With the popularity of cycling increasing, so too are the number of companies offering cycle insurance. Choosing the best bicycle insurance for you can be tricky when there are so many different options available. This guide will help you to decide on which is the best insurance option for you when it comes to protecting your beloved bike, or bikes.
When deciding which bicycle insurance is best for you, there are a range of questions you need to ask the provider before committing to an insurance policy. It’s often only when a person comes to claim that they find out their policy didn’t quite provide the cover they were expecting. It pays to make sure you get the right cover from day one.
First of all, how many bicycles are you looking to cover? If you’re a keen cyclist it’s likely that you own more than one bike; it’s not uncommon for many of us to have a ‘best bicycle’, along with a winter/commuter bicycle – even if the best bike tends to get the most use. Likewise, if you’re a Mountain Biker or Triathlete it’s possible you’ll have more than one bike – after all, there are days when you definitely need the choice between hardtail and full sus aren’t there?
Add to this the bike, or bikes, belonging to your partner and/or other family members and the number of bikes in your household can soon add up, so it’s vital you have the best cover.
Directly related to this is the value of your bikes. As you accumulate bikes it’s easy to forget the total replacement value of all your steeds. If you stop to tot it up you might be slightly alarmed at just how much it would cost to replace your collection! Here again you need to make sure you have sufficient cover. It may be tempting to only insure the more expensive bikes in your collection, but it’s worth bearing in mind that, should the ‘lower end’ bikes be stolen, the cost to replace them is likely to be more expensive than your cycle insurance premium.
The type of bicycles, you have is also an important consideration, as different insurance providers will classify bikes differently. For example, some might see mountain bikes as more ‘high risk’ and you may end up paying more than you need to. Likewise, the type of riding you do can also have a bearing on the perceived level of risk which in turn can lead to higher premiums. For many cyclists the bike is purely used for recreation and/or commuting but once you start looking at other activities such as sportives, time trials, triathlons and downhill mountain biking you’ll encounter a whole host of limitations from many insurance providers. In addition to insuring the bike, it’s also important to check the level of third party cycling liability insurance your policy provides, especially if you’re looking to get involved in mass participation events.
Another important factor to consider is where you’ll be riding. Your cycling may take you all over the world, whether it’s a cycle club tour or a recreational holiday with family or friends. Peace of mind when you’re away is a priority, so you want to check that no matter where your travel takes you, you’re covered. Some companies also offer short term insurance options if you were to hire a bike, so this is definitely something to bear in mind too.
Finally, it’s also important to remember that it’s not just about the bike. Over time, you’re likely to have amassed a collection of cycling accessories and kit including helmets, shoes, pedals, locks and lights to name but a few, all of which can add up to a pretty penny.
All of these factors are worth considering and are important to clarify with your provider when choosing the best cycle insurance for you. So what are the options available?
The answer to this question is – it depends on your provider. The level of cover provided by the majority of home contents insurance policies offer low level cover which does not reflect the cost of newer mountain bikes, eBikes, or road bikes. Modern bikes along with all the kit and accessories can often work out to be a hefty sum and may not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.
These policies also often have very strict conditions when it comes to leaving your bike unattended when you’re away from the home, which are often too restrictive and impractical. Unfortunately, a lot of people only discover this when they come to make a claim which is why it’s always worth checking the level of cover for bicycles provided by your home insurance.
Whilst relying on home insurance can work out for some, generally speaking a specialist bike-only insurance is going to provide a better level of cover, especially if you have a bike of any value. However, these also can come with limitations. For example, these policies are generally based on a per-bike basis and even though they may offer a “multi-bike” option the exact number, type and value of these bikes will be the basis for the cost of the policy. What’s more, the premiums for such policies are often based on a percentage of the replacement value of the bike, or bikes, which can work out expensive and, for many people, prohibitive. Added to this, these policies are often just about the bike and make no provision for accessories or third party liability cover. So whilst the level of cover is better than relying on your standard home insurance policy, a bike-only policy doesn’t come without restrictions and a higher price tag.
The best option for many cyclists is to combine your home and bike insurance into one comprehensive policy. Not only can you have all of the bikes in your household covered by one policy, regardless of their number or value, but you can also have the best level of cover for your high value bikes. Added to this, all of your cycling accessories can also be covered by the policy, and third party liability insurance comes as standard. Finally, the cover extends worldwide so you can cycle anywhere in the world safe in the knowledge that you’re covered. And as if that wasn’t enough you get your home contents and building insurance included too!
Having all your insurance in a single policy can not only save you money but it’s also easier to manage. After all, we know you’d probably rather be out riding our bikes than sorting out insurance!