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Last updated: 01 March 2022
If you use your bicycle for delivery work, whether it's delivering parcels or food, you'll need a specialist bike courier insurance policy.
What is bike courier insurance?
Across Britain’s cities, you’ll increasingly see takeaways and parcels being delivered by a fleet of bikes. Cycle couriers, many of them self-employed and working for gig economy platforms, invest in their bicycles and are reliant on the income they earn making deliveries.
But bicycles are frequently stolen, and accidents and injuries happen. Bike courier insurance policies address these hazards, covering bicycles and riders making deliveries against theft, damage, injury, and even lost earnings and legal expenses. Some policies will also cover e-bikes and their batteries, which are even more expensive to repair and replace.
Does standard bike insurance cover deliveries?
Many people who cycle for fun or to commute to work have insurance policies to cover their bicycles. Some home contents insurance policies also cover bicycles while they’re within the home.
But these policies generally won’t cover your bike if you’re making deliveries for payment. That’s because working as a cycle courier poses more risks than recreational cycling. You’ll be on the road longer, covering more ground, in all weather, and often cycling on a tight schedule - all of which makes accidents more likely.
Therefore, a bike insurance policy that doesn’t specifically cover deliveries may not pay out if you have an accident whilst working. That means you may end up paying to repair your bicycle yourself and, in extreme cases, to cover injury or damage you accidentally caused to someone else and their property.
What is covered by bike courier insurance?
Bike courier insurance policies vary in their coverage, so you’ll want to closely read the terms and conditions of any policy before you purchase it.
Most policies include some of the following protections, either as standard or as optional add-ons:
- Theft: Covers the replacement of your bicycle and other gear such as helmets and locks if they’re stolen. Check to see if your policy covers theft from your home and/or while you’re out and about. You may have to agree to always secure your bike with an industry-approved lock.
- Accidental damage: Covers the repair or replacement of your bicycle and gear if they’re damaged in a traffic collision. Some policies also cover damage caused by vandalism.
- Goods in transit cover: Covers the items you’re delivering so you’re not left out of pocket if someone steals your bike while it’s loaded with parcels.
- Personal injury: Pays out to cover any missed earnings or treatment if you’re injured while cycling for work.
- Legal expenses cover: Covers your legal expenses if you need to make a claim for personal injury after an accident that wasn’t your fault.
- Public liability cover: Covers legal and compensation expenses if someone claims for injury or damage you cause to them and their property while you're cycling to make deliveries.
- Bike hire: covers the hire of a bicycle whilst yours is being repaired so you can continue working.
- Breakdown cover: Covers alternative transport home if your bicycle is damaged on the job.
How much does courier bike insurance cost?
The premiums for courier bike insurance vary, depending on the type of cover you choose. Insurers will also consider your particular circumstances:
- Your bicycle: Newer, more expensive bicycles and e-bikes are both costlier to replace and of greater interest to thieves.
- How many miles you cycle: Insurance cover will be more expensive if you’re on the road for eight or more hours per day than if you only make deliveries a few hours each week.
- What you’re delivering: Delivering high-value items can increase your premiums because they make your bicycle a bigger target for thieves.
- Where you store your bike: If you keep your bicycle indoors or in a locked garage overnight, you’ll pay less for cover than if you park it on the street.
- Where you live and work: High volumes of traffic in your area can mean a higher likelihood of collisions and drive up your premiums. Insurers will also charge more if you’re in an area with a high incidence of bicycle theft.
You can purchase basic bike courier insurance for a relatively cheap bike for under £10 per month. But premiums can climb to over £30 per month if your bicycle costs thousands of pounds and you want additional protection as part of your policy.