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Help! My bike has been damaged or gone missing whilst with an airline

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The holiday was booked months ago, the bike has just been fully serviced and you’re ready to leave behind the cold and wet drizzle to embark on a glorious sunshine filled cycling holiday. You get off the plane at your destination but there is just one small problem, your bike hasn’t arrived!

What to do if this happens to you?

Before you travel, you need to make sure that you have adequate cover in place.

Do I have the correct policy?

At Pedal Cover, we offer three distinct types of cycling related insurance. It’s really important to know the difference between our policies so that you are correctly covered.

1) Home & bike insurance bundled

Our bundled home & bike insurance replaces your existing home buildings and/or contents insurance policy but also has the benefit of covering your bike and accessories for damage, loss and theft. This cuts the hassle and expense of dealing with separate providers

Pedal Cover home and bike insurance gives European cover as standard but if you’re going further afield than Europe then you’ll need our Podium policy. Damage to your bike and box whilst in the hands of an airline, is covered as parts of the home and bike insurance

2) Cycle Insurance

Bicycle only insurance is designed to cover your bikes and their accessories. We offer you a pick and mix approach which allows you to tailor the cover to your exact needs, this means you’re only ever paying for the cover you want. As you might have guessed, there is no element of home insurance on our bike only insurance.

3) Travel Insurance

Our travel insurance covers emergency medical expenses, trip cancellation, trip curtailment, holiday abandonment, Third party liability whilst abroad etc. This is just a small selection of what’s available on the policy however its important to note that there is NO cover for your bike on the travel insurance policy! European cover is offered as standard however if you’re travelling outside of Europe then you’ll need to select the appropriate region.

Is my bike box good enough?

Before you leave, its really important to make sure that you have packed your bike into a suitable bike box. Where possible, we recommend filling any voids of space with bubble wrap, high density foam or cardboard to stop your bike from moving around inside its bag. If using a bike box with an integrated metal chassis, it is very wise to remove the rear mech from the frame as its such an exposed component which can easily be knocked and bent out of alignment. We also recommend that you release all of the air from your tyres to stop them exploding:













My bike is damaged

You have landed and collected your bike with no problems. It’s really important to remember to check it’s all in one piece before you leave the airport. This is so that if the bike or box is damaged, the airline will partially cover the damage. Many airlines require damage to be reported prior to you leaving the airport. Our policy wording states that the damage must be reported to the airline within 24 hours of arrival. Once you have reported the bike damage to the airline, get yourself  to your accommodation.

If the damage is minimal and your bike is fine to ride, you’re ok to enjoy your holiday and submit a claim form on your return. In the rare event that your bike box is damaged (it does happen!) do your best to find additional cardboard to pack up the hole. You can then use strong gaffa tape to seal up for the return leg of your journey. Don’t worry, we will reimburse you if you have to buy gaffa tape or bubble wrap/additional cardboard

If the damage renders your bike ‘un rideable’, don’t forget you have cycle hire cover included as standard on the home & bike insurance policy (It can be included on the Bicycle only policy too) which will cover your hire expenses up to £35 per day with a limit of 10 days/ £350 total. Of course, if the bike you’re looking to hire costs more, you’d just pay the difference. There is no excess payable on cycle hire claims.

My bike is lost

You have arrived and there is no sign of your bike. Your first port of call is to head directly to the oversize baggage reclaim section. If there are any known problems, the baggage reclaim staff will instruct on when your bike is likely to arrive and on what baggage carousel. In most cases, the baggage staff will know where and when your baggage will arrive. If there is going to be a long delay, the usual protocol is for the airline to deliver your bike or luggage to your booked accommodation

If there are no staff at the kiosk, you will need to contact the airline and explain to them that your bike has not arrived. If possible, take the telephone number of the airport. In some instances you may be required to fill out a property irregularity report (PIR) which enables the airline to track the status of your delayed or damaged baggage via the international baggage location system.

Top tips

  •  If you have a spare Airtag/GPS tag. Put this in the bike box.
  • Before you leave, take a photo of your bike box so that if it does go missing, you have an image which can be shared with the airline to help locate it.
  • Always include name and contact identification on, or in your bags. That means that if your baggage tags get torn off, the baggage handlers will still be able to contact you. If you are concerned about security, at the very least, include your mobile number or email address so that you can be contacted.
  • If there are other travellers who have also lost their bags, its often a good idea to share your contact details as they may be notified or find the missing baggage whereabouts before you do.
  • Protect your bike as much as possible when packing it. Do not put any loose tools within the bike bag. It’s likely that they will move around and cause damage to your bike.
  • Let the air out of your tyres when flying.
  • Lubricate your chain prior to flying-Airlines do not allow flammable liquids or substances to be checked into hold baggage.
  • If dismantling the bike, make sure you safely pack the tools used so that you can rebuild the bike on arrival.

To notify us of damage to your bike or bike box, you can submit a claim here.

For any further help, Call our customer support team on 0800 121 4424 or email enquiries@pedalcover.co.uk. Please note that our office hours are Monday-Friday 0900-1700


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0800 121 4424
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