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Bicycle insurance – don't leave home without it

Not all home contents insurance covers bicycles. Check that yours does.

A family bike ride through a forrest

Whilst most of us can only dream about being the next Wiggo, over 25 million people in the UK own a bicycle. Whether your bike is for recreational fun or an essential means of transport, make sure it's insured.

Bicycles - easy to steal, expensive to replace

Walk through any town centre and you'll see an abandoned, vandalised bicycles that used to be someone's pride and joy. In one year, between April 2015 and March 2016, there were 297,000 reported bike thefts.

For bicycle commuters, having your bike stolen is an expensive business. If you think that a mid-range hybrid commuter's bike can cost several hundred pounds to replace, it makes sense to get your bike insured. Plus, there are the lights and panniers you bought for commuting and the additional cost of getting to work when you can no longer use your bike.

Ways to keep your bike secure

    Busy urban streets are a real hotspot for bike thieves. But wherever you lock up your bike, there are ways to keep it secure.

    Use a solid lock, not a chain. An ex-bike thief recommends using two small D-locks, one on the front wheel and one on the back. Keep them tight to the bike to prevent bolt cutters being used.

    Register your bike. BikeRegister is the national, police-approved bicycle database where you can register your bike for free. This makes it easier to trace back to you if it's found.

    Add extra security. Thieves target high value bikes that they can pass on quickly. For these types of cycles, it's probably worth fitting a tracking device and marking your bike with a traceable liquid, like SmartWater.

    Busy urban streets are a real hotspot for bike thieves. But wherever you lock up your bike there are ways to keep it secure.

But if your bike is stolen – are you insured?

Don't assume that your bike is automatically covered by your home contents insurance when it gets stolen. LV= insures your bicycle if it's stolen from your home. But if your bike is stolen when you're away from home, you'll probably need additional cover.

Whilst theft is a huge consideration for many bike owners, you may also need bicycle insurance for accidental loss or damage as well.

Depending on the type of cycling you do and what you use your bike for, you should check to see if your insurance covers you for other things, such as:

  • Vandalism, to the point where your bike can't be used
  • Cover away from home or on holiday
  • Bike accessories, like lights and panniers
  • Causing an accident where other people get hurt
  • Damaging property

LV= will need you to list your bicycles separately on the home contents policy to make sure they're covered. You'll also still need to take adequate precautions to keep your bike and accessories safe whilst you're out and about.

For example, make sure your bike is always locked to an immovable object. And don't lend your bike to a friend. You may only be covered if you are the one using the bike when the accident or theft happens.

Remove lights, bags and even your saddle when you lock your bike, to deter thieves from taking your valuables. Accessories may only be covered if they're stolen with the bicycle. Also check what type of cover you have for when your bike is left in your car or on a car bike rack.

Very expensive bikes should be itemised on your insurance. Your home insurance will usually still cover them, but insurers may impose a limit on how much they'll pay out.

If you have a bike that you use for sporting events, it may be worth looking at specialist insurance. You'll need to check that your insurance policy covers you for accidents or damage that happen whilst you're taking part in races or time trials.

But for everyday bicycle insurance, take a look through your home contents insurance policy. With optional cover from LV= you'll find:

  • Cover for loss or damage
  • Cover for accessories if they're stolen with the bicycle
  • Cover away from home in the UK and Europe and up to 60 days worldwide

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