Do I need bicycle insurance?
Bicycle insurance isn’t compulsory in the UK but it’s a good idea to have it.
Despite its benefits to the environment and your health, cycling doesn't come without risks.
19,039 cyclists were estimated killed or injured in road accidents between January and June 2022 and 77,148 police recorded incidents of bicycle theft in the year ending March 2023.
If you're one of those unlucky enough to find your bike damaged in a collision or stolen, bicycle insurance could prevent you having to cover the cost of repairs or replacement yourself.
You may be able to cover your bike on your home contents insurance, but you can also buy a separate policy that offers tailored protection for your cycling routine and bike.
Just make sure you’re not doubling up on cover by buying both, or you’ll be paying for insurance you don’t need.
What does bicycle insurance cover?
Specialist bicycle insurance offers a basic level of cover for things like accidental or malicious damage and theft.
It may also offer more extensive cover for keen cyclists such as those with expensive bikes or those taking part in races or competitions.
Specialist insurance will often include cover for:
- Theft, loss and accidental damage
- Personal accidents cover
- Replacement bike hire
- Replacement of vintage parts, clothing, helmets and accessories
- Competition and race fees reimbursement
- Cycle rescue recovery
- Emergency medical cover
- Legal expenses cover
- Public liability cover
- Families and multi-bike cover
- European and worldwide travel cover
- Loss of earnings
What’s not usually covered?
Most policies will not usually include the following, unless you’ve purchased specific cover for it:
- General wear and tear
- Claims where your bike has been left somewhere other than your insured location for more than 24 hours
- Claims where you have not complied with the lock or security requirements specified in your policy
- Claims where you can’t provide evidence of ownership
- Use of your bicycle for business reasons (like courier deliveries)
- Theft or damage that occurs while under the responsibility of a transport provider
- Damage during a race or competitive event
- Damage due to an unsecured bicycle or roof rack
- Deliberate damage by you, family or someone known to you
- Accidents that happen while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Does my home insurance cover my bicycle?
Bicycles are often covered as standard by home contents insurance policies but it's important to check they offer the cover you need.
As standard, home insurers will often only cover bicycles for accidental damage and theft if it happens inside the boundaries of your home. Your home insurance may not cover damages that occur away from the home.
If you need this cover, you can usually add it to your policy as an optional extra. It’ll cost you more though.
Be aware that there will probably be a single value limit for how much your home insurer will cover your bike for.
So, if your bike costs £1,000 and your insurer's single item limit is £800, you'll need to cover the remaining £200 yourself if you need to claim.
Your home insurance won’t cover any damages that happen to you, for example if you’re injured while falling off the bike.
What type of bike will my insurance cover?
Most insurance policies will cover:
- Road bikes
- Mountain bikes
- Electric bikes
- Folding bikes
Don’t leave your bicycle uncovered
There were 77,148 police recorded incidents of bicycle theft in the year ending March 2023, according to the Crime in England and Wales SurveyGet bicycle insurance
Top tips to keep your bike safe from damage and theft
Register your bike
You can list your bike on The National Cycle Database, which can prove the bike is yours if it’s stolen and later found.
Secure to an immovable object when left unattended
Like a secure bike stand or a lamppost.
Use an approved bike lock
Like SoldSecure. Not using one where you’ve said you do could invalidate your policy
If leaving your bike, leave it in an open area
Thieves are less likely to steal your bike if it’s somewhere out in the open with plenty of people around
Know the best way to lock your bike
Secure the frame and both wheels to the post or bicycle stand – some thieves steal the frame and leave the wheels behind
How to get an insurance quote for your cycle
Finding a quote for your bicycle doesn't take long. You’ll just need to fill out a few details about you and your bicycle first to get started. Here's what you'll need:
Details about your bike
The type, make and value
Standard cover requirements
Excess amount, accessories cover, replacement cycle and no claims discount
Do you need cover for personal accidents or competition use?
What locks and alarms you have installed
Your name, address and age
Frequently asked questions
There aren’t really any discounts for using high spec security or taking a careful riding course.
The easiest way to get cheaper bike insurance is to shop around and compare quotes. That way, you’ll be able to find the cover you need, for the cheapest price.
When insuring your bicycle, there are two types of cover available:
- New for old replacement cover – This is for cycles less than three years old and bought as new. You should ensure all sums insured represent the replacement costs as new, ignoring any discounts you received when you purchased the bike.
- Market value – If your cycle is more than three years old or purchased second-hand then cover is provided based on its market value.
- Call the police straight away if your bike has been maliciously damaged or stolen
- Take pictures and document times and dates and proof of ownership
- Call your insurer and provide them with the details to make your claim
Yes, some bicycle insurance policies will cover you for commercial use. Just remember to select this cover option when you get a quote.
The minimum age accepted for specialist bike insurance is 16 years old. If you choose family cover as an optional extra, you may be able to cover young riders of 16 or above on your policy.
You don’t need to be insured to be able to ride your bike on public roads. But if you take part in competitive or non-competitive races, then you’ll probably need to be covered. If you’re not sure, check with the race organisers.
Whether your bike would be covered by your car insurance if it’s stolen from your vehicle depends on the policy.
If it was left in clear view, say on the back seat or on a roof rack, then your bike might not be covered as it wasn’t properly secured in a suitable way. If it was stored in the boot, out of sight, your car policy might cover it – you might have better luck checking your home insurance policy instead though.
There’s also no guarantee that a bike rack will be covered but you must tell your car insurer if you have one because it’s considered a modification. Not declaring this could affect whether a claim is successful.
Bike insurance doesn’t cover tyres as standard, but you can usually get a tyre cover add on.