Bicycle Insurance Explained

Bicycle insuranceThanks to Wiggo’s tour de force in the Tour De France, and Team GB’s impressive Olympic medal haul, cycling has never been bigger in Britain. Barely six months ago if you mentioned the Keirin’ or the ‘Omnium’ you would be met with the same perplexed gaze as some who’s just selected an unfortunate set of Scrabble tiles. Fast forward six months the New Year’s Honours List boast 14 cyclists, impressive stuff indeed!

Sadly the growing popularity of cycling is being shadowed by an increase in bike thefts. One bicycle is stolen every 65 seconds in the UK, and much of the bike crime is organised rather than opportunistic. The good news is that there are a number of bicycle insurance providers offering comprehensive cover for less than £50 per annum.

Most home contents insurance policies include some provision for bicycles (although rarely more than £500 cover), so check with your provider first. If you decide you need a specific bike policy look out for the following benefits:

Theft & Damage: The backbone of any bicycle insurance policy will be financial provision against theft and damage. The limit of indemnity will depend on the value of your bike, but you can expect ‘new for old’ replacement if it’s less than 3 years old, otherwise depreciation will be factored into any insurance payouts.

Bicycle Usage: Most policies provide standard cover for a diversity of uses, from daily commuting to entering competitions.

European & Worldwide: If you are planning on touring or competing abroad you’ll need to pay a premium. Most overseas policies have a maximum trip length of 30-45 days.

Bicycle Hire: For committed cyclists life without wheels is unthinkable and thankfully there are policies which provide bike hire wile claims are being processed.

Public Liability: As a cyclist you’ll know that accidents can and do happen. Public liability insurance provides a financial safety net for third party claims made against you.

Personal Accident: Almost always an ‘additional extra’ with the additional premium depending on the level of cover you choose.

Roadside Recovery: Purists may sneer at the idea of a recovery service for cyclists, but if you’ve ever been seriously stuck in the middle of nowhere it’s money well spent.

When it comes to insurance it always pays to spend a few minutes reading the small print, pay close attention to:

Exclusions against theft: you’re likely to need an approved lock, something ‘immovable’ to lock your bicycle to, and there’s usually a maximum period you can leave your bike unattended.

Exclusions against accidental damage: you generally won’t be covered for damage caused in transit or if you loan your bicycle to a friend.

And finally take careful note of the level of excess, which shouldn’t be more than £25-50 with the exception of Public liability claims.

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