Cycle insurance: is it worth it?

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular due to several reasons, including sustainability concerns and rising transport costs. There has almost been a doubling of the number of pedal cyclists on UK roads between 2004 and 2020.

Bicycle theft is common in the UK. Moreover, 4,215 cyclists were seriously injured or killed in 2020. Car insurance is a necessity for protecting drivers against theft, damage and injury so why shouldn’t cyclists be supported in the same way?

As standard, ALA Cycle insurance covers theft or accidental damage regardless of whether the insured cycle is on your property or not – ALA will even cover you abroad. This is a benefit of bicycle insurance over home insurance or travel insurance. More comprehensive coverage can include bike accessory protection, injury coverage, legal expenses, public liability and replacement bike hire

This article will help you decide whether bicycle insurance is appropriate for you and your bike, considering key factors such as the value of your bike and what kind of activities you use it for.

Who should get bicycle insurance?

There are a number of factors that determine whether or not you should be getting bike insurance but they essentially boil down to four factors: value, risk, frequency and travel.

  • Value – This is the most obvious reason for getting bicycle insurance. If you own a bicycle that is worth a lot of money, it will not only be a target for theft but will also be a big expense to replace or repair. Insurance helps to cover these costs. If you also have expensive accessories, these can also be covered for an additional premium.

  • Risk – People who live in large cities may benefit from cycle insurance as the risk of theft, damage and injury can be higher in these areas. Also, those who cycle for sport such as mountain bikers and BMXers, where the risk of accidental damage and personal injury are higher, may wish to use cycling insurance to cover these eventualities.

  • Frequency – If you use your bicycle a lot, regardless of its value, it might be a good idea to get bicycle insurance as high frequency increases the chance of negative outcomes such as personal injury, damage or theft. Also, additional temporary cycle replacement coverage may be beneficial if you use your bicycle on a regular basis.

  • Travel – If you frequently take your cycle on holiday with you, you may want to choose cycle insurance that covers you overseas. Bicycle insurance will be more comprehensive than travel insurance at protecting your bike.

Is cycle insurance worth it?

There is no short answer to this question as there are many different factors that affect how cost-effective bicycle insurance will be for each individual. Typically, it is more cost effective to insure bicycles that are either expensive, at high risk of damage or theft, are used daily or near daily or are frequently travelled with.

Low value bikes (under £150) may not be cost-effective to insure, as the premium on cycle insurance with ALA increases when the cycle value both drops below and exceeds £150. Insuring a low-value bicycle may be advantageous if you typically encounter major incidents (such as theft or damage) more than once every few years. Bear in mind that theft of or damage to your cycle will not be covered by ALA if you fail to look after your bike to an appropriate degree.

On the other hand, a high-value bicycle (upwards of £1000) would cost from £47 per year to insure at £150 excess cover. For most cyclists, depending on use and risk factors, this would work out to be cost effective.

Choosing a cycle insurance plan

Cycle insurance plans can be tailored to any budget. However, choosing the right plan to satisfy both your budget and your activities is important. ALA offers multi-bike insurance, which may be a cost-effective way to cover the whole family in addition to your travel insurance and home insurance policy.

Additionally, choose appropriate add-ons for your lifestyle. Here are some example ALA plans calculated with the bicycle value of £1000 at £150 excess cover:

  • City commuter: Basic plan + £500 Cycle Hire Replacement + Legal Expenses = £61pa

  • Road cyclist: Basic plan + £10,000 Personal Accident Cover + £300 Accessory Cover £65pa

  • Touring cyclist: Basic plan (includes worldwide cover) + £500 Cycle Hire Replacement + £300 Accessory Cover = £61pa

  • Mountain biker: Basic plan (includes worldwide cover) + £10,000 Personal Accident Cover + £300 Accessory Cover = £65pa

Basic plans are more budget friendly, but ALA provides a generous, tailored insurance service at a very competitive price. Click here to get a quote.

Learn more about cycle insurance calculations here

Is ALA cycle insurance for everyone?

ALA is suitable for a wide range of cyclists and our price match guarantee means that we can offer the best value insurance to accommodate a range of budgets. ALA offers a budget friendly, customisable cycling insurance service that can cover many potential risk factors so that cyclists can be protected from almost any eventuality. We now offer optional public liability cover up to either £1 million or £2 million for completely comprehensive cycle insurance coverage. With our price match guarantee, cyclists can ensure that they are getting the best coverage for the best price.

We specialise in:

  • Commuters

  • Road bikers

  • Mountain bikers

  • BMXers

  • Touring cyclists

  • Electric bike users

However, ALA doesn’t cater for everyone. We do not offer bicycle race insurance, meaning we cannot cover lost race fees in the event of forfeit. We also cannot cover the costs of damage, theft or personal injury sustained during a professional race. In this case, we suggest finding a provider that offers specialist cycle insurance for racers. ALA also does not offer insurance for motorised bikes.

Our insurance plans cover cycles of up to £6,000 in value and there are a few requirements. These are: proof of ownership, a frame number; the insured cycle must be in your possession; and it must in full working order on the date of policy initiation.

Common queries

How much is bicycle insurance?

Bicycle insurance varies across providers, depending on the value of the bike and depending on the coverage you need from your insurance provider. ALA offers cycle insurance plans from as little as £21 per year and covers cycles worth up to £6,000.

Are bikes covered under home insurance?

Bike can be covered under your home insurance or contents insurance, but many home insurance providers may not cover the entire cost of the bike in the event of accidental damage or theft. Also, contents insurance cannot cover the bike when it is not on your property.

Can I claim insurance for bike scratches?

ALA unfortunately doesn’t offer scratch insurance; we only cover damage to bicycles that affects the function of the bike. It is not common for bicycle insurance to cover aesthetic damage to bicycles.