If you drive a car or ride a motorbike, insurance isn't optional. There's no such legal requirement when it comes to bicycle insurance. Of course, if you're riding around on a £1,200 titanium-framed beauty with a set of high-spec disc brakes then insurance is likely to be high up your list of priorities.
For riders with a more modest set of wheels, it makes sense too. You might well rely on your bicycle to get to work – more than 740,000 of us do according to the most recent government census.
How would you cope if it needed to be replaced immediately? The inconvenience is one thing, but could you afford to splash out hundreds of pounds on a new bike at the drop of a hat?
Unfortunately, bicycles are a particular favourite of professional thieves. They're light, valuable, easy to sell, and there are plenty of them around. In short, they're generally seen as easy pickings.
In one year (June 2018 - June 2019) there were 323,000 bike thefts reported to police, according to the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales.
With an Admiral Contents Insurance policy, bicycles worth up to £350 are protected automatically when they're inside the home. Best of all, bikes belonging to every family member living at the same address are also covered.
It's worth noting that some home contents policies, including Admiral Platinum, automatically cover any bikes worth less than £350 when they're out of the house.
If you have bikes worth more than the limit specified by your insurer, you'll need to make sure that each one is individually listed on the policy. Also make sure that bikes kept in locked outbuildings are covered if you tend to store your bike in a shed or a garage rather than in the main house.
Are you interested in taking out cover away from home and plan to go further afield than the local post office, say across the Channel to France? Be sure to ask whether or not overseas cover is included.
If cycling or mountain biking is one of your favourite pastimes then at some point you might well modify your bike to improve its performance. It's important to remember that changes to your bicycle could affect your insurance cover.
For example, if fitting a new rear shock absorber substantially raises the value of the bike it may no longer be covered under your current policy. Play it safe and speak to your insurer just in case.
There are a number of different ways you can try to prevent your bike from being stolen.
There's no escaping the fact that it's possible to cut through any bike lock given the right tools and enough time. That said, investing in a quality security device like the highly rated Kryptonite New York M18 bike lock and anchoring your bicycle to an immovable object will help to deter criminals.
It'll also keep your insurance valid. Thieves like easy pickings that offer low risk – make them think twice about messing with your bike.
The national BikeRegister database holds details of more than half a million bikes and is used by police to help reunite victims of theft with recovered bicycles. It's quick and simple to add your details then mark your bike using a special security kit. Warning labels are also available to help deter thieves.
Be sensible when it comes to choosing a place to leave your bike. Well-lit, busy areas are the way forward. Thieves would rather not be overlooked, so try and pick somewhere with CCTV cameras.
Check your home insurance documents to find out exactly what your current policy covers. If you're an Admiral customer and require expert advice or need to update your details and get a new bike covered, call our customer service team on 0333 220 2003.
19 Oct 2018
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