As the snow melts and the weather warms up a bit it’s a great time to get some exercise and sunshine – like riding a bike. Cheaper and greener than using a car or public transport, cycling will also keep you in good shape.
However, bicycles are often an easy target for thieves and the more expensive the model you have, the more important it is for you to protect your bike with insurance.
- Cover your bicycle with your home contents insurance
- Take out specialist insurance
- Tips on how to keep your bike safe
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
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.
Keep an eye out for special offers and discounts.
- Swinton home insurance currently offer £30 cashback for taking out buildings and contents insurance with them.
- Direct Line offer £25 towards your existing provider’s cancellation fee, plus as much as 40% off when you buy your policy online.
Don’t forget to check our home insurance comparison tool to see whether another provider can beat your current premium.
Do you need it?
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 E&L but also check out non-specialists like Endsleigh.
At Cycleguard you can choose one of five policies including one for kids, one for roadside recovery alone and one for triathletes, so there is lots of variety and flexibiliy.
E&L offers both leisure and competitive cycling insurance. Their Leisure Plan covers bicycles used for day-to-day leisure and road-based time trials and the Compete Plan covers bicycles used for racing and in competitions for semi-professional cyclists.
- 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).