Insurance and theft
We've written some advice on how to lock your bike and we hope you are not now reading these pages because your bike has gone. Unfortunately, bike theft happens. Some thieves are determined to get your bike and will have the tools to take it, regardless of how well you have locked your bike. However much bike theft is opportunistic theft which takes advantage of poor quality locks, sloppy locking or just failure to use the lock at all!
We want to draw your attention here to the various forms of insurance that cyclists should consider; insurance for themselves and insurance for their bike.
We also offer advice on the sort of information that could help the Police or University security re-unite you with your bike.
Had your bike stolen?
If the worst does happen, then it is worth reporting the theft of your bike. If it happens on the Birmingham University campus, please report it to Birmingham University Security. Report it also please to the West Midlands Police. Bike thieves are apprehended on campus and locally to the University and bikes are often recovered. A theft report may help
re-unite you with your property.
If you need to make an insurance claim, you will need the Police-issued crime reference number.
If you are unfortunate enough to have your cycle stolen, the more information that you can give the Police or the University Security staff, the greater is the likelihood you will be reunited with it. Here are some tips of things to make a note of.
- Make a note of the colour of your cycle. It's surprising how many people can't tell you if their bike is blue or black or....
- Note any distinctive components (e.g. two tone branded gents saddle or branded wheels).
- Note any distinctive stickers.
- Take a photo of your bike (but better still - take a photo of you WITH your bike. That makes the association between the object and you as the owner).
- Make a note of the frame number (usually on the underside of the frame where the pedals join the frame).
- Write down the manufacturer of the bike and the model details. These are usually marked prominently on the frame.
Insuring your bike
Having insurance for your cycle may save you an expensive bill to replace it, if if cannot be recovered or if it has been damaged as a result of the theft.
You can usually insure your bike on your household insurance policy, either as a specified item at no additional cost, or for an additional premium. Make sure you check the wording of your policy to find out if a replacement bike is provided on the basis of "new for old" or if "wear and tear" are taken into account.
If your household insurance policy is not suitable, then you can try either a specialist insurance company such as E&L or Bicycle Protect or membership of the CTC will give you access to their CycleCover policy.
E&L Insurance are a niche insurance company that provides competitive, cheap bicycle insurance for your cycle and accessories. They cover most makes and types of cycle whether used for leisure purposes, road based time trails, racing or competitions.
If your bike is under three years old, then Bicycle Protect has a comprehensive insurance package that would cover your bike and your actions as a rider.
The CTC Cyclecover policy offers a package of bicycle insurance at a competitive price, specifically for members of the Cyclists Touring Club.
Cyclists are generally aware of the need to insure their property but not always to insure themselves in case they are either the cause of, or the victim of, an accident.
Membership of the CTC (Cyclists Touring Club) is one of the most cost effective ways to obtain third party insurance cover. All CTC members normally resident in the UK are covered up to £10 million for third party claims made against them in the unfortunate event of running into a person or their property and causing damage. If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident that you did not cause then as a CTC member you would be entitled to London Cycling Campaign.
There are also solicitors who specialise in cycle accident claims. Here are a few examples of services available for cyclists.
The local Birmingham-based Pushbikes campaign group member Tim Beasley at Levenes Solicitors is one such local company. Further details about their cycle injuries support is available on their web site.
CycleAid are personal injury solicitors specialising in cycle injury and accident claims. CycleAid is staffed by cyclists and they provide a FREEPHONE helpline (0800 387 815) 24 hours a day where a fully qualified Solicitor or Legal Executive will provide initial advice on your potential claim.