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Cycle insurance: like for like replacement

Having to replace your bicycle in the event of theft or accidental damage beyond repair can create a huge financial strain, especially if you have an expensive bike. By insuring your cycle, it can be replaced with either a new or an equivalent bicycle at no significant cost.

This article will cover the difference between like for like replacement and new for old replacement and what you will need when making a bicycle replacement claim. It will explore the options for temporary cycle hire replacement and the limitations and inclusions relating to bicycle replacement in ALA’s Cycle insurance policy.

What is like for like replacement?

When your bicycle or electric bike gets stolen or is damaged beyond repair your bicycle insurance provider will be able to either replace your bicycle with a new one or replace it with an equivalent bike. An equivalent bike is usually the same model and age of the bike. If an exact equivalent cannot be found then your insurance policy premium may be subject to change.

Like for like replacement vs new for old

Whether like for like or new for old replacement applies to the claim on your bike simply depends on the age of your bike. For bicycles under three years old will be replaced new for old while bicycles over three years old will be replaced like for like.

In order to receive a replacement, bicycle your bike must have been stolen or damaged beyond repair. Damage beyond repair is determined by your insurance provider but it usually means that the damage is not worth repairing, such as a broken frame.

If you own a second-hand bike, determining the age of your bike may be more difficult. ALA bicycle insurance requires that second-hand bikes have been purchased through an approved dealer such that the age of the cycle can be determined. Alternatively, the frame number that you have provided to your insurance company should identify the age of the bike.

Read more about Cycle insurance for second-hand bicycles here

Making a claim for bicycle replacement

In order to receive a replacement bicycle the cyclist must make a claim following the proper claims procedure. To make a valid claim, you will need to provide the following:

  • Evidence of ownership: This might be a receipt, an invoice or a gift receipt.

  • Evidence of damage: If your bike has been damaged beyond repair and needs replacing you will need to provide evidence of this damage at your own expense, this may include photos videos, security camera footage etc.

  • Crime reference numbers: If your bike has been stolen or vandalised beyond repair, you will need to report the incident to the police within 48 hours. You will need to obtain a police incident number or a crime reference number and provide this to your insurance provider.

  • Evidence of an approved bike lock: Each cyclist will need to provide evidence that you have purchased an approved lock. A receipt for the purchase and evidence of the key for the bike lock is required. Check if your lock is approved for the value of your bike here.

This is not an exhaustive list of what you may need to provide for your insurance claim, especially regarding full replacement. Your claims procedure may differ depending on your specific policy agreements.

Cycle hire replacement

At ALA we are aware that not being able to use your bicycle while it is being repaired or replaced may have a significant impact on your life, especially if you use your bicycle regularly, for instance, for cycling to work. For this reason, we offer cycle hire replacement cover for a small additional premium. This covers the cost of temporary bicycle hire while your bike is being repaired or replaced, up to the agreed value in your policy (either £500 or £1,000).

For replacement bike hire cover you will need to use a recognised, reputable cycle dealer when hiring a replacement cycle.

Get a Cycle insurance quote today.


If you require like for like replacement and you have followed the proper claims procedure you will have the greatest chance of a successful claim. However, there are some exclusions and limitations relating to like-for-like replacements that are as follows:

  • Excess: In the event of a total replacement, you will be required to pay the excess amount that has been agreed upon in your policy (this can be as low as £50)

  • Theft of tyres: ALA will not replace your bicycle if your tyres are stolen, unless damage is sustained to the bike at the same time.

  • No frame number: ALA will not replace your bicycle in the event of theft if you do not provide your frame number when making a claim.

  • Bike theft from an insured location: ALA will not replace your bike if it is stolen from an insured location such as a house or a car when there is no sign of a forcible or violent entry. Your home insurance or contents insurance policy may be able to offer bike cover.

  • Professional use: ALA will not replace your bicycle if it was stolen or damaged while taking part in a professional race or in business/trade-related activities.

  • Negligence: ALA will not replace your bicycle if it was stolen or damaged beyond repair while being locked to a moveable object, or if it was left outside of your private/secure location for more than 24 hours.

Read about what ALA Cycle insurance does and doesn’t cover here

Common queries

What does specialist bike insurance cover?

ALA cycling insurance can cover a broad range of eventualities. You can choose covers that are appropriate for your cycling activities and pay a premium accordingly. ALA cycle insurance can cover theft and accidental damage worldwide as standard but additional covers are as follows: bike accessory cover, cycle hire replacement, legal expenses, personal injury cover, and public liability cover.

How do you claim insurance on bike damage?

Visit, you will need to provide sufficient evidence of damage at your own expense. Images, security footage and proof that security requirements were met may be required when making a damage claim.

Does bike insurance cover theft?

A typical bicycle insurance policy will cover theft and accidental damage to bicycles. In order to make a claim against bicycle theft you will need to have adhered to the security requirements stated in your insurance policy, have provided a crime incident number and the frame number of your stolen bike to your insurance provider.