Cycling can be one of the simplest, cheapest and most rewarding ways to get exercise, get around town, and reduce your carbon footprint. However, it isn’t without its risks and can become needlessly expensive and painful if something goes wrong and you aren’t covered.
That’s why cycling insurance can be so valuable to every type of rider. In this guide, we’ll explore the key reasons behind getting cycling insurance, the different types of cover available, and how much you can expect to pay.
Why is cycling insurance important?
Whether you ride to work every day, or just enjoy getting some leisurely exercise at the weekend, there are many different reasons why it’s important to have cycling insurance cover:
– Theft: tens of thousands of bicycles are stolen in the UK every year. While insurance policies can’t bring the bike back, they can potentially facilitate a replacement.
– Mobility: for many people, a bicycle is their main form of transport, and the loss of a working bike makes it harder for them to get around or go to work. Insurance can minimise disruption and help people stay on the move.
– Safety: cycling can be dangerous, and injuries can be caused by rider error, mechanical issues, or collisions with traffic. Insurance policies can help riders recover in the event of an accident, and also promote safer practices (such as wearing helmets) as a condition of valid insurance.
– Financial loss: while bikes range in cost from £100 up to several thousand, having to replace one can be a significant financial commitment, depending on the income of its owner. A good insurance policy can take away the monetary strain of funding a new bike or new parts.
Many home insurance policies include cover for bicycles as standard, and this does present the simplest option as it brings two types of insurance together into one package. However, in many cases, the scope of bike-related cover can be limited, and often won’t cover multi-bike households, accessories and clothing, roadside assistance, and personal accident cover, among other areas. That’s why it’s normally better to explore specialist cycling insurance options.
Do you need insurance to ride a bicycle?
Unlike vehicles that are registered for use on the road, possession of valid insurance is not a legal requirement for cyclists in the United Kingdom. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an extremely useful and valuable thing to have for anyone who cycles regularly.
As well as the financial and health benefits of having good cycling insurance cover, it can also give riders peace of mind that the consequences of anything going wrong will be much less severe.
What does cycling insurance cover?
There are lots of different types of cycling insurance available on the market, and which one is right for you depends on many different factors. You should consider the value of your bike (both financial and sentimental), how often you ride it, the type of riding you do, and where you lock it when it isn’t being used.
It’s also important to remember that cycling insurance doesn’t just have to cover the bike and your person. Any bike-related accessories, like helmets, computers, and other kit and clothing can also be covered if it’s of significant value.
Bicycle theft insurance
Although we don’t provide this area of cover here at SportsCover Direct unless taking out our Cycling Travel Insurance, bicycle theft insurance will cover you if your bike is stolen, either while out and about or when at home. Many policies feature maximum payouts and require excess payments, which vary according to the premium you pay. You’ll also be expected to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of theft, including securing bikes with an approved lock.
If you’re going to use your bike in a race or other competitive or leisure event, then insurance is strongly recommended and may even be mandatory. Many events will include third-party insurance as part of your entry fee, but your own insurance will be needed to cover any damage to your bike or yourself. This insurance can be bought on a long-term or an event-by-event basis.
Accidental damage insurance
One of the most common types of cycling-related insurance claims is for accidental damage, whether for a whole bike or for specific areas or components. The cover and policies available vary widely, depending on the type of bike, typical use and bike value.
Cycle travel insurance
You wouldn’t go on holiday without travel insurance for yourself. So if you’re going on a cycling trip abroad, then you should treat your bike to a similar cover. Standard travel insurance won’t cover damage caused to bikes in transit, or any racing or mountain biking, so specialist cover for an overseas trip is essential.
Personal injury insurance
Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen to cyclists that can cause major disruption to your life or your health. If you do lots of commuting or more heavy-duty riding like mountain biking, a personal injury policy can help support any private medical care you need, or help your finances if you’re rendered unable to work.
Third-party cycling insurance
Cyclists aren’t required to have insurance cover similar to car insurance, but cyclists involved in an accident where someone else is injured may find themselves liable. A third-party policy that covers damage to people and property, as well as any potential legal costs, is therefore strongly recommended – especially for commuters.
How much does cycling insurance cost?
Well, how long is a piece of string? As you’ve read above, there are lots of different kinds of cycling insurance, and many different variables that can affect the price of your cover. As well as the value of your bike, and the security level of where you store it at home, you may also need to consider the size of any excess you’re prepared to pay.
As a rough guide, for a cheap runabout bike with a relatively low value, you can expect to get cover from around £50 a year. For expensive road or custom-built bikes, and more comprehensive cover for regular or more intensive use, annual premiums can run towards £200-300 a year. However, given the value of bikes at the top end of the market and how important they tend to be to their riders, a few pounds a week is a small price to pay for protection and peace of mind.
Get cycling insurance with SportsCover Direct
SportsCover Direct provides a comprehensive range of cycling insurance policies for every type of rider and bike. Whether you’re eating up the miles on your road bike, or just nipping to the shops every now and then, we can give you affordable cover that ensures you’re protected if something goes wrong.