As claims for bike theft soar - warning for cyclists to check their insurance cover
- Analysis of over 400 home insurance policies1 reveals a huge variation in cover for bicycles.
- 10% of home contents policies exclude any cover for cycles.
- Only 8% of home contents policies automatically cover cycles away from the home.
- Consider stand-alone bicycle insurance to ensure your cycle is properly protected.
Since the spring lockdown, sales of cycles have jumped significantly as people look for ways of staying fit or avoiding public transport. According to official data, sales of bikes costing between £400 and £1,000 rocketed by 112% in April compared with April 2019.
But the cycling boom has provided opportunities for criminals. Data from insurers shows that claims for bike theft have risen dramatically compared with the same period last year. Admiral experienced a 46% increase in bike theft claims in the seven weeks to 9 June, with cycle thefts accounting for 37% of all theft claims. While Urban Jungle saw claims rise by 125% in the three months leading up to October 2020.
Many cyclists wrongly assume that their bicycle is automatically covered by their home contents insurance. Gocompare Home Insurance is warning cyclists to check whether their cycle is covered - both at home and away.
Research by the leading comparison website found that most policies only provide cover for cycles stolen from the home. Typically policies need to be topped-up to provide cover for bikes away from home. One in ten home contents policies don’t offer any cover for bikes.
Cover at home
Most (90%) home contents policies cover cycles while in the home. Policies have limits on the amount they will pay-out for a single bike, this sum varies wildly depending on the policy – this can be as little as £250 or as much as £15,000. Policies also have a collective total they will pay-out for cycles. Again, there is a huge variation in the amount payable – from £500 to £30,000.
Cover away from the home
Generally, cyclists will need to increase their cover to protect their bike when they are out and about. Only a handful (8%) of home contents policies automatically cover cycles away from the home.
Cover for the theft of push-bikes away from home is usually included under the personal possessions section of home contents insurance. This is an additional level of protection which covers items such as bikes, wallets or jewellery against theft, loss, and accidental damage outside the home.
Most (82%) home contents insurance policies only provide 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.
For cycles stolen or lost away from home, the sum payable can be for as little as £100 or as high as £15,000. Most (58%) of polices will pay-out £1,000 or less per bike.
Lee Griffin, CEO and founder of GoCompare Home Insurance: “Cycling is currently enjoying a renaissance as people look at different ways to exercise following the lockdown of gyms and leisure centres, and new ways to travel while avoiding public transport. But the increased popularity of cycling has attracted the attention of criminals. Bikes are a popular target for thieves because they are easily stolen and sold on. Official crime statistics2 for the year ending June 2020 show there was over 82,350 recorded bike thefts.
“Cyclists cannot just assume their bikes are automatically covered by their home contents insurance. Policies vary hugely in the type and amount of cover they provide for lost or stolen cycles. So, we strongly advise people to check that their bike is covered by their home insurance – while at home and out-and-about and, whether its total value is covered.”
Lee Griffin continued, “Insurers will expect you to take reasonable steps to guard your bike against theft. Typically pay-outs for items stolen from unlocked outbuilding or garage are excluded or restricted. So, at home, keep your bike in a secure shed or garage and get into the habit of keeping the door locked. If your cycle 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, solid metal lock, securing the cycle through the frame and both wheels to an immovable object.
“If you have an expensive bike, need your bike for your daily commute, or if you are a keen cyclist or take part in races, consider taking out stand-alone bicycle insurance. That way you will be protected from theft at home and accidents as standard, as well as having the option of adding cover for things such as public liability, competition and race cover and your bicycle equipment. You can compare a whole range of bike insurance policies with GoCompare here.”
For further information please contact:
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
1Defaqto Matrix of 403 home contents insurance policies (11 November 2020) - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
2ONS: Trends in Crime Survey for England and Wales - Police recorded crimes for year ending June 2020 (published 28 October 2020).
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