While COVID-19 has had a negative impact on most industries, the sale of home gym equipment and pedal bikes has been on the rise as a great way to keep yourself in shape during a lockdown. A bike has a dual purpose, it can be used out on the road, and provided you have space, can be used with a turbo trainer to act as an exercise bike you can use indoors. As an extra benefit, if you have a bike that is fitted for you and comfortable, you may find it’s an even better experience for you than using an exercise bike at home would be.
Even after the pandemic is over, you may decide on a shift in lifestyle, such as skipping public transport in exchange for the bike.
Figures from the bicycle association showed an increase in new bike sales of over 60% between April and June 2020, and with two rounds of the Government’s “Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme” (allowing £50 of repairs at an eligible retailer) already completed, the number of older bikes coming back into use is also on the rise.
Whatever your reason for getting your old bike out of the shed, or buying one brand new, you’ll probably want to make sure it stays safe, both in terms of how you store it, and how you insure it. To go along with the spike in sales, it’s also been reported that a considerable increase in thefts has been recorded, especially in the periods when the lockdown was lifted.
Can I insure bikes on my home insurance?
Yes – Or you can arrange standalone bike insurance, but which is better?
Generally, specialist bike insurance gives you more coverage. It can include liability insurance, for any third party person or property that you might damage in a collision, but most importantly it provides cover while the bike is in use, while a home insurance policy will usually only cover while it is locked to a fixed point, or at home. If you compete in events such as a triathlon, you can also include cover for any clothing and equipment that may be lost or damaged at a changeover point, which you wouldn’t get on home insurance.
The best place to start is probably your current home insurance provider. In the policy wording, there will be a Pedal Cycles section that will outline what you are and aren’t covered for with a bike, along with any specific requirements you may need to follow. If the cover they offer seems sufficient for your needs, you can then give them a call and ask the cost to include them on your cover.
If after this you decide the cover isn’t good enough, seems extortionate, or the value of your bikes is too high for them to accommodate, you could consider standalone options.
How can I secure my bike?
Buy good quality locks – At least two locks are recommended, and ideally, they should be fixed to a bike rack that is cemented to the floor. With higher-end bikes, in particular, a single wheel can be valuable in itself on the second-hand market, and with quick-release systems, it becomes pretty easy to remove. Where possible, ensure your lock wraps around the wheel, the frame, and the cycle rack.
Take photographs of your bike, including the serial number – This becomes even more important if you have purchased the frame and parts separately, or you have upgraded any of the components. This gives more evidence to your insurance company of its value.
Register your bike – BikeRegister is a police-approved database where you can register details of your bike, and also purchase a sticker or labeling kit that allows your bike to be traced back to you if it is found in the future, as well as being a deterrent for any potential thieves.
Lock your bike in view of CCTV – An experienced thief will know where the cameras are, and will probably leave your bike alone. Even if it is taken, the footage may increase the chance of your bike being found quicker and returned to you in one piece.
Lock it, even at home – A shed or garage at home is a prime target for bikes and tools, all of which can be very valuable. Plus, an outbuilding is usually far less secure compared to a house would be. Keep it locked to something secure where possible, and much like locking it up while you’re out-and-about, a bike rack you can bolt or cement into the floor is best.
Ensure it – Ensure that if your bike is lost, damaged, or stolen, you can claim for the cost of replacement.
GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. is experienced in dealing with clients that have an impressive collection of bikes and have knowledgeable advisors on hand to get the right cover in place for your needs. We can probably save you some money on the overall insurance cost too! Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 to discuss your requirements with us.