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21 May 2021
Jamie Gibbs Alice Campion

Bicycle insurance

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man on bicycle cycling through city

Make sure your bicycle is covered with a good insurance policy.

What is bicycle insurance?

Bicycle insurance is a type of cover that protects your bicycle if it gets stolen or damaged. It can also offer some level of insurance if you have an accident or injure yourself. 

 

Do I need bicycle insurance? 

It’s not mandatory to have bicycle insurance, but if your bicycle is your regular transportation, you might want to insure it.

Your home insurance might include your bicycle, or you could look for a specialist, more bespoke (pun intended) policy. 

Both types of policies have their pros and cons. 

Bicycles are expensive, some costing over £1000. And if they’re stolen or damaged, they could be costly to replace. 

If your bicycle is your only method of transport, being without it could be a pain in the padded bicycle shorts. 

Having a good bicycle insurance policy in place can help you with the cost of replacing or repairing your bicycle. You’ll be back in the saddle in no time. 

 

What does bicycle insurance cover? 

Every policy varies, but you’d usually be covered for: 

Theft 

If your bicycle was stolen, your insurance might cover the cost of replacement. 

Accidental damage 

If you damaged your bicycle, your policy could help cover the cost of repair. 

Malicious damage 

If someone vandalised your bicycle, your policy would cover repair or fund a new one. 

 

Are there any extras that I can get to cover my bicycle? 

Again, every policy varies, but with certain bicycle insurance policies there are extras you can add: 

  • If you were to fall off your bicycle, injure yourself or die, personal accident cover could provide you with cover to support your family.

  • If you injured someone else while you were on your bicycle, you’d be covered by third party liability insurance.

  • There’s also an option to cover accessories like your GPS system, helmet or lights. You’d be covered for theft and damage, or if someone vandalised these items.

  • Fancy the next tour de France? It’s worth getting cover for when you’re cycling abroad.

  • Some policies offer competition insurance, covering you while you take part in triathlons or time trials, to name a few. 

 

Is my bicycle covered under my home insurance policy? 

Your bicycle might already be covered under your standard contents insurance policy, but it will depend on a couple of things: 

  • The value of your bicycle

  • The type of policy you’ve got. 

Your contents insurance automatically covers items in the house, usually up to a certain amount. 

But if your bicycle is more than this amount, you might have to declare it as a high-value item. This might affect the price of your premiums. 

You might also have to specify if you want cover away from home. That’s because many contents insurance policies cover items in the home, not while they’re away from it. 

For example, if you took your bicycle to work, left it chained up outside and it got stolen, your contents insurance policy might not cover you. 

Another drawback might be the excess on the policy. Some insurers could charge up to £500 if your bicycle is stolen.  

Home insurance expert Jessica Willock, says:

Adding bicycle insurance to your home insurance is pretty straightforward. If it’s over £150 you’ll have to declare it separately on your content’s insurance, you can add this during the quote process. Or it might already be covered on some home insurance policies. Once you’ve got your quote make sure you check your policy wording, so you know exactly what you’re covered for.

READ MORE: Cover for high value items explained

 

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Do I need a specialist bicycle insurance policy? 

As we mentioned, you might already have cover on your policy if your bicycle is worth less than a certain amount, and you only want to cover it while it’s at home.

But if your bicycle is more expensive, and you use it for work and keep it away from home sometimes, you might want something a bit more comprehensive. 

Specialist insurance can offer additional extras cover such as public liability, personal accident cover and bicycle roadside recovery. 

They may not charge you excess, and you’ll be covered away from home. They might not set a limit on your bicycle’s value either. 

It might be pricier than a home insurance policy add-on, but at least you know you’ll be covered for most eventualities. 

Our advice is to always shop around. You might find you have enough cover through your home insurance policy or you might need to include it as an add-on. 

Make sure you check your policy documents, so you know exactly what you’re covered for. 

 

How can I keep my bicycle secure? 

Always lock your bicycle, even if you’re only leaving it for a couple of minutes. 

Use a couple of different security methods, for example a U-lock and a bicycle locking cable or chain. 

When you’re securing your bicycle, use as much street furniture – that’s bicycle racks and lampposts – as possible.

And make sure there’s hardly any daylight between the lock and your bicycle. This will make the lock harder for thieves to cut through. 

If you’re using a U-lock, try to secure it near to the ground. Put it over the seat stay and around the street furniture, securing it underneath the wheel arch. 

If you’re using a flexible locking cable, try and secure it so there’s little to no slack. Aiming to loop it through the front wheel, around the street furniture and over the down pipe. 

If you’re locking your bicycle in a public place, try and choose somewhere that’s well-lit and covered by CCTV if possible. 

Try to invest in gold-standard locks. These are much harder for thieves to break into.  

It’s also worth registering your bicycle for free with the bicycle register. It won’t stop your bicycle being stolen, but it improves your chances of finding your trusty steed if it is. 

 

What should I do if my bicycle gets stolen? 

If you can see your bicycle being stolen, call 999. 

If you don’t see it being stolen, but you know a thief has had it, call the police non-emergency number, which is 101. 

When you’ve called, make sure you get a crime reference number. 

Chances are thieves might try to sell your bicycle on sites like Gumtree, ebay, and Facebook marketplace.

Check these websites regularly, remembering to widen your search beyond your local area. 

Speak to your local bicycle repair shops or store. They’ll be able to keep an eye out for your bicycle in case anyone tries to sell or repair it. 

Make sure you post about your bicycle on Facebook too, encouraging people to share the post. 

For more advice on securing your bicycle at home, read our guide on insuring your garden, sheds and outbuildings.

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