Opening Hours

An insider’s guide: Why you should consider cycle insurance

A branded infographic that depicts the main perceived dangers to cyclists on UK roads including vehicles overtaking, potholes, weather conditions, roundabouts and busses.

Results from independent research on UK cyclists.

Many people are choosing to cycle over driving or using public transport. Cycling reduces your environmental impact, improves aerobic health and keeps travel costs low, which is especially important given rising living and travel costs.

Many cyclists have taken up the activity as a result of UK lockdowns which encouraged people to pick up new hobbies. Unfortunately, there are many risk factors associated with cycling. According to the UK government, cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users. Bike theft is also a big problem; a bike is stolen every 2 minutes in the UK based on the and unreported bike theft statistics.

Cycling insurance is one way you can protect you and your bike from many cycling-related eventualities . This guide will explore the current attitudes towards safe cycling and bicycle insurance in the UK and why cycling insurance is so important. You will also find out who can benefit the most from bicycle insurance and how affordable it actually is.

Cycling safety: Attitudes

Half of UK cyclists said that their greatest concern on the road was in fact, cars overtaking them, according to an independent survey. This is a rational concern given that 46% of cyclist casualties involve a car. Moreover, twice as many casualties are caused by drivers failing to look properly compared to cyclists failing to look properly.

Why is cycle insurance important

Car insurance is a legal requirement that protects you and your assets in the event of an accident. As vulnerable road users, cyclists should especially have insurance and for the same reasons you need car insurance or motorcycle insurance.

62% of cyclists (A) are not even aware of bicycle insurance while 75% of respondents (B) believe that bicycle insurance is not important at all.

Doughnut chart indicating that 62.5% of cyclists have not heard of bicycle insurance.

A) Have you ever heard of cycling insurance?

Doughnut chart indicating that 75% of cyclists think that cycling insurance is not important.

B) Do you consider cycling insurance to be important?

Asset protection

Asset protection is a more well-known kind of cycle insurance, this only covers the value of the bike alone. Standard bicycle insurance protects you against vandalism, accidental damage and theft. Should your bike become damaged your insurer will cover the cost of repair, or they will replace your bike in the event of damage beyond repair or theft. Occasional damage to your bike is part and parcel with being a frequent cyclist but the risk of bike theft makes the need for peace of mind ever more important.

You can cover your bike on your home insurance; however, contents insurance usually does not cover assets when they are not on the property. With 92% of bike theft occurring in public or semi-private locations it may be worth investing in bicycle insurance.

There are additional factors that affect whether bicycle insurance would be important for you, depending on your cycling activities.

Road cycling

The number of recreational road cyclists has increased in recent years, and with higher-value bicycles brings a greater need for asset protection. Moreover, rural roads are the most dangerous; 29% of traffic is responsible for 56% of cyclist fatalities. In addition, road cyclists may want to insure their bike accessories too.


The number of pedal cyclists on urban roads is increasing year on year. Although when it comes to cycling, there is safety in numbers but high traffic is associated with a high casualty rate – 81% of cyclist casualties occur on urban roads where there is 71% of the traffic.

Cyclists in Cambridge, Oxford and London are also at the highest risk of bicycle theft, particularly in Hackney, Hammersmith, Camden and Westminster. Bicycle insurance for commuters in these areas is especially important.

When it comes to cycle insurance for commuters, you may want to consider cycle hire replacement and legal expense coverage. If you are unable to use your bicycle, your commute may be affected. Cycle Hire Replacement covers the cost of a temporary replacement bicycle. Another consideration for commuters should be legal expense cover and Public Liability Cover. In case you get into a serious accident that involves other road users or causes the damage to property, you will be covered. Most bicycle accidents occur during ‘rush hour’. In fact, being in a hurry is the third most common reason for cyclists becoming seriously or fatally injured. In the event of an accident caused by reckless driving you may need legal assistance.

Personal Injury risk

A major personal accident is something every cyclist hopes to avoid. However, in the unlikely event of a major personal injury, it’s possible to be compensated by your cycle insurance company. This kind of insurance may be particularly important for more extreme activities such as mountain biking, BMX or road cycling where the chance of a major personal injury is higher.


As travel restriction ease cyclists can use their bicycles abroad. Unfortunately, your travel insurance providers may not fully cover your bicycle if something happens to it abroad. Worldwide Cover can protect your bike for 30 consecutive days outside of the UK.

How common is cycle insurance?

According to a bicycle insurance survey, only 12.5% of cyclists currently have cycling insurance, while twice the number of cyclists believe that bicycle insurance is important. This attitude towards cycling insurance could be a result of common misconceptions that:

  • Bicycle insurance is expensive
  • Bicycle insurance is only for professionals
  • Home insurance will cover bikes
  • Bicycle insurance only covers bikes while they are in use.

Cycle insurance plans can start at the competitive price of £21 per year which covers theft and accidental damage to your bike even when it is not at home and when you are not using it. Bicycle insurance can be beneficial for a range of non-professional cycling activities, including road cycling, BMX and mountain biking. However, commuters, making up one-third of non-professional cyclists, can benefit hugely from cycle insurance. Find out whether cycle insurance is worth it for you.

Insuring your bike with ALA

Choosing a cycle insurance plan can be daunting so ALA offers a simple and flexible plan that can cover a huge range of cycling eventualities. Our basic cycling plan starts at just £21 for a whole year, this covers bike theft and damage, it also extends to 30 consecutive days outside of the UK. Various additional covers can be added onto your plan should you need them. Additional premiums include:

  • Bike Accessory Cover up to the value of either £300 or £900
  • Cycle Hire Replacement up to the cost of either £500 or £1,000
  • Personal Accident pay-out of up to £10,000 or £25,000
  • Legal Expenses up to £25,000

ALA offers a price match guarantee as we are confident in our competitive pricing. Read about cycle insurance calculations here.

Before you can insure your bike with us there are some requirements to be met; you must be able to provide a frame number and proof of ownership of your bike, read about requirements here. Additionally, your bike must be in your possession and in good working condition before the start of your policy. Finally, you must abide by security requirements, which are laid out in the cycle insurance policy wording.

If you still aren’t sure about whether cycle insurance is right for you, speak to one of our impartial customer support representatives for more information and advice. Call us on 01653 916642.

Common queries

What restrictions apply to cycle insurance?

Cycling insurance with ALA covers bicycles and electric bikes up to the value of £6,000 but there are certain limitations. Many insurance providers require adequate security measures to be adhered to. Find out what ALA cycle insurance does and doesn’t cover here.

What else is included in cycle insurance?

Additional cycling insurance coverage is available with ALA including, Cycle Hire Replacement, legal expenses and more. ALA does cover racers, so if you are looking for specialist insurance, you will want to find alternative racing insurance .

Can you claim insurance for bike scratches?

Aesthetic damage is usually not covered by cycle insurance. ALA will cover any accidental damage to the bike that impairs its ultimate function.

Does bicycle insurance cover tyres?

Some cycle insurance providers offer coverage for tyre theft, however, ALA does not currently cover tyre theft unless damage has occurred to the cycle at the same time. We recommend that you use a bicycle lock that can secure both tyres to avoid tyre theft.

Related content

Cycle insurance: is it worth it?

Cycle insurance calculations

Cycle insurance requirements

Cycle insurance documentation