What kind of cycle insurance do I need?
With the recent boom in cycling, there are a lot more bikes on the streets now. It’s great news for cycling advocates, but in reality it also means more opportunities for accidents and theft.
That’s why, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or an absolute beginner, it’s worth taking out an insurance policy to keep yourself and your bike covered – for peace of mind, if nothing else.
However the world of cycle insurance can be confusing and overwhelming. What type of policy should you opt for? How much cover do you realistically need? Surely adding your bike to your home insurance is enough?
Here we break down the pros and cons of home insurance, vs more specialist cycle insurance policies on the market, to help you decide which type you need.
Reasons to insure your bike
Not convinced you need insurance? It’s not mandatory and won’t appeal to everyone, but it definitely comes with its benefits. Here are six reasons you should consider cycle insurance:
- If your bike is stolen, you could claim back its total value or get a like-for-like replacement.
- If your bike, or any of your cycling clothing or accessories are damaged in a collision, you could claim back their total value or have them replaced.
- If you choose to travel abroad with your bike, you could still be covered for theft or damage abroad.
- If you are injured while travelling abroad with your bike, you could claim back any medical costs that you incur.
- If you cause injury to another person or damage private property, you could be covered with third party liability insurance, in case you are sued.
- If you race, a specialist insurance policy could cover you for damages from race-related accidents, and help you recover lost fees if you were suddenly unable to participate.
Home insurance vs specialist insurance
Some people tend to add their bikes to their home insurance policies, since it’s a simple solution and keeps everything tied up in a neat package. However, the cover you receive from basic home insurance isn’t always suitable for your needs as a cyclist.
Whatever your personal situation, it’s important to do some research to decide whether or not you would benefit from a more specialist cycle insurance policy.
Home insurance: pros and cons
- It’s fuss-free, with less paperwork, and everything kept in a single place under one policy.
- It can be great value for money if you only cycle occasionally (once a week or less), and own a single bike worth less than £350.
- While home insurance only covers your bike when it’s at home, there are often options to get an ‘away from home’ add-on, for a premium.
- You’re not necessarily required to be a homeowner, as there are tenant’s insurance policies available as well, though this can be very complicated if you live in a shared space.
- Not all home insurance policies cover bikes, so check if this is an option for you.
- Some policies have a maximum claim as low as £350, which isn’t suitable if your bike is more valuable than this.
- You will not be covered if your bike is stolen while locked up in public.
- It costs extra to have ‘away from home’ cover added (if it’s even an option for your particular policy).
- In order for your bike to be covered by the insurance policy, you will likely be subject to stipulations on how and where it’s stored.
Specialist insurance: pros and cons
- Many specialist policies offer a significant discount if you insure multiple bikes.
- You can get travel cover for anything from a short overseas trip to a long-distance adventure.
- You can get cover for your cycling accessories and clothing, as well as your bike. This is especially useful in the case of helmets, which are no longer safe to use after an impact.
- No matter how hardy you feel, it’s worth having some personal accident cover in case you’re ever unfortunate enough to be seriously injured while riding.
- You can get public liability cover in case you’re sued by a third party for injuring someone else or damaging private property.
- Some policies also offer cycling-related legal assistance if needed, which is especially useful if you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
- If you race, there are a number of ways you could lose money when things go wrong, so race cover is a really important thing to consider. It could cover kit damage during a race, lost race fees if you’re unable to compete, and personal accident cover. Plus, for some events, it’s mandatory in order to take part.
- The only real con is the cost, but if you’re a serious cyclist, there’s a strong likelihood that you will need to be covered by at least one of these policies at some time in your life. Not having insurance can end up costing a lot more in that scenario.
Thankfully we’ve teamed up with four cycle insurers to bring you a great discount, so if money is the thing that’s holding you back, perhaps we can help make specialist insurance more accessible to you.
Summary: which insurance do you need?
We can’t tell you exactly which insurance policy to take out, because everyone’s situation is unique to them.
It’s your responsibility to do the research and choose the right policy for your needs, so please refer to our guidance, and examine the individual policies from the policy-holders themselves.
However here’s a general summary of what we’ve listed above:
Home insurance is the cheapest option if your budget is tight, and covers you for theft from home. If you only have one bike that isn’t particularly valuable, and that spends more time at home than out in the world, this is a great value for money insurance option.
If you’re a more serious cyclist who rides most days, leaves their bike locked up in public a lot, travels with their bike, takes part in racing events, or has multiple valuable bikes and expensive specialist kit, we’d strongly recommend opting for specialist insurance.