stolen:
Don’t leave your bike in an isolated area.
Always lock your bike up even if you are leaving it for a short time and can still see it.
Use special bicycle racks where possible but in an area that is busy and well-lit.
If you have a garage keep your bike locked inside it when it’s not in use.
Use a good-quality hardened steel lock that won’t be broken easily. This website will tell you which locks have been safety-certified. You can buy these locks at place like Halfords or try your local bike store.
Lock your bike through the frame and always attach it to something immovable.
Use an ultra-violet pen to write your postcode on the frame.
Write down the name, model and serial number of the bike and take photographs of your bike (which you can give to the police if it’s stolen).