In Britain, one bicycle is stolen every six minutes, with the highest number of bike thefts occurring in London. In the last year, some 21,000+ bikes have been stolen, which is nearly one quarter of all bicycle thefts in the UK. And in the last three years, over 58,000 bikes have been stolen in the city.
The thefts have given rise to warnings that gangs may be targeting owners of expensive bikes. Studies have shown the increase in bike thefts is also due to the growing popularity of using bikes as the main form of transportation to work, school, etc.
Darron Hull of Direct Line Insurance, said, “Given London and the surrounding area account for 44% of all cycling miles across Britain, it is no surprise opportunistic thieves target these areas. Bike theft isn’t just distressing but incredibly disruptive, often leaving commuters without a vital mode of transport and cyclists unable to exercise for take part in leisure activities.
“As the popularity of cycling continues to increase, bike theft is also on the up, which is why it’s more important than ever to ensure your bike is covered on your home insurance policy. This is often an optional extra, so make sure you double check it is included so that you can at least claim for a replacement in the unfortunate event your bike is stolen.”
Some of the most popular bikes with thieves include mountain bikes (48% of all thefts in the past 3 years), hybrid bikes, and road bikes.
Tips to Protect Your Bike
With the increase in bicycle thefts in London, it’s a good idea to do as much as possible to protect your bicycle. These tips are for all types of bicycles, even simple bicycles of lower value. These are also a target, along with the more expensive mountain bikes and hybrid bikes.
Here are things you can do to protect your bike from being stolen:
1). Register your bike: it’s easy and fast to register your bike on sites such as BikeRegister or Immobilise. These are place where you can register your bike, what it looks like, etc. You can also purchase a kit to put a stencil on your bike, which includes a specific ID. All of this information is entered into the registry you choose. Police regularly check these databases to see if bicycles they’ve retrieved have been stolen.
2). Record the details of your bike: if you don’t choose to use a bike registry, you can still keep your own record of your bike’s details. You can write down the frame number, make/model, size/colour, date & place of purchase, your bike’s value, and any distinctive features. These details can be especially if your bike is insured with a bicycle policy, but even if you choose not to insure your bike, the details can be helpful for police if your bicycle’s stolen.
3). Choose a good lock: always lock your bike when you need to park it. The best locks are flexible locks (cable, chain & amoured locks) and shackle locks (also called ‘D’ or ‘U’ locks).
4). Properly secure your bike at home: when your bicycle’s at home, it’s just as important to ensure it’s safe as when you park it in a public place. Keep your bike locked in a garage or shed when not in use. Make sure the shed or garage have a sturdy, strong lock on the outside. Make sure you have a lock that’s not easily removed with a screwdriver. It might also be a good idea to add a burglar alarm, if possible.
Purchase Bicycle Insurance Protection
Another option to consider is buying bicycle insurance. Many people believe this is too expensive; however, if your bike is stolen, it may be more expensive to replace it than paying a monthly insurance premium. With bicycle insurance you’ll be protected against theft and breakdowns. Many bike insurance policies also include public liability insurance in case you injure someone or cause damage to property while riding your bike.
It’s never been easier to find the right bike insurance policy. In fact, you can use a bicycle insurance comparison site. It only takes a few minutes. You just answer a few questions and hit enter. The site then returns a list of cheap bicycle insurance quotes. It’s that easy!
You can easily compare cheap bicycle insurance as the list will include quotes from insurance providers who specialize in this type of coverage. The list will include the names of insurance providers, their quotes for cheap bicycle insurance, etc. Then all you have to do is choose the quote and insurance policy that work for you. That’s it.
Your bicycle is an important investment; with bike theft on the rise in London, it’s important to do everything possible to keep your bike safe. Following the tips above will help, but so will cheap bicycle insurance.
Bicycle insurance will protect your bike if it’s stolen, while also offering public liability coverage and breakdowns. Cheap bicycle insurance is a great investment to protect both you and your bike.