The short answer is that cyclists don’t need insurance. However, for some people, it can be a good idea and bring peace of mind. Most of us couldn’t replace a stolen bike in a pinch, so insurance can be a lifesaver. In addition, for serious cyclists, there can be even more reasons to get insurance.
The two most common ways to get bicycle insurance are through your home insurance or a cycling club.
Basic bicycle insurance will cover damage or theft of your bike, while more robust versions can cover your whole family and all your bikes. The very best levels of insurance will protect your entire kit in racing competitions, help compensate you for needing to miss races due to illness, and are willing to replace your competition bicycles like-for-like replacements.
The best bicycle insurance will also quote you based on your specific kit - precisely what bikes you’re riding and checking the kind of biking you do. When making a claim, they’ll know your equipment's true value and the circumstances under which it happened.
There are significant discounts, up to 50 percent, for bicycle-specific policies, but for serious cyclists, a policy that covers all your bikes is usually best.
Covering your bicycles through home insurance is by far the most popular way to get insurance for your bikes for the average cyclist.
It is easy and efficient to get a home insurance package covering bicycles. You can use a basic policy that is good for insuring relatively inexpensive bikes or move all the way up to specialist bicycle insurance. The most common form of coverage is theft protection, which is covered under general personal property theft.
Specialist policies are targeted towards serious cyclists. This can include multiple bikes across a whole family, damage during races, accessories and cycling clothing, third-party liability, and more.
In addition to insurance for theft purposes, you might be wondering about third-party liability. In the UK, this is usually handled entirely by the vehicle driver’s insurance.
Cyclists rarely cause significant damage to others, so insurance of this kind has been generally considered unnecessary. If you do seriously injure someone, you’ll be on the hook for third-party liability if you don’t have any insurance.
When accidents do occur, cyclists may be insured under home insurance. However, their car insurance will not cover bicycle accidents.
It's also possible to have coverage through British Cycling or CyclingUK membership. These can cover damages if the cyclist is liable. One of the benefits of these memberships is that the insurance protects their members on and off-road. It's a good additional safety net.
For most people, this leaves them paying out of pocket for expenses if something happens on their bike.
Choosing insurance may be a wise decision, which is why it is best to consider each situation on a case-by-case basis. In this way, you should consider whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.