If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it like a pro - especially when it comes to the world of insurance. Or, more specifically, bicycle insurance. Making sure your prized possession is covered from theft and accidents offers peace of mind. But finding the right insurance isn’t always straightforward, which is why it’s essential to compare quotes from different bicycle insurers.
Why do I need to compare bicycle insurance?
Insurance is a competitive market. There are plenty of companies offering cover for a range of things, including bicycles. However, not all insurance cover is created equally, and comparing different quotes helps narrow down the right cover for your bicycle.
How can I compare quotes?
Price comparison websites
Price comparison websites are popular with consumers and can help narrow down the best deals. However, they don’t always show the most valuable insurance products as they only work with a small subset of brands, therefore they don’t reflect the entire landscape.
Assess your needs
Bicycles come in different shapes and sizes, from mountain bikes to road bicycles and push bikes to e-bikes. You also need to factor in your gear, with helmets, clothing and gadgets coming into play. Not to mention how frequently you use your bike: are you a daily commuter, racer, club rider, or is it for business use? And then there’s, the amount of people on the cover: is it for single, multiple or family use? The quotes you receive will vary depending on your needs as a cyclist.
Determine the type of cover you need
The frequency in which you use your bike will play a vital role in the type of cover you opt for. There are different options available, including home content insurance and bespoke bike coverage.
Home contents insurance
Home contents insurance includes the contents of your home and is something most people have. Many assume that aspects such as bike insurance is covered, but it’s not a given. Even when bicycle insurance is included, there are often stipulations - like protection only coming into effect if something happens to the bike in your home and then maybe only if it’s stolen rather than damaged.
Specialist bike insurance
Bespoke insurance for your bike tends to be more comprehensive and covers you at home and when you’re out and about - which is handy because there isn’t much point having a bike if it stays the whole time indoors. Taking out specialist bike insurance will likely be the smarter option if you use your bike regularly.
Keeping the above key points in mind for finding bicycle insurance quotes will help you get the best results. But there are more aspects to take into consideration when it comes to finding the best quote...
Checking policies and fine print
Always check through the policies and fine print for each quote. Insurance providers have many requirements concerning how their cover works and the circumstances under which they make payouts. These often include:
- Special lock requirements - most insurers require you to lock your bike through the frame to an immovable object with a Sold Secure gold-rated lock when it’s not in use
- Damages and theft replacement rules - there are different ways in which insurers replace bikes that have been damaged or stolen. Many require you to pay excess or value your bike lower than what you paid for it, for instance by depreciating the value or by simply paying out a replacement value rather than the value for a new bike. Make sure that you know what you are paying for and compare apples with apples.
- Replacement bikes - how is the replacement bike selected? Are you given options or does the insurance company choose the bike for you? Does the insurer simply refer you to their partner brand to save money or do you get a full in-house service from the team?
Choosing how you pay
How you pay for your bike insurance is one of the most vital components to finding the right cover. Traditionally, the primary options centre around upfront payments, either annually or monthly that essentially leave you in arrears.
Insurers often charge you extra to pay in monthly installments rather than annually and lock you in for a full year. Whichever option you choose, the prices are based on an estimation and often include high premiums for the insurer.
At Laka, we handle the way you pay for cover slightly differently, taking payments at the end of the month instead. Focusing on a community-driven method where everyone pays a fair amount for their insurance, we settle claims, add a 20% fee for us on top and then share the costs with the community at the end of the month. There’s also a cap which is based on your insured value meaning you never pay over that amount. For example for a bike with an insured value of £1,500, you would have a maximum cap of £13. It’s a fairer way of doing insurance.
Level of commitment/contract length
Flexibility is a huge factor when it comes to any form of payment type. Most insurers provide 12-month contracts that have exit fees if you wish to leave early, so you should definitely check the length of cover - especially if you only use your bike sporadically.
The majority of insurance policies are deep-rooted in outdated terms that don’t represent modern-day customers. It’s why more insurance companies need to provide full flexibility and the opportunity to cancel at any time during your cover. The result is flexible insurance that’s there for you when you need it.
It is all well and good having insurance in place and feeling the security of being covered. But what happens in the unfortunate scenario where you have an accident or your bike is stolen? Submitting insurance claims can prove to be a laborious process that leaves you feeling frustrated.
When comparing bike insurance quotes, make sure you’re confident that the insurer plans to hold up their end of the bargain: e.g., the payout on your claim. What evidence in the form of customer reviews can you find that the insurer does generally pay out? Are claims handled by in-house experts that understand what you’re going through? Or are they outsourced to general insurance handlers who are dealing with everything from car insurance to holiday insurance?
It’s worth knowing the answers to these questions before signing up for bicycle insurance, as you want to make dealing with any claims as smooth as possible.
Technology for bicycle insurance
Today, everything is digitised, but some companies are more tapped into the digital lexicon than others. As a customer, you want a great user experience both online and off.
Are your insurance providers mobile friendly, do you get online access to manage your bikes and cover, and is it easy to use? How will you file your claim and will you be hit by a wall of paper forms or PDFs? These are fundamental questions to ask. Sure, it’s essential that you can always reach someone (more on that in a bit) but the level of freedom to use the service online without delay is also important.
Insurance companies should provide excellent customer service - that goes without saying. However, not everyone follows up on their promises of high-quality customer service. Fortunately, review websites mean that customers don’t need to take a company’s word for being advocates of a great customer experience.
The proof is there to see, and it can help you make wiser choices when selecting bicycle insurance that is right for you. Researching companies and reviews of their customer service lets you sort the good from the bad and get covered with an insurer that is going to provide first-rate services.
Bicycle insurance, the Laka way
With all claims taking place in-house, and clear, transparent policies with no jargon, we’re changing the way people think about bicycle insurance and offering cover for your bike - no matter which cyclist category you fall into. We are a community-based insurance company for cyclists who want fair and affordable cover.
Find out more and get a quote so that you can see just how much you can save.