More of us are getting on our bikes these days, whether to cycle to work, nip to the shops or indulge in some serious mountain biking at the weekend. Pedal power has obvious attractions. Cyclists can save money on petrol, cut down on pollution and improve their health and fitness.
But bicycles also appeal to thieves. The latest crime figures reveal that more than 100,000 bikes are stolen every year, although the true number could be much higher because many thefts are not reported. The average value of a stolen bike is £340 - and sadly, 15% are never recovered.
The statistics show that insurance for your bike is essential, so you should check that you have appropriate cover.
Why Bicycle Insurance is important.
Many people assume that their bike is covered on their home contents insurance policy. Some home insurers include cycle cover as standard, but the bike will often only be insured if it is inside the property or secured in an outbuilding. In other words, if your bike is stolen from the back garden, your insurer will not pay out.
You would also be unable to claim on your standard contents policy if the theft took place outside the railway station or the local supermarket.
You can often extend your home insurance to cover your bike when it is outside the house. Alternatively, a number of firms offer specialist bicycle insurance to cater for the growing number of cycle enthusiasts. The policy wordings vary, but most cover your bike against theft, whether inside or outside the home. You should not, however, be careless with your bicycle. If your bike is not secured with an approved lock, the insurer could reject the claim.
Bicycle insurance does not only cover theft, but should also pay out for accidental damage or vandalism. Check too whether the policy includes third party liability cover, in case you injure another person or damage their car or bicycle. The number of cyclists on the roads these days means that accidents are more common place, so it's wise to take out suitable insurance.
If you are worried that you might be stranded on a country road if your bike gets a puncture or the wheel falls off, you might want to consider cycle breakdown cover. It works in much the same way as car breakdown cover and is a popular add-on to a bicycle insurance policy.
It doesn't matter whether you are a casual cyclist with your trusty two wheels or a hard core enthusiast with a custom made trial bike, cycle insurance can be tailor made to meet your needs.