If you like nothing better than spending your free time cycling, it's likely your bike is your pride and joy. You spend happy hours riding it, cleaning it and maintaining it, so the last thing you want is for it to be stolen, lost or damaged.
And because you love it so much, it's vital to spend some time ensuring that your bike is protected should it be stolen, crashed or damaged. And considering that more than 100,000 bikes are stolen each year, it's certainly worth looking into the ways that you can insure your bike so you are not out of pocket.
There are two main ways to protect your bike – either via your home or contents insurance or by purchasing a specific bicycle insurance product.
Home insurance policies
Home insurance can seem like the simplest way to insure your bike but don't assume that it is covered. Although most home insurance companies will provide some basic cover under a standard policy, it's likely to have a maximum claim per item which can be as low as £500. Check for policy extension options that allow you to insure your bike closer to its true value.
Many home insurers need additional theft prevention measures for bikes, especially if they are kept in sheds or garages and policies don't cover the bike while it's away from home or if someone else is using it so always check the small print. Again, check for policy add-ons that will cover you, especially when travelling with your bike.
It's also important to check what is covered by accidental damage under your home insurance, and whether that extends to your bike.
If you enjoy taking part in mass cycle rides and races, be aware that your home insurance policy is unlikely to cover you for any accidental damage that might occur to the bike or accessories or any injuries sustained.
Specialist bicycle cover
Specialist policies are mainly targeted at serious cycling enthusiasts who race competitively and often spend four-figure sums on their bikes. Costs differ based on your bike's value and the type of cover and, as well as covering expensive two-wheelers, specialist insurance covers lost race fees and cycle clothing, which can be expensive.
Buying bicycle insurance obviously has pros and cons. It may feel like an additional monthly expense, but it's probably the only way you'll get 100 percent of your bicycle insurance needs met by covering both you and your bike, with liability insurance almost always coming as standard.
Most bicycle specific companies will cover your bike up to a much higher value than home insurance and will offer hefty discounts on additional bikes as well as provide a multiple bike option, which can be more cost effective if you have a large bike collection.
Specific bicycle insurance will need good theft prevention precautions in place but is more likely to cover the bikes in more locations as well as cover for things like clothing, accessories and wheels. It can also cover you if you take your bike abroad.
Most importantly, a specific bike insurance will have a personal accident provision which will pay out after an injury. Some even cover you for roadside recovery costs and loss of earnings, race fee cover and competition damage.
Your bicycle insurance quote will be calculated based on your specific circumstances and takes into consideration what kind of bike you ride. Mountain bikes, street bikes, push bikes, road bikes, folding bikes, hybrids and electric bikes are all usually covered.