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UK: bicycle insurance advice

Old 07-08-11, 03:00 AM
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the reformation
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UK: bicycle insurance advice

Just got myself a 2011 Trek 1.5.

At home, i always keep it in a locked garage, commute to work on it (until winter possibly drives me back to my mtb) and keep 2 u-locks on it, frame and back wheel and front wheel, to a solid metal fence. i'm also going to get a bag to put over it at work.

i'm considering getting insurance for it. what are your thoughts and experiences each way?

thanks in advance.
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Old 07-08-11, 03:13 AM
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MichaelW
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Trek 1.5 2011 is worth about £750.
Annual insurance works out at about 10% of the value per year.
The key to insurance is that you insure losses that you cannot bear (house, car, legal action, health costs etc). If you can bear the loss of£750 and keep roughly that amount available to use, then insurance doesnt make so much sense. Personally I would keep it in premium bonds rather than a low interest bank account.
Your household insurance will cover theft from the house. You will need 3rd party insurance to cover anyone taking action against you due to road traffic incidents (you can get this from CTC membership).

Generally, making any claim will increase the cost of future insurance so there is a minimum value for cost-effective claims.
Some policies replace with the value you paid new, others replace with a bike of similar grade. You also need to factor in accessores/upgrades which can be stolen/damaged.

Invest in an armoured cable to keep at work. Note that if thieves can break one U-lock they can break the 2nd with no difficulties. Armoured cables require different tools and techniques and the combination is much more work. Also consider Pitlock skewers and postcode marking.

Last edited by MichaelW; 07-08-11 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 07-08-11, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by the reformation View Post
Just got myself a 2011 Trek 1.5.

At home, i always keep it in a locked garage, commute to work on it (until winter possibly drives me back to my mtb) and keep 2 u-locks on it, frame and back wheel and front wheel, to a solid metal fence. i'm also going to get a bag to put over it at work.

i'm considering getting insurance for it. what are your thoughts and experiences each way?

thanks in advance.
Your household insurance may already cover it as long as you don't do anything stupid (like leaving it unlocked). My policy covers bikes up to (I think) £1500 even if they aren't in the house.

As MichaelW said there's not a lot of point paying for insurance unless the risk event represents a risk you're unable or unwilling to handle yourself. It's easy to pay lots of money to insurance companies when you'd be better off keeping the money and accepting the chances of all the risk events happening at once are very slim, and if any one happens you put the combined insurance you save towards paying the bill. Since you'll have to pay the excess yourself and also potentially face higher premiums if you ever do claim, chances are you'd end up being better off just buying a new bike if yours gets stolen.

Also, going on from what MichaelW said, some policies will replace on a new-for-old basis (so you'd get a new bike of a comparable spec), others will replace on a like-for-like basis, others will pay a depreciated value for it. So if you've had your bike a year or so and then it gets stolen you may find the insurance company will pay you the value of a year-old bike. Accessories will almost certainly be depreciated to next to nothing so if you end up getting, say, £400 for the bike less your excess (so perhaps £2-300) and virtually nothing for accessories, you soon wonder what the point of the insurance was. Especially if the premium then rises because you made a claim.
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Old 07-08-11, 04:00 AM
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One other thing, if you're using a U-lock make sure you lock the bike such that the U-lock can't be manouevred so it's on the ground. If a would-be thief can twist and turn stuff so the U-lock is on the ground they can take a hammer to it.
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Old 07-08-11, 04:27 AM
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the reformation
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Originally Posted by contango View Post
One other thing, if you're using a U-lock make sure you lock the bike such that the U-lock can't be manouevred so it's on the ground. If a would-be thief can twist and turn stuff so the U-lock is on the ground they can take a hammer to it.
yeah, i'm onto that

fortunately the security guy at my work is a fellow cyclist, looks a bit of a thug (he's eastern european, built like the proverbial brick * house, has a short temper...) and his desk is less than 20 metres away from where my bike is locked. i'm still a bit nervy about not having a cable lock though...
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Old 07-08-11, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by the reformation View Post
yeah, i'm onto that

fortunately the security guy at my work is a fellow cyclist, looks a bit of a thug (he's eastern european, built like the proverbial brick * house, has a short temper...) and his desk is less than 20 metres away from where my bike is locked. i'm still a bit nervy about not having a cable lock though...
All very well but sooner or later he's going to have to take lunch or visit the little boys' room. You'd be amazed how brazen some thieves can be.
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