Following the surge in people taking up cycling a number of specialist insurers have launched. They aim to plug the gaps in traditional insurance that leave cyclists vulnerable. You can see our reviews of the top providers here.
Here's our pick of the best cycling insurers of 2016:
A comprehensive policy for cycling enthusiasts that covers accessories, events, breakdown, race fees and worldwide travel. It covers bikes worth up to £20,000 and is underwritten by Hiscox, an insurer behind many specialist UK policies.
Bikmo was named Best Cycling Insurance Provider at the 2016 Insurance Choice Awards.
Bought By Many has negotiated a 10% discount with Bikmo for members for our cycling insurance group. It’s free to join.
Good for: all-rounders, commuters, amateur races, taking a bike on holiday
Allows you to set up cover for you first and foremost and your bikes second. It acts like a specialist health insurance policy for cyclists and offers payouts for physio and if you break a bone. You can buy liability and personal accident cover without insuring your bike.
We've negotiated a 10% discount for new cyclists, city cyclists and mountain bikers with PedalSure. Pedalsure are also offering members a free Data-tag Stealth Pro when buying insurance through one of our groups. Join the groups to unlock the discounts or read a review of PedalSure's cycling cover.
Good for: new cyclists, commuters, mountain bikers, enthusiasts, people who have home insurance that covers their bikes
Its max cover for a single bike is £15,000 and the limit for total bikes is £50,000. It offers cover for travel, events, accessories and has a big multi-bike discount. It insurers professionals and even covers Team Wiggins. Yellow Jersey has a 100% customer service rating on Feefo. Policies come with a free DNA+ marking kit.
Good for: serious cyclists, competitions and events in the UK and abroad, high-value bikes, pros.
It’s been around some time and offers a highly modular policy, allowing you to include or exclude almost every element of cover, giving lots of flexibility. There are options for team and coach cover and no extra charge for living in a city (excluding London). There’s a 20% initial discount.
Good for: races and events, teams, all-rounders - you can tailor the policy to your interests
It covers bikes up to £12,500 and provides good cover for those considering long trips abroad. It includes roadside recovery as standard.
Good for: all-rounders, taking a bike abroad
There are other providers on the market you might want to consider, or have heard about and want more information on. Here they are:
In the UK our collective mileage is up 25 per cent over the last 15 years to over 5 billion kilometres cycled in 2013 and two million people across Britain cycle at least once a week. But insurance tailored for cyclists is a new development.
At Bought By Many we aim to help people understand all of the insurance options available to them and choose a policy that works for their needs.
We also use the combined buying power of our members to negotiate fairer and cheaper deals with insurers. Our cyclist offers include 10% off a Bikmo policy and a 10% discount on a Stirling home insurance policy for cyclists.
This article explains:
The best policies for
Why you need cycling insurance
Insurance protects against financial loss and inconvenience when an unexpected event happens. That could be an injury, damage to your bike or someone else’s property.
Those sound like the enigmatic arguments for getting any kind of insurance but because cycling is so physical and involves vulnerable and valuable equipment it is something pedalheads should consider.
Cyclists of all abilities are at risk, even team Sky had bikes stolen during the 2014 Tour du Haut Var.
It is possible to cover certain risks using a combination of home, health and travel insurance. But that can be expensive and leave surprising gaps in cover, especially if you don’t have all of those policies. Dedicated cycling insurers have emerged to package the relevant bits of each of those policies into one product.
Here are some of the things these new companies aim to cover that other policies may not:
- High-value Bikes
- Multiple bikes
- Better options and fewer restrictions for where you can store your bike
- Cover for races and competitions, including triathlons
- Breakdown assistance
- Travelling overseas with high-value bikes and cycling abroad
- Cover for specific parts of the bike, such as wheels or the seat
- Accessories cover - GPS, helmets, clothing, water bottles
- Road rage cover
- Broken bones and physio payouts
- Race fees – if you have to cancel because of illness or injury
Cyclists might think they’re aware of the dangers of being in the saddle but there are many scenarios that can cost more than expected or cause major inconvenience if not covered.
Being taken out by black ice, a pothole or another racer; scratching a Porsche on a busy road; or having an expensive bike targeted by thieves can happen to anyone.
As well as the obvious headline financial impact related to these mishaps there are other costs that can add up.
Bought By Many’s resident roadie found this out after his recent crash and looked into how insurance would have helped.
Some of the more unexpected expenses include paying for a taxi to hospital and work, the cost of takeaway meals if you can’t cook because of a broken arm, getting a physio appointment if the NHS waiting list is too long and lost entry fees for races you can no longer enter.
The best providers for different cyclists
The best providers we found offer comprehensive cover for serious cyclists, have good customer feedback online, accessible quote processes and are more competitive than other cycle policies.
However, selecting the best policy for your needs will depend on how you use your bike. While the five policies we've highlighted offer good all-round cover for many activities, there are particular features that may be more beneficial to certain cyclists.
Being on the road during rush hour brings greater risks. Along with the possibility of causing damage to yourself, your bike or others, cyclists have to find somewhere safe to store their bikes. The total cost of bicycles stolen from UK train stations is over £1.5m a year, according to Velosure.
Although the biggest fear for many cyclists is being injured by a vehicle.
PedalSure is unique in that it allows you to choose cover for yourself, rather than your bike.
Some cyclists feel their home insurance provides enough cover for their bike – it includes public liability cover outside your home and may meet the costs of replacing a bike.
But PedalSure gives you an extra level of protection that would pay out if you are injured. It’s almost a cheaper, tailored health insurance policy for cyclists. It pays out for broken bones, physiotherapy and out-of-pocket expenses you might incur, such as having to get a cab to work for a few days.
Other providers worth considering are Bikmo, PedalSure, CycleGuard, Yellow Jersey and Velosure because of their cycle breakdown feature. It is similar to a car breakdown policy and can cover the costs of transporting a broken bike to a shop for repairs and onwards travel.
All of the above policies also offer public liability to cover any legal costs or payouts if you’re at fault in an accident.
CycleGuard makes a point of not charging more if you live in a city, which could be beneficial for many commuters.
Don't forget you can get 10% off a Bikmo policy by joining our group.
Taking your bike abroad and on cycling holidays
Standard travel insurance has limits on the value of individual and total items you can take with you and quality cycling equipment can easily exceed them. And they are unlikely to cover your bike while it is in the hold of a plane.
Also, many policies class cycling as an activity that requires a higher level of cover and activities such as races might be completely excluded.
Although you will need normal travel insurance when going abroad, having a cycle policy means your bike is covered and you won't have to pay for extras on your travel cover.
However, it's worth noting that worldwide policies often do not offer public liability cover for certain countries. For example, Bikmo and Yellow Jersey do not provide public liability for the USA and Canada.
Which might not be great if you want to go on a Rapha trip to the States.
Other providers with worldwide policies include Cycleplan, CycleGuard and PedalSure, which says it offers a true worldwide policy without any restrictions. But be sure to check with them if there are any liability exclusions.
Because races are fast paced and close quartered it’s no surprise that crashes happen.
As mentioned previously, a Bought By Many colleague broke his arm in a race.
As you might guess from the name, Yellow Jersey specialises in training and racing and will even cover fees for races you might not be able to attend after a crash.
Because cycling events vary so much it’s important to check your policy to ensure the events you’re interested in are covered. Most should include leaving your bike in a triathlon transition area and sportives.
Security and freebies
Even if you take out cyclist insurance it’s vital that you are security conscious. You can invalidate your cover by using the wrongs locks or storing a bike incorrectly.
Most insurers should provide you with a list of locks that are accepted under their policies. If you have to buy a new lock make sure you keep the receipt because if it disappears along with your bike, you’ll need to prove it was secured with an approved device.
Another security issue to consider is theft from your car or a vehicle. Many home insurance policies will not cover your bike if it is stolen from your car but Yellow Jersey and CycleGuard advertise in-vehicle cover. Be sure to always read the small print because there are conditions you have to meet to make a claim, for example, CycleGuard says the bicycle has to be "secured through the frame using an approved lock, to the roof or bike rack or if the vehicle is suitable, stored out of sight".
Some providers offer security freebies. A Yellow Jersey policy comes with a DNA+ marking kit worth £36 and other companies provide discounts on well-known cycling brands and deals on the first year's premium.
Another way to get a limited amount of insurance is by joining organisations or charities such as British Cycling, Total Cycle Assist or CTC.
Many cyclists will have to do this anyway because a British Cycling membership is required to enter most races in the UK.
These schemes charge a small fee to join, however, the cover is less comprehensive than what you get from a full insurance policy.
For example, British Cycling’s cover is restricted to personal accident cover and liability insurance. So it won’t help cover any costs of replacing a stolen bike or repairing one after a crash. And its liability cover does not apply if you are involved in an incident leading to a claim against another British Cycling member (making the cover close to pointless in an organised event).
Cycling insurance reviews
Learn more about the best cycling insurance companies and find out what their customers think by reading our expert reviews.
- PedalSure cycling insurance review
- Bikemo Plus cycling insurance review
- Yellow Jersey cycling insurance review
- Cycleplan cycling insurance review
- CycleGuard cycling insurance review
- Velosure cycling insurance review
- Wiggle cycling insurance review
- Evans Cycles insurance review
- Eversure cycling insurance review
- Protect Your Bubble cycling insurance review