Cycling, as a sport, has been in the papers recently for a few wrong reasons but mainly as a good news story. With Bradley's Wiggins Tour de France win and the Olympics road race, the publicity has been fantastic – but with this comes a down-side, the increase in cycle theft. There has been an increase of around 8% in bike theft claims on home insurance policies reported by one insurance company: with the average replacement cost of around £300, this soon adds up to more expensive policies. As a form of transport, a family activity or for keep fit purposes, cycling is still on the increase and so providing thieves with a lot of opportunity.
Research indicates that one in ten bike owners has had a bike stolen in the past five years and yet around 57% were unable to claim on their insurance. To ensure you are not among those victims, you should check your home insurance policy document carefully. Most policies will cover all cycles at home as standard, although some may specify limits ranging from £250 to £10,000, or will apply a single item limit for each bicycle covered.
Look carefully at insurance for bikes kept in outbuildings as some policies provide specific limits ranging from £500 to £10,000. Some may not offer cover for this at all – you can often add cover, though. Tricky exclusions will often exist, so look carefully to ensure the insurer has not, for example, stipulated that if the bike is stolen overnight you needed to use an approved D-lock to validate the insurance. Others will only accept claims if you have locked your bike to a bike rack or lamp post.
If you are a serious or competitive cyclist, it is worth looking at specialist policies: these may be more expensive than a home insurance add-on, but offer a more comprehensive policy. The best policies include liability insurance to cover legal costs in case you damage a person or vehicle whilst on your bike. Cyclists need also to consider cover which not only includes theft, but also damage and vandalism to the bike and its accessories – as well as the liability which can arise in an accident.
Make certain you keep the receipt when you purchase a bike, note the serial number and take photographs of it. Wherever possible, mark your bike using a security initiative such as www.bikeregister.com or speak with your local police who can advise on identification marking.
Some people have had their insurance claim rejected because they have not read the small print. The best way to avoid this is to take professional advice. Westhill Insurance Services is an independent insurance company: that means we can shop around to find the very best deal to suit your pocket. We know what questions to ask, so we can establish the facts before you buy your policy – something which comparison sites are not able to do. Just make one call to our friendly team and we can have your bike covered in a trice: we don't want to put a spoke in your wheel, we just want to keep you and your bike as safe as we can.
Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.