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31 Oct 2018

Bike insurance: will your home insurance protect your bicycle?

Find out how to ensure you get the right level of cover

Cyclists around the UK may be leaving their bikes at risk by relying on home insurance, with just one in twenty policies providing automatic cover for bicycles.

Exclusive research from Which? found that of 38 home insurance providers, only two covered bikes as standard.

Find out how to ensure that you get the right level of cover from your home insurance and whether you should consider taking out a separate bike policy.

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Does home insurance cover bikes?

Our analysis of 38 contents insurance policies found that justAdmiral and Bradford and Bingley Home Insurance cover bikes at home and abroad automatically.

The remaining 36 home insurance companies don't provide automatic cover.

This could leave a number of cyclists at risk if they assumed that their home insurance policy did provide protection against theft or damage.

In order to get yourbike covered under most home insurance companies, you will need to add 'pedal cycle' cover to your policy. There is often a limit to howmuch your insurer will pay out for the loss or accidental damage for a single bike, and this will be specified in your policy documents.

If you do have a bike and are looking for contents insurance cover, it's important to check whether the providers you are considering will cover your bike and also how much cover you're likely to receive - especially if your bike is particularly expensive.

Should I get specialist bike insurance?

Bikes can be expensive to replace, especially if you have multiple in your home.

The average price of a bike (including e-bikes) is £480, according to the European BicycleMarket & Industry Profile. Top-of-therangebikes, however, can cost well over £1,000.

While it is possible to cover your bike under your contents insurance policy, there are some limitations.

Most contents insurance policies will limit the amount of cover you can get for high-value items, such as jewellery. This means that if your bike is expensive, you may not get the full amount you paid for it if you ever had to make a claim.

And if you take part in competitive cycling events, your contents insurance policy is unlikely to cover any loss or damage that occurs while you participate.

Admiral home insurance, for example, excludes loss or damage while a bike 'is being used for racing, pace-making, or trials.'

Specialist bike insurance policies often offer higher amounts of cover - Yellow Jersey, for example, offers up to £15,000 for a single bike claim.

Most specialist bike insurance policies also include race day cover, in case anything happens to your bike during a competitive event.

Specialist bike insurance can be great if you have higher value bikes and need extensive protection for competitions and travelling.

If your bike is of lower value and you don't use it often, trying to have it covered under your contents insurance policy may provide more value for money.

How to keep your bike safe

Bikes are often targeted by criminals. There were 301,000 reported incidents of bikes being stolen from July 2017-June 2018 alone, according to the England and Wales Crime Survey.

Failing to protect your bike adequately can result in your contents insurance protection or specialist bike insurance protection being invalidated.

These tips can help ensure your bike is kept secure and that you'll be covered if you ever have to make a claim.

1) Register your bike online

BikeRegister is a national cycling database that can help you trace your bike if it's stolen. It's free to register and provides police-approved bicycle markings.

2) Buy good quality locks

You'll need to invest in good quality locks to prevent your bike from being targeted by thieves.

Some insurers will give you a recommended list of lock manufacturers and makes to choose from. Failing to choose from this list could result in your claim being rejected, should your bike be stolen.

3) Keep your bike in a secure location

If your bike can't be stored in a secure private area, like a locked garage, then it's important to attach it to something that can't be moved or lifted easily.

For example, it's best to avoid attaching wire fences, as your bike could easily be removed with wire cutters.

Find out more: home insurance companies- all you need to know

Finding the right home insurance policy

Navigating the world of home insurance can seem overwhelming but these simple tips will help you find the best home insurance deal.

Before you start looking for policies it's important to use a valuation calculator, to help you get an accurate idea of how much cover you'll need for your belongings.

It's common for people to miscalculate the value of theirpossessions either taking out a policy that doesn't provide adequate protection or paying too much for a level of cover they don't need.

The next step is to shop around. Price comparison websites are a great way to compare lots of deals quickly.

Don't just go for the cheapest offer as it may not actually cover you for what you need.

Finally, read the terms and conditions of potential policies carefully. If you're unsure about anything, get in touch with the provider for clarification.

Once you've agreed to the terms of your policy, making a home insurance claim for things that are excluded from your policy will be impossible.

To help you find the best insurerwe've analysed the standard contents insurance and buildings insurance policies of more than 30 providers, and combined it with feedback from thousands of customers to produce impartial home insurance provider reviews.

You can find more tips in the short video below.