Why can bicycle insurance be so expensive?
The cost of bicycle insurance is dependant on a variety of things, such as your age, where you live, the make of your bike and how much it’s worth. Although some may find it hard to believe, in many cases you may end up forking out more to insure your bike than you would for your car.
So, what are the reasons for bicycle insurance being so expensive?
First of all, some bikes cost as much as a car. With many higher-end bicycles costing thousands of pounds, your insurance premium will reflect that your bike could be as expensive to fix or replace as a car. And with the Bicycle Association reporting a 26% hike in average bike prices last year, we could see premiums creep up further to reflect this rise.
Bicycle parts and accessories can also bump up the cost of insurance, especially if they are easily removed. Components such as wheels and cycle computers can in some cases cost hundreds of pounds, and alongside other bits of kit like helmets they can bring insurance premiums up considerably.
Another factor to consider is that bicycles are often at higher risk of theft than cars, being easier to steal especially if they are not secured properly either at home or when out and about. Insurers are also likely to be wary of the significant spike in bike thefts during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly within London, which could see premiums increase in coming months.
The fact that stolen bicycles can be harder to recover than cars may also have a bearing on insurance premiums. Saying this, there have been major wins in recovering stolen bikes in the capital, and a new scheme by TfL, Mayor Sadiq Khan and Halfords to combat bike theft through promoting good bike locking and registration with BikeRegister, could help to reduce bike theft in the city, and perhaps even premiums later down the line.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that cycle insurance often includes a number of extras at little-to-no additional cost, such as racing or transit cover. On the other hand, adding these as extras to a car insurance policy would raise the premium significantly.
Finally, insurers often presume that you are at higher risk while riding a bike than you would be driving a car, as you don’t have the protection of a metal shield, airbags, or seat belts during an accident. Recent data from the Department for Transport reveals the casualty rate per billion passenger miles for cyclists was 5,068 in 2019, compared to just 211 for car users.
If the likelihood of you having an accident is higher, then the insurer bears more risk. In the same vein, if the accidents you do have are likely to be more serious, the insurer’s pay-out will have to be higher, which is ultimately reflected in the premium.
There are, of course, many other factors that contribute to how insurance premiums are calculated, and most insurers have an online quote service on their website that gives you an indication of what you can expect for your money.
Save on your next policy
The Stolen Ride community has access to discounts with four leading companies.