Protecting your pedal power

Cycling has become increasingly popular with over two million people across Britain getting on their bike at least once a week. So, whether your bicycle is electric, pedal powered or both, when it costs as much as a new car, you need to protect it and yourself.

The first thought would be to protect it from thieves. With 282,000 bikes stolen in 2016, it’s definitely something to think about [1]. But, there are other factors to consider, including the type of use, and what could go wrong. Insurance for your bike could help provide;

  • better options and fewer restrictions for where you can store your bike,
  • breakdown assistance,
  • protection for travelling overseas with high-value bicycles and cycling abroad,
  • cover for specific parts of the bike, such as wheels or the seat,
  • accessories cover – GPS, helmets, clothing, water bottles,
  • cover for medical treatment needed as a result of an incident,
  • cover for races and competitions, including triathlons; and,
  • refunds for race fees – if you have to cancel because of illness or injury.

Commuting by bike

As a keen cyclist you will be all too aware of the risks of being in the saddle. Accidents due to pot holes, another cyclist or scratching a car on a busy road can be worse if you aren’t covered. And, rush hour isn’t your only battle of the day, making sure your bike is securely locked up and safe is another challenge.

Leaving your bicycle locked in public for any period of time can be risky, and train stations have a notorious reputation for theft. That being said, what can you do?

  • Don’t repeatedly lock your bike in the same location, thieves can notice patterns – it can make you a target.
  • If you have quick release wheels, saddles, lights or a bicycle computer, or anything that can be removed easily, take them with you or secure them too.
  • Lock your bike to something immovable such as railings or purpose built bike storage.
  • Make sure your lock is high quality and leave minimal space for manoeuvring – it makes it harder for thieves to tamper with. The more difficult to break, the bigger the deterrent.
  • If your lock has a key hole or combination, make sure these parts are awkward to get to. Have the key hole facing downwards, or the combination trapped between the brakes and spokes.
  • If you do have to leave your bike behind, for any period of time, make sure it is in a well-lit and busy location. If your bike does happen to be stolen, chances are someone might see something or it is caught on CCTV.

Taking your bike abroad

When you book your holiday, you always book your travel insurance with a mental checklist. Length of time, tick, correct country selected, tick, family included, tick, bicycle that costs more than your holiday, ah. Here you could have a problem.

Most standard travel policies have limits to the type and value of items they cover. Your bike could be excluded, and even your bike accessories may exceed your value limit as well. Whether taking your bike for a pleasant cycle along the river Seine or a trial across the foot of the Alps, cycling can be classed as a high risk activity like skiing.

However, whilst you should always have travel insurance, if you are taking your bike, it could be cheaper to insure it separately.

Racing and cycling events

Accidents do happen, and when you add in higher speeds and lots of other cyclists, things can go wrong. These events can vary greatly from off road trials to high speed road races. In these circumstances, you need to check you have the right cover for your bike and for you to take part. It’s worth knowing if you haven’t taken part in an event yet but plan to in the future, most organisers will require you to have insurance before you can enter.

Bike security

Even if you have insurance, the old adage, ‘prevention is better than cure’ certainly applies to the security of your bike. Make sure you understand your policy conditions. Not meeting clauses such as storing your bike incorrectly or using the wrong type of lock can invalidate your cover.

If your policy does require a specific type of lock, make sure you keep your receipt with the rest of your bike related documents. If the lock wasn’t cheap and is damaged during an attempted or successful robbery, you’ll want to be able to prove you had it and claim for it.

As well as security conditions there are other exclusions that could apply such as theft from a vehicle. Be sure to read your small print. Contact our Private Clients team to make sure your prized two wheels are adequately protected.

[1] https://www.bikeregister.com/

Zywave: Personal Lines Perspectives Newsletter April 2017