Bicycle lanes have been painted on many city centre and urban roads, a few Councils have also spent money on bike racks. But the fact is, theft is rising just as fast as bicycle ownership. Here’s the latest from Admiral;
The latest investigation from Admiral home insurance has revealed that the number of claims for pedal bike thefts has risen by 66% since the first Covid-19 lockdown (March 2020 – February 2021), compared to the same time period the previous year.
Analysis of the insurers data found that pedal bike thefts accounted for 32% of all theft claims since the pandemic began, compared with 14% the previous year. The average value of claims for stolen pedal bikes since the pandemic hit, is £580, and in some cases, has been much higher.
When it comes to the location of bike thefts being reported to the insurer, London dominates the list, followed by Edinburgh and Bristol.
At the start of 2021, bikes worth more than £1,500 were the most popular high value items added to Admiral home insurance policies after Christmas, accounting for 30% all items added to policies. David Fowkes, Head of Household Underwriting at Admiral, said:
“Since lockdown restrictions were first introduced back in March 2020, thousands of people bought bikes for exercise or just for a safe way to get around, and the popularity of having two wheels to get around has continued into this year. But as several retailers have reported a spike in bike sales, our data suggests it’s also resulted in a boom in the number of bicycle thefts taking place too. In fact, in the first few weeks after lockdown restrictions were put in place, we saw a spike in the number of bike theft claims, and sadly this figure has continued to rise.
We’ve seen a 66% increase in the number of bicycle theft claims since March 2020 when the UK first went into lockdown, compared with the same period of time the previous year. When you consider that other theft claims have fallen as a result of people staying at home, that figure has shot up at an alarming rate.”
SO EASY TO FENCE STOLEN BIKES
Stolen bicycles are easy to sell on internet platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, where no checks on sellers seem to take place. Gumtree and Shpock – which allows users to set up a selling profile using a Facebook account – are also popular. IE found an electric bike with `no key or battery charger’ for sale in Croydon at £650 on Shpock within seconds, which is exactly the condition a stolen electric bike might well be in, following a home or shed break in.
At Admiral any pedal bike worth less than £350 is automatically covered on your policy, but many bikes cost more than this and need to be added onto a home/contents policy. Or you can use an insurer that specialises in gadgets and bikes as standalone items.