There is no point looking after your bicycle if you do not look after yourself. Broken bicycles can be repaired or replaced, we cannot be replaced. Please wear a bicycle helmet. Enough said.
If you have read our Compare Bicycle Insurance – what are the considerations article? you will hopefully have a flavour of what to expect from a Bicycle Insurance Policy Wording. The Policy Wording, as we previously explained, is based upon years’ of data that the insurance companies have accumulated and that in itself will give you some pointers as to what to do and what not to do to safeguard your push bike.
Some members of our panel have a maximum sum insured of up to £50,000! Clearly this is not every-day bicycle insurance, this is specialist bicycle insurance aimed at the semi-professional and professional cyclist. You do not need to go far within London to go between shops now selling bicycles in excess of £15,000. Yet, this is still not the biggest risk.
There are now close to 400,000 millionaires in London alone and with this number of millionaires you can expect Ferraris, McLarens and Mercedes. Forget the bike, have you ever considered the cost of fixing the bumper alone?
Public Liability Insurance is there to protect you in the event that you cause damage or injury to a 3rd party or a 3rd party’s property. So, should you collide with a vehicle and this is caused by you then Public Liability for cyclists will cover you. Worse even still, should you collide with a pedestrian and cause them an injury they could be off work and possibly try and reclaim private medical costs from you. Again Public Liability for cyclists will cover you under these circumstances. Beware, as with any accident, the insurers will require that you do not to admit liability. That is for them to determine.
Public Liability insurance for cyclists can be added to bicycle insurance for a relatively small premium. So, if you do not have this cover already for when you are cycling, ensure that you add this to your quote. If you belong to one of the UK’s cycling organisations you may already have Public Liability insurance or be able to purchase this as a standalone product if you do not want to insure the bicycle itself.
No one wants to have a policeman emboss a postcode on a bicycle with hammer anymore, especially if they have a carbon frame! Thankfully things have moved on now. Some police forces are now marking bicycles with chemical etching for free. This usually only takes a few minutes and once the unique code is added to your bicycle you may register your bicycle for free with national databases. Once on the database, if your bicycle is recovered by the police then it should get returned to you. If your police force isn’t offering free etching you can usually buy a kit for around £20 and then register for free. The two key bike registering companies are Bike Register and DataTag.
There are also Radio-frequency identification (RFID) solutions whereby the bicycle has a chip inserted in the frame (which cannot be whipped with a magnet as some people claim) and the chip may be picked up by police scanners…..if that brand of chip has been registered with the Police and they have the appropriate reader to find it!
Security marking alone will not protect your bike and we recommend that you implement as many options that are available.
Most of the insurers on our panel insist that the locks are independently rated by a company called Sold Secure. They apply a rating of Bronze, Silver or Gold to bicycle locks that they have independently tested. It goes without saying the more valuable the bicycle the more highly rated the lock needs to be, the insurer will have more details on their site.
For added security, we would also suggest taking the following precautions:
- Go for a Sold Secure Silver rated lock or above even if the insurer only requires bronze.
- Do not leave your bicycle in the same place day in day out. If there are choices vary where you leave your bicycle.
- When locking your bicycle to an immovable object, such as a bicycle rack, check that it has not been tampered with. Look out for tape!
- Try and leave your locked bike in a busy and well-lit area that has CCTV.
- Have your bike and components security marked and don’t be vain, use the high-visibility indestructible sticker highlighting that your bike is marked.
- If you use a bicycle app, such as Strava, do not start tracking your ride until you are a good distance away from home and stop it before you return. If your rides are in the public domain a thief will know where to find your bike. And, do not use the Avatar of ‘Trek Emonda SLR 10 H1’ this might draw attention!
- Don’t put pictures of your bicycle on social media unless you have a profile that is restricted to trusted friends only.
- Vary your route, muggings for bicycles happen and if you are going past the same point every day at the same time you might want to reconsider this.
- Chances are you have quick-release wheels, either buy a quality sold secure rated chain and lock the wheels and the frame to the immovable object or remove the front wheel and lock this to the back wheel, frame and immovable object.
- Do not lock your bicycle to a low-height street sign. Thieves will remove the sign and lift the bike and lock off over the top.
- Likewise, avoid trees, these can be cut through very quickly.
- Use two locks for valuable bikes.
- Don’t turn your back on an unlocked bicycle ever.
- Do not store your bicycle outside, insurers will not usually cover this.
- Keep your lock away from the ground, this will prevent a thief from using a hammer
- Remove all detachable accessories when you leave the bicycle in a public place.
To find our what our providers have to offer Compare Bicycle Insurance.
This article is not exhaustive and you cannot rely on this information alone, you must take every reasonable caution to take care of you and your bicycle whether you are your bicycle are insured or not.