Insurance Insider: Bicycle Theft Claim Rejection

It’s the ultimate in frustration. You pay your bicycle insurance policy premium every month only to find out that your claim for your stolen bike won’t be settled and it is now too late to do anything about it, like using a lock or keeping it inside your home.. We thought it would be useful to explain the circumstances whereby bicycle theft insurance claims are rejected and you can prevent that from happening.

Where you keep your bike

The place where your bike is kept will usually have specific requirements for that scenario, look out for instructions on what you should do when your bicycle is kept at your home, away from home, or while transporting it, for example in a car.

When At Home

When you are at home ensure you do the following:

  • Check your policy on whether your bike needs to be locked while kept at your home, and make sure that you use a lock which meets the standard of the policy.
  • Check the standard of the lock on your external doors, and make sure these meet your policy requirements.
  • Don’t leave your bicycle in an unoccupied home for an extended period of time, most insurers have a limit, for example not covering more than 28 days.
  • Don’t use DIY or plastic sheds to keep your bike in your garden, these are usually not robust enough to prevent a thief from making away with your bike.
  • Don’t leave your bicycle in your garden, regardless if you locked it.
  • Keep any  broken remnants of the lock used, and take photos of any forced damage to gain entry to your property before repairing the damage.

Our top tips when at home

If your bike is stored in your home, ensure your home’s doors are secured with approved-level locks and that windows are latched closed. Don’t leave your bike unattended in your garden, rather move it to another space in your property until you can move back to its usual storage area.

If your bike is stored in your garage or storeroom that’s separate from your home, ensure the building is secured with approved-level door locks and that your bike is fastened, with an approved lock that you thread through the frame and quick release wheels, to an immovable object. If you use a communal area such as a bike storage room, ensure you check your policy if this is covered and what security measures are required.

Keep the receipts of your locks and/or take photos of your bike lock just in case you need to provide proof.

When you are away from home

When you are away from home ensure you do the following:

  • Lock your bike, and quick release wheels, through the main frame of your bike  by an insurance approved lock to an immovable object. Be sure not lock your bike through areas where the lock can be removed by removing parts, for example through your fork, the front wheel can easily be released by a witty thief!
  • Don’t leave your bike for extended periods of time, most insurers will limit how long it may be kept in public spaces, for example 18 hours away from home or 24 hours while left at a train station.

Our top tips when away from home

Avoid leaving your bike unattended for too longand lock it, with an approved lock threaded through the frame and quick-release wheels to an immovable object. Take a photo of your bike once it’s been secured in case you need to show proof.

Ensure to lock your bicycle to an immovable object, include the wheels when they have quick release.

Ensure to lock your bicycle to an immovable object, include the wheels when they have quick release.

When kept in a Motor Vehicle

When you leave your bike in your vehicle, ensure you do the following:

  • Ensure your Vehicle is locked and armed with it’s alarm
  • Don’t have your Bike visible from the outside, cover it up or lock it in the boot, depending on yout type of vehicle.
  • Check what your policy security requiremnts are, it may be required to  secure your bike by an approved lock to a secure anchor point within the vehicle.

Our top tips when leaving your bike in your vehicle

If you are going to leave your bike in your vehicle, it must locked and the alarm armed. Your bike should either be out of sight, as in the boot, or if that’s not possible, then it needs to be locked with an approved lock to a secure anchor point within the car. Don’t leave your bike in your vehicle overnight, and if you do, check your policy to see if this scerio will be covered.

When on a Bike Carrier

When you have your bike on you bike carrier, ensure you do the following:

  • Don’t leave your bike on a bike carrier overnight, no matter how secure, most insurers don’t cover this scenario, so double check your policy if you do decide to keep your bike on the rack overnight.
  • Ensure your bike is locked to the bicycle rack.

Our top tips when transporting your bike on a bike carrier

Never leave your bike on your bike rack overnight. It’s an obvious target on a potentially quiet, dark street. And always ensure that when you have your bike on your rack that it’s locked to the rack and that the rack is locked to the car.

Other items to look out for

Bike used for work (e.g. bicycle courier or Uber Eats delivery) are usually not covered by most personal insurance policies. Being tricked by a third party or voluntarily parting with bike, or when your bike is loaned or hired out to someone is also usually not covered.

Example of a lock that is not approved.

Example of a lock that is not approved.

Approved Lock Guide

When you’re not riding your bike and it’s not inside your home, it should be locked. It’s that simple - if you want to prevent it from being stolen or prevent the heartache of insurance not paying out.

Most insurers will have minimum security standards for the type of lock to use when securing your bicycle.

With Sundays, an approved lock is any bicycle or motorcycle lock which has been rated by Sold Secure, and is the correct rating for the value of your bicycle.

If your bike is insured for £1000 or more, then you need to use a Sold Secure Gold lock, And if insured for £999 or less, then you need to use a Sold Secure Silver (or Gold) lock.

Read our in-depth guide on Sundays bicycle lock requirements.

Whether you are a mountain biker, road cyclist, cycle commuter, triathlete or eBike rider, Sundays can help you ride with added peace of mind knowing you comprehensive bicycle insurance and a dedicated claims team to help get you back on a bike in no time..

Don’t insure your bike(s) with us yet?

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