Direct Line has launched a new insurance product especially for cyclists, designed to give them more protection than typical home and contents insurance if something happens to them or their bike.
In this article, we take a look at what cycling insurance is, what Direct Line’s policy covers, what it doesn’t, and if it’s worth it for you.
What is cycling insurance?
Typical home and contents insurance policies may cover you if your bike is stolen or damaged inside your own home, but if something happens while you’re out riding it or storing it at your workplace, for example, you may find that your usual insurance won’t be of much help. This is where cycling insurance comes in.
Cycling insurance is a specialist insurance product which can give you and your bike added protection that other types of insurance may not cover, such as for theft and damage to your bike and cycling accessories (whether you’re at home or out and about), injury to yourself, and public liability if you injure someone else with your bike.
The cost of cycling insurance differs depending on the value and age of your bike, as well as what sort of scenarios you use it in - e.g. Do you only use your bike to cycle to work, or are you also competing in cycling races?
There are also different types of cycling insurance, based on whether you want to insure just your bike, yourself while using your bike, or both. Direct Line’s new Cycling Insurance offers all three, so you can decide which one is best suited to your specific needs.
What does Direct Line Cycling Insurance cover?
Direct Line Cycling Insurance has 3 different tiers of cover - Cyclist, Bicycle, and Cyclist & Bicycle - so that you can choose the level of cover best suited to how you use your bike.
We explain what each product covers you for, plus an estimated monthly cost, based on a typical 2 year old road bike worth £1000, used primarily on the outskirts of London.
Cyclist Cover is designed for those that are looking to insure themselves while they’re riding their bike outside the home. This product covers you for up to £2 million in public liability costs, with the optional extras of personal injury and emergency medical cover.
Bicycle Cover is aimed at those that want to ensure their bike from theft and damage - inside or outside the home. It covers you for accidental damage and theft of your bike and your cycling accessories, with the optional extras of public liability cover, travel cover, race and event cover, personal injury, and emergency medical cover. There’s also the option of a multi-bike discount of up to 15% for bikes over £250.
Bicycle & Cyclist Cover
Bicycle & Cyclist Cover is the most comprehensive of the policies, insuring both you and your bike in your home and out. It covers public liability, accidental damage and theft (for your accessories too), and has optional cover for races and events, personal injury, and emergency medical costs. There’s also the option of a multi-bike discount of up to 15% for bikes over £250.
|Type of Cover||Cyclist Cover||Bicycle Cover||Bicycle & Cyclist Cover|
|Public Liability Cover||✔||Optional||✔|
|Race & Event Cover||×||Optional||Optional|
|Emergency Medical Cover||Optional||Optional||Optional|
What does Direct Line Cycling Insurance not cover?
There are some scenarios, however, where Direct Line Cycling Insurance will not pay out. These can include:
- If a public liability claim is raised against you in the USA or Canada.
- An incident where the other party involved is a member of your immediate family, your household, or your own employee.
- Liability for loss or damage to property which belongs to you.
- If you die as a result of injuries sustained more than 4 weeks after the date you were initially hurt.
- In the event of an accident if you and your bike were not “clearly visible” via the use of appropriate lighting, reflectors, and safety clothing.
- “Scratching, marring, denting or any cosmetic damage” that does not compromise the functionality of your bike and/or accessories.
- If your bike and/or accessories are stolen after being left unattended for more than 18 hours (or 24 hours at a train station or permanent place of employment).
- If your bike and/or accessories are stolen from your vehicle or vehicle rack between the hours of 21:00-06:00.
- If your bike is damaged when the person riding or safekeeping it is under the age of 18 years.
- If the battery or battery-pack of an e-bike is damaged (unless as a direct result of a crash or the theft of the entire bicycle).
How does Direct Line Cycling Insurance compare?
To help you weigh up the competition, we've rounded up 5 quotes from different insurers, based on a road bike worth £1,000 used for commuting purposes.
We've included Direct Line's Bicycle Cover so you can see how it compares to similar deals on the market.
|Provider||Monthly Cost (£)||Annual Cost (£)|
Source: Protect Your Family, 19/08/21, one bicycle only.
Is Direct Line Cycling Insurance worth it?
Direct Line Cycling Insurance could be a great option for those that want the peace of mind that comes with insuring themselves and/or their bike, but it could end up becoming costly if you’re not a regular cyclist.
Cyclist Cover - the least comprehensive policy - starts from just £1.25 a month, but only covers you for public liability, so you’ll have to pay extra for personal injury and emergency medical cover - which can increase your annual bill by an additional £15.
The Bicycle Cover policy appears to insure a wide range of scenarios, but a glance at the small print reveals that there are a number of caveats, so you’ll need to make sure you don’t leave your bike unattended for long periods of time - plus you’ll have to count on any thefts not happening between 9pm and 6am.
In addition, the cost difference between the Bicycle and Bicycle & Cyclist cover is relatively minimal, so if you’re a regular cyclist you may find that opting for the latter is a better deal for more comprehensive cover at just a slightly higher price. Do make sure to shop around using comparison sites though - such as MoneySuperMarket* - as there may be cheaper alternatives available to you.
Overall, if you’re a keen cyclist, Direct Line Cycling Insurance can offer more cover for you and your bike than home and contents insurance, but if you do decide it’s right for you, make sure to take all the necessary precautions (i.e. using sufficient protective gear and secure storage facilities) so you have the best chance of a successful claim.
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