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Bicycle insurance

Whether your bike’s stolen while you’re out and about or you have an accident, it definitely pays to have bicycle insurance.

Compare the Market don't currently compare specialist bicycle insurance, but we can help you find a home insurance policy that covers your bike.

Whether your bike’s stolen while you’re out and about or you have an accident, it definitely pays to have bicycle insurance.

Compare the Market don't currently compare specialist bicycle insurance, but we can help you find a home insurance policy that covers your bike.

Written by
Rachel Lacey
Insurance and money expert
Last Updated
3 FEBRUARY 2023
8 min read
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Do I need bicycle insurance?

Bicycle crime is serious business in the UK. According to Statista, some 77,465 bikes were stolen in England and Wales in 2021.

If you rely on your bike to get around, it could be a real blow if yours gets stolen or damaged beyond repair.

Then, there are cycling accessories like helmets to consider and the cost of any mods you’ve made to your bike. Without the proper cover, expensive repairs and replacements will have to come out of your own pocket.  

As well as paying to replace your bicycle, insurance could save you money by getting you back on the road faster, which could be vital if you need it for getting to work, uni or college.

So, whether it’s specialist pedal bike insurance or overall cycle insurance, covering yourself and your new bike can provide peace of mind.

What does cycle insurance cover?

Policies vary, but standard bicycle insurance should cover your bike against theft and damage. This includes both malicious and accidental damage. More comprehensive cover is also available, or you can often add optional extras to a basic policy.

Depending on the insurance provider, you could get cover for:

  • Personal accident and collision
  • Third-party liability
  • Accessories cover for clothing and gear
  • Lost race fees
  • Damage while competing
  • Cycling abroad
  • Roadside assistance cover
  • Legal expenses cover.

What won’t bicycle insurance cover?

Most bicycle insurance policies come with exclusions. This means your policy may not cover you if:

  • your bike is damaged when taking part in cycling competitions or events. This type of cover is often only provided by specialist bicycle insurance.
  • you cause injury or damage to members of the public and their property. For this, you’d need public liability cover. This can be added on as a policy extra.
  • someone other than you, the policyholder, was in possession of the bike when it was damaged or stolen. For example, if a family member borrowed your bike and it was stolen, you wouldn’t be covered.
  • you can’t prove you owned the bike. It’s important you have the receipt or pictures etc.
  • the bicycle lock you’re using isn’t an approved model. You should find approved locks in your policy wording.
  • your bike suffers from general wear and tear.
  • you use your bicycle for business. If you’re a courier who uses your bike for deliveries, you’ll need a specialist policy.
  • the bike is deliberately damaged. By you or someone else.
  • the bike is lost or damaged while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

What types of bikes are covered with cycling insurance?

Bicycle insurance should cover most types of bike, including: 

  • Pedal bikes
  • Road bikes
  • Mountain bikes
  • BMXs
  • Folding bikes
  • Electric bikes

Is my bike covered by my home insurance?

It depends on your policy. There are three ways a bike can be included in your home insurance:

  1. Contents insurance 
    • Some providers (but certainly not all) will classify push bikes as contents and will cover them if they’re stolen, damaged or destroyed when inside your home.
    • There are often conditions that must be fulfilled to ensure any claim will be paid. For example, your bike must have been locked to a fixed point if it was stolen from within the boundaries of your home.
    • There’s usually a maximum limit you can claim before you need to add the bike individually to the policy.
  2. Personal possessions outside our home 
    • This can cover items you take with you when you’re away from your home, such as mobile phones and watches, as long as you specify them on your insurance. Sometimes bikes can be included.
    • Again, insurance providers may state that your bike needs to be locked to a fixed point to ensure a payout if stolen.
  3. Individual bike cover
    • When getting a quote, we ask customers to add bikes worth more than £350 to their policy separately.
    • If your bike isn’t worth £350 and you want to make sure it’s covered, check the definitions of contents and personal possessions in the policy wording. If it doesn’t cover your bike, you should think about taking out separate cycle insurance.

What should I look for with bicycle insurance?

Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Whether your bike is already covered. You may find that your bike is already covered by your existing home insurance policy. If so, check the terms of your policy to see if you need to declare your bike and any conditions you may need to meet to be eligible for cover.
  2. Where it’s covered. You’ll want your policy to cover you when you’re out and about, not just when it’s at home in your shed. You might also want cover for leaving it somewhere overnight. If you’re into cycle touring, check whether the cover extends to other countries.
  3. When it’s covered. You’re not likely to be covered for a bike that’s damaged while competing in a race. If you’re a competitive cyclist, you can get specialist bicycle insurance to cover you for this.
  4. What it’s covered against. For example, theft, vandalism and accidental damage. If you need extra protection, look for policy add-ons or take out a specialist policy.
  5. How much it's covered for. If you have an expensive bike, check to see if your policy has a limit on the payout it will provide. If you have an expensive bike or one with lots of modifications, it might make sense to arrange specialist bike insurance
  6. What security is expected of you. If you don’t do your bit to secure your bike, it’s unlikely your insurance will pay out. Most insurers will insist you have a robust, approved lock and that you secure it to an immovable object.
  7. What you’ll receive if you make a claim. It’s important you know whether you’ve got like for like cover or whether you’ll need to find some money yourself for an equivalent replacement. Some insurance providers pay out less the older the bike is. Other insurance providers will arrange for your bike to be replaced, while others will give you money to spend as you wish.
  8. What your policy excess is. You’ll likely have to pay an amount towards the cost of your claim, but check this excess isn’t too high. There’s no point having insurance if you can’t afford to claim.

Find out more about home insurance excess. Bear in mind that claiming on your home insurance can affect your no-claims bonus. This means, even if the excess is low, you might want to think twice before you make a small claim.

What’s the difference between specialist cycle insurance and home insurance?

Specialist bicycle insurance

Specialist cycle insurance provides more comprehensive cover than home insurance. This could be important if you have an expensive bike or take part in races.

Specialist bike insurance is likely to include:

  • Personal accident cover and collisions.
  • Replacement bike hire.
  • Replacement of parts, clothing, helmets and other essential bike accessories.
  • Competition and race fees if you use your bike for competing.
  • Third-party liability – should you injure someone else or damage their property while riding your bike.
  • European and worldwide travel cover.
  • Commuting.
  • Commercial use – for example, if you’re a courier.
  • Family and multi-bike cover.

Home insurance

Most home contents insurance policies offer basic cover for bicycles, but you might find your contents insurance only covers your bike when it’s in your home or locked in the shed or garage. You may need to pay extra to cover your bike when it’s away from home.  

If you have an expensive bike, you should also look for any the single-item limit. For example, if you have a top-of-the-range racing bike that’s worth £2,000, but your single item limit is only £1,500, you’ll need to pay the extra £500 yourself if you need to claim.

How do I get bicycle insurance with my home insurance?

If you already have home insurance and want to stick with the same provider, contact your insurance provider directly. They’ll let you know what kind of bicycle insurance they offer.

If you’re buying new home insurance or thinking of switching, start a quote with us. We’ll ask you some questions about what you want to insure, including bikes. Then we’ll show you a selection of policies that meet your needs.

Whatever you do, make sure you check all the policy details carefully. This will tell you the exact situations in which your bike is covered and how much it’s covered for. If you’re not happy with the terms, go for a different policy.

Start a quote

How much is bicycle insurance?

The cost of your bicycle insurance premium can depend on a few factors, such as your bike’s value, the type of bike it is and even your own circumstances.

Your premium can also be affected by where you keep your bike overnight and where you live – you may pay more if you live in an area with a higher crime rate.

Also, be aware that modifications could bump up the cost of your insurance. These include any changes you make to your bike that might increase its value and make it more attractive to thieves.

Your home insurance can be tailored to suit your needs, as can specialist bicycle insurance.

So, start a home insurance quote with us and find a great policy for you.

How do I work out the value of my bike?

To make certain you don’t underinsure your bike, its total value shouldn’t take depreciation into account. You should always state the bike’s full value new, even if you bought it second-hand. 

You should also include any upgrades or modifications you’ve made to your bike. If in doubt, it’s better to overestimate than underestimate the value of your bike.

Alternatively, try an online valuation tool to find out how much your bike is worth. 

How can I protect my bike from thieves?

1. Bike lock

The first rule of thumb is to invest in a high-quality, approved bicycle lock. Be sure to look into the ‘Sold Secure’ scale when shopping around. Although they’re likely to be more expensive, the ‘Gold’ rated bicycle locks are good purchases.

2. Safe space

It’s important to leave your bicycle in a safe space, so avoid quiet, secluded areas and try to find a spot that’s well-lit, relatively busy and monitored by CCTV.

3. Register your bike

You can register your bicycle for free in just a few minutes on the National Cycle Database. Many thieves are deterred by this, and it will also make it easier for the police to find your bike if it’s stolen.

Frequently asked questions

If I make a claim on my bicycle insurance will my bike be replaced?

The decision to replace or pay the claim out in cash will vary among insurance providers, so it’s important to check your policy's Ts&Cs.

If it’s possible for the bicycle to be repaired, most insurance providers will make the necessary arrangements.

Is bicycle insurance mandatory in the UK?

No, unlike car insurance, bicycle insurance isn’t a legal requirement in the UK. However, it could protect you, your bike and other road users if an accident happens.

It’s certainly worth considering if you have a high-spec bike, rely on it for transport or regularly compete in racing competitions. If you do compete, it’s likely that the race organisers will want you to be insured before you’re allowed to participate.

Check before signing up for a race.

Do I need special insurance for an electronic bike (e-bike)?

You don’t need to insure your e-bike as long as it doesn’t exceed 15.5mph and has pedals.

Like regular bicycles, your e-bike can be included in your home insurance policy. Or, if you want to have more comprehensive cover, it can be covered by a specialist insurance policy instead.

Can I insure my bike for business use?

Yes, there are policies available that will cover your bike if you use it for work. Just remember to select this cover option when getting a quote – in some cases, you may need to add commercial cover as an additional extra.

Will kids and young riders be insured?

Specialist bicycle insurance will only cover riders over the age of 16. Family bikes should be included under your home contents insurance against theft or malicious damage.

However, this cover only applies to when they’re stored at your property. Just remember to include them when working out the value of your contents insurance.

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