Cycling is a hugely popular mode of transport, but despite its benefits there are still many risks involved with owning a bike. Many cyclists are involved with road collisions and over 250,000 bikes are stolen each year in the UK. Bicycle insurance can help you cover the cost of repairing or replacing your bike should you find yourself unlucky enough to damage it in collision or have it stolen or vandalised. Read our useful guide to find out how bicycle insurance works and to learn some helpful tips for keeping your bike safe and secure.
Why do you need bike insurance?
Bikes can be very expensive and bicycle insurance can help cover the cost of repairs or a replacement should your bike be damaged or stolen. Bicycles come in many forms, from a child’s tricycle to a custom racing bike, but bike insurance can be tailor-made to suit your needs.
Bicycle insurance is not mandatory in the UK, but if you own an expensive bike or use your bike regularly, you may want to have peace of mind that if something happens to it you will be covered.
Is your bike already covered?
Many home contents insurance policies will cover bicycles as standard against theft and accidental damage. However, this may not cover your bike from damages or theft which occur when its away from your home. If you use a bike that is worth more than £2,000 regularly or in competition, then you will probably need specialist bike insurance.
Make sure you check the details of your home insurance policy to find out how your bike is covered. You will need to check things such as the single item value limit, as if your bike costs £1,000 and your insurer’s single item limit is only £750 then you would have to cover the extra £250 yourself if you wanted to make a claim.
What does bike insurance cover?
Standard bicycle insurance policies cover you for:
- Accidental damage
- Malicious damage
You can also add additional cover to your insurance:
- Third party liability – if you injure another person or damage their property whilst cycling then you will be covered.
- Accessories – any equipment damaged or stolen whilst on your bike will also be covered, for example, lights, helmet or GPS.
- Personal accident – if you are seriously injured or killed whilst riding your bike, you and your family will be covered for medical costs.
- Cycling abroad – you will be covered riding your bike outside of the UK.
- Competition use – some insurers provide policies that cover you when taking part in a competition or event that involves riding your bike.
There are exclusions to think about when choosing a bike insurance policy that could void an insurance claim if you are not careful. Common exclusions include:
- Accidents that happen under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Damage to accessories without any damage to the bike itself.
- If you use your bike for your job, for example as a courier.
- If you can’t prove you own the bike, so keep receipts!
- Cosmetic damage won’t be covered, the damage has to affect the functionality of the bike.
- Theft of your bike if it was not secured properly.
How to Keep Your Bike Safe
Bike thefts are unfortunately a very common problem in the UK, especially in larger cities. Here are some of our tips to help keep your bike safe:
- Register and insure your bike – depending on where you live, there are various sites that allow you to register your bike. This will allow the police to identify your bike if it gets stolen. An insurance policy can also ensure that the costs of any repair or replacement needed are covered.
- Lock your bike in safe locations – when away from your home, make sure you lock your bike in locations that are busy and populated, preferably with CCTV nearby, and lit well.
- Invest in a good lock – the cheaper the lock, the more likely that a thief will be able to break through it. D-locks are often more secure than chain locks, and if you want to be really secure then use both!
- Lock your bike properly – when you lock up your bike be sure to lock it to something secure. You should also lock the wheels up with the frame. Check that your seat and wheels aren’t easily removable as often thieves will just steal parts rather than the whole bike.
- Keep it locked up at home – when your bike is at home make sure you keep it locked away in a shed or somewhere secure outside. If your home is big enough then the safest place to keep it is inside.
How to Find the Right Policy
The best way to find a good bicycle insurance policy is to shop around. Make sure you compare home insurance providers and their policies. You should also consider:
- Maximum cover – the most an insurer will pay out for your bike. Make sure the policy you choose will cover the full value of your bike.
- Excess – look for companies with low excesses so that you pay less towards a claim.
- Personal accident cover – this is often included as an extra on a bicycle insurance policy. It determines how much you can claim if you have an accident or are seriously injured or killed.
- Keeping your bike secure – many bike insurance policies will stipulate that your bike needs to be kept in a secure location overnight and have adequately secure locks for when you lock it up away from your home. Investing in good locks is definitely worth the money.
What do I need to get a quote?
If you want to get a quote for bicycle insurance, you will need to provide a few basic details:
- Details about your bike or bikes (type, make, value, age etc.)
- The cover requirements you would like
- Optional extras you need
- Information about your bike’s security
- Personal details