Bike Insurance - Do you need it?
Since highlighting the issue of bike security over the past couple of weeks, worth mentioning also is another important part of bike care: insurance.
Of course, unlike car insurance, bike insurance is entirely optional. But, as mentioned last week, lockdown has unfortunately led to a dramatic rise in bike thievery, which remains at an all time high - with a bike stolen every ninety seconds in London, coverage is somewhat on topic and certainly worth considering.
There are also advantages to having bike insurance outside of financial protection in the event a bike is stolen, including accidental damages as well as injuring someone else or their property (accidental damage is by far the most common claim made to insurers.)
Thankfully, today the insurance market is very competitive so there are many options to choose from and coverage is better than ever, with over ninety-five percent of claims being honoured.
By far the most popular avenue (with over 75% of insured cyclists choosing this coverage according to BikeRadar) is home insurance. Many policies will allow the inclusion of bikes in their personal possessions cover for as little as 10 or 20 pounds extra a year, although an expensive bike will be considerably more.
However, reading the home insurance policy details is a must, as don't assume the cover is automatic in all situations. For example, some insurance companies will not pay out if the accident happened while the bike was in use rather than stored at home. They will also usually have a cover cap. For example, if the cap is one thousand pounds and the bike is worth two thousand, than the remaining one thousand will need to be covered by the claimant. Additionally, a claim as part of the house cover could also push premiums in the future.
The other option is specialist bike insurance, which is much more comprehensive and accounts for more parts of a regular biking lifestyle. Best suited for those with more expensive bikes and with accompanying accessories, bike insurance will cover personal injury as well as public liability in the event someone else or their property is injured. Some will also offer multi-bike households and family discounts, provide a level of roadside assistance, as well as generally be more understanding and sympathetic to bike claims than a home insurance provider might be.
That said, specialist bike insurance can easily get up to 100 or 200 pounds a year to account for this extra service as well as the excess on the bike being insured, so this service is only really for those with expensive bikes that require this cover. For example, premium eBike owners will likely need to go for a specialist bike insurance policy, as they will struggle to meet the cost of the bike within the household cap. Worth mentioning also is that some riding clubs will give exclusive pricing on their own insurance policy, including Cycling UK and British Cycling.
Ultimately, there are lots of policies which will offer different types of coverage and price tags, and so it is best to consider the price of the bike and how it is used.