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National Bike Week: Warning to cyclists to check their cover

10 June 2013

Gocompare.com looks at over 300 home insurance policies and comments on the huge variation in cover for cycles

As Brits saddle up for National Bike Week (15-23 June) Gocompare.com warns those swapping four wheels for two to check the cover for their cycle under their home insurance policy.

Many cyclists wrongly assume that their push-bike is automatically covered by their home contents insurance.  However, research by the comparison website has found that most contents policies only provide cover for cycles stolen from your home and you will need to buy additional cover to protect your bike when you are out and about.

Cover for the theft of push-bikes away from home is usually included under personal possessions - an additional level of protection which covers items you take outside your home such as your bike, camera, wallet or watch.  The majority of insurers (84%) offer personal possessions cover as an optional extra, for which an additional premium is payable.  However, not all insurers include bikes within personal possessions, and require cyclists to buy additional pedal cycle cover.

A comparison of over 300 home insurance policies* by Gocompare.com revealed that:     

  • Nearly a third (32%) of policies only offer cover for bikes away from the home as an optional extra  
  • 56% of policies cover cycles away from home under personal possessions
  • 47% of policies have a minimum personal possessions excess of £100 or more   
  • For cycles stolen away from home, 42% of polices will only pay out  £500 or less per bike

Mark Greening, head of home insurance at Gocompare.com, commented: "Cycling is currently enjoying a renaissance, but with more than half a million** bikes stolen each year, we strongly advise people to check whether their bicycle is covered by their home insurance and if its total value is covered.  If you already have, or are thinking of buying, an expensive cycle - for example, a carbon fibre road bike can cost between £800 and £3,000 - then you will definitely need to talk to your insurer to arrange specific cover.

"Cyclists cannot just assume their bikes are covered, and even if a policy does provide some cover for bikes you must read the small print and be sure you understand how your bike is covered, and what you are likely to get back if the worst should happen. 

"Bikes are attractive to thieves and your insurer will expect you to take reasonable steps to guard your bike against theft, both at home and when you are out and about.  At home, keep your bike in a secure shed or garage and get into the habit of keeping the door locked.  If your bike is particularly valuable, for extra security, some insurers will also require you to secure your bike to an immovable object inside the locked shed or garage.

"Away from home always lock your bike up when leaving it unattended, even if it's only for a few minutes.  Use a robust, good-quality lock and secure the cycle through the frame and both the wheels to an immovable object.  Remove small parts and accessories that can't be secured, especially lights, pumps and quick release saddles."

For more information on bicycle insurance, read Gocompare.com's guide here: www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/bicycle-insurance-guide/

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Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 309 home insurance policies (4/6/2013)

**British Crime Survey 2010