Cycle cover on home insurance, is it up to scratch?

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01.11.14 at 12:00 pm

Do you think the cycle cover on home insurance gives you adequate cover on the bike? Have you considered if you’re protected whilst riding abroad?

If you don’t ride many miles, don’t compete and have a cheap and cheerful bicycle which lives safely indoors, then maybe the cycle cover on your home insurance is enough. If that’s not you, then it’s worth noting that home insurance does have limitations. You may not have protection for your bicycle away from home and the value of your bike may exceed the policy maximum, meaning it has no protection at all. The cycle cover might not include third party liability especially whilst racing. For the most part, cycle cover on home insurance policies is little more than an afterthought with restrictive warranties, and more often than not exclude cover in an aircraft hold or theft from your car.

Cycle Cover on home insurance may not be up to scratch.

To confuse you further there are home insurance policies on the market which state they are specifically designed for cyclists and claim to have dedicated cycle cover. However, home insurance advertised with cycle cover has rarely been designed for cyclists and does not come with dedicated benefits.

What does this mean in the event of a claim? Without dedicated cycle cover there is no guarantee an insurance company will look after you fuss free. It’s worth bearing in mind that by accepting a policy, your insurer assumes you’re in the know and are therefore unlikely to be flexible or understanding of your needs. If an insurer decides to change its attitude toward cyclists during the term of a home insurance policy, this will leave some customers exposed.

Home insurance will always have limitations and specific stipulations like high excesses and how the bike can be used. Ultimately, it simply wasn’t designed to insure the modern cyclist. We recommend you carefully assess the level of cycle cover on your home insurance against the type of cycling you do, such as competing or travelling with your bike, and what your exposure is in the event of claim.

We’ve outlined below some of the most common short comings of home insurance for cyclists:

  • No cover available
  • No riding/racing
  • Higher excesses
  • Additional locks
  • No lending
  • Race transition areas not covered

It’s worth knowing that generally, bicycles worth upwards of £800 are not automatically insured and need to be specifically declared on a home insurance policy, and an additional premium is normally required. In many cases home insurers will decline to provide cycle cover for higher value bikes. So, if you ride around town on a carbon number worth more than some people’s cars, you may be taking a big risk.

It might be hard to believe, but you may find that your bike is covered on home insurance as long as it’s not being ridden! This is because there is no cover for accidental damage whilst the bicycle is away from the home. It is also very likely that cover while racing or riding an organised events will be specifically excluded. If you think your British Cycling membership might cover the gap when racing, then this excludes claims against other BC members which, let’s face it, means everyone else! Not great news if you like taking part in sportives or racing competitively.

Home insurers often impose large excess amounts, commonly in the region of £500. So that could be a nasty shock if you ever find that your bike is not where you left it or you were hoping the insurer might pay if you clip the wing mirror on an expensive BMW.

Hidden in the small print of your home insurance may be a fairly impractical requirement to anchor your bike to the fabric of the building its stored in. This involves securing your bike to a lock that is permanently bolted to either the floor or wall of your home or outhouse. Failure to do so might even mean your insurer can legitimately refuse to pay a claim.

Most home insurers will only settle a claim if the damage or theft occurs whilst the bike is being used by the policyholder themselves. Therefore, if a friend or member of your family wants to use your bike, you will need to name them on your home insurance policy in the same manner as you would on car insurance.

If your home insurance does not include cover away from home, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that such policies also exclude cover when your bike is left in a race transition area.

Bicycle Specific Insurers:

Over the last four or five years, the big insurers have started to cotton on to the cycling market. They have noticed our bikes are getting more expensive and that we are using them more and more for sport and competition. There is a real concern for accidental damage while out training, racing, and when checking bicycles in with an airline.

There are now a range of insurance policies on the market, along with updated insurance products available through recognisable brands such as Wiggle insurance, Evans cycle insurance, and British cycling insurance.

While the cover they provide is better than what was previously available, some remain tied down to the old home insurance model. Some policies appear almost identical with just a few additional ‘bolt-ons’ to provide the cover we need.

The trouble is that if you need your cover to include things such as travelling abroad, race cover, accidental damage and so on, each feature will attract an additional premium.

Their claims are also handled using rather outdated methods, like funnelling claims through large call centres operated by underwriters. If there is one thing we know about bike claims, it is that they are never simple. Without somebody on the end of the phone who knows their bikes, you are going to struggle to get the service you deserve.

Our claims are processed by a company called Direct Group. Once you submit your form, you will be assigned a dedicated claims handler who will take the lead on processing your claim. They are part of a small team looking after Yellow Jersey customers, so if you call in and your handler is unavailable, you will still end up speaking to someone familiar with your claim. Have a look at our claims process to learn more about how we help our customers.

Cycle Cover the right way

We do not just sell a modified home insurance policy. In fact, our exclusive product was designed in house, from scratch, based on our customer consultations.

  • Bicycles worth up to 15K covered for theft and accidental damage
  • 60% Multi-bike cover discount and cover on a single policy up to £50K
  • Competition cover
  • Cover in transition for bicycles, helmets & wetsuits
  • Cover for owned or hired bike boxes
  • Race fee cancellation cover
  • Damage to bicycles in a bike box in an aircraft hold
  • Excellent accident management service & advice
  • Personal Accident cover in the event of a serious incident
  • Cycle rescue and breakdown cover
  • FREE DNA+ forensic coding kit

As a cycling enthusiast, you will appreciate that there is a huge difference in the quality and design of the cheapest bike on the market and the one you ride. We believe equal consideration should be given to protecting you and your cycles with cover that meets your needs. Yellow Jersey’s specialist bicycle insurance policy has an excess of £100, a high maximum limit on the value of your bike and accessories cover that should be more than sufficient (but if not we can refer your sums insured value to our underwriters). In short, we’ve got you and your bike covered for sporting events at home and abroad.

Cycling holidays and races abroad are incredibly common these days. The nerves when opening up your bike box or bag after you’ve had it handed back by an airline, never go away. However, with a policy like ours, you can rest easy knowing that your bike is fully covered for accidental damage and theft whilst in transit. You’ll also have £1,000 of cover for any damage incurred to the bike box itself and £500 to cover the cost of a hire bike so you can still make the most of your trip. Our worldwide protection covers you and your bike with no time restrictions within the policy period, and includes cover for any damage/injury incurred whilst racing.

Nothing can make up for suffering a severe accident but knowing that you and your family will receive a significant payment should provide a small amount of peace of mind.

As cyclists we share increasingly busy roads with careless drivers and pedestrians who often seem to materialise out of nowhere. For that reason, Yellow Jersey provides protection against 3rd party liability claims. And should you and/or your bike be damaged by a motorist, our excellent accident management service will advise you how best to recover your losses.

We’ve all had that nagging thought when out cycling on our own, “How the hell will I get back from wherever it is that I am if something serious happens to my bike?” Well, if an incident occurs that prevents you from completing the journey, with Yellow Jersey’s breakdown cover we will arrange for the collection of you, any passengers, and your bike to one of the following destinations: your home, a railway station, a suitable cycle repairer, a car hire or the nearest suitable overnight accommodation.

DNA+ Forensic Coding is a fantastic innovation in the fight against bike thieves. Your DNA + kit contains an invisible and uniquely coded piece of DNA. When placed on your bike it is almost impossible to remove, and its unique information is registered to you on a database. When the police recover stolen property, they check for DNA + coding so if the worst should happen, there is a much higher chance you’ll be reunited with your bicycle. Thieves know about DNA + Forensic Coding so placing labels on your bike should deter them.

Some home insurers will only insure the cost of replacing your bike with a new one within the first year of manufacture. Not with Yellow Jersey. With our cover, you’ll be covered for the full value of your bike as new within a full 3 years.

As cyclists, we know how important it is to you that someone you trust carries out work to your bike. Home insurers may only be able to arrange for repairs to be carried out by their approved repairers who will often be the major cycle shop chains. At Yellow Jersey, we handle your claims and make sure they are turned around quickly, ordinarily working with your local independent bike shop to handle the repairs.

You’re Covered

We think it’s well worth knowing for definite that you and your bike are fully protected, just as we would want for ourselves.

Click HERE for a full quotation