Comprehensive look at bicycle insurance options

Green circle with a bicycle inside and the words bicycle insurance in capitals

Let’s say I:

  • Own a £1000 bike
  • Plus £150 worth of bike accessories – my lock, lights, mudguard etc.
  • I tend to leave my bike in my house and at work in a secure garage. Once a week I leave my bike overnight in London, when I go out for after work drinks (Around 14 hours)
  • I have a sold secure gold rated bike lock – The Kryptonite New York 3000
  • I have receipts for my bike, my lock, my accessories
  • I occasionally like to take part in cycling events

Let’s take a look at the different insurance options I potentially have available.

My Home Insurance

The first port of call would be to check my home insurance, I’d ask:

  • What value am I insured up to?
  • Are there any special conditions, such as does my bike need to be locked up even when its inside my house?
  • What is the excess?
  • Would I be covered if I took part in a cycling event?
  • Could I pay a little extra and insure the full value of my bike?
  • Would I get old for new replacement?

BikMo Plus Cycle Insurance

http://bikmoplus.com

BikMo specialise in bicycle insurance for those that have more than one bike. The minimum amount they’ll cover you for is £1000. The quote I receive as I type up this post is £106 for the year.  Included in the price is accessory cover for up to £250, as well as clothing and headgear cover for another £250.

Key points:

  • They offer interest free monthly payments, which is a nice way of spreading the cost throughout the year.
  • If you insure more than one bike, you’ll get 50% discount on the second bike.
  • New for old replacement
  • £0 excess (£100 excess under certain conditions)
  • Includes cover for competitions, worldwide travel, personal accidents
  • Bikes are covered for whoever chooses to use them whether that be family or friends
  • Up to 20% discount on your renewal if you don’t make a claim
  • Provides a bicycle marking kit worth £30 with every policy taken out

For my specific situation, I wouldn’t need to keep my bikes locked up in my house. When I lock my bike outside for more than 12 hours, I’m not covered. However, the bike can be locked at a train station for up to 24 hours.

ETA Bicycle Insurance

http://www.eta.co.uk/insurance/cycle

A popular option amongst cyclists is ETA. When I enter £1250 as the value of my bike, along with accessories, the quote is £129.43 for the year. However, this quote includes a £10 discount, subject to my paying annually via direct debit.

Key points:

  • Up to 40% discount for folding bikes
  • If you insure more than one bike, you’ll get up to 10% off
  • New for old replacement
  • 5% excess – though this can go up to 25% in certain conditions
  • Cover for competitions, worldwide travel, personal accident
  • Cover for friends and family
  • Up to 40% no claims discount
  • Can insure custom build bikes, as long as they’ve been valued by a local bike shop

If my bike was stolen while I left it overnight, between 1am to 4am, I would be subject to a 25% excess or £100 minimum. I can leave my bike for up to 24 hours at a train station, but elsewhere there is a 12 hour limit on my cover.

E&L Cycle Cover

http://www.eandl.co.uk/cycle-insurance

E&L offer two options. You can either pay monthly or yearly. The lunar monthly policy auto-renews until you call them to cancel. The monthly policy offers some upgraded benefits such as  3 years new for old replacement, as opposed to two. For the sake of comparison, I’ve opted for a yearly, leisure policy. The quote I received for a £1000 bike and £250 worth of accessories is £100.32 per year. E&L do capture your email address when you apply for a quote.

Key points:

  • New for old for up to three years, then the bicycle devalues
  • Worldwide cover is included for up to 45 days
  • £95 excess for a £1000 bike
  • Personal accident and public liability cover is included
  • Certain competition cover is included
  • Up to 5% multi-bike discount

My bike would be covered for up to 12 hours if I was to leave it overnight.

Cycleplan

http://www.cycleplan.co.uk

At £62 this was one of the best quotes I received, but the coverage is basic, with the option of upgrading to more options such as worldwide travel and an excess waiver. For policies worth more than £50, you are able to pay monthly, without incurring any additional fees.

Key points:

  • New for old for bikes up to three years old, then a deduction is made for wear and tear.
  • Worldwide cover, competition cover and personal accident cover is extra
  • Excess of £25 or 5% of the claim value – whichever is higher
  • Cover extends to family members, living at the same location

Bike can be left for up to 12 hours and still be insured and 24 hours at a train station.

Cycleguard Bike Insurance

http://www.cycleguard.co.uk/

Cycleguard is another option available to cyclists. The quote I receive when I enter £1250, to cover my bike and accessories is £130 when paid annually.

Key points:

  • Competition cover, worldwide travel and personal liability is extra
  • No multi-bike discount
  • New for old replacement for the first three years, then the bike is devalued
  • £25 excess
  • Cover for family is an extra, and they have to be living in the same location
  • Loyalty bonus is available

I would be covered if my bike was left unattended for up to 18 hours.

Yellow Jersey Cycle Insurance

http://www.yellowjersey.co.uk/

Yellow Jersey specialise in bicycle insurance for those that have more than one bike. The minimum amount they’ll cover you for is £1000. The quote I received is £112 for the year.  Included in the price is accessory cover for up to £250.

Key points:

  • They have a multi-bike policy discount – subsequent bikes get 60% off
  • Worldwide cover including racing
  • Yellow Jersey cycle insurance claims will have no affect on your home insurance no claims bonus
  • There is no renewal penalty for claiming on your policy – you still get a 15% renewal discount
  • Cover extends to family members that live with you
  • New for old replacement

Protect Your Bubble Bike Insurance

http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/bicycle-insurance

The quote I receive from Protect Your Bubble is £95.88. As long as I pay by direct debit, I can pay monthly, rather than an upfront annual fee.

Key points:

  • Competition cover, worldwide travel and personal liability is extra
  • Up to 15% multiple bike discount
  • New for old replacement for the first three years, then the value depreciates
  • £75 excess on a £1000 bike
  • Cover extends to family members that live with you

If I left my bike outside, it would only be covered for 12 hours at a time. Within a train station boundaries, it would be covered for up to 24 hours.

Things to keep in mind when buying bicycle insurance

  • Read the policy wording very carefully
  • Don’t buy a new bike if your old one is stolen without first reporting the theft and talking with the insurer
  • If you buy a discounted bike, check if you are insured for the full cost of the bike without the discount or just for the discounted price
  • Keep receipts of everything (purchase of the bike, accessories and any work you have done)
  • Custom bikes can be covered – some insurers require a valuation, others simply want to see receipts of each part
  • When it comes to electric bikes, double check with the insurer
  • Check whether you are insured if your bike is left in your house, but without a lock

I’ve listed a handful of options here, but there are always more available. Always check their website for the latest information, as it is all subject to change.

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14 Responses to Comprehensive look at bicycle insurance options

  1. Roger 25/10/2014 at 8:34 pm #

    I just renewed my household contents and ditched Lloyds as they only go up to £500.

    Went with Aviva who cover five bikes up to £1000 each. Much cheaper policy too.

    • Andreas 31/10/2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Nice thanks for the heads up Roger – I’ve heard from a couple of fellow readers that Aviva is a good insurer when it comes to bikes.

  2. MJ Ray 28/10/2014 at 7:58 am #

    Which policies cover you if components are stolen but not the whole bike?

  3. Jozudave 31/10/2014 at 10:22 am #

    Although insurance for your bike so you get money back if it’s stolen is important, you haven’t mentioned what kind of cover these policies give you in terms of claims made *against* cyclists in the event of an accident when the cyclist is at fault.

    That’s one of the reasons I use ETA because they include a fairly substantial pot of cash to pay for any claims made against you as a cyclist if you were unfortunate enough to injure someone.

    • Andreas 31/10/2014 at 12:58 pm #

      If you are referring to public liability, other insurance companies offer the same. For example, BikeMo offers £2 million public liability:
      “Rest assured you’re covered for any damage or injury caused to third parties up to the value of £2 million when cycling anywhere in the world, excluding the USA and Canada.”

      In comparison ETA offers £1 million third party cover, which is a different word for the same thing.

      Bear in mind, it’s very rare for a cyclist to be at fault in an accident.

  4. commuterjohn 31/10/2014 at 10:51 am #

    I stopped the specialist insurance as the restrictions were over the top.
    Must have a gold lock – weighs a ton and very unlikely the bike will get nicked with that on it.
    Must be locked up out of sight – in a brick building double insurance locks on door but has a window no good. Bought an Asguard annexed bike locker, 9 point locking on the doors and very secure, a lot of bikes stolen around me but not mine, would they give me a reduction for that – No.

  5. Tony 31/10/2014 at 11:46 am #

    It always amazes me that to cover my £3.5k plus bike cost about the same as a brand new £18k MX5 sports car with which I could kill several people in a bad accident.

    The reason, presumably, is that many more bikes are stolen than cars. Society has some real problems.

    • Andreas 31/10/2014 at 12:59 pm #

      I guess insurers realise there’s pretty good odds on a £3.5k bike being stolen! A sad reality.

  6. John Somers 31/10/2014 at 1:01 pm #

    On my household insurance I’m with M&S as they covered multiple bikes up to an individual cost of £5k each (they no longer do this policy sadly…!) so I am sticking with them until it gets to be too expensive.

    The problem that I have with many of the insurers is the sheer cost of insuring more than one bike…I have 7, so which do you insure and which do you not…??

    The cost of multi bike insurance policies is exorbitant I have found…so any suggestions…??

  7. Roger 31/10/2014 at 11:00 pm #

    Regarding liability, membership of the London Cycle Campaign (around £40 a year) gives you insurance, and supports a good cycling charity to fight our cause. Plus they have specialist cycle lawyers which could come in handy. Particularly as a slight wobble at some traffic lights could put a £3k dent in someone’s Bentley!

  8. Tony 02/11/2014 at 11:15 am #

    So I have to take out expensive insurance because idiot with more money than sense chooses to put his very valuable car into a vulnerable environment.

  9. David 05/11/2014 at 6:59 am #

    Setting aside the question of Liability Insurance and looking solely at Cycle Insurance then don’t overlook the option of self insuring.

    Here is how it works.
    1) Open an Instant Access Savings Account.
    2) Get a number of quotes from Insurance Companies.
    3) Take the average and place this sum in your new account.
    4) Repeat each year.

    Con’s
    Unless you can put an initial sum in then for a number of years the amount in the account will be less than the cost of your bikes.

    Pro’s
    1)The money is always yours and is always there. No insurance premiums.
    2)No arguing the toss with an insurance company in the event of a claim (We’re rejecting your claim because these are not the original pedals! I had a motorcycle claim rejected because I had put a sticker on the tank.)
    3) I really comes into it’s own if you have more than one bike. How many bikes can you ride at any one time?
    4) After a few years look at the upgrade you can afford.

    Don’t forget. If your house burns down your covered under contents insurance anyway.

    As has already been said Liability insurance can be covered by joining LCC or CTC, it’s part of your membership.

    Happy cycling.

    • Tony 05/11/2014 at 11:54 am #

      My House contents insurance is only good for bikes up to 2k each. So I have 3 bikes covered and one bike not.
      As for self insurance that’s what I do – i.e. no insurance just keep some savings.
      This has the advantage that I make sure no one steals the bike, I don’t have to carry a heavy lock and the no claims bonus is 100%.

      • David 05/11/2014 at 8:13 pm #

        Hi Tony.

        Give your insurer a ring and see if you can nominate certain high value items for cover. They will charge you an extra on your premium but it’s a lot less than specialised insurance. If they won’t play ball then shop around and let them know your shopping around. They have to sell insurance to stay in business, nothing says you have to get it from them.

        I had a similar problem as I have two cycles one valued at £2500 and the other at £5500. My insurer allowed me to nominate them [Subject to conditions e.g. Beefed up home security] for the additional premiums of £10 and £20 per annum respectively.

        Hope this helps.

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