The Global Financial crisis has made it into the mainstream economy with everyone tightening their belts. A health benefit of the global financial crisis though is that more people are riding to work and getting into cycling. At last count at the end of 2008 about 3.3 Million people in the UK were estimated to be riding to work – and saving money doing so.
The downside of the crisis also means that crime increases and bikes are a sought after item for thieves. In England & Wales alone, around 300,000 bicycles are stolen each year. Unfortunately only about 5% of these make their way back to their rightful owners. Many bikes are stolen from homes and garages, but not surprisingly thousands are stolen from public streets, parks and workplaces. If this happens to you will your bike be covered by your Home Insurance policy?
Bicycles can be insured as part of a home insurance policy or with a stand-alone policy. Homeowners should check their home insurance terms and conditions to see whether their bike is covered or not. In many cases if your bicycle isn’t specified on the policy, an insurer may limit the payout for any claim on a single item. If that happens to be your shiny bike you could find yourself out of pocket by quite a lot.
It’s well worth checking the details of your home insurance policy to establish what cover you actually have. Most policies cover bikes as part of their personal possessions option – however, cover levels vary with some insurers only protecting your bicycle against theft if you keep it locked in a secured area. If your bike is parked in the street or at work without a proper lock to secure it, insurers may look on your claim in a dim light. Some insurers will cover you against risks such as vandalism and accidental damage.
If you have a particularly expensive bicycle and can’t imagine life without it, then you’re probably better off taking out a conventional bicycle insurance policy. In the UK, the likes of E&L Insurance and Cycleguard offer protection that includes options such as accidental damage cover, legal expenses cover, replacement hire and coverage for trips overseas.