Bike Insurance the Easy Way
Bike theft is on the rise with thieves running off with hundreds of millions worth of bikes every year, a third of which are taken from outside people’s homes. However, it pays dividends for cyclists and motorcyclists to check by their home insurance policy to make sure that they are covered not only for having a bike outside their character but also to cover all eventualities, including those that occur while cycling away from the home.
The majority of home insurance policies will cover the theft of bikes within the overall cover of home contents if personal possessions are included within the policy, but not all insurers will offer to include bikes so it is important that you ascertain this information when shopping around for an insurance provider. Personal possessions insurance will have differing stipulations, for example some will include push bikes but not motor bikes. In these instances, cyclists will have to take out additional cover with the insurer to cover their means.
Halifax General Insurance advises its customers to check whether they are covered while they are out and about, as if their bike is stolen they could end up paying out for an unexpected journey to get back home. To avoid the inconvenience and possible additional costs it is highly recommended to ensure you are covered for all possible instances. Figures from Halifax have revealed that approximately half a million bicycles are stolen yearly in the UK alone, with south west London being a chief breeding ground for bike thieves. Kingston upon Thames was the top identify for thefts in 2007, while Cambridge, Bristol and Oxford were among the other highly targeted areas.
More than half of total thefts take place directly outside the home, with bikes typically being lifted from garages and garden sheds. In addition, a worrying 14% of bike thefts occur inside the home. Cyclists are warned that unless they apply a proper lock and security administration to their bike they are at high risk of having it stolen. They should ensure that their bikes are post-coded, securely locked and out of view, preferably hidden within a locked garage or outhouse. A surprisingly high number of cyclists leave their bicycles unsecured, despite the ease and cost-effectiveness of purchasing a decent lock.
Easy ways that cyclists can prevent against theft include, utilising the special bicycle parking racks where possible and of course locking the bike up properly in spite of of how long or briefly you will be leaving it for; try and leave your bike in areas that are well-lit and populated; if your bike is locked in a discarded or garage always make sure that the door is locked; try to use a hardened steel U-kind lock on your bike, as cable locks can be easily cut by and the majority of insurance companies will only take your claim seriously if they know that you use the appropriate lock to obtain your bike. In addition, it is advisable to register your bike at one of a number of bike ownership agencies, in addition as using an ultraviolet pen to mark your postcode on the frame. Keep a record of the name, form and bike serial number in case you need to pass on the details to the police. Other measures include taking photographic notes of the bike in order to be able to provide documentation that will sustain your claim if you need additional compensation for additional features that you may have additional to your bike.