We don’t want your bicycle to be stolen any more than you do. We also don’t want to force our customers into paying over the odds for features that would be excessive, or impose silly stipulations such as forcing you to D-lock your bicycle to something while inside a locked car.
We have put a lot of thought into the our policy wording, considering what is practical and reasonable for our customers, and what will keep your bikes safe. A determined thief will not be stopped by anything, so what our requirements boil down to, is not making it easy for them.
I keep my bikes in my home with me
Your home almost certainly has a 5 lever mortice deadlock on the front door, the Yale and Chub locks you see everywhere you go. You don’t need to do anything else, so long as the doors and windows are locked when you are out, and a thief has to physically break into the property. The same applies to a private halls of residence at University, as well as a hotel room for up to 60 days at a time.
I keep my bikes in the garage or shed
If this is on the insured property then your bikes are covered, as long as you follow a few conditions. The garage should be secured by the same type of 5 lever mortice deadlock you have on the front door to your house. Alternatively, a closed shackle padlock will provide the same level of security.
We ask that the padlock be rated by CEN (the Central European Norm) at grade 3 or better. CEN grade 3 padlocks are rated as medium to high security in their tests, but they aren’t as expensive or difficult to find as the higher grade locks. Closed shackle refers to the shape of the lock, which makes it difficult to cut with bolt cutters or a saw.
If your garage or shed doesn’t have one of these locks on its door, then you will need to lock your bike separately to an immovable object with a bicycle lock. This is something solid fixed into or onto concrete or stone which somebody can’t just unscrew, and which forms a closed loop the bicycle lock can be passed through. If there isn’t something suitable in your shed or garage, you can buy ground anchors such as these which are easy to fit, and compatible with bicycle locks.
If your bike is kept in a communal area such as the corridor of a flat or a communal bike shed, the requirement to be locked to an immovable object is the same.
Does it matter what type of bicycle lock I have?
Yes, just like with padlocks there are good and bad bicycle locks to chose from. Thieves know which locks are easy to open and which take longer. Buying good quality bicycle locks make it harder for thieves to steal your bike, and deters them from trying in the first place.
We ask that you use bicycle locks rated as ‘Sold Secure’. They are easy to find in shops and on the internet, and have been tested and approved by a third party (the Master Locksmiths Association) as fit for purpose. If your bike is valued at less than £1000, a Sold Secure Silver Bicycle Lock is good enough for us, a Sold Secure Gold Bicycle Lock is needed for bicycles which are worth £1000 or more.When choosing a lock, it is also worth considering the style you are buying. As a rule of thumb, D-locks, and chain and padlock style bicycle locks are considered to be superior to cable locks; and equally are seen as harder targets for would be thieves.
If you are not sure whether or not your current bicycle lock is rated Sold Secure, you can check here, or sometimes it is easier to google the make and model of the lock and look at the product description on an online shop.
Bicycle locks always need to go through the frame of the bike, and ideally, wheels with quick releases should be on the lock too. Wheels with quick releases are not covered if they are stolen while leaving your frame behind, definitely something to bear in mind when leaving your bike unattended.
What about when I’m driving with my bike?
If your bike is inside your car, the doors are locked, windows closed and alarm on, then we agree you have made all reasonable attempts to keep it safe. I have looked at plenty of insurers that require their customers to lock the bike to something inside the car; I struggle to think what I could actually lock my bike to. It’s best to try and cover your bike up with something just so it doesn’t stand out.
Bicycles on roof racks should be locked through the frame by your Sold Secure bicycle lock to the vehicle, or using the built in locks which come with brands such as Thule. Bikes locked to car racks can only be left for a maximum of one hour.
We have tried to make sure our policy wording is as straight forward and transparent as possible, and that our lock requirements are simple and inexpensive. We will never live in a world with ‘perfect security’; the most we can ever expect is to discourage potential thieves. Yellow Jersey Cycle Insurance is here to give you the confidence, that should something happen to your bikes, we’ll have you covered.