If you are new to cycling you maybe be wondering about insurance. Is insurance for cyclists a legal requirement? Do I need a bike cover? What are the options for cycling insurance?
Cycling as we all know is a very healthy activity and a very efficient means of transportation for commuting. You do not need to register your bike or pay tax before you get on the roads. Although it sounds like a safe sport, accidents still happen and in some occasions it’s the cyclists’ fault.
Is it a legal requirement to buy a bike cover?
Although insurance cover is a legal requirement for motorists it is not required for cyclists. There was discussions in the past to force cyclists to buy insurance and number plates but none of them became a legal requirement. Also a lot of petitions took place to treat cyclists equally like motorists but they have not had enough support to move forward.
Third party liability insurance for cyclists
Third party liability insurance is the minimum legal cover for a driver, and it will compensate a member of public who made a claim against the driver. For example, if you are a cyclist and a car damaged your bike or injured you then the drivers insurance will have to pay compensation.
What happens if you cause accidental damage with your bike? It could be the side mirror of a car or a pedestrian. In that case the cyclist will have to compensate the victims. Bike cover might not be a legal requirement but you might receive a big bill if don’t have it and you cause an accident.
Wrongly a lot of cyclists think that their car insurance will cover them if they cause an accident with their bicycle. That’s a wrong interpretation and you will find that you cannot claim against your car insurance. However sometimes you might be able to claim against your home insurance but that depends on the type of policy.
Home insurance cover for cyclists
When you buy home insurance you have the option to include your bicycle in it. You are also able to choose if you want to insure your bike while it’s outside of your home. Since home insurance offers third party liability cover your bicycle will be included in it. In the unwilling event of a claim against you or your bike, your home insurance should cover you.
Is my bike insured?
You should check with your current home insurance provider if your bicycle is covered and ask them to confirm in which scenarios they will not compensate you. However they usually cover by default only items up to £500 unless you explicitly mention to them when you buy your policy.
Bike insurance cover with Cycling UK or British Cycling memberships
The second most common way to get insurance for cyclists is by buying a membership for Cycling UK or British Cycling. Both of them allow access to a wide range of discount codes and vouchers. There is also no excess to pay in the event of a claim.
It’s an organisation that supports and inspires cyclists in the UK, offering advice, organising events and campaigning for cyclist rights. Apart from these benefits if you are a member of Cycling UK you can enjoy free third party liability insurance for up to £10 million. The policy will cover you for commuting, charity events, cycling on road and off road as well. However you are not covered if you are employed as a cyclist courier or you participate in a competitive event such as racing.
The adult membership is only £4 per month and it is something you should definitely consider. Also you will get access to a list of discount codes and offers which are only available to members.
It’s the cycling association in the UK backed by the government and it is the administrator of every official cycling event in the Great Britain. British Cycling offers third party liability insurance with their membership levels. Race membership is the cheapest policy which includes cover for commuting, utility and leisure cycling but only for the gold and silver members. The price for the silver annual membership is £46.
British Cycling offers liability cover up to £15 million and they will even provide electric bike insurance. In comparison to Cycling UK they will cover you during competitive events as long as they are acceptable to British Cycling.
Alternative ways to get your bicycle insured
Unfortunately the rates of stolen bicycles have dramatically increased the last few years. Especially in big cities like London they are an everyday phenomenon. You should consider buying conventional insurance if your bike is not covered by your home insurance policy.
Although it is not a legal requirement to get insurance for your bike you can still buy a comprehensive policy. Most of the biggest comparison sites will allow you to find insurance for cyclists. In MoneySuperMarket and GoCompare you will be able to fill in the forms and get quotes from the insurance companies.
Alternatively you can visit the most popular companies which specialise in insurance for cyclists. The direct insurance providers with the best feedback are:
- Wiggle insurance for cyclists
- Cycle Guard
How to submit a claim on your bike insurance
- Go to a police station to declare the loss. They will give you a crime reference number that you will have to submit alongside your claim.
- Contact your bike insurance provider to submit a claim. In the unexpected event of your bike being stolen notify your insurance company.
- Store your receipts. Bike insurance policy usually covers your accessories such as bike lights, locks. Save the receipts for them so the insurance provider will pay compensation.
Best bicycle insurance policies
|Companies||Single bike cover||Total bikes cover||Cover events?||Cyclist level|
|Entry-level, mid-level, Professionals|
|Yellow Jersey||£15,000||£50,000||Yes||Entry-level, mid-level, Professionals|
|Yes||Entry-level, amateur races, take a bike on holiday|
|PedalSure||£15,000||£30,000||Yes||Entry-level, commuters, mountain bikers|
|Cycleplan||£30,000||£30,000 total claim||Yes||Ideal for races and events|
|Yes||All-rounders, take bike on holiday|
- Check if you are covered by your home insurance.
- Ask them if they cover you for third party claims.
- Consider joining Cycling UK or British Cycling organisations which offer third party liability insurance.
- Contact one of the bike insurance specialists such as Wiggle, Cycle Guard and PedalSure
Happy cycling and stay safe!