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Lack of insurance puts new bikes at risk

Written by: Emma Lunn
Hundreds of thousands of cyclists could be putting their bikes at risk because they don’t have bike insurance.

According to Aviva, people who bought a bike last year spent £835 on average, or £1,201 if they bought an electric bike. About one in three people who bought a bike in the past year chose an e-bike, but this kind of bike is three times more likely to be stolen than a traditional pedal cycle.

Aviva found that two fifths (38%) of people who bought a bike in the past year didn’t have insurance cover either under a home insurance policy or through specialist bike insurance.

According to The Bicycle Association, retail bike sales increased by 60% between March and December last year, while analysis by GlobalData suggests 1.3 million Brits bought a bicycle during the first national lockdown alone.

How to insure your bike

Home insurance policies usually cover pedal cycles and e-bikes when in the home. But this may not extend to taking the bike out and about – when it’s more likely to be stolen.

Many insurers offer a pedal cycle add-on to home insurance which covers cycles when they are not at the home address, but there are often requirements that the bike should be secured when it is not being ridden.

There are also stand-alone products available, such as Cycleplan and Pedalsure, which provides specialist cycle protection against theft and damage with optional add-ons including public liability, legal expenses, personal accident and loss of earnings insurance.

Sarah Applegate, risk lead for Aviva General Insurance, said: “Cycle insurance can provide great peace of mind, but people should consider their cover carefully. Home contents insurance often covers bikes and e-bikes while in the home, but there may be a single item limit for possessions stolen or damaged, so more expensive models may need to be listed separately to ensure they are fully covered. Similarly, there may be a limit for items stored in sheds and outbuildings – often around £2,500.

“Some home insurance providers also offer a cycle add-on option to cover bikes away from the home, while stand-alone special policies are available through providers such as Cycleplan. However, thefts may only be covered if the bike is locked or secured in accordance with the security requirements of the policy or in the customer’s control. It’s always best to check with the insurer if in any doubt.”

How to protect your bike

You can hopefully prevent thieves from taking your bike by locking it to a fixed object such as a bike rack or a ground anchor in a designated bike parking area.

Use good quality locks such as a D-locks which are strong and difficult for thieves to cut through. It’s even better to use two different types of locks to thwart thieves. Ensure the lock is around the wheel, frame and anchor to which it is attached. Otherwise, thieves may be able to remove parts of your bike and lift the main frame away.

Register your bike with a tracker website such as so police can trace and identify your bike if it does get stolen. Photograph your bike and note down the serial number, make and model. If it does get stolen this will make it easy to identify to the police and insurers.

Security-mark the frame using an ultraviolet marker. If it is stolen and later found, it will be identified as yours and possibly returned to you.

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