Understanding Bike Insurance

By | 19 March, 2013

It’s a sad fact that, with the increase in popularity of cycling, there’s been a recent increase in bike theft.  And while having a good lock and understanding the best way to lock your bike can reduce the chance of your bike being stolen, you may also want to get some bike insurance.

If you want to insure your bike, you have two options:

  • Household Insurance – some insurers will provide cover for a bicycle as part of your house contents insurance, but you need to check the small-print to see what’s covered. Some policies don’t cover bikes outside the home, will place limits on the value of any claim, or require a large excess.
  • Dedicated Bike Insurance – a separate policy just for your bike, which can be more expensive, but you get more comprehensive cover.

The things you need to look for in selecting your insurance are:

  • The conditions of storage at home – often policies will place restrictions on how and where the bike must be stored at home, and how it needs to be secured. You may be required to secure the bike to an immovable object inside your house. Locking a bike inside a shed or garage may be subject to strict conditions, and keeping your bike outside in your garden may not be covered at all.
  • The conditions for leaving it outside the home – some policies limit the amount of time the bike is covered when away from home (e.g. up to 12 hours), and many place a restriction on the quality of lock that must be used.  Also check if the cover outside the home differs from that at home.
  • Any cover limits – some policies limit the amount of any pay-out for bike theft to a fixed amount (say €650) or a percentage of the total contents cover (say 15%), regardless of the value of the bike.  The insurer may also cover what the bike is worth at the time of theft, rather than the replacement cost, and so look out for “New for Old” cover.
  • Any excesses – some policies charge a large excess (say €150, or 10% of the bike’s value) which is deducted from the value of any claim.  Any claim may also lead to higher premiums when renewing insurance – something to bear in mind especially when covered under house contents insurance.
  • Any exclusions – some policies don’t cover damage to bike caused by vandals, and policies often do not cover the bike if used for sporting events, or if taken out of the country.

Basically, when selecting insurance, you need to follow these steps, and then check which policies out there match your needs:

  1. Work out the value of cover you need for your bike and any fixed accessories (replacement saddles, pedals, racks, and so on). Check if the purchase price for your bike has gone up since you bought it, and adjust your cover accordingly.
  2. Decide what level of excess you are willing to live, and if any particular policy limitations are deal-breakers.
  3. Decide if you need accidental damage cover, for if your bike is damaged in an accident.
  4. Decide if you need personal accident cover, to cover medical and other costs if you are injured in an accident.
  5. Decide if you need public liability cover, in case you injure someone else or damage their property.

Generally, a dedicated cycling insurance policy will offer the most comprehensive cover for regular cyclists, and if the worst happens and your bike is stolen, at least any claim won’t affect your house insurance.

I have my cover through CycleSure, who have comprehensive new-for-old cover, and a low excess (€25) for claims. The value of replacing my bike plus fixed accessories is around €1,000, and the premium is just over €100 – which seems about equivalent to all the other specialist bike policies.

Other specialist bike insurance providers include chill.ie and One Direct.

Author: Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog richardbloomfield.ie.

2 thoughts on “Understanding Bike Insurance

  1. Aaron fitzpatrick

    Do you insure the bike on its value or what you paid for it?

    Reply
  2. Darren Thomas

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