The recent floods in the United Kingdom have been a catastrophe for residents and local businesses. So far, the government has issued 98 flood warnings across the country with 2 severe flood warnings issued on the River Severn.
Pictures have been plastered across the news of residents struggling to come to terms with their flooded property, however the effects of flooding are much more long-lasting. Thousands of people are now at the mercy of their home insurer, relying on their pay-outs to acquire back their lost possessions.
What effects does flooding pose to cyclists?
Aside from waterlogged trails, flooded lanes and fallen trees, floodwaters pose little trouble in terms of bike damage. If you are worried about your bicycle getting damaged in the floods, keeping it dry will alleviate mechanical problems.
Keeping your bicycle in a dry space, upstairs if necessary, will stop all the internal bearings and drivetrain from succumbing to moisture damage.
If you've been on a particularly soggy ride, spraying your drive-chain with a water displacer (like WD-40), will stop water from rusting your gears. You should dry and lube your chain as normal afterwards.
Bicycles are sturdy machines when it comes to combatting water. This GCN video where they test the durability of a bike when jet-washed gives a brilliant insight into how tough and water-tight a bicycle is.
Is my electric bike safe?
If you have an e-bike it is good practice to keep it extra dry in wet weather. An e-bike is deemed more water-resistant than waterproof, with the battery posing a problem in terms of water damage.
Removing the battery completely is the best step towards keeping your bicycle safe!
Another great way to look after your e-bike is to insure it! Laka offers electric bicycle insurance for anyone with an e-bike, as long as it meets the government's 'electric assisted pedal cycle' requirements.
So would my bicycle be covered on my home contents insurance?
If you're a victim of a flood, the contents of your home should be covered - from furniture to personal belongings. People often believe that bicycle insurance is automatically covered with home or contents insurance. Often, this is not the case.
While bike insurance isn’t covered automatically, you can add it as an optional extra. And yet some home insurance/contents providers only offer to cover you if the bike is stolen or damaged while on the premise of the home covered by the insurance.
All of the contents insurers we checked would cover you in the event of a flood. This included Barclays, LV, Nationwide and John Lewis. Checking thoroughly with your insurer is advised to make sure you are definitely covered!
Having insurance for your bike in case it gets stolen from your home is handy, but it somewhat defeats the primary purpose of cycling. If it’s stolen or damaged while you’re out and about, your home/contents insurance most likely won't cover you.
Before you opt for cycle insurance as an extra, it’s best to double-check the details of everything that is included with the cover. There isn’t much point having home/insurance cover for your cycle if you’re out and about on it frequently.
Specialist bicycle insurance
It’s worth looking at specialist bicycle insurance if you’re a cyclist who uses their bicycle on a semi-regular or frequent basis. Specialist bicycle cover is tailored to suit a cyclists needs, with damage cover and cover away from the home.
Here at Laka, we’re offering a new way to insure bicycles. We do this by using a community-based insurance model designed especially for cyclists. Insuring your bicycle and cycling gear with Laka means there are no premiums, with claims being settled first and the costs shared with the community at the end of the month.
Every customer’s maximum payment is capped, so that even if our community has a lot of claims, you won’t be hit with an enormous bill. This cap is guaranteed by our partner Zurich UK.
Costs are split fairly and, unlike traditional companies, Laka only makes money when settling claims. This creates a fairer and more transparent business model, with the savings passed on to you, our bike-loving customers.
Our community-based method means savings are passed onto you. This year, our members have saved 25 per cent compared to regular market prices.
If you want to be able to compare bicycle insurance quotes like a pro, check out our article that teaches you just that!
Looking after cyclists (and our reviews prove it!)
We're going beyond just looking to go beyond just settling claims. Through the Laka recovery pack, we're helping our community members throughout the claims process, even in the event of an injury.
Here's how we helped Hamish get back up to speed again:
"I had a very nasty fall on a ride from London to Brighton over the summer. My collarbone bravely sacrificed itself to make sure the bike was undamaged, but my helmet needed replacing, with Laka organising a new one to arrive before I was even out of surgery! On top of this, they also sent round their recovery pack, delivered by a very smiley bike messenger, which meant I could keep my legs spinning and really helped ease my return to cycling outside once I got the all-clear. I think this is a brilliant idea and really shows Laka's commitment to keeping you riding."