If you’ve suffered an accident or had your bike stolen, the situation is already stressful enough without worrying whether or not your insurance claim will be approved. Thankfully, it’s not the painstaking chore you might think. You can make the claim process simple by following a few key steps. This article explains how to make a successful claim and outlines the main reasons cycling insurance claims are rejected.
How to make a claim
You’ll need to contact your insurance provider to explain the circumstances surrounding your claim. When you do, it’s helpful to have the following information to hand to make sure everything goes smoothly:
- Policy number
- Date of occurrence
- Evidence of ownership
- Crime reference number
- Proof of purchase of your lock
- Any damaged items or locks
- Estimated cost of repair or replacement
- Photographic evidence o a break-in or broken lock
- Written report from the courier if an item you use for cycling was damaged or stolen in transit
It’s also worth noting that, when you make a claim, you may have to pay what’s called an excess. This is an agreed sum of money which is outlined in your insurance policy at the time of purchase.
For more information on how to claim, see our how to make a claim page.
Common reasons a bicycle theft claim will be denied
The bike was secured with an unapproved lock
Whether you have home contents insurance or a specialist cycling policy, most insurers stipulate that the lock you use to secure your bike meets a certain standard. For Cycleplan, your lock should be Thatcham approved when the bike is up to the value of £1,500. Or, alternatively, a rated Sold Secure lock, depending on your bike’s value:
- For bikes valued and insured for £500 or under, you need a Bronze rated lock
- For bikes valued and insured for £1,000 or under, you need a Silver rated lock
- For bikes valued and insured for over £1,000, you need a Gold rated lock
The bike was not adequately secured
Most insurers have security requirements for how your bike needs to be secured when not in use. For Cycleplan, there are important security requirements that need to be followed.
When your bike is stored at home:
- You must keep the bicycle inside an acceptable storage location and ensure any security devices are in operation.
- If your bike is stored within a private garage, outbuilding, shed or bike box, it must be within the boundaries of the home. All external doors must be secured by a minimum of a five-lever mortice deadlock to BS3261 standard or a five-lever padlock or closed shackle padlock. If you don’t have any of these security devices, you must secure the bike with an approved lock to an immovable object, by fastening it through the frame and any quick release wheels.
- If you use a bike box, it must be made from brick, stone, concrete, wood or metal – not plastic. Again, if the bike box doesn’t meet this requirement, you must secure the bike with an approved lock to an immovable object, by fastening it through the frame and any quick release wheels.
- If the designated home storage location of your bike is a communal area like an underground carpark, hallway or storage area and is accessed by private residents only, you must secure your bike with an approved lock to an immovable object. Again, you must do this by fastening it through the frame and any quick release wheels.
- If the designated home storage location of your bike is a balcony, it must not be accessible from the ground from outside the building, and your bike must be secured with an approved lock to an immovable object. As above, the lock must be fastened through the frame and any quick release wheels.
- If you leave your bike outside, for example in your garden, driveway or open-air carpark, you won’t be covered even if it is locked up.
When your bike is away from your home:
- Your bike must not be left unattended without securing it to an immovable object. The bike must also be secured by using an approved lock fastened through the frame and any quick release wheels.
For more information, see our general security requirements page.
The bike was left unattended for too long
The maximum amount of time you can leave your bike unattended is 24 hours when the bike is stored in a train, bus or coach station, or your permanent place of employment. It can only be left for 12 hours at any other location.
The bike was left for too long on a public bike rack
If there are bike racks just outside your home, it’s understandably tempting to store your bike there on a regular basis.
However, given that most bike racks are outdoors and exposed, insurance companies look on them like any other public place. It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re outside your home.
This means the maximum amount of time you can keep your bike there is 12 hours unless the bike rack is within the confines of a train, bus or coach station or your permanent place of employment – in which case it’s 24 hours.
Outdoor bike racks aren’t suitable for your bike’s home storage location, so make sure you comply with the above security guidelines. This way, you stand a much better chance of having your claim approved.
There’s no sign of forced access
Any bike theft must be caused by forcible and violent access. While not always necessary, if your bike lock was broken to steal your bike, it will help your insurance claim to keep hold of the broken lock as evidence.
Be sure to closely read the terms of your insurance at the time of purchase, so you know what you are and aren’t covered for. That way, you won’t get any nasty surprises if you ever need to make a claim. Our important policy documents can be found here.
Here at Cycleplan, our policies are totally customisable so you can make sure you’re covered for what you need, whether it’s damage, theft, or loss regardless of whether you’re out riding or at home. Find out more by clicking the link above, or get an instant online quote and have the cover you need within minutes.