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Cycle insurance policy restrictions: What is proof of ownership?

Buying a bicycle can often be a significant investment, especially for an electric bike. With the growing number of cyclists on roads, it is more important to protect yourself and your bike should you get involved in an accident or have your bike stolen. Bike insurance protects your bicycle in the event of malicious or accidental damage or bike theft. ALA also covers you for 30 consecutive days outside the UK.

If you choose additional Cycle Insurance cover, you can protect your cycle accessories, cycle hire costs, public liability expenses and more. Making sure your claim is successful is essential if you want to avoid being left with a potentially large expense without a settlement from your bike insurance company. For your claim to be successful, you must prove that you are the bike owner, among other requirements.

Here, we explore what evidence of ownership is, why you need it, and which are valid documents to prove you are the bike owner. You will also learn about insuring a second-hand bike and the consequences of failing to provide proof of purchase.

What is proof of ownership, and why do you need it?

When making a bicycle insurance claim, you must provide evidence that you are the bike owner, this prevents policyholders from claiming on stolen bikes or bikes bought through unregistered dealers or private sellers.

You also need to prove that you own an approved lock by Sold Secure so that your insurance company knows that you have taken the proper steps to avoid a stolen bike. You also need to prove that you own any insured accessories if you have chosen to add cycle accessory cover to your policy.

Cycleing on a cycle path

What counts as proof of ownership?

Bike insurance companies tend to have similar requirements surrounding evidence of ownership. Here at ALA, we only accept the following documents as proof:

  • A till/VAT receipt from a brick & mortar store in the name of the policyholder or immediate family.
  • A gifting receipt issued at the time of purchase. If the bicycle were gifted without a gifting receipt, proof of purchase by the original owner (if a close family member) would suffice.
  • A delivery note with the policyholder’s name and the make/model of the insured bike.
  • Evidence that the bike was provided as a replacement on another insurance policy.

You will need to provide one of the above documents every time you claim on bike insurance, so you must know where to find this information at all times.

Can you insure a second-hand bike?

Insuring a second-hand bike works similarly to insuring a new bike. You will need to provide proof of ownership, your bike must be in good working order, and you must abide by the security requirements outlined in our policy.

It can be more difficult to obtain valid evidence of bike ownership of a second-hand bike. You will only be able to insure it if it is from a registered retailer and you have one of the above documents. If you bought your bike from a private seller or an unregistered dealer, you would not be able to claim on an ALA policy.

What if you don’t have proof of purchase?

If you need to make a claim and don’t have evidence of ownership, your claim and policy will be invalid . An invalid claim can present a potentially significant burden because you will be left to pay for a replacement or any bicycle repairs.

Ownership transfer is possible within the policyholder’s immediate family. If the policyholder wants to pass the bicycle on to a new owner, outside of the immediate family, insurance transfer will not be possible.

If you have any of the following additional bicycle cover options, you may be required to provide further documentation:

  • Accessory cover – you will need to provide proof of purchase of your original insured accessories and the receipt (from a registered retailer) for the replacement accessories up to the agreed value on your policy schedule.
  • Cycle Hire replacement – you will need to provide proof of cycle hire from a registered hire company up to the agreed value on your policy.
  • Legal expenses – to be reimbursed for legal costs in certain circumstances, you will need to provide an invoice for legal fees to your insurer. Read more about legal coverage here.

a new or next-to-new blue road bike with beige tyre stripes and a black seat and handlebar.

Cycle Insurance with ALA

If you are looking for a flexible insurance policy for your bicycle, check out our buildable policies. Our standard policies cover bicycle theft, malicious or accidental damage and even protect you while you are abroad with your bicycle (for 30 consecutive days outside the UK). If you need additional insurance cover, you can add the following:

  • Bike Accessory Cover (up to either £500 or £900)
  • Cycle Hire Replacement (up to either £500 or £1,000)
  • Personal Injury Cover (up to £10,000 or £25,000)
  • Legal Expenses (up to £25,000)
  • Public Liability Cover (up to £1m or £2m).

We offer cycle insurance policies for as little as £21 per year; build a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does cycle insurance work?

Cycle insurance offers to cover the cost of bicycle repairs if they impair the bike’s function. Cycle insurance will also replace your bicycle (new for old where it is less than 3 years old) in the event of theft or damage beyond repair. You will have to pay your policy premium (paid monthly or for a whole year) and your agreed excess, should you need to make a claim. You will also have to meet specific requirements. Read about how specialist bike insurance works here.

How do you claim on your cycle insurance policy?

If you need to make a claim, here. You will need to provide policy information in addition to proof of purchase, a crime reference number (obtained within 48hrs) and any necessary additional information relating to your policy agreement. You may also want to take photos of your bicycle to aid your claim.

Are you covered if you lend or loan your bike to another person?

If you fail to take proper care of your bike (e.g., use an unapproved bike lock), your claim may be rejected. ALA will cover you if you lend your bike to a member of your immediate family and if they also adhere to the security requirements outlined in your policy.

6 September 2023

Written by Katie Rollin

|  5 minutes