Hundreds of thousands of UK cyclists could be putting their two-wheeled transport at risk, because they have no bicycle insurance.
A study of 2,000 UK people who purchased pedal cycles in the last 12 months, discovered that two fifths (38%) had no cover for their bicycles – either under a home insurance policy or through specialist bike insurance.
According to The Bicycle Association, retail bike sales increased by 60%* between March and December last year, while analysis by GlobalData** suggested 1.3 million Brits bought a bicycle during the first national lockdown alone. The Association estimated that the UK cycling market was worth an incredible £2.2billion at the end of 2020.
The Aviva study discovered the average purchase price of a cycle in the last 12 months was £835 across all models. The survey also found that one in three people questioned had purchased an electric bike (e-bike), rather than a standard pedal cycle. The average cost of an e-bike was revealed as £1,201, although one in four (26%) paid more than £1,500.
Home insurance policies usually cover pedal cycles and e-bikes when in the home, although this may not extend to taking the bike out and about. Many insurers offer a pedal cycle add-on to home insurance which covers cycles when they are not at the home address, but there are often requirements that the bike should be secured when it is not being ridden.
There are also stand-alone products available, such as Cycleplan, which provides specialist cycle protection against theft and damage with optional add-ons available, including public liability, legal expenses, personal accident and loss of earnings insurance, in case the customer is injured while cycling and unable to work as a result.
Sarah Applegate, Risk Lead for Aviva General Insurance says: “Cycle insurance can provide great peace of mind, but people should consider their cover carefully. Home contents insurance often covers bikes and e-bikes while in the home, but there may be a single item limit for possessions stolen or damaged, so more expensive models may need to be listed separately to ensure they are fully covered. Similarly there may be a limit for items stored in sheds and outbuildings – often around £2,500.
“Some home insurance providers also offer a cycle add-on option to cover bikes away from the home, while stand-alone special policies are available through providers such as Cycleplan. However, thefts may only be covered if the bike is locked or secured in accordance with the security requirements of the policy or in the customer’s control. It’s always best to check with the insurer if in any doubt.”
“It’s really important that customers do their homework, read through policy documents and note any restrictions, so they choose the product that’s most suitable for their cycles.”