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7 September 2023

Written by Katie Rollin

|  5 Minute Read

Do you need bicycle insurance for commuting?

The cost-of-living crisis is becoming more apparent to everyone, and the majority of us are taking measures to reduce spending (ALA, 2022). With high fuel prices thrown into the mix, most Brits are seeing their transport costs rise; Londoners are spending an average of £64 per week commuting, with 2/3 spending at least £20 per week.

One way to combat the rising cost of your commute is to cycle or walk to work. In fact, many commuters in London have considered changing their form of transport to cut costs (ALA, 2022). If you opt to cycle on your commute, you can get peace of mind is with Cycle Insurance. This protects you from unexpected financial strain if something happens to you or your bicycle when you may already be on a tight budget.

Here, we discuss the benefits of cycling to work and why bicycle insurance for commuters is essential. Then we explore what commuters’ insurance covers and how much you could expect to pay with an ALA policy.

What are the benefits of cycling to work?

Commuting to work and back five days a week can cost you a lot of money if you drive, use public transport or use taxis. Therefore, an obvious benefit of cycling to work is saving money on transportation. Other benefits include:

  • Environmental – you will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding motorised transport five days a week.
  • Traffic – with the introduction of cycle paths on many UK roads, you may even find that you can easily avoid city centre traffic and get to and from relatively quickly.
  • Parking – Most central parking is not free, and it can come at a hefty price in London. Bike parking, however, is usually free. Just make sure to use a secure lock.
  • Health – your health can benefit from daily cycling; even with an electric bicycle, you still need to pedal. Not to mention, getting some fresh air and natural light exposure can do plenty of good .

Many companies participate in the Cycle-to-Work Scheme; this scheme subsidises the cost of a bicycle or e-bike to help overcome the barrier to cycling in the UK. Check if your workplace offers this, you may be entitled to significant savings on your commuting bicycle. Using the cycle-to-work scheme will bring your regular transport costs ever closer to zero.

Do you need commuting insurance?

In the UK, cyclists are not required to have insurance. However, if you commute daily on a bicycle, you are at a higher risk of an accident, bike damage, or bicycle theft, particularly if you work/live in London. Here are some important reasons you should consider a tailored Cycle Insurance plan for commuting on a bike.

Accidents are more common in cities

UK Government statistics found that 81% of cyclist casualties occurred on urban roads. The likely cause is the high volume of traffic on urban roads (71%); however, other factors are involved. Luckily, cyclist fatalities are less common on urban roads.

Accidents are most common during rush hour

The Government found that the most dangerous times to cycle are 8 am and 5 pm. Additionally, there were reports of a high number of accidents involving cyclists resulting from being in a hurry.

Heavy reliance on your bicycle

Since you use your bicycle daily to commute to work, you rely on it being in full working order. If you are involved in an accident which damages your bike or if your bicycle is stolen, you may be indefinitely without your main source of transport. Finding a temporary/permanent replacement bike or using your car or public transport to commute could cost you a lot of money.

You are not the only one on the road

Commuters cycling in cities are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident involving multiple parties. If you are involved in an incident involving another cyclist or driver and receive public liability charges, this could set you back significantly.

Do you need commuting insurance in London

London is one of the most expensive places to commute in the UK; cycling could provide a considerable benefit. However, independent research (ALA, 2022) shows that safety and accessibility concerns prevent Londoners from cycling to work. The number of cyclists on the road is growing, and there is safety in numbers; however, we recommend that you insure your commuter bike in London. Bicycle theft is unfortunately high in the capital, and the busy, central roads are dangerous at rush hour – when the risk of a personal accident is the highest. By getting bike insurance in London, you help protect yourself from potentially high unexpected costs should the worst happen to your bike.

What does commuting bicycle insurance cover?

Standard cycling insurance will cover accidental damage or bike theft. If your bike is damaged beyond repair or stolen, your insurer will be able to replace your bike. Additional bicycle cover options are available with specialist bike insurance for commuters, including cycle hire replacement, taxi fare reimbursement, compensation for lost earnings (as a result of an accident), public liability cover, legal expenses, personal accident compensation and accessory cover. You may find that you don’t require all these cover options, so look for a buildable policy that suits your needs.

ALA Cycle Insurance for commuters

A standard ALA bicycle insurance policy includes malicious and accidental damage cover and bike theft cover. If your commuter bike is stolen or damaged beyond repair, it will be replaced new for old if it is less than three years old. Additional cover options include:

  • Cycle Hire replacement – covers the cost of hiring a temporary replacement bike up to an agreed coverage limit.
  • Accessory cover – covers the cost of your insured accessories up to an agreed value
  • Public liability cover – covers any public liability charges relating to your bike up to an agreed value
  • Personal accident cover – compensation if you are severely injured on your bike, up to an agreed value
  • Legal expense cover – covers legal fees up to an agreed value

Our buildable policies can suit any budget; our standard policies start at just £21 per year. Here, we explore typical commuter policies ranging from limited to advanced coverage.

To insure a commuter bike worth £500 with Cycle Hire Replacement and Public Liability Cover, you can expect to pay from £47.48 per year (upfront) or £4.89 per month (including interest). For a more advanced policy on the same bike with Cycle Hire Replacement, Public Liability Cover, Personal Accident Cover and Legal Expenses, you can expect to pay from £66.28 per year (upfront) or £6.49 per month (including interest).

Even with the advanced Cycle Insurance policy, the cost of a year of cover will equate to the cost of an average weekly London commute. This also does not take into account the ongoing insurance costs of running a car (MOT, insurance, maintenance etc.).

Check out our Cycle insurance policy and build a quote for yourself!