Bikes are expensive. Having bought one once, the last thing you want to have to do is to buy it again. But that’s just what could happen if your bike gets stolen.
Obviously it’s best to avoid getting it nicked in the first place, so keeping it somewhere secure and making sure it’s locked if you ever leave it anywhere (and that includes on the roof of your car) is an excellent idea. But it’s also a good idea to have a backup plan, and that’s where insurance comes in.
Where to start? Adding bikes to a household contents policy is a popular option, although getting insurers to cover high-value bikes (and many consider anything over £200 to be “high value”) can be a challenge. Specialist bike insurers ought to be able to do a better job. Some will insure your bike against accidental damage while riding or even racing.
Make sure you check all the policy conditions before taking out any insurance, though. You may find that your bike’s covered while it’s inside your house, but not in an outbuilding, or in your car, or on a roof rack. And if you like to travel, ensure that your bike is covered in foreign parts. Which brings us to:
Insuring your bike is a good idea. Insuring yourself is vital, especially if you’re riding abroad. In the UK, charitable organisations like the Air Ambulance or Mountain Rescue will scrape you off the trail and then the NHS will patch you up. In many other countries in the world, you’ll end up staring down the barrel of a huge bill – helicopter rescue, hospital admission, treatment, possibly repatriation to the UK. It can easily run to thousands. So travel insurance to cover that eventuality is a must.
Choose with care, though. There’s no point having insurance if it doesn’t cover your particular circumstances. While most travel policies cover you for “cycling”, many specifically exclude mountain biking. Or the policy conditions will have excitingly ambiguous descriptions like “stunt riding” or “extreme mountain biking”. Speak to the insurers, tell them exactly what you’ll be doing and make sure you’re covered. And if they don’t understand what you’re talking about, go elsewhere.