Are you a cyclist who enjoys those beautiful, exhilarating weekend rides? Or do you use your bike to get to work and back home again? Or perhaps you use your bike to get to school and run errands?
As a cycle enthusiast, you save a lot of money using your bike for transportation. It’s possible to cut down on petrol, train & bus fares and more. Not only that but cycling also keeps you healthier.
With cycling such a large part of your life, it’s important to ensure you and your bicycle are protected. Did you know that bicycle theft is huge in the UK? According to Cyclist, about 400,000 bikes are stolen each year in the UK. That’s a surprising number of thefts.
Not only do you need to worry about bicycle thefts, but what about accidents? Bikes are involved in many types traffic accidents each year, some even ending in fatalities.
Are you prepared with bicycle insurance cover in case the worst happens? If not, then it’s time to consider bicycle insurance to protect you and your bike.
Bicycle Insurance Comparison
Finding the right insurance and at the best rate isn’t always easy. There are many insurance companies that offer bicycle insurance, but which one is best? How do you find the right policy with a premium that fits your budget?
The answer to these questions is to comparison shop for bicycle insurance. The insurance market, as a whole, is highly competitive. You’ll find many companies offer bicycle insurance; however, it’s important to find the best insurance provider for your needs. It also pays to find a provider who offers the right type of bicycle coverage to fit your budget.
In fact, insurance comparison shopping sites are extremely helpful. For one thing, they help you find insurance providers who offer the type of insurance you need. Secondly, you’ll be able to review quotes from several insurers at one time, making it easier to find a premium that fits your budget.
However, before using an insurance comparison site, there are a few things you’ll first need to consider.
Determine the Type of Insurance You Need
Insurance providers will need some information about you and your bike. This is used to determine the best insurance policy for your needs, and the amount of risk you pose. Keep in mind that the more dangerous your activities, then insurers will see you as a greater risk. This will cause your insurance premium to be higher.
Questions insurers may ask include the following:
- What type of bicycle do you have? (ex. Mountain bike, road bike, etc.)
- What type(s) of activities do you use your bike for? (racer, commuter, club rider)
- Do you wear a helmet when riding your bike? What other safety gear do you wear?
- How often do you use your bicycle?
- Is the bike only used by you, or is it also used by others?
- What security measures do you use to protect your bicycle from theft?
What Type of Coverage Do You Need?
Now, you’ll need to do a little research to determine what type of bicycle coverage you may need. In fact, your bike may already be covered.
Home Contents Insurance
Most people have this type of coverage, which protects the contents of your home. Many home contents policies do cover bicycles, but not all. And if they do include bikes, insurance providers may have various requirements. For instance, the coverage may protect the bike if something happens to your home, or if your bike is stolen. However, the home contents insurance may not cover the bike if it’s damaged.
What about Bespoke Bike Insurance?
This type of cover is often more comprehensive than a home contents policy. These policies usually protect you and your bike both at home and when you’re out riding.
This type of coverage may be the best option, especially if you frequently use your bicycle.
OK—now you’re ready to find the right insurance policy for your needs.
Read Terms & Conditions
Reading the terms and conditions may not sound exciting. We understand; however, it’s essential that you thoroughly read through the terms and conditions on every bike policy that may seem like a good fit. Each insurance provider offers bicycle insurance, but their policies will have variations. The policies will work in different ways.
So, be sure to read all the fine print to find what the policy requires, such as:
- Specific lock requirements: most policies will require the lock to be attached to the bike’s frame and attached to something immovable when it’s not being used. They may require a Sold Secure gold-rated lock be used to lock the bike.
- Replacement bicycles: if your bicycle needs to be replaced, how is the new bike chosen? Does the policy allow you to choose the new bike, or does the insurer choose the bike for you?
- Damage & theft replacement requirements: some policies may require that your bike is valued lower than what you paid for it. In this instance, the insurer may only pay out the depreciated value of the bicycle, or offer a replacement value, rather than paying for a new bike. In addition, the policy may require you to pay excess.
These are the reasons it pays to read through all the fine print on a policy before signing any contract. Each policy will have its own requirements, so pay attention to the details.
Review How Claims are Handled
Next, it’s a good idea to review how claims are handled by each policy you’re considering. What happens if you have an accident or your bike’s stolen? How is the claim processed?
This is a good time to take a look at customer reviews on how their claims were handled. For instance, you can find information on whether or not the insurer paid out, how they handled the customer’s claim, etc. This is all valuable information.
Then you’ll want to be sure you understand how claims are handled by each of the insurance providers you’re considering. If you have any questions, then it’s a good idea to contact the insurance agency directly. Ask if their claims are handled by in-house experts, or if they’re outsourced to general insurance handlers. The issue here is that general insurance handlers will also be dealing with other types of claims, including car & holiday insurance claims and more. They may not have the experience to deal with bicycle insurance claims.
The goal is to find an insurer who will handle your claim quickly and efficiently, and this should be done in-house rather than outsourced. The chances are higher that you’ll have a much better experience and outcome if the insurer handles your claim within their organization.
When it comes to paying your premium, you’ll find most insurers accept payment monthly or annually. Monthly payments may seem like a good idea, but they usually run higher than if you choose to pay annually. So, to keep premiums lower, try to choose the option of paying pay annually, as this will save money.
Next, you’ll need to check out exit fees. With a 12-month contract, if you decide to leave the policy early, some insurance providers will charge an exit fee. Be sure to keep this in consideration when choosing the length of time the policy covers.
Instead of being locked into a coverage period, look for bicycle insurance policies that offer flexibility and give you the option to cancel at any time. This makes the insurance protection a better fit for your needs.
Online Access to Your Bicycle Insurance Policy
Many insurance companies are making the jump to deliver their products online. They not only make policies accessible online, but often they also have an app you can use.
When reviewing insurance providers and their policies, check to see if they provide online access to your bike insurance policy. Is it easy to manage your account online? Also check to see if you can make claims online through their site, or even through their app.
It’s also a good idea to see exactly what’s required to make a claim online or through the app. For instance, will it be necessary to provide PDFs of required documents? Will there be many forms to fill out?
Look for an insurance provider that offers both offline and online service. It’s also a good idea to see if they have an app. The insurer that provides you with flexible options to file a claim will make it much easier for you in the long run.
Researching bicycle insurance may take some effort and time, but you’ll be happier with the outcome. The effort will pay off in an insurance policy that is flexible and offers you the best cover. You’ll also end up with a premium that’s a good fit for your budget.