Do I need bicycle insurance?
Many households own a bike or two, and chances are they're worth a fair bit of money. Here's all you need to know about bicycle insurance and how to add a bike to your home insurance policy.
Bikes are a great way of getting around; cheap to run, environmentally friendly and not to mention that cycling is a great form of exercise.
But unfortunately, thieves also love bicycles. Not because they’re healthy or good for the planet, but because they’re easy to steal.
Top-of-the-range bicycles can often cost well over £1,000, but too many are left unsecure or in unlocked sheds and garages.
And some make the mistake of using poor-quality bike locks. So opportunist thieves can crack them open and ride off in seconds.
More than 500,000 bikes are stolen every year, and the numbers are rising. If you have one, you need to cherish it.
That means investing in a good lock and chain, taking care where you leave your bike, and making sure it's properly insured.
It's also worth registering with BikeRegister, it could make easier for police to reunite you with your bike if it's stolen. You can also buy special security kits to give your bike extra protection.
Adding a bicycle to your home insurance policy
Too many cyclists assume their bike is automatically covered under their home contents insurance, but that isn’t always the case.
If you already have contents cover in place, it makes sense to add your bike(s) to your policy. Many insurers will cover bicycles but it's important to know what level of cover you have.
You can add your bike to your home contents insurance policy at any time. But some insurers will only cover bikes if they're stolen from your home or a locked garage, as standard.
So you'll need to specify whether you want to include cover away from home, to make sure your bike is covered when you're out and about.
If you're shopping around for a better deal on your home insurance, remember to list it as a high-value item.
Many will set a maximum limit for individual items. So if you whizz around on a titanium-frame racer worth thousands, you'll want to make sure you're covered.
Others might charge a hefty excess if your bike is stolen, which could be anything from £100 to £500.
So always check your policy details to make sure that you have the right level of cover in place.
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Keeping it wheel
Even when your bike is covered away from home, you still need to take good care of it.
Your insurer will expect you to take reasonable precautions, such as locking it to a fixed point such as a bike rack or fixed barrier. Otherwise, it may refuse to pay any claim.
And think twice before lending your bike to a friend or family member. Most insurers will only pay out for loss or damage if it was being used by a named policyholder at the time.
If someone else wants to get on your bike, you need to name them on your policy, just as if they were driving your car.
Unlike car insurance, bicycle insurance isn't compulsory. But there are specialist cycle insurance companies out there, and if your bike is worth a few bob, it could be worth considering.
Specialist insurance can offer additional extras cover such as public liability and personal accident cover and bicycle roadside recovery.
If you ride a sporty mountain bike or a racer and want better cover than your household insurer is offering, then look for a bespoke insurance policy instead.
Some specialists completely waive the excess on claims, set no maximum limits on the value of your bike, and cover you for using your bike in sporting events.
You will pay slightly more, but it can be worth it.
However, some home insurance companies offer additional cover for bikes, so search for a policy that includes specific cover that meets your needs.