Bikes can be a big investment that, once made, are worth protecting. Cycle insurance is one way to make sure you’re covered for every eventuality.
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to make a claim, you’ll be glad to have gone through the motions and done your research in advance.
For assistance in choosing the right policy for you, check out our separate comprehensive guide to bicycle insurance.
If you’re looking for a quick comparison of the best bicycle insurance on the market, check out our new comparison tool that we’ve developed with QuoteZone.
How to find the best bicycle insurance for you
- Insurance policies are just like bikes – what might work for one person may not be the best option for another. Weigh up your needs and be realistic. That’s the best starting point when choosing a policy
- Consider where your bike is stored. Insurers will expect you to do your due diligence and failure to do so could sting when you make a claim. For example, if locking your bike up away from home, make sure you do so in a well-trafficked, bright and, ideally, CCTV-covered area. Only some policies cover bike storage in lockable wooden sheds. Almost all require bikes to be secured to an immovable object
- A product that offers generous coverage for events may seem tempting, but is it the best option if you only do a handful of races in a year? Would you be better off taking out short-term cover for a specific event?
- How much is your bike worth? If you don’t regularly make a habit of locking your £8,000 superbike outside the pub, do you really need to plump for additional theft coverage? It’s a balancing act
- Make sure you read the fine print!
2020 bicycle insurance discount codes
We have worked with a number of leading insurance suppliers to offer BikeRadar readers a selection of exclusive discount codes and deals.
Check back regularly for more deals.
Yellow Jersey: get 10 per cent off with the discount code BIKERADAR10
Bikmo: get 10 per cent off with the discount code RADAR
Sundays: get 15 per cent off with the discount code BIKERAD15
Pedalsure: get 15 per cent off via this link
Compare bicycle insurance | The best policies for 2020
Best ebike insurance
Insurance for ebikes has some important distinctions compared to insurance for ‘analogue’ bikes. Mick Kirkman
Choosing an ebike policy largely boils down to the practical considerations of ebike ownership and how easily a policy will work with these.
To start, the additional heft of an ebike means that they are more likely to be stored out of the home and regularly used for commuting. This makes Bikmo and its leniency around outbuildings and cycle hangers a tempting option (more on this below).
Some insurers, such as Sundays and PedalSure, will allow you to leave a bike locked up in a communal area, such as a shared garage, but watch out for the specifics of each policy. For example, Sundays requires that any bike “must not be visible to the General Passing Public and or visible from outside the building”.
If you are in any doubt about whether the location where you plan to store your bike is covered, just ask.
Ebikes are also often an individual’s second bike (though that situation is changing as many turn to using them as dedicated commuting bikes), so it’s worth shopping around to see who offers the most generous multi-bike discount.
Lastly – though it’s not a nice thought at all – with the public mood shifting in favour of tougher sentences for cyclists and some pushing for greater regulation of ebikes, it is probably wise to consider what public liability/third-party insurance a policy can provide.
Our insurance comparison tool includes coverage for ebikes and is the easiest way to ensure you’re getting the best coverage possible.
Best road bike insurance for you
Road cycling brings its own specific considerations for cycling insurance.
Road bike cycling brings riders into the path of uncontrollable elements such as traffic.
It doesn’t matter how vigilant or good at riding you think you are, we can all get caught off guard by someone else’s mistake.
Whether you commute on a road bike or just ride on the weekends, it is a good idea to choose a policy that has comprehensive third-party liability insurance in case you’re involved in a crash. Likewise, good personal insurance cover could be valuable if you take a nasty spill, or worse.
Both of these are covered by all insurers to a certain degree, but once again, pay close attention to the small print and consider what you really value – is a huge life assurance payout more important to you than comprehensive dental or physiotherapy cover?
Other add-ons could be useful for road cyclists, too. For example, Bikmo, Yellow Jersey and Velosure offer similar recovery policies to those you get for a car, offering transportation to a bike shop or home.
Since 1 May 2019, British Cycling bike insurance has been provided by Bikmo. It’s particularly popular for race and event cover, offering cancellation cover of up to £750.
Our bicycle insurance comparison tool allows you to compare policies on all of these points and is the simplest way to find the best insurance for road bikes.
Best mountain bike insurance for you
It’s possible to spend a truly outrageous amount of money on a modern mountain bike. Steve Behr / Immediate Media
Like road bikes, the very most top-toppest of the range mountain bikes can cost upwards of £10,000, so replacing a stolen or damaged bike can quickly become an enormous financial burden.
Consider how often you use your mountain bike. If it’s stored away inside your home for most of the time and only sees occasional use, a low-tier policy (most insurers offer varying tiers of coverage), particularly for theft and accidental damage, might be sufficient.
If you store your bike outside, keep an eye on the small print here: are wooden sheds included? Does the bike need to be secured to an immovable object inside?
If you hit the trails regularly, shop around for a deal that offers good cover for personal injury protection and coverage for things such as dentistry and physiotherapy – accidents do happen out there.
Accidental damage coverage is also arguably more valuable for mountain bikers than road cyclists. Choose a policy that offers the right level of accidental damage cover for you. Coverage of accessories is also valuable here.
Our insurance comparison tool offers detailed comparison of all of these points and should be your first port of call when looking for the best insurance for mountain bikes.
Best cycling insurance by cover type
Best bicycle theft insurance
Make sure you consult with your insurer to confirm your lock is approved. Ben Healy / Immediate Media
Cover against theft is by far the biggest concern for consumers.
With this in mind, the terms of policies from the biggest providers have become increasingly generous, driving competition.
The maximum insurable value may seem like an obvious figure to look at, but few of us actually own £15k super-duper-bikes, so weighing up how, where and in what condition a provider insists your bike be stored are the things to look at.
Taking into account any excess to be paid, any additional extras that a policy provides and user reviews are also important factor to consider.
Most providers will cover your bike within your home, but pay attention if you plan on storing it in an outbuilding or garage –Bikmo, PedalSure and Yellow Jersey have clear policies here and, unlike some other providers, these outbuildings can include lockable wooden sheds.
This caveat is an example of the sort of thing you should pay particular attention to when comparing providers.
These providers also have clear and concise rules about where your bike can be stored away from home and what precautions must be taken to ensure you’re covered.
As mentioned, Bikmo also explicitly covers bicycles stored in Bikehangars and other similar storage facilities, which could be beneficial for some cyclists.
Abandonment (leaving your bike unattended) is also worth paying attention to. Bikmo, for example, defines abandonment as having left a bike for 24 hours, as opposed to Yellow Jersey’s 18 hours.
This is of particular note if you, for example, travel overnight and leave a bike at a train station.
As with all of our suggestions, it will likely come down to cost and what other benefits each package may offer you.
Theft coverage comparison is included in our insurance comparison tool, and is your best bet to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need.
Best third-party liability cycle insurance for you
We all do our best to avoid a crash. No-one wants the pain, damage and admin that comes with an accident.
But if the worst does happen and you injure someone else along with yourself, liability/third-party insurance is there to protect you in the event of a serious crash.
Not only will it cover you for damage to others and their property but it can also cover you for legal costs.
There have been a number of unpleasant high-profile cases involving cyclists hitting pedestrians. As a result, society is leaning towards tougher rules and harsher sentences for cyclists, making liability insurance something really worth considering.
All insurers will offer third-party coverage to a certain degree, though how much and under what circumstances depends on the insurer. Some will, for example, exclude racing (though any well-organised event should have its own insurance).
This is a complex area and, if it is something you are concerned about, each provider’s policy wording demands extra scrutiny.
Best home insurance for cyclists
This man can rest easy in his fashionable, minimalist home because his beloved bike is covered under his home insurance policy. Justin Paget / Getty
PedalCover is a specialist that provides home insurance specifically tailored to enthusiast cyclists and their unique needs, including, for example, coverage against theft when away from home and coverage while racing – as far as we know, no other home insurance provider offers as comprehensive a level of cover for cyclists.
It’s hard to make a straight comparison between PedalCover and other providers because each PedalCover policy is bespoke to the customer. This means there is no set policy wording available.
Nonetheless, it’s an interesting option and worth requesting a quote to see if the cover offered suits your needs.
Regular, plain ol’ boring, vanilla home insurance is, by far, the most popular way to insure a bike against theft.
However, as outlined in our guide to bicycle insurance, going down this route has a number of pitfalls, primarily around cover outside of the home or against accidental damage.
Nonetheless, many still choose to insure their bikes this way, and if you’re after a simple and often cost-effective policy for a cheap bike, it can be a good option.
When we originally wrote this article in 2018, none of the home insurance providers we spoke to replied to our questions, so our suggestions are based on specifications, user reviews and recommendations from our readers.
Marks and Spencer Bank, Aviva and Hiscox insurance were the three providers that were most regularly recommended.
It’s worth noting that Hiscox underwrites many specialist providers (including Bikmo) while Aviva underwrites M&S.
All three provide comprehensive coverage against theft and damage inside and outside of the home, but all have varying degrees of coverage for use during competition.
As with all of the policies mentioned in this article, pay close attention to policy wording.
Best bicycle insurance with event/racing cover
If racing is a big part of your life, insurance can cover you for lots of different eventualities. Sportograf
Before choosing an insurance policy with event/racing cover, weigh up the sorts of events you are planning or are most likely to attend – the premium for a policy that will cover every single type of racing will be considerably more than one that covers just sportives.
British Cycling (which is provided by Bikmo) is a popular option for many racers and it has event cancellation cover of up to £500. Additional coverage for personal injury or accidental damage to your bike can also be purchased.
If you’re doing a tour or sportive abroad and want to be covered for your travel costs up to £5,000 and entry fees up to £300, but equally aren’t fussed about theft or accidental damage cover, Cycling UK’s (Cyclecover) policy may work for you.
Note that this policy explicitly excludes all events except sportives, so it would probably be best to check with Cycling UK directly if you’re unsure whether your event falls under this category.
Other dedicated insurers will offer more broad coverage, including, in some cases, replacement bike hire, event cancellation cover and more.
Best cheap bicycle insurance for you
It’s hard to give a definitive answer here, but looking across user reviews and working off of policy specifications, Laka presents an interesting option.
Laka works in an interesting way, with your monthly payments fluctuating depending on the number of claims made within a given month, with savings passed onto customers.
For example, according to Laka, the average cost of insuring £2,000 worth of gear would be £7. If a number of claims were made by other members within a set month, your price may rise, but it would never be more than £17.
That’s an incredibly simplified roundup of how Laka works. For more info, it’s best to consult its extensive FAQs.
For a definitive comparison of the best cheap bicycle insurance, use our comparison tool.
Best bicycle insurance with travel cover
Travelling abroad with your bike? A short-term specialist bike insurance policy could work well for you. Ben Healy / Immediate Media
Choosing the best bicycle insurance with travel cover depends largely on the type of trip you’re planning.
If you’re planning on a trans-European mega-tour, Cycling UK could be your best option, with extensive travel and medical cover abroad. However, be aware that the policy has limited cover for theft and damage.
On the other hand, if you just fancy pootling around Mallorca with your mates, but want to be certain that you’re covered if your bike is damaged in transit or stolen from your lush villa, a more simple plan from any number of specialist providers will suit you well.
Again, premium policies from most insurers work well in these circumstances, with pretty much all of the coverage you’d expect to have at home extendable overseas for a premium.
It’s worth pointing out that few of these policies will cover you for liability in Canada or the USA, but this is the case across most of the specialist bicycle insurance providers.
Most generic travel insurance policies will not cover you if your holiday’s primary purpose is to ride bikes, and are best avoided for cycling holidays.
Best bicycle insurance if you own a second-hand bike
All of the providers we spoke to will cover a second-hand bike.
However, some depreciate the value of your bike over time, so it’s best to refer to each provider’s policy wording and weigh up what you require from your insurance and make your decision based on our recommendations for other categories.