Some of the top high performance bikes can set you back thousands of pounds, so insurance is a must-have.
Some cyclists choose to cover their bike on their home contents policy – and it is a valid option. Most insurers include bicycles, but you should read the terms and conditions carefully. There is often what’s called a single item limit, which means the policy will insure individual belongings only up to a certain value, which could be as low as £1,000.
And if your bike is stolen when it is left unlocked in your garden, the insurer might decline your claim. If your bike is particularly valuable, you might therefore have to pay an extra premium to buy additional cover. Check too that the bike is insured away from the home. If not, you wouldn’t be able to claim if, for example, it was stolen from outside the railway station. You also need to make sure that the policy covers accidental damage as it’s not included as standard on all home contents policies.
Insuring your bike on a home contents policy can work out cheaper than buying separate cycle insurance, but bear in mind that a claim could jeopardise your no claims discount and bump up your contents premium at renewal.
More serious cyclists might be better-off with specialist insurance. Levels of cover vary and you can often choose different options according to your needs and pocket. But most cycle insurance policies cover theft and accidental damage up to an agreed amount, often about £10,000. You can typically insure up to three bikes on the same policy, and cycling kit and accessories are usually included.
A decent policy also covers bicycle hire if your wheels are out of action and you can normally add bicycle roadside recovery for an additional premium.
New for old
Most cycle policies insure the bike on a new for old basis, which means the pay-out would cover the cost of a new bike, instead of the old bike’s market value at the time of the claim.
However, new for old cover usually only applies to cycles up to three years old. If your bike is any older, the payout will take into account any depreciation in value.
Competitions and races
Cyclists who travel abroad should check that the policy extends to their destination as most offer UK, EU or worldwide cover. And if you are a competitive cyclist, you should confirm that your insurer is happy to cover the event.
Don’t forget public liability insurance, which pays out if you damage another person or their property. It’s not a legal requirement but it can come in handy. What would happen, for example, if you were to damage the wing mirror or the paintwork of an expensive car?
Whether you buy specialist cycle cover or add your bike to your home contents policy, the bicycle must be kept secure. It’s often a condition of the insurance that bikes are kept in a locked shed or garage when not in use. They should also be locked to an immovable bike stand when you are out and about. Remember to secure the wheels as well as the frame to the stand, or a thief could make off with the wheels. Some insurers insist on a certain type of bike lock. But even if the firm isn’t fussy, it’s a good idea to invest in a strong D-lock or fat chain with a silver or gold Sold Secure rating.
It’s easy to find a good deal on your bike insurance with MoneySuperMarket’s price comparison website. We can save you time and money, so you can spend more on your bike than the insurance policy. And make sure you read Damian Burke's 5 top bike security tips