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Bicycle insurance – Why it is important?
Lots of people ride bicycles in the UK. Everyone from children to adults can enjoy the thrill of pedalling, freewheeling downhill or simply whizzing to the shops on a bike. Cycling is one of the fastest-growing sports in the UK, with adventure bikes, road bikes and racing bikes all growing in popularity. Use of hybrid bikes and electric bikes are also on the rise. For many people, cycling is more than just a hobby. Cycle couriers rely on their bikes to make a living.
Cycling can be a great cheap alternative to car travel or public transport. Many cities are investing in cycle lanes to allow more people to get about by bike. Using a bicycle to commute can be quicker and often cheaper than other methods of transport.
Unfortunately, with the boom in popularity comes a risk to cycle owners. Bicycle theft is quite a common crime. Replacing your bike can be an expensive operation, so it is essential to make sure you have the right insurance cover to protect you.
Do I need specialist bicycle insurance?
It can be tempting to think that only professional cyclists need bicycle insurance cover. But if you had to replace your bike in the event of theft, you could still be left out of pocket, even on a basic model.
Many people make the mistake of thinking their bicycle will be covered by their house insurance policy. While some policies will cover you, most will insist the bike is kept either indoors or in an outbuilding. For many, this is not an option.
Your bicycle is at risk of being stolen when you are out using it, as well as from your garden. Your home insurance would not normally extend to covering your bike at locations away from your property, for example, if it is stolen from outside a shop.
Having a specialist cover can give peace of mind that you will be able to afford to replace your bike if it is stolen.
What does it cover?
A specialist cycle insurance policy will protect you against all the risks you might face when riding your bike. Whether you regularly ride on the roads, or off-road, talk to your insurer to make sure you are only paying for cover you need.
A typical comprehensive cycling insurance policy might include cover for:
- Accidental damage
- Collisions on the road
- Cover for any cycling accessories like helmets or lights
Depending on how you use your bike, you might consider adding additional coverage to your premium.
Third-party cover: to pay out in the event of a claim arising from damage to a third party
Sporting event insurance: if you regularly use your bike to compete in cycling events
Cycling abroad cover: if you plan on using your bike on foreign holidays or trips.
Who needs it?
If you own or use any of the following, you could benefit from specialist bicycle insurance policy:
- Push Bikes
- Mountain bike
- Road racing bike
- Children’s bicycles
- Folding bicycles
- Electric or hybrid bikes
How to save money on bicycle insurance?
The cost of bicycle insurance is calculated based on a number of factors. Where you live, where the bike is stored, how it is used, and the value of your bicycle will all affect the cost of insurance.
The best way to reduce the cost of a policy is to reduce the overall risks. Theft is one of the highest causes of bicycle insurance claims, so you must take all reasonable steps to protect your bike.
- Store your bike securely when not in use. If you keep it in a shed, fit heavy duty locks, and if possible, secure the bike to something immovable within the outbuilding too.
- Try not to store your bike in view of the public. For example, if you keep it indoors, avoid areas which can be easily seen from outside.
- Use a bike lock when you are out and about. Most cities have dedicated bike racks where you can leave your bike securely when not in use.
- Make sure to lock through the frame AND the wheels. Thieves can easily remove a wheel, and steal either the wheel or the frame separately!
- Never leave your bike unattended. It is tempting to just ‘pop into the shop’ for a second without locking it. This is when opportunistic thieves can strike!
- Don’t leave portable accessories unsecured. Many cyclists will take their saddle, lights and pumps with them rather than leaving them on a parked bike. They can easily be stolen and can still be costly to replace.
Bicycle insurance FAQs
Q – What is excluded from bicycle insurance?
A – Check with your insurer, as each policy can differ. Typically, exclusions will be in place for cosmetic damage like knocks or scrapes, or anything which could reasonably be considered ‘wear and tear’. You are also unlikely to be covered if your bike is left unsecured, or if you damage it whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Q – I am a cycle courier. Will bicycle insurance cover me?
A – If you rely on your bike for work, you need to make sure you are covered. The loss of a bike can mean you are not able to work, so it’s important to check you are fully covered. Most bicycle insurance policies will not include the cover as standard if you use your bike for commercial gain. There are specialist insurance policies available for cycle couriers, which also include cover like public liability or goods in transit cover which may be more appropriate.
Q – I only ride my bike occasionally. Do I still need a cover?
A – Replacing a stolen bike can be expensive, even if you only have a basic model. Even if you only ride your bike infrequently, there is also still a risk that you could injure yourself, or damage someone else’s property if you are involved in an accident. Having insurance cover in place can ensure peace of mind, and ensure you are not left out of pocket.