Saddle up for bicycle insurance deals
Proper bike cover and extra security measures give you a fighting chance against opportunistic thieves, says Chiara Cavaglieri
Sunday 21 June 2009
Bicycles have long been an easy target for thieves, and there are an estimated 300,000 stolen each year, equal to one bicycle being pilfered every 105 seconds. Insurers More Than tried to highlight this problem by leaving unsecured bicycles dotted around various locations in the UK to see how long it would take for them be stolen.
Defying its stereotype, Liverpool was revealed to be the safest place to leave a bicycle; it took three hours 52 minutes for the bait to be snatched there, compared to a mere 17 minutes for the one left at London Bridge station. "Our experiment has shown that it doesn't matter who you are or where you live, if you don't take the necessary precautions, it's only a matter of time before your bike is stolen," says Peter Markey, the marketing director for More Than.
The recession has forced many of us to turn to cheaper ways to travel. As a result, bicycle sales have soared by 22.6 per cent on last year and the average bicycle now costs £218, according to More Than. With the summer approaching and a greater number of expensive bicycles around, thieves will be on the prowl, but how can cyclists protect their wheels?
One way is insurance. Often, a bicycle will be automatically insured under a home contents policy, or the cover can be extended to include it. This will usually mean paying an additional premium but should still work out cheaper than taking out a separate insurance policy. With AXA, for example, a bicycle can be insured by adding just £19.49 to the annual home contents premium.
Check the terms and conditions to ensure that the cover is as comprehensive as possible. Some policies may pay out only if the bicycle is stolen or damaged at home or in the garden, in which case policyholders will need to pay for additional cover for contents outside of the home.
Insurers will usually insist on particular locks being used. Some policies even stipulate that cover will be provided only between certain hours. There may also be a limit on the amount that can be claimed so it is important to check that the full value of the bicycle can be recovered. Watch out for insurers that replace the bicycle only at a depreciated value.
With modern carbon-fibre frames and ultra-light wheels, bicycles can cost thousands of pounds so specialist insurance may be a better option for more serious cyclists.
"Adding bicycle insurance to an existing home contents policy can be a cost-effective way to cover your bike and it is definitely worth speaking to your provider to establish where you stand," says Steve Sweeney, the head of home insurance at Moneysupermarket.com. "However, I would urge anyone with a more valuable bike to go for a separate, stand-alone policy which provides more comprehensive cover."
Premiums typically start at about £50 per year but do come with additional cover for damage to the bicycle following an accident, cover while abroad and personal and third-party liability cover – protection against the costs of damage or injury to other people or vehicles. Some organisations, such as the London Cycling Campaign, offer members third-party liability insurance as part of the membership fee.
Cyclists should concentrate on making life as difficult as possible for potential thieves. Avoid leaving the bike in an isolated area, always lock it up with a good-quality steel lock and make use of bicycle racks wherever possible. Insurers also advise cyclists to put their bicycles in a locked garage or inside the house when not in use and to lock it through the frame to something immovable.
"With the average theft claim for bicycles costing £330, it's important you take vital security measures and having a good D lock could help to prevent your bicycle being stolen," says Lloyds-TSB's Leonie Edwards.
Cyclists can use an ultra-violet pen to put their postcode on the frame and should make a note of its serial number and take some photographs to give to the police if it is stolen. Bicycles can also be recorded and registered with a security service such as Bikeregister.com, which flags up stolen bikes on a nationwide database accessible by police.
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village