Saddle up for bicycle insurance deals

Proper bike cover and extra security measures give you a fighting chance against opportunistic thieves, says Chiara Cavaglieri

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Marketing Executive - B2B - OTE £25,000

    £17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity to join this new...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £21000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Control Manager

    £36000 - £44000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Encouraging more businesses to ...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower